ReadPlease 2003 is an excellent freeware program that converts text to
speech. To use it, you simply copy and paste the text you want
to here into the program window and press "play". There are two
female and two male voices to choose from and you can vary the
speed of the voices as well as the font size of the written text.
I use ReadPlease as a way of checking essays or other written
work. Actually hearing the material spoken out loud can help to
identify grammatical errors, missing words and even spelling
You can also use ReadPlease to read emails or website content
while you relax with your morning coffee.
A bonus for me is that my young children love it. They can type
in words or sentences and have it spoken back to them very slowly
or very fast. Also, if they type in some strange word like
hoooaaaaaapppp, the voices come out with some weird sounds which
they think are hilarious.
The standard version of the software is free, but you can also
purchase a "plus" version. When you download the free version,
you can choose to install a trial of the plus version. This will
revert to the standard version after a set time.
You can download the program from here: