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ReadAloud is a great free text-to-speech app for Windows 10 PC

ReadAloud is a handy Windows 10 app that converts web pages, news articles, documents, books and other electronic documentation into speech. The free app is currently available for Windows 10 PC, and a Windows 10 Mobile version is in the works.

ReadAloud has logged more than 150,000 downloads and can be a useful app to have when reading an electronic document isn't ideal. ReadAloud has support for multiple file formats, highlights sentences being read and allows you to create your own content to be read aloud.

The user interface isn't overly complicated and has plenty of options to customize ReadAloud to better fit your needs (font size, color schemes, auto-scrolling, etc.). If you are in the market for a text-to-speech converter, ReadAloud is well worth a try.

ReadAloud

ReadAloud's main screen is designed with simplicity in mind and has start options to create a custom document, import a web page or open a document file from your local drive. The main screen also displays the most-recently listened-to documents and a menu button sits in the left corner of the screen to open up ReadAloud's menu options. These options include a Home Button to return you to the app's primary screen, view any pinned documents, access the app's settings, visit the app's Store, view the About page and access the Help Section.

ReadAloud

Settings include options to set the number of articles in the Recent List, turn on/off the Tip of the Day, turn on/off the Clipboard Monitor that checks for items sent to the Windows 10 clipboard, select your Share options, and a pronunciation editor.

While ReadAloud is a free Windows 10 app, the free version does have limitations on the number of pages you can convert to speech, the number of pages listed in your Recent List, the number of pronunciation edits, and the number of pinned articles. The free version is also ad supported. ReadAloud offers three in-app purchase options to lift these restrictions and remove the ad support. These options include a 3-month plan for $1.99, a 12-month plan for $3.99 and a Lifetime plan for $7.99.

ReadAloud

To begin listening to content with ReadAloud, just choose one of the three options from the main screen. Choosing the Blank option sends you to a word processing feature where you can create your own document, the Web option lets you enter a web page URL to have that site read aloud, and the File option allows selection of a locally- or OneDrive-stored document. ReadAloud supports .pdf, .epub or .txt file formats. Additionally, when you copy text to your Windows 10 clipboard, ReadAloud triggers a notification offering to import that text and read it aloud. If this feature becomes annoying, simply turn off the Clipboard Monitor in the app's settings.

ReadAloud

When it comes to web pages, ReadAloud extracts only the useful content from the web pages to read out loud. We tried out ReadAloud on websites like Tesla Central, Fox News and ESPN (opens in new tab), and found that it did a good job isolating just on the text of the articles and ignoring the scaffolding around the body text. However, if a web article contained a heavy concentration of images, ReadAloud seemed to focus more on the headlines and ignored the body of the article. As for importing .pdf, .epub and .txt files, there were some hits and misses (the app didn't do well with complicated documents like legal briefs), but for the most part, ReadAloud did a good job of things.

ReadAloud

The reading screen has a series of playback and customization options running across the top of the screen. These tools include a button to edit the text, one to pin the article to the Start Screen, and options for selecting voices and language, font size, highlight color, and volume. And, of course, back, pause/play, and forward controls.

Audio playback was accurate with very few pronunciation issues, and ReadAloud responded to punctuations equally as nice (e.g. pausing after a coma). The text being read is highlighted to make it easier to follow along and the document auto-scrolls as ReadAloud progresses through the document. Should there be a need to exit the app in the middle of a document, ReadAloud remembers where you last stopped playback and resumes there.

ReadAloud

ReadAloud does have support for sharing documents by using the native Windows 10 Share feature and choosing ReadAloud from the list of options. While the interface with ReadAloud isn't very difficult to pick up, there is a tutorial document in your Recent List that covers the basics rather nicely.

ReadAloud's greatest strengths come in its ease of use and wide document format support. It could use a little fine tuning to broaden its conversion process to better handle web pages with a lot of images or documents with strange formatting (e.g. those legal briefs).

I can see ReadAloud being a useful app for anytime it is easier to listen to documents than reading them. With the text being highlighted as it is read, ReadAloud could help improve reading speeds and comprehension. ReadAloud can also be beneficial for those who are visually impaired. Once a Windows 10 Mobile version of ReadAloud becomes available, the app should be a good option for mobile situations such as running or driving. Until then, it wouldn't be too crazy to use a Surface tablet as you jog around the neighborhood? Right? Okay, maybe not a great plan...

If you are in the market for a text-to-speech conversion app, ReadAloud should be on your short list. It's free to use with optional paid upgrades, it's easy to grasp, and it just plain works well.

Download ReadAloud for Windows 10 PC (opens in new tab)

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

14 Comments
  • Bring it on.... For W10M
    N I'm game.
  • Hey guys, it looks like the last update (last week?) made it for W 10 Mobile too. Mine is totally W 10 Mobile looking. Nothing like the WP 8.1 version I was used to.
  • I'll see how it compares to my goto app "share to speech"
  • I was also going to bring up Share to Speech. Another great speech app with a very active developer, so definitely also worth a look for people who are interested in TTS apps.
  • My question as well, I bought Share to Speech and am very happy with it. I guess I give ReadAloud a try and if I like it, maybe I buy the lifetime option. But if someone has already tried both, I would be happy about an opinion.
  • I'm fascinated by the idea of reading apps (or reading functionality, at least) for mobile devices, as it would help commuters to digest documents, email, and web pages on the go. I'll definitely give this a go. I think an app is maybe a little too much overhead, but this kind of functionality would really be a natural fit for an extension of Cortana into other apps. I'm thinking of the feature of Edge where Cortana can look up selected words or find coupons when you're shopping. Wouldn't it be slick if in reading view there's a simple option to have Cortana read the page to you? Same idea in email or a document. The Share UI is also very compelling: any content could be "shared" to a reading app, which would then ingest and start reading back the contents. Cool!
  • Does anyone know if there Is there a good speech-to-text app for Windows 10?  My son really needs one but he can't use Cortana since his live account knows he is under 13.  The built-in one is pretty terrible, it hasn't changed since Windows 7.  Thanks.
  • This app, or Share-to-Speech Posted from Windows Central App on Surface 3 running Windows 10 Pro
  • He is lookingg for a speech-to-text app and not a text-to-speech app ;)
  • Excellent app
  • If it can't support hotkey initiation from any app and background playback, it'll NEVER replace TextAloud for me. This function should be supported by apps from the Windows store (background service + hotkey shortcuts), or at least like Android offers via apps like @Voice + Easy Copy. I copy text from ANY app, Easy Copy's action menu pops-up in that app with my configured @Voice shortcut listed, I tap that shortcut and @Voice begins reading the text in the background on my OnePlus One. Posted from my Surface Pro 2
  • The store is showing both PC and mobile screenshots. I'm also able to pull it up in the Windows 10 Mobile store. However, it isn't yet available for download on the mobile. Must be coming soon.
  • Does anyone know if the app works in different languages? Living in the 21st century, it helps to know multiple languages. Thanks!!!
  • Yes, it does work in different languages Edit: Share-to-Speech app works in different languages