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Have your computer read any document to you, then save the resulting audio as an MP3. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to hear out loud what is otherwise just text, but is particularly useful for anyone who needs to proofread their own writing – hearing something read out loud makes mistakes jarring.

Panopreter’s basic text-to-speech converter – an application for Windows – can feel overwhelming at first. The window is split into four panes. It’s actually quite simple, though – users can either import a document (txt, rtf, doc, html or mht) at the top-left or start typing at the top-right.

listen to a text document

Note that importing Word files requires a working version of Office 2000 or later on your system.

Imported files will show up on the right, where users can otherwise type whatever they like. Note that the audio playback will ignore any HTML code, nice for those of us who write for the web.

panopreter basic

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Add as many files as you like – they’ll be read in order. When you’re ready to listen, look at the bottom-left of the window – you’ll find the controls there.

Adjust the speed and volume to your taste, then enjoy. The text will be highlighted at the top-right as it’s read, allowing you to follow along. Once you’ve played some of the audio you can save it as an MP3 or WAV file, meaning you could put the files on your phone or MP3 player if you want to listen later.

The voices are the ones built into Windows, and an entire pane in the interface helps users find more voices using Google. Overall the app is easy to use, and worth looking into if you’d like to hear your documents out loud.

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Check out Panopreter Basic @ Panopreter.com

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