text to speech

Mastering Text to Speech on Windows

Text to speech on Windows has revolutionized digital interactions, seamlessly converting written text into spoken words. This innovation extends beyond accessibility, enhancing productivity and making information consumption more inclusive and flexible. With the global TTS market projected to reach $12.5 billion by 2031, its impact is undeniable.

From reading out emails and documents to aiding in multitasking without being tied to the screen, Windows text to speech enhances efficiency and learning experiences.

In this blog, we’ll explore how to activate and use Windows text to speech. Whether for personal use or enhancing workplace efficiency, this guide will help you leverage the full capabilities of text to speech on Windows, making your digital experience more accessible and efficient.

Table of Contents

Activating Text to Speech Windows

Activating the text to speech feature on Windows is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance your PC experience. Whether you’re using it for accessibility purposes or simply to improve productivity, here’s how you can enable text to speech:

Approach 1: Quick Activation

The fastest way to start the Windows Narrator, the built-in text to speech feature in Windows, is by pressing Win + Ctrl + Enter. This keyboard shortcut is a quick toggle to turn the Narrator on or off.

Approach 2: Through Settings

  1. For a more detailed setup, select Settings at the Start menu. Navigate to Ease of Access > Narrator. Toggle the switch to the ‘On’ position to start narrator.

  2. Customizing Narrator Settings: Once you’ve enabled the Narrator, a dialog box will appear on your screen, explaining keyboard layout changes and other features. You can customize the voice settings, including the speaking rate, pitch, and volume, to suit your preferences.

  3. Keyboard Shortcuts for Control: Various keyboard shortcuts are available to control voice playback and navigate through text. For instance, 'Narrator + Ctrl + +' increases the text to speech volume, while 'Narrator + Ctrl + -' decreases it. These shortcuts enhance the ease of converting text to speech on your Windows PC.

How to Use Text to Speech on Windows?

Once you have activated the text to speech feature on your Windows device, it’s time to explore how to use it effectively. Windows offers several alternate shortcuts and methods to utilize text to speech, making it a versatile tool for various users.

  1. Using Keyboard Shortcuts: The Windows Narrator, a core component of Windows text to speech, is easily navigable using keyboard shortcuts. For instance, to read a specific paragraph, you can use Narrator + Ctrl + K. To read the entire page, the shortcut is Narrator + Ctrl + I. These shortcuts provide a quick way to access specific parts of the text without navigating through the whole document.

  2. Scan Mode for Navigation: For a more comprehensive navigation experience, Windows Narrator’s Scan Mode can be activated by pressing Caps Lock + Space. This mode lets you move through content using simple keyboard commands like H for headings, B for buttons, or D for landmarks. It’s beneficial for browsing web pages or lengthy documents.

  3. Adjusting Voice Settings: Personalizing the text to speech experience is crucial for comfort and efficiency. You can change the voice speed, pitch, and volume to suit your listening preferences. This is done through the Narrator settings, where you can choose different voices based on your preference.

  4. Reading Aloud Feature in Microsoft Edge: For users who frequently browse the internet, Microsoft Edge offers a built-in ‘Read Aloud’ feature. This can be activated by right-clicking on a webpage and selecting “Read aloud” or using the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + U. This feature is a part of the Windows text to speech functionality and is incredibly useful for reading online articles or e-books.

  5. Customizing Narrator Voices: Windows allows you to download and install additional text to speech voices. This customization enhances the experience, especially for users who prefer voices in different languages or accents.

Maximizing Text to Speech Potential on Windows

Text to speech on Windows is not just limited to reading out digital content; it extends its capabilities to various applications, enhancing productivity and multitasking. Let’s explore how TTS can be maximized in different scenarios:

Microsoft Office and Other Productivity Tools

TTS isn’t confined to the Windows environment alone. In Microsoft Office applications like Word and PowerPoint, TTS can read out documents and presentations, aiding in better comprehension and review. To use TTS in these applications, simply access the ‘Speak’ function, usually found in the ‘Quick Access Toolbar.’ This integration of TTS into productivity tools transforms how we interact with documents, making editing and reviewing more efficient.

Browsing Web Pages with TTS

When it comes to internet browsing, a text to speech tool becomes invaluable. Most modern browsers, including Microsoft Edge, offer built-in TTS functionalities like ‘Read Aloud.’ This feature can be activated with a simple right-click or a keyboard shortcut, enabling users to listen to web content effortlessly. It’s particularly useful for long articles, e-books, or navigating complex websites.


TTS offers a unique advantage in proofreading. By listening to your written content, you can catch errors and awkward phrasings that might be missed when reading visually. This auditory review provides a different perspective, enhancing the quality of your writing. It’s a tool writers, students, and professionals can use to refine their work.

Hands-Free Multitasking

One of the significant benefits of TTS is the ability to absorb information hands-free. Whether you’re cooking, exercising, or just resting your eyes, TTS allows you to continue receiving information without being glued to your screen. This feature mainly benefits visually impaired users, enabling them to access information quickly.

Utilizing Shortcuts for Efficiency

Learning keyboard shortcuts is a game-changer for efficiently using TTS on Windows. Shortcuts like Win + Ctrl + Enter to activate the Narrator or Ctrl + Shift + U in Microsoft Edge for Read Aloud streamline the activation and control of TTS. These shortcuts save time and make the technology more accessible, especially for users who rely on TTS for daily computer interactions.

Murf: A Better Alternative to Windows Text to Speech?

While Windows text to speech software provides basic TTS functionalities, Murf stands out as a more advanced and versatile alternative. Murf offers a range of features that elevate the text to speech experience beyond the capabilities of the inbuilt Windows TTS. Let’s delve into some of Murf’s key features and voiceover capabilities:

Realistic and Diverse Voice Options

Murf boasts over 120 unique natural-sounding voices in more than 20 languages, offering diversity and realism not typically found in standard TTS systems. This range of natural voices includes different accents and tones, catering to a global audience and allowing for more personalized and engaging content creation.

Enhanced Voice Customization

Murf allows users to fine-tune voiceovers with options to adjust pitch, speed, and emphasis. This level of control enables the creation of voiceovers that are not only natural-sounding but also tailored to the specific needs of the content, whether it’s for e-learning, marketing, or entertainment purposes.

User-Friendly Interface

The platform is designed for ease of use. Users can simply type or paste their script and choose their preferred voice and language, and Murf takes care of the rest. This user-friendly approach makes it accessible to individuals and businesses alike, regardless of their technical expertise.

Versatile Use Cases

Murf is suitable for various applications, from creating e-learning videos and presentations to producing audiobooks and enhancing sales and marketing materials. Its ability to generate high-quality voiceovers quickly and efficiently makes it an invaluable tool for content creators across different industries. 

Steps to Install Murf Voices on Windows Devices

  • Start by downloading and installing the Murf Voices Installer. Once installed, log in to your Murf account.

  • Explore and select from a variety of voices available in different languages.

  • Customize your chosen voice by selecting a style and adjusting the speed and pitch. You can preview your selection to ensure it’s just right.

  • When you’ve found the perfect voice, click ‘Install.’ This process should be quick, taking only a few seconds.

  • After installation, either open your Windows applications or restart them if they were already open.

To Wrap Up

In conclusion, the text to speech capabilities on Windows represents a significant stride in making digital content more accessible and interactive. This technology is not just an aid for those with accessibility needs; it’s a powerful tool for anyone looking to enhance their productivity and learning. 

As we continue to embrace digital advancements, the role of text to speech in fostering a more inclusive and efficient digital environment becomes increasingly evident. The potential of Windows text to speech is vast, offering new opportunities for engagement in our increasingly digital world. Integrating advanced tools like Murf with Windows text to speech will broaden the scope of digital accessibility and efficiency, promising a more inclusive and dynamic future in digital communication and content consumption.


How do you use text to speech on Windows?

To use text to speech on Windows, activate the Windows Narrator by pressing Win + Ctrl + Enter. This enables the built-in screen reader feature, which can read aloud text from documents, web pages, and other interfaces. For specific tasks, use keyboard shortcuts like Narrator + Ctrl + I to read an entire page or Narrator + K to read a specific word.

How do I change my text to speech language in Windows?

To change the language in Windows, follow these steps: Settings > Time & Language > Speech. Here, under the ‘Manage voices’ section, you can add new languages for text to speech. Once added, select your preferred language from the ‘Text to speech’ options to change the narration language.

Can Windows read text aloud?

Yes, Windows can read text aloud using its built-in feature, Windows Narrator. This tool is designed to assist users by reading out text displayed on the screen, making it easier to access digital content for those with visual impairments or learning differences.

What does Windows Narrator do?

Windows Narrator is an accessibility feature in Windows that reads the text on your screen aloud. It’s designed to help visually impaired users navigate their computers and access content.

Is Windows Narrator a good screen reader?

Windows Narrator serves well for basic screen reading, being an integral part of Windows. For advanced needs, Murf is a preferable option. It offers over 120 voices across 20+ languages, customizable voice tones, and pitch control, providing a more dynamic and tailored text to speech experience.