PowerTalk is a small Windows application designed specifically for helping you automatically read aloud any presentation or slideshow running in Microsoft PowerPoint. It is able to read text as it appears and speak hidden text attached to images too.
When you run the tool, you are required to open a custom PPT or PPS file from your computer. The program automatically reads aloud the text included in the presentation or slideshow. The speech is powered by the computer voices that come with Windows.
Several configuration settings
PowerTalk integrates only a few configuration settings that you can play with. The configuration panel looks minimalist and simple to decode.
Although there’s no support for a help manual that could give you detailed information about the utility’s capabilities, the dedicated parameters are highly intuitive so you won’t invest too much time and effort into tweaking them.
The app gives you the possibility to make file associations for PPS and PPT file format in order to automatically start the narration mode when these file types are opened in Windows, as well as ignore pictures.
Last but not least, PowerTalk is able to read aloud animated text as it appears, speak ‘web alternative text’ used in web browsers, and wait for text to appear and animation effects to play before speaking.
An overall efficient tool
All in all, Microsoft Powerpoint comes with a basic feature pack for helping you deliver presentations backed up by an automatic text-to-speech mode. It proves to be quite useful especially if you have people in the audience with sight problems (visual impairments, low vision or blind). The tool may also be used for educational purposes for creating interactive school activities such as reading stories.
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