Microsoft has announced that it's improving the Read Aloud feature in Word and Outlook for Windows by bringing more natural-sounding voices. The new Read Aloud voices are already live for Office Insiders in the Microsoft Word desktop app, and it should make it easier for users to author and review documents.
“Some of you shared that you felt that the original voices sounded too robotic, and you were looking for more natural-sounding reading voices, like the ones we offer for the Read Aloud feature in Microsoft Edge. In response to this feedback, we’re happy to add these new and improved options,” the Office Insider team explained.
To use this feature in Word, open the document and click on the location where you want to begin listening. Select the Review tab and then choose the Read Aloud option. Users will be able to choose from one of the natural-sounding voices in 64 different languages.
As of this writing, the improved Read-Aloud experience is only available in Word for Windows, and it should help to make content accessible for visually impaired people. The rollout of this feature has been temporarily paused in Outlook, but Microsoft says it's working on expanding it again soon.