Sometimes we have to read long, boring reports or investigations for our job or university, but we just can’t read for one more minute or your brain will turn into mush. Or maybe you know the benefits of listening to your text while you read it, but find it terribly difficult to speak out loud while also trying to read.
While it is good to study, the stress of overstudying can show real physical signs— headaches or digestive issues—and can lead to long-term health issues. This is why it’s super important to take a break and maybe go for a walk, but if you still have to study, what can you do? Listen to the book!
There are many benefits to listening to a book instead of reading it:
- builds Critical Listening skills.
- improves focus and attention span.
- improves memory.
- builds critical thinking and improves comprehension skills.
- helps people with visual impairments and reading disorders (dyslexia, etc)
For this and many other reasons, maybe using a voice reader can be your savior. We’re talking about a program that allows you to obtain audio of the text you have. This works through a text-to-speech tool (TTS), which is software that turns any text you want into audio using assistive technology.
You should check which TTS has the most realistic voices for you to use, otherwise, you’ll end up using voices that sound more like a robot than a human. Also, not every text-to-speech tool will accept a PDF, which is why we recommend using Woord
Woord is a free online TTS that has a number of unique features. It can be used in more than 50 languages, including several dialects of English, Portuguese, and Spanish. It also allows you to select whether your voice is male, female, or gender-neutral. This, as well as all the languages, are available on the free plan, allowing you to get a feel for the service before committing to the premium version. Up to 20.000 characters per month are included in the free version, as well as premium voices, a chrome plugin, an SSML editor, and MP3 download. The voices in this software are real, and their pace and format can be changed.
How to use it?
1. Go to www.getwoord.com and select “Online reader,” or download the Chrome extension to your computer.
2. On the whiteboard, paste the book you want to read, or browse for a document for it to read, then choose the gender, language, speed, and format.
3. When finished, click ‘Speak It’ and double-check that everything is in order.
4. Once you’re happy with the result, download it to your computer.
Also published on Medium.