What’s TalkButton?

TalkButton is a text-to-speech software application that reads text out loud on your Macintosh using Microsoft Word and the Mac’s high quality multilingual voices. It transforms Microsoft Word into a responsive and capable text-to-speech environment that reads text from almost anywhere on your computer.

Must I have Microsoft Word installed on my Mac?

Yes. TalkButton works as a companion application to Microsoft Word. Word is installed as part of Office 2011 or 2016.

Who’s it for?

TalkButton is for anyone who uses Microsoft Word who wants to listen to text spoken out loud. Proofreaders, language students, people with vision impairment, dyslexia, children learning to read, multitaskers, joggers… 

Why Microsoft Word?

Many people use Microsoft Word for their text processing. Yet Microsoft Word has a limited off-the-shelf text-to-speech capability. TalkButton changes that by interacting with Word documents to create text-to-speech with ease. It allows quick voice changes, highlighting, auto-scrolling, echo typing, and other features. All this inside the actual Word document. There’s no extra window in some other application to switch to or to deal with. Everything happens in Microsoft Word, where you work.

Is TalkButton useful for profoundly blind users?

TalkButton was not designed for profound or near total blind users. A certain amount of vision is required to use this software. Given the great variations in vision impairment, it is difficult to be precise about who would benefit using TalkButton. For many disadvantaged users, TalkButton can be of great utility. Please take full advantage of the free trial to test suitability.

Does TalkButton do text-to-speech with Pages or Safari or other Mac apps?

Yes. TalkButton effortlessly reads selected text from almost anywhere on your Mac by automatically copying it to a dedicated Microsoft Word document. (Just check the “TalkButton active everywhere” option). Select some text in, say, Safari. Click TALK. The text will start reading and highlighting in a Word document called ‘TalkButton Reader’ with your personalized page layout to make it easy to follow.

Can TalkButton convert a text document to an audio file in iTunes so I can listen to it later on my iPad or iPhone?

Yes. Click the red button on the toolbar or press the “Record to iTunes” hotkey (default: Option R). TalkButton will create a spoken track in MP3, AIFF, WAV, AAC, or ALAC format. (MP3 recommended)

Can I use TalkButton with Microsoft Word in full screen mode?

Yes, by using TalkButton’s hotkeys. The TalkButton toolbar is invisible in full screen mode. Commands TALK, Pause, Rewind, Fast-forward, Highlighting, Auto-scrolling, Voices, etc., can be accessed using the easily configurable keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys).

Can I use TalkButton in Microsoft Word’s focus view (Word’s full screen view in Office 2011)?

Yes, by using TalkButton’s hotkeys. The TalkButton toolbar is invisible in focus view. TALK, Pause, Rewind, Fast-forward, Highlighting, Auto-scrolling, Voices, etc., can be accessed using the configurable hotkeys. Auto-scrolling of spoken text does not function in this view.

Can I install other voices and use them with TalkButton?

Yes. There are companies that create and sell Mac voices. TalkButton can use almost any compatible voice installed on your Mac. TalkButton has been successfully tested with voices from Acapela and others. Right to left languages may have trouble with highlighting which only moves from left to right. During the trial period, voices from other distributors can be verified for their compatibility. 

Why should I check the box besides a voice in TalkButton’s voice list?

For ease of use, only checked voices appear in TalkButton’s favorite voice menu. Instead of choosing from a long unwieldy list of voices in a multitude of languages, only checked voices are listed.

Does TalkButton work on the PC or work with Microsoft Word for Windows?

No. For the moment, TalkButton only works on Macintosh Computers running Mac OS 10.7 to 10.13, using Microsoft Word for Mac installed as part of Office 2011 or 2016.

Does TalkButton work on the iPad or iPhone?

No. TalkButton only works on Macintosh Computers running Mac OS 10.7 to 10.13 (High Sierra).

Does TalkButton just keep reading forever?

TalkButton reads many pages without stopping. If you want to ensure that the entire text of a very long document is read or recorded to its end, just manually select the text (Command A) before clicking TALK or Record.

Can I auto-scroll text in print layout view during text-to-speech?

No. You can highlight text but not auto-scroll. Auto-scrolling works only in draft view and TalkButton automatically switches your document to draft view if you have auto-scrolling turned on. Turn off auto-scrolling to keep document in page views other than draft view.

Does TalkButton work with Arabic or Hebrew?

As highlighting only moves from left to right, right to left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew have limited support. Please verify before purchase.

Can I stop TalkButton getting stuck on web links in Word docs?

This is caused by the highlighting ‘clicking’ the links. Either turn off highlighting, or click the format page button to remove all links from a document. (Caution: formatting removes all pictures, tables, and other page layout elements).

Now and then I notice that I have to reset ‘Check spelling/grammar as you type” in Microsoft Word preferences.

This might happen, for example, if attempting to quit Microsoft Word while TalkButton is still talking. Just pause text-to-speech before quitting Microsoft Word or closing a document or opening dialogs (such as the print dialog), and the setting change is avoided.

I purchased TalkButton and received a product key via email. How do I activate my copy?

Make sure your Mac is connected to the internet. Run TalkButton, click the activate button on the welcome window, (or go to menu TalkButton ➜ Activate on this Mac…). A window will appear into which you copy/paste the product key you received. Click Activate. A moment later TalkButton is activated and ready to go. (If your Mac is never connected to the internet, please contact support@talkbutton.net for information on manual activation.)

Does my Mac have to stay connected to the internet for TalkButton to function?

Not always. Once TalkButton is activated, your Mac is not obliged to always be online. TalkButton will function for many weeks without the internet. Eventually, TalkButton will attempt to contact the online authentication server. If after 3 months, it has not been able to verify activation, TalkButton will stop working. To work again for another 3 months, the Mac simply needs to connect briefly to the internet and TalkButton reactivated. Typical users never experience any interruptions.

An internet connection is required if you wish to move TalkButton to a different Mac. Deactivating TalkButton liberates an activation from your product key that can then be used to activate TalkButton on another Mac.

Are updates free?

Yes. For example, updating from version 2.1 to 2.4 is free.

Are upgrades free?

No. For example, upgrading from version 1.x to 2.x of TalkButton requires an upgrade fee.

I need more time. Can I get a longer trial to test TalkButton?

Yes. Please send a request to the TalkButton developers at extendtrial@talkbutton.net.

I purchased TalkButton after a successful trial but I’ve changed my mind. Can I get a refund?

No problem. If no more than 30 days have passed since the purchase and you have deactivated all copies of TalkButton, send an email with your request to refund@talkbutton.net. You will receive a refund minus a small 10% handling fee.

Is Microsoft Word included with TalkButton?

No. Microsoft Office 2016 can be purchased at most Mac computer stores or at www.microsoft.com/mac. If you own Office 365 for Mac, you can download Word and the entire 2016 Office suite, for free.

What does wpm stand for?

Words per minute