Easy Tips for Better Writing

White wood surface with "tips" written in red paint

Tip #1: Let Your Computer Do the Talking

Reading your work out loud is one the quickest and most effective ways to catch sentence-level errors. Hearing the words makes it easier for your brain to recognize mistakes, improper word usage, and sentences or phrases that just seem out of place. In the 21st century, we have an even easier and quicker way to make our words audible through text-to-speech software. By using text-to-speech, you can sit back, listen up, and identify errors that you hear. Look below to see how to enable the speech-to-text function on your computer.

From a Mac

  1. Open “System Preferences” and click on “Accessibility.”
  2. Then, click on “Speech” in left menu bar (as seen below)
  3. Check the box (circled in red below) that says, “Speak selected text when the key is pressed”
  4. Next, just highlight the text that you want the computer to read and type the “current key” command to start the dictation (in the example below, the command is the “Option” key plus the letter “S”)

Shows Text to speech option bar on MAC

From a PC (Using Microsoft Word)

Next to the Quick Access Toolbar, click “Customize Quick Access Toolbar”

Shows Text to speech option bar on Word PC text-to-speech option bar

 

  1. The, click “More Commands”
  2. In the “Choose commands from” list, select “All Commands”
  3. Scroll down to the “Speak” command, select it, and then click “Add”
  4. Click “OK”
  5. When you want to use the text-to-speech command, click the icon on the “Quick Access Toolbar”

After you have added the Speak command to your Quick Access Tool, you can hear single words or blocks of text spoken by highlighting the text you want to hear, and then clicking the Speak command.

Last Updated October 18, 2018