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Gadget of the fortnight: Text to Speech

ipad

Two months ago in this column I looked at how easy it can be to dictate text straight onto an iPhone or iPad.

However, the challenge with using voice recognition can be that while you do not get spelling errors, you can get “sounds like” errors. This does make it important to properly proofread dictated text. 

As this may not always be easy or convenient, there is a way you can get your iOS device to read the text back to you. 

The Text to Speech function within the iOS operating system can be found by going to Settings and selecting the General option. Then select Accessibility and a series of options will appear under the heading Vision. If you turn on the Speak Selection whenever you subsequently select text you will get the option to Speak the text. By pressing this option, your device will read the text back to you. You can also choose to have each word highlighted as it is spoken. 

I find this a really good way to proof anything that I write while I am on the move. It can also be worth adding a note in your signature to say you have used voice recognition and if a word appears out of context readers should try thinking what it sounds like.

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