I stink at proof reading. I miss a slew of grammatical and spelling errors. Okay, slew is an understatement.

When I started working heavily with speech technology a few years ago I discovered something interesting. If I used text-to-speech to read what I wrote I caught all the errors. My completely unprofessional diagnosis – my brain is filtering the data stream from my eyes but not my ears. I immediately started using this new trick to improve my proof reading.

The one problem I had however was that almost nothing has built-in TTS support. I was able to add it to Word using a macro and copy and paste everything into Word but this was prone to errors and frankly a pain in the butt.

Today I happen to be digging through Outlook and discovered a new command in 2010 that I hadn’t seen before –> Speak. It is detailed here but essentially it reads the selected text and works throughout Office (finally giving me TTS functionality for my emails).