Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Tip 72: Proofing Your Data with Audio
Proofing Your Data with Audio
Excel 2002 introduced a handy feature: text-to-speech. In other words, Excel is capable of speaking to
you. You can have this feature read back a specific range of cells, or you can set it up so that it reads
the data as you enter it.
For some reason, this feature appears to be missing in action, beginning with Excel 2007. You can
search the Ribbon all day and not find a trace of the text-to-speech feature. But the feature is still
available — you just need to spend a few minutes to make it accessible.
Adding speech commands to the Ribbon
Following are instructions to add these commands to a new group in the Review tab of the Ribbon:
1. Right-click the Ribbon and then choose Customize the Ribbon from the shortcut menu.
The Customize Ribbon tab of the Excel Options dialog box appears.
2. In the list box on the right, select Review and click New Group.
3. Click Rename and overwrite the default name with a more descriptive name, such as Text To
Speech.
4. Click the drop-down list on the left and choose Commands Not in the Ribbon.
5. Scroll down the list, and you find five items that begin with the word Speak; select each one
and then click Add.
They’re added to the newly created group (see Figure 72-1).
6. Click OK to close the Excel Options dialog box.
After you perform these steps, the Review tab displays a new group with five new icons (see
Figure 72-2).
Using the speech commands
To read a range of cells, select the range first and then click the Speak Cells button. You can also
specify the orientation (By Rows or By Columns). To read the data as it’s entered, click the Speak On
Enter button.
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