Many have used Microsoft® Office Word, Excel, Outlook and recently OneNote to become more effective and efficient at performing day to day tasks. But few know that these Office products can actually talk back to you.
Yes, that’s right. Each of these applications have the ability to speak text and numbers.
In Excel it is called “Speak Cells”. In Word, Outlook and OneNote it is called “Speak Selected Text.”
Of course, you will never find this capability on any of the Ribbon Tabs. You will have to venture into the Quick Access Tool Bar customization. There are several techniques to customize your Quick Access Tool bar to include speech. The method that is consistent across 2007, 2010 and 2013 versions and applications is as follows…
Click the File tab (2007 click the “Office” button), now select “Options.” This will open the application options list. In 2007 click the “Customize” option. In 2010 – 2013 click the “Quick Access Toolbar” option.
You will see a drop down that says “Popular Commands”, click this drop down and select “Commands Not in Ribbon”.
Now in the list of commands on the left, scroll down until you get to the “Speak…” commands. Select the command on the left column and click “Add” to place the command in your Quick Access Tool bar. You can now click “OK” two times.
Now you can select text / numbers, click the button in your Quick Access Tool bar and have it read the information back to you. So, now you don’t have to read that boring email. Let Outlook/Word/Excel/OneNote read it for you.
And, Yes, Excel 2003 had speech. Look in the “Tools” drop down.