If you can’t afford a personal secretary, then you’ll have to find some other way to have your e-mails or written work read-out to you. Fortunately, your PC can be your best friend in this area, patiently reading through reams of text. One of the best I’ve used is TTSReader which is is a fully-featured, text-to speech software package that allows you to read text aloud as well as save them to WAV or MP3 files.
TTSReader has a very simple interface which consists of a text box where you can type or paste text. As it reads, it follows the text with a blue cursor. If you want to save the reading for listening on an external device or share with someone else, you can save the file to WAV or MP3 format. MP3 is recommended, especially if you’re going to send it, as it’s much smaller and features more options for adjusting the volume.
If you only want TTS to read certain paragraphs, you can instruct it to skip sentences and paragraphs while reading. You can also saved read segments to a clipboard so you can go back to it later. If you get bored of the several voices included in the program – for which you can alter the pitch, volume and speed – you can download more from the developer website. Even if you don’t use this for serious purposes, you’ll have a lot of fun just hearing your computer swear!