Tired of reading your novel-length manuscripts aloud in the futile attempt to find tiny errors? Frustrated that after publication you notice that you have a sentence missing an ‘a’? Or that ‘of’ should have been an ‘if.’
Reading aloud can help catch mistakes, but not always. And often, reading aloud just doesn’t work well.
Available for Windows and Mac, Natural Reader Software is a program that reads content to you. The voices are natural and clear. There are many voices to choose from, and in different languages. (See the graphic below.)
However, I do want to stress this great program is not a substitute for ditching your editor. It doesn’t work like that.
A short list of features:
* Change the speed of the reading voice. (So you hear the clarity and pacing of your story. And catch those tiny missing words!)
* Save files
* Text to Mp3
* What I noticed: It seems to ‘learn’ to read better and smoother as time goes on. That could just be me though.
* And this is my favorite. You can add character names or words the voices won’t say. (More on that below.)
There is a free version and a paid version.
While it can be pricey, currently going for $65.50 it is well worth it in the long run. You can download the free version here, and compare the features and pricing.
Note: If I remember correctly, the free version does not provide any NR voices, and the program falls back on the available voices of your computer’s operating system. So in Windows 7, you have Microsoft Anna. In Windows 8 and 10 you’ve got David.
You can download directly from the NR site, or order disks.
I strongly recommend ordering the disks, and playing on the free application while you wait. That way if your hard drive crashes, or if/when you switch computers, you will always have the program at your beck and call. (Which I will also push to mention that you should back up your writing in more than one place, and often!)
Strangely, some ‘naughty’ words are restricted in some of the Natural Reader voice-packets. What those words are, I will leave up to your imagination. They are replaced by a beep. And that can be a problem for writers who pen gritty stories, romance, or even erotica.
But that is super easy to get around. You just go to the Pronunciation Editor in the toolbar, and phonetically spell it. You can also try another voice to see if it has a larger vocabulary. (Another note: Some of the Microsoft voices I have don’t have issues with naughty words.)
Try Natural Reader out for yourself. It’s not just for writers. It’s for readers as well. There are a lot more great features available that I didn’t mention here.
Disclaimer: I am not getting compensation of any sort. I just love this program.