Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Text-to-Speech

What am I reading now?  Feudlings (Wendy Knight, Fate on Fire #1)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? Ari has a choice to make--fight a war for the survival of her family or don't fight to save her brother and her friends. Caught in a war and a prophesy that determines their futures, Ari and Shane are supposed to kill each other to stop the war not fall in love. Both are the most powerful sorcerers each side has had in 300 years.

This is a fun story that is easy to recommend to everyone! (p.s. The second book comes out today!)

Text-to-Speech on a Mac
A friend of mine, Donna Weaver, posted how she uses her computer to check her manuscript for missing words or typos using the text-to-speech option. I used it this week on an old story that I've recently reworking and found a lot of places where I can improve the text.

Caught missing words: sometimes it should have had "the" or "a" that I'd left out while typing and on each rereading of the text I must have just read it as if it were there because I didn't catch it until the computer voice read the sentence as typed and I could hear it missing!

Identified missing punctuation: It pauses for punctuation and hard returns, so when the voice doesn't pause where I expect it to I can hear where there is missing punctuation (mine were mostly commas.)

To activate voice-to-speech on a Mac
--Click on the apple
--Choose system preferences
--In the "System" row, click on "Dictation & Speech" (microphone icon)
--Select the "Text to Speech" tab
--Select a voice preference and speed.
--I also checked the third box "speak selected text when key is pressed" Then I set it up for "Option Z"

Now I just have to highlight a section of my manuscript and press those keys for it to start reading the text to me. Be prepared for the voice to have weird inflection, and it can make an exciting scene dull and dry, but for the purposes I used it above, it worked great.

I'll definitely add text-to-speech to my editing checklist from now on.

2 comments:

Donna K. Weaver said...

Isn't this a great feature!

Cindy M Hogan said...

I love text to speech. It sure has helped me find some errors everyone else missed.