Fixing problems with starting up

Symptoms

  • “I try to start ClaroRead or WordRead but it only gets to about 75% of the progress bar and the form never actually appears.”
  • “ClaroRead just won’t start: it flashes then disappears.”
  • “Nothing happens when I double-click the ClaroRead icon.”
  • “ClaroRead or WordRead crashes with a message about LHCOM02w.dll.”
  • “Save to audio crashes.”

Diagnosis

  • Run ClaroRead, will not start up.
  • ClaroRead uses speech: broken speech systems will stop ClaroRead working. Try the tests on Fixing Problems with Speech and fix any problems you find first.
  • If you are on Windows Server, and/or receive a Windows error message about an application error (rather than the program hanging), or you receive a Windows error message about “Data Execution Prevention”, see Cure 2
  • Download and run SAPI4Test.exe, get error message “Component ‘Xvoice.dll’ or one of its dependencies not correctly registered: a file is missing or invalid.” or one or more voices do not work. See Cure 1
  • If ClaroRead displays a message “Invalid Hard Disk!” while loading and will not go any further then you may have the Windows Script Host disabled or broken, see Cure 3.
  • If ClaroRead gets about one-third of the way loaded and then hangs, and also you cannot play any audio on your computer, then see Cure 4.

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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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