Excel Speech tools

How to use Excel speech tools to have the contents of cells read to you. Great for checking the input of numbers or to proof read documents

Excel Speech tools

The Excel speech tools are found under the Speak Cells tool and is one of those hidden “gems”. What it basically does is, if you highlight a selection of cells and click the tool and it will read back to us what is in each cell i.e. it will read the numbers out to you.

This is great if you have captured some information and you don’t have someone to call to you to check if you have captured it correctly. Excel can read it out while you are looking, for example, at the paper based input to see if the numbers are correct. In order to show the tool, you need to put it into your customized toolbar at the top of the screen as pointed out. Click on the button at the extreme top left of the screen and go to Excel Options and click on “Customize” and ensure that Excel shows “all commands” not just “popular commands”. In “All Commands” we need to find the buttons for “Speak-Cells” – you will see there are a number of “speak-cell” options- Speak Cells; Speak Cells -Stop Speaking Cells; Speak Cells by Columns: Speak Cells by Rows; Speak Cells on Enter. The latter are self explanatory. You can add whatever tools you require and you can see I have already got the Speak Cells button added to my Customized List. Click Cancel and you will see the icon in the Customized tool bar. Now lets put it to the test. I will highlight a group of cells, click on the Speak Cells icon and the voice reads out the numbers in the cells. The voice may not be great but it gets the job done and it is surprisingly good at reading out text as well.