Powerpoint speaks aloud in Office 365, 2019, 2016 and earlier

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PowerPoint 365 way back to PowerPoint 2010 all have a ‘text to speech’ or ‘Speak’ feature to read aloud the text in a slide.  It’s hiding away behind the ribbon but works fine once you’ve found it.

The PowerPoint Speak or Real Aloud feature is similar to the Speak option in Word.

Powerpoint speaks aloud in Office 365 2019 2016 and earlier - Powerpoint speaks aloud in Office 365, 2019, 2016 and earlier

Speak button can be put on the Quick Access Toolbar or Ribbon.

Select some text or Ctrl + A for the whole slide then click the Speak button.

If there’s no selection, Speak will say the current word at the cursor.

Adding the Speak button

You’ll find Speak on the ‘Commands not on the Ribbon’ list.  The easiest choice is adding it to the Quick Access Toolbar.

Powerpoint speaks aloud in Office 365 2019 2016 and earlier 1 - Powerpoint speaks aloud in Office 365, 2019, 2016 and earlier

Now it’s on the QAT, select some text and click the Speak button.

Changing Voices

The controls for Speak or Read Aloud are in Windows | Control Panel | Speech Recognition | Text to Speech.  Office ‘Speak’ is making use of a little-appreciated ‘Text to Speech’ part of Windows.

Powerpoint speaks aloud in Office 365 2019 2016 and earlier 3 - Powerpoint speaks aloud in Office 365, 2019, 2016 and earlier

That means the Speech options available depend somewhat on the version of Windows, not Office.

Voice Selection – the English language options are ‘David’ or ‘Zira’ – male or female.

Preview Voice – click to hear the current voice.

Voice speed – faster or slower than the Normal setting.

Read Aloud in Word 365 and 2019 in depth

Excel speaks aloud cells

Hear a document with Speak in Word 2016, 2013 and 2010

No nonsense guide to fixing Windows audio problems – speakers

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