Fixing problems with speech

Symptoms

  • “It’s not reading anything any more!”
  • “I press Play and everything flashes really quickly in Word but no speech”
  • “I’ve installed a new piece of software and now ClaroRead/WordRead will not work”

Diagnosis

  • Make sure you can hear non-speech sound – try Windows Media Player, or go to YouTube, and play a CD or any sound. If you can’t, then you have to fix your sound first.
  • Download and run SAPI5Test.exe – none of the voices work.
  • Open Control Panel > “Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices”> “Speech”. The panel does not appear. Try Cure Number 2 first.
  • If it does appear, switch to one of the Microsoft voices (for example, Sam, Anna, or Hazel). Click the Preview button: no sound is produced, or an error message results. Try Cure Number 3 first.
  • 32-bit Windows machines only: If a Microsoft voice works, but some or all of the Claro voices (e.g. ScanSoft Daniel_Full_22kHz or Vocalizer Daniel) do not speak, then go to Cure Number 4.
  • 64-bit Windows machines: our Claro voices will not show up in the Speech dialog in Control Panel. However you can launch the 32-bit Control Panel window by downloading and running our Speech Control Panel program. Go straight to Cure Number 4.

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Using Microsoft XML tags with SAPI5 TTS voices

When you press the Play button ClaroRead or WordRead uses the same speech settings (voice, volume, speed) for all of the text it reads out. Everything will sound the same. You might, however, want to put in pauses, or make some text louder, or lower-pitched, or use a different voice halfway through. ClaroRead lets you use Microsoft’s XML Tags to do this. You can alter which voice is used, put in pauses, change pitch and speed and many other things as ClaroRead speaks. This works for both text read out and text saved to audio files.

Since writing this, Microsoft SAPI 5.2 and later versions have introduced support for the W3C standard Speech Synthesis Markup Language SSML so you may want to use that instead of the Microsoft-specific XML detailed here. The mechanisms to employ SSML (start with a < left-angled bracket) are the same, however.
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Fixing broken or conflicting RealSpeak Solo voices

Nuance (previously ScanSoft) SAPI5 RealSpeak Solo voices must all be installed into the same directory on your machine. If this is not followed then the voices will appear in the Speech applet in Control Panel, or in your SAPI5 voice list in your speech-enabled program, but they will not work. This guide tells you how to fix all the RealSpeak voices on your machine.

You will need full admin rights on the local machine and you have to edit the registry.

1 Place all voice files in the same directory

You have to find all the voice files on your machine and move them all to the same directory. You can find them in these ways:

  1. Do a search on your hard disk(s) for a directory called “speech” which in turn contains the directories “components” and “rssolov4”.
  2. Perform the registry entry corrections in part 2 and take note of all the paths there.
  3. Check these locations (“Program Files” may be “Program Files (x86)” on 64-bit machines):
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Mac Support Downloads

  • Restore Settings (4.1 MB)
    • Allows you to to restore the settings of any Claro Software Mac application.
  • Claro Mac Voice Downloader (6.5 MB)
    • Allows you to install selected Claro Vocalizer Expressive Mac voices (used in ClaroRead V5.2 onwards). These voices will ONLY work with ClaroRead or WordRead Plus.
  • Claro Mac Voice Uninstaller (4.2 MB)
    • Allows you to uninstall any Claro Vocalizer Expressive Mac voices you have installed (used in ClaroRead V5.2 onwards).
  • Claro Mac License Checker (2.7 MB)
    • If one of our Mac programs is not working properly when you enter a license key, use this program on a support call so we can gather more information about the problem.