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Create Audio of Word Documents for Accessibility

Thu, December 01, 2016 11:04 AM | Deleted user

Recently, my peers in the B1G Ten and I have been discussing accessibility for our training and documentation. When we talk about accessibility, we usually think about adding captioning to video for those who cannot hear. But what about the blind? Do you have your written documentation in audio form?

If not, there is an excellent free application that uses Text-to-Speech (TTS) to convert your Word documents to an audio file. AudioDocs is an impressive little application that converts to either .wav or .MP3.

  1. After you open AudioDocs, can click MS Word to AudioDocs. It will bring up a menu with different options, like TTS Voice Selection, Dictation Rate, Dictation Volume, etc. Set that to what suits your needs. (From the AudioDocs documentation:  From testing, the values of -2 to 2 for Dictation Rate are the best and it is best to keep volume at 80+ so that it is easy to hear, however, any value (except 0) will still be okay.)
  2. Choose your .doc or .docx file to convert. Name the output file, location and file type to save as (.wav, .MP3, Windows Media File).
  3. Click Create AudioDocs. You will see a green progress-bar which shows you the progress. Once it says Processing & Conversion Finished, you may close the application.

Below is the sample text I used in my Microsoft Word 2016 file. I'm using Windows 10 and the installation was quick and easy. The actual conversion was quick, but to be fair, my sample was only five sentences.

SAMPLE TEXT from AudioDocs Sample.docx file: Video provides a powerful way to help you prove your point. When you click Online Video, you can paste in the embed code for the video you want to add. You can also type a keyword to search online for the video that best fits your document. To make your document look professionally produced, Word provides header, footer, cover page, and text box designs that complement each other. For example, you can add a matching cover page, header, and sidebar.

AudioDocs Sample.mp3

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