Many of us aren’t aware of the many options that Word offers to help with our writing. Although I don’t profess to know what all the functionalities are on the Word ribbon, I was happy to learn about the ‘Read Aloud’ feature, also known as ‘text to speech’.
My friend Marcia Meara of The Write Stuff wrote about a program she found that helps her immensely with editing her books called Natural Reader. As I was excited to learn more about that feature and made a note to download the program, I noticed in the comments in her post that if you use Word, you don’t even need to download an app because ‘Read Aloud’ is available right in the Word program. You can find it by clicking on the ‘Review’ tab on the Word ribbon toolbar.
Since I’m currently in the revisions and editing stage of my newest upcoming book, I decided to try it out. I found it incredibly helpful. But let me preface by saying that having our work read back to us does in no way replace an editor. So to demonstrate how I used it and what I got out of it, I’ll share with you.
When I used the Reader:
After going through revisions and re-writes of my current WIP, I then print out a copy of my manuscript to re-read with my own eyes on paper to catch typos and other goodies I miss from reading on the computer. After making all the changes on paper, I then go back to my manuscript and make the new changes I came across on the paper edit. After all the changes, I then went back to the beginning of my MS and turned on the feature to allow the boring guy with the boring voice read back my book to me.
Continue reading: Editing tools to help read your manuscript – Read Aloud