How to Use Microsoft Word Read Aloud Feature

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How to Use Microsoft Word Read Aloud Feature

Everything you must be aware of regarding The Read Aloud feature in Microsoft Word, Word Online, and Word Mobile.

Read Aloud is a new effective feature that uses text to speak in Microsoft Word that reads out documents to you. It’s a fantastic tool that can read the content in your Word document using more natural and realistic voices. You will require an Microsoft 365 subscription to use the natural-sounding voices. Otherwise you’ll have to select the three default voices. Read Aloud is only available in the latest versions that are available in Office 2019, Office 2021 and Microsoft 365.

Sometimes listening to documents can help you spot mistakes, repetitive words, or awkward words you might have overlooked or missed when editing or reading the document. Additionally listening to documents will help you understand it better as well as help you learn pronunciations and improve your language skills even when the document isn’t in your native language. This feature is extremely beneficial for those who have learning disabilities as well as visual disabilities.

Do not confuse ‘Read Aloud as a text-to-speech option with another known as ‘Speak’ within Microsoft Word. While ‘Read Aloud’ is able to read every single part of your document however, the Speak feature is limited to reading the text you have selected. If you’re looking to find the details about Microsoft Word’s Read Aloud feature and how you can use it, continue reading.

Using the Read Aloud Feature in Word

Read Aloud is an advanced tool that makes use of technology like the Windows upgraded Narrator technology and accessibility to display your written text in spoken words. Two ways that Read Aloud reads out your content. It can either read the text starting from where you put the cursor, or it will only read the text that you have highlighted.

Offline versions that are available for Word 2020 and 2019 only come with three distinct voices. If you wish to be able to hear the contents of your document in natural voices, you’ll need an Microsoft 365 subscription and an internet connection. With Microsoft 365, you can select from 142 distinct voices.

Beginning from the point you put your cursor it begins reading a word at a time , and highlights each word while reading it out loud. It makes use of auto-scroll to go between words, line-by-line and paragraph by paragraph, and then reads out the text.

Access Read Aloud in Microsoft Word

Open the document you wish to read aloud from Microsoft Word. Then, put the cursor in the area you wish to begin listening or mark the word that you wish to read in a loud voice.

Go to the tab ‘Review’ and then click the ‘Read Aloud on the ribbon, or press Alt+Ctrl+Space.

It will open your Read Aloud controls at the upper right-hand corner of the document you are currently working on, under the Ruler, and begin reading the text automatically. The control panel in the corner has five controls that include Previous, Play/Pause Next, Settings, and Stop.

Click the ‘Pause’ or “Play button located in the middle of the panel to stop or resume the reading. When the reading begins, the middle button will pausing and, if paused, it’ll change to play. Every word is highlighted as you are reading it out loud as illustrated below.

Additionally, you can utilize the ‘Previous’ and Next’ buttons to move back and forth between paragraphs. If either button is clicked, it will begin reading at the beginning of the following or preceding paragraph.

To end using the Read Aloud tool, you can press the close button within the controls, or click the button ‘Read Aloud’ once more in the Word ribbon.

If you want to alter the speed of reading and voice of the reader, press the ‘Settings’ icon (Speaker using the gear symbol) to the right.

You can also make use of also the Reading Speed sliders to either increase or decrease the speed of reading.

To change the reading voice, simply click the drop-down menu ‘Voice Selection’ and select one of the available voices. If you’re running Word 2019, Word 2019, or Word 2021 or Word 2021, you’ll only three pre-set voice options: Microsoft David, Microsoft Zira and Microsoft Mark. If you’re using Microsoft365’s Word You will have hundreds of different voices to pick from.

You can also manage this Read Aloud tool with the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Ctrl+Alt+Space to launch Read Aloud tool. Read Aloud tool
  • Ctrl+Space – Play or Pause
  • Alt+Left Arrow – Reduce speed of reading
  • Alt+Right Arrow to speed up reading
  • Left and Ctrl Arrow Ctrl+Left Arrow beginning of the paragraph before.
  • Ctrl+Right Arrow – Jump to the beginning in the paragraph that follows.

Reading Aloud is a feature of Immersive Reader mode

Immersive Reader is an interactive reading tool that can help students improve their reading as well as pronunciation and grammar abilities, regardless of age or level of ability. It eliminates the formatting as well as other distractions in order to give an immersive reading experience. To read text in a fully immersive reader mode Follow these steps:

Open the document you wish to read aloud. Switch to the View tab and then click the “Immersive Reader’ button under the Immersive section.

The document will be opened to Immersive mode. Then, click the ‘Read Aloud’ icon within the Immersive Reader section of the ribbon.

The Read Aloud controls will appear in the upper right corner in the window . They will immediately begin reading the content.

Use Read Aloud on Microsoft Word Online

If you’re using an unsupported computer, which doesn’t come with Microsoft Office 2019, 2021, and/or Microsoft 365 subscription, you are still able to use Microsoft Word’s Read aloud feature on Microsoft Word online for no cost. This way, you can are able to listen to your document from wherever you are from any device. Here’s how to do this:

Open a browser and go to and sign in with your Microsoft login credentials.

On the Office homepage Click the Word button located on the side of your left.

If you already have the file you wish to listen to is stored on your OneDrive then open the document or create a new one. If you’d like to transfer the document to your computer, simply click the “Upload and Open” …’ button.

Once the document is open you can go to the ‘View tab, then click the “Immersive Reader” button on the area of ribbon.

The document will be opened and open the document in Immersive Reader mode. Place your cursor in the place you would like to begin the reading, and then click the green “Play” button on the lower right.

You can stop the reading by pressing that same button. While reading, the program will focus on only text and lines, as well as the words that is being read aloud, as illustrated below.

To alter the speed of reading and the voice you want to use, press the button ‘Voice Settings’ just below the play/pause button. You can alter the speed of your voice with the slider, and switch between female and male voices.

When you press a button on the word, it will display an image of the word to help you understand it better. Additionally, you’ll be able to see a speaker button which you can press to hear the pronunciation of the word.

For exiting the reading mode, simply click the back button (Exit) in the upper-left in the screen.

Furthermore the use of Word Online to read aloud the document will be more enjoyable than using the offline version.

Use the Read Aloud in Microsoft Word Mobile App

If you’re to be occupied with other tasks such as commuting, or doing chores, you are able to utilize the read-aloud feature working with Microsoft Word on your mobile device.

Start Microsoft Word Microsoft Word app on your smartphone, and then open a document that you downloaded from OneDrive. You can also click the “Open” button in the lower right corner of the app , and choose the document you wish to open on the local storage on your device, Google Drive, etc.,

When the document is open After the document opens, tap or press the three dots located in the upper right edge of the screen.

Select “Read Aloud” in the drop-down menu.

The playback controls will be displayed on the lower right of the screen. it will immediately begin playing the content in the file.

To alter the speed of voice and selection of voice to change the speed and selection of voice, select the icon ‘Settings’ within the control panel.

Be aware that the Read Aloud feature stops when your phone goes into sleep and you must restart the reader when you have woken up your phone. To continue listening to the text, increase the display on your phone or its the duration of its backlight.

Read a PDF Aloud Using Microsoft Word

The majority of official documents are in PDF format, and so listening to PDF files within Word can be beneficial. Here’s how to accomplish that.

Then, launch first the Microsoft Word app on your device. Click on the File tab then select the option to open. Press Ctrl+O. After that, press the ‘Browse’ icon in the left pane.

Select the PDF file on your computer you wish to read loudly.

A warning message will appear informing you that the PDF file will be converted to an editable Word document. The resultant document might not appear exactly like the original document. Click OK to proceed.

As usual then, go to the ‘Review tab, and then click “Read Aloud” button within the ribbon area.

You can now control the read-aloud using the playback controls , just like you would when reading in a Word document.

How to Add Read Aloud Button to the Quick Access Toolbar

To access the Quick Access Toolbar for quick access, click access the Read Aloud button to the Quick Access Toolbar located in lower left-hand corner on the Ribbon in Word. It’s possible to customize the Quick Access Toolbar is customizable You can include or take away any option or tool within it. Here’s how to accomplish that:

Click on the File tab, then select “Options” from the backstage view.

Within the Word Options dialog window, select the Quick Access Toolbar section in the left side of the pane.

In the left pane on the right side, select the ‘Choose Commands from the drop-down menu and then select the option ‘All Commands’.

Scroll through the box below until you come across the option to read aloud. Select it, then press the ‘Add’ button. The tool is added to the box to the right.

Then, click ‘OK to apply the changes.

Then, click the icon ‘Read Aloud’ within the Quick Access Toolbar to quickly start or stop the tool.

Use Read Aloud on Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge also has a built-in read aloud feature which lets the web page read out loud to users.

Then, go to the page you wish to read to you. Then, select the location you wish to begin reading, or choose just the paragraph or text on the page you would like to hear.

After that, right-click and choose”Read Aloud” option or the ‘Read aloud selection’ in the menu.

After this after that, after that, the Read aloud control panel with playback controls will be displayed on the screen, below the address bar. The tool will begin reading the text aloud to you. Reading lines will appear in blue, while the words reading will appear in yellow. You can control the playback to control the playback.

To alter the speed of reading and voice, press the button ‘Voice Options’ within the Read aloud bar.

You can then utilize the slider ‘Speed’ to alter the speed of reading and the ‘Choose a Voice drop-down menu to switch your voice into one of hundreds of languages and voices.

Another benefit of the use of Read aloud in the Edge browser is that, if you select a voice that is in another language, the program will automatically translate the text into that language and read it out to you in the voice you choose. However, you’ll need an internet connection to do this.

For example when I turn on the read-aloud feature on a website that is in English and then change the voice to ‘Microsoft Joanna Online (Natural) (also known as Catalan (Spain)’. The software will read and translate the English material using the Spanish language with the voice.

Enable and Use Speak Feature to Listen to Documents

If you’re using an Office version prior to Office 2019 you can utilize Microsoft’s built-in Speak feature to hear the documents you have created in Word. The Speak tool isn’t available in the ribbon, which means you must include it in the Quick Access Toolbar or Ribbon. Here’s how:

Click on the File tab, then select the option ‘Options’.

Within the Word Options dialog window, select the Quick Access Toolbar section in the left side and select ‘All Command’ from the drop-down menu ‘Choose commands’ menu.

Scroll through the list box, and select the command ‘Speak. Then, click the ‘Add’ button and add the command ‘Speak’ to the right side of the box.

After that, click “OK” to apply the modifications.

After you have added to the Speak command, choose the text block in your document, or choose the entire file (Ctrl+A). After that, click the ‘Speak selected text’ icon on the Quick Access Toolbar to start listening to the document.

That’s it.