Frequently Asked Questions

If have a technical support question about TextAloud, there's a good chance your answer is on this page. If not, or if you need further explanation, please go to our Support Page.

Also, be sure to check our Video Tutorials and also the Advanced FAQ pages in our user forum.


Q I'm having trouble getting started. Is there a tutorial?
Q Is there any way to not use the Clipboard and get rid of the annoying popup when I copy something to the Clipboard?
Q How do I get more Voices?
Q Why aren't best voices available in the demo?
Q Can I get TextAloud and other products on CD?
Q I am getting some kind of error, what do I do?
Q I've lost my registration code. What should I do?
Q Does TextAloud have command line or API support?
Q Can TextAloud open Word files directly?
Q Can TextAloud open PDF files directly?
Q Can I encode to WMA files or other formats besides WAVE and MP3?
Q Can I listen to an article without having to restart at the beginning?
Q Is TextAloud available in other languages besides English?
Q Is TextAloud available in stores where I can purchase it locally?
Q When installing a free upgrade, should I uninstall the older one first?
Q I am asked during the install about keeping existing (newer) files?
Q I'm having trouble installing new voices, what could be wrong?
Q I was unable to complete the TextAloud download, what can I do?
Q I downloaded TextAloud, now how do I install it?
Q Can I uninstall TextAloud if I later want to remove it from my PC?
Q I've installed TextAloud, now how do I open it?
Q How do I use TextAloud to listen to e-mail?
Q How do I use TextAloud to listen to Web pages?
Q How do I use TextAloud with my portable MP3 player?
Q My trial ran out before I had enough time to try it, can it be extended?
Q I have a question that isn't answered here, what's next?

Q I'm having trouble getting started using TextAloud. Is there a tutorial?

A. Yes, there is a video tutorial on Getting Started with TextAloud:

Or, if you prefer written instructions, here are some tips you may find helpful when first getting started with TextAloud:

1. After the installation is complete and TextAloud is open for the first time, you will notice a default text Article is present. When you click the Speak button, if your computer's volume setting in Windows is not too low or muted, then you should be able to hear TextAloud read the default text so you know everything is working okay.

2. Now try the TextAloud Clipboard Prompt. With TextAloud running, highlight some text in another application then hit Ctrl-C (hold down Ctrl key and C key at the same time). Alternately, after highlighting the text you can right-click your mouse and choose Copy. This puts your text in the Windows Clipboard and brings up the TextAloud Clipboard Prompt on the bottom right of your screen. The default choice is Add New Article, so you just click Perform and it opens your text in a TextAloud Article. Depending on your PC work habits, you may need to tweak the Clipboard Prompt by adjusting its parameters (for example, to ignore small amounts of text that may be just unrelated cut and paste operations, or to display the Clipboard Prompt longer). Click Tools->General Options->Clipboard and Mouse Speak Options->Clipboard Options.

3. Another way to hear text read is by using the TextAloud toolbar available in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox. When TextAloud is installed, use the view toolbars function in the other program to have the TextAloud toolbar displayed. Then you can highlight some text and click on the Speak toolbar button to listen while viewing the text.

4. TextAloud will also open some file types directly. Click File->Open and then if you click on the dropdown (it defaults to All Files) you will see several file types that can be opened directly in TextAloud by locating the file on your hard drive and clicking Open. Note that some PDF files and other eBook files may be protected and this block access to the text. In those cases, you won't be able to open the file directly and might or might not be able to access the text by cutting/pasting or possibly saving the file to another format.

5. Once you get started, you will also find TextAloud has many popular features including conversion to audio file, file splitting and batch file conversion utilities, optional HotKeys, spell checking, font/highlighting/background options, and more. These are available under the Tools menu option.

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Q Is there any way to not use the Clipboard and get rid of the annoying popup when I copy something to the Clipboard?

A. Under Tools->General Options->Clipboard and Mouse Speak Options, there are several choices related to how TextAloud monitors the clipboard. So, by changing those settings, you can avoid the popup asking what you would like to do with the text by setting a default. You can also turn off clipboard watching temporarily by right-clicking the TextAloud system tray icon and using the options menu items on the popup menu.

Many users turn off clipboard watching and use HotKeys. There is a video tutorial on Using HotKeys in TextAloud:

TextAloud Hotkeys can be setup via Tools->General Options->HotKey Setup. Give the Speak hotkey a try first. Set it to something obscure so other programs that use global hotkeys don't intercept the signal. So for the Speak hotkey, set it for Control-Alt-Shift-Z then close that window. You can minimize TextAloud to put it back to the system tray. Then, in any program, highlight some text and hold down the Control, Shift, and Alt keys then press Z. TextAloud will automatically begin speaking the highlighted text.

After you get this one working, experiment with the others. These give you a great way of interacting with TextAloud without using the clipboard.

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Q How do I get more Voices?

A. When purchasing only TextAloud for $29.95, it is a download and the voices available are some older Microsoft voices that also work in the trial. Most customers also purchase the optional AT&T Natural Voices™ Mike & Crystal US English voices which add $25. You can choose to download everything if you have a high speed Internet connection, or you can choose to pay extra if you need us to ship the software on a backup CD.

We also have many other optional voices, so if you prefer others you can follow the purchase links from the voice(s) you like and add TextAloud from the voice order page.

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Q Why aren't the best voices available in the demo?

A. Because of legal restrictions and the file size of the voices, we do not include them in the download version of TextAloud. The best voices are optional and cost extra when purchasing TextAloud. To hear audio samples and also to try some of your own text in an Interactive demo, please go to our home page and click on a link for More Info on any of the optional voices.

 

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Q Can I get TextAloud and other products on CD?

A. Normally our products are sold as download. However, if you need us to ship a backup CD containing the software then there is an option to pay for adding the backup CD.

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Q I am getting some kind of error, what do I do?

A. TextAloud uses SAPI4 and SAPI5, standard speech interfaces that are part of Windows. In rare occasions, installation of other speech or sound programs can cause problems with these speech interfaces. If you get an error, please send us email to support@nextup.com with the text of the error message you receive, and we’ll quickly help you get things corrected. You can also look for quick help in our Advanced FAQ Forum.

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Q I've lost my registration code. What should I do?

A. Email us letting us know you need your registration code. Include your full name, mailing address, approximate timeframe when you purchased, and the email address you likely used when you purchased.  Don't forget to mention which program you had purchased.

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Q Does TextAloud have command line or API support?

A.  Full Details on the Command Line and API Versions of TextAloud can be found at
http://www.nextup.com/api.html
and
http://www.nextup.com/cl.html

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Q Can TextAloud open Word files directly?

A. Yes.  TextAloud can directly open .txt, .doc, .html, .rtf, and .pdf files.  Please note that to open Word files, you must have MS Word installed on your computer.

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Q Can TextAloud open PDF files directly?

A.  Yes, in most cases.  Most PDF files can be imported into TextAloud directly via File->Open.  The exception to this are files that have strong copy protection or Digital Rights Management (DRM) turned on by their authors.  There are other options for dealing with these files, so if you have trouble, email us.

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Q Can I encode to WMA files or other formats besides WAVE and MP3?

A. We now support WMA.  You may need to download the encoder from

http://www.nextup.com/wma.html

We are working on other formats too, so feel free to contact us with your request.

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Q Can I listen to an article without having to restart at the beginning?

A. Yes. On the Speak menu, there are several options for skipping around within articles as well as starting at the current cursor. You can also right-click at a spot within the article and choose Speak From Cursor Aloud on the popup menu.

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Q Is TextAloud available in other languages besides English?

A. While the user interface and help files for TextAloud are available only in English, we offer optional premium voices in many different languages. Click here to see all of the optional premium voices listed by language.

 

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Q Is TextAloud available in stores where I can purchase it locally?

A. Our products are not available in stores. We may do this in the future, but it is a very expensive process, and we are more focused now on keeping the costs down and products affordable. We ship anywhere in the world, including a large number of customers in Europe and Asia. For those in Europe, we have a European ecommerce provider that is a good choice if you have concerns over VAT or would like to make purchase in your currency and possibly with Switch/Solo cards or bank Transfer. Scroll to the bottom of the purchase page at http://nextup.com/purchase.html and you will see links to ShareIt, our European provider.

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Q When installing a free upgrade, do I need to uninstall the older one first?

A. No. Simply run the installer, installing into the same directory as you previously installed in, and the upgrade will automatically install over the old version. It will also remember that you've purchased and keep your settings.

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Q I am asked during the install about keeping existing (newer) files?

A. Whenever asked this questions, we recommend always keeping the newer files already on your PC by answering No To All.

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Q I'm having trouble installing new voices, what could be wrong?

A. After installing new voices, if you look in the pull-down voices menu within a TextAloud article, do you see the new voices there? If not, make sure you completely exit TextAloud via File> Exit before restarting?

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Q I was unable to complete the download, what can I do?

A. Be sure to try downloading from more than just one location. If you have a problem downloading from our primary location, try the alternate download sites listed underneath that one.

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Q I downloaded TextAloud, now how do I install it?

A. Use Windows Explorer (right-click Start-> Explore) to locate and open the file you downloaded. If you forgot the file name and/or folder you downloaded to, click on the download link to open the download window and note this information without starting another download. When you loctate it, just double left-click on the file and then follow the directions to install TextAloud.

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Q Can I uninstall TextAloud if I later want to remove it?

A. Yes. To uninstall, make sure TextAloud isn't running, then choose:

Start> Programs> TextAloud> Uninstall

After that is complete, you can remove the \Program Files\TextAloud directory. Thanks for giving it a try, we appreciate it and we welcome any feedback you may have.

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Q I've installed TextAloud, now how do I open it?

A. Left-click:

Start> Programs> TextAloud> TextAloud


to start the program. If TextAloud is already open, bring up the program screen by double left-clicking on the TextAloud speaker icon in the system tray on the lower right corner of your Windows desktop.

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Q How do I use TextAloud to listen to e-mail?

A. There are a variety of ways to handle this.  If you use Outlook, TextAloud will install a toolbar available in outlook under View->Toolbars.  This will make it very simple to listen to emails.  Toolbars for other mail clients will be coming, but for now if you use something other than Outlook your best bets are to use TextAloud's clipboard watching or the Speak or Proofread Hotkeys.

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Q How do I use TextAloud to listen to Web pages?

A. TextAloud includes toolbars or plugins for Internet Explorer and Firefox.  With these browsers, after installing TextAloud and rebooting, you can display the toolbar by going to View->Toolbars in the browser.  These toolbars make importing text or having web pages spoken simple.  There is a video tutorial on TextAloud Toolbar Customization:

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Q How do I use TextAloud with a portable MP3 player?

A. In TextAloud, you can click Tools->Speech and Audio->Audio File Options. Select the Audio File Format you want (in this case, choose MP3, and also note (change if desired) the Audio Output Directory. Then just click on the top toolbar icon for "To File" which will Speak Current Article to File. TextAloud will then begin saving the article to an audio file in the directory you selected. Once the text has been converted to MP3, use the software for your portable player to download the files. If you use iTunes there is an option Tools->Speech and Audio->Audio File Options) to sync with iTunes.

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Q My trial ran out before I had enough time to try it, can it be extended?

A. The TextAloud trial is normally 20 days, with a few extra days to give you a chance to purchase after it expires. If you need more time, just email us and ask.

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Q I have a question that isn't answered here, what's next?

A. We offer the best email customer support anywhere, so if you have questions that are not answered here or you need help with our products, just email us and you will get a prompt reply from a real person.

You can also find some common but more advanced questions answered in our Advanced FAQ.

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