One of the best ways to edit a lengthy document is to read it aloud, as that’s a quick and easy way to find things that don’t work right. But even when reading aloud, you might not notice mistakes because you’re reading what it’s supposed to say not what the document actually says because it’s your work (if that makes sense). One of the tricks I was taught years ago when I was to copy and paste you document into an online tool to have a computer read it back to you, because if there is a weird flaw in your document, it’ll become much more obvious when it’s read back to you. Microsoft Word has that functionality, and is soon releasing more natural-sounding voices. Here’s how you access that feature.
First off, click on the document and place your cursor where you want the tool to start reading from. Then click the “Review” tab, and then select “Read Aloud:”
Once you click on read aloud, it will start reading the document aloud, and will add audio controls to the window:
If you click on the little speaker icon with the gear on it, you’ll get an option to adjust the reading speed and voice selection:
You can also click the forward/back icons to go back and forth between paragraphs.
The default voices aren’t great (they are a lot better than tools that did similar text reading years ago), but they will make it obvious rather quickly if you’re done something dumb with your prose.
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