Anyone else use this free tool to help find mistakes in your copy?

by ronr
12 replies
I posted this in another section but thought this section might find it more helpful.

I have a hard time proof reading my own copy. Sure the spell checker
helps with repeated and misspelled words but not with left out words,
wrong tense, words in the wrong order, etc. Some will be caught by
a grammer checker but I don't like to use them because of all the false
positives.

I also don't always have someone available to proofread for me especially on short notice.

But now I can using this:

Free text to speech software with Naturally Sounding Voices -- Free NaturalReader

It's a text-to-speech reader (free version) that you can download. You
just copy and paste your text into it and listen. It's amazing how much
easier it is to pick out mistakes.

Give it a try.

Ron

(I ran this through it before I posted and found two left out words
#copy #find #free #mistakes #tool
  • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
    Interesting idea. I do find that one thing that helps with proofreading is to read the text aloud.

    Another is to read things from the bottom to the top, one sentence or paragraph at a time. It makes things look "new" and helps you catch problems more easily.
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    • Profile picture of the author ronr
      I've done those things also but I find this easier. Just paste in the text and let someone else read while I follow along. It works great for me and I don't actually have to follow along that close because I can hear if something is wrong.

      Ron

      Originally Posted by wordwizard View Post

      Interesting idea. I do find that one thing that helps with proofreading is to read the text aloud.

      Another is to read things from the bottom to the top, one sentence or paragraph at a time. It makes things look "new" and helps you catch problems more easily.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark 99
    I tried this tool a few years ago, A bit too robotic but I can see how it could help pick up errors etc. Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author ronr
      Based on the responses I guess there aren't that many people who have problems proof reading their own copy and would find this tool helpful. Sure it's a little robotic, but I find "Anna" easy to understand so it's easy to catch my mistakes hearing it read back.

      Originally Posted by Mark 99 View Post

      I tried this tool a few years ago, A bit to robotic but I can see how it could help pick up errors etc. Cheers
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark 99
        I totally get how this can help. I use another program "Audacity" and record it myself then listen to the play back to catch mistakes.

        Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author simjohns
    Here is a good selection of text to speech voices that you can use for free for 30 days.
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    • Profile picture of the author ronr
      Mark99 I think you'll find this easier although if you use the free version a lot or for a lot of text at one time there is a nag screen to get the paid version. So far I haven't needed it.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Text to speech can be handy for listening back to your copy, but nothing beats reading it yourself out loud, recorded or not.

    There's no better way to find the "splinters" on the banister that to stumble over the words yourself.

    It's about cadence, rhythm, timing... it's almost musical.

    And the best text to speech still pretty much sucks at that.

    But it's still cool to be able to sit back with a cup of coffee and let it read back something you've been pecking away at for a while.
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    • Profile picture of the author ronr
      Hi Brian,

      Maybe I'm just weird but even when reading my own copy aloud, I'll sometimes miss obvious mistakes.

      I can pick up mistakes easier if someone (or something) reads it aloud.

      But as I said, maybe I'm a little weird

      Ron

      Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

      Text to speech can be handy for listening back to your copy, but nothing beats reading it yourself out loud, recorded or not.

      There's no better way to find the "splinters" on the banister that to stumble over the words yourself.

      It's about cadence, rhythm, timing... it's almost musical.

      And the best text to speech still pretty much sucks at that.

      But it's still cool to be able to sit back with a cup of coffee and let it read back something you've been pecking away at for a while.
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    • Profile picture of the author DPM70
      Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

      Text to speech can be handy for listening back to your copy, but nothing beats reading it yourself out loud, recorded or not.

      There's no better way to find the "splinters" on the banister that to stumble over the words yourself.

      It's about cadence, rhythm, timing... it's almost musical.

      And the best text to speech still pretty much sucks at that.

      But it's still cool to be able to sit back with a cup of coffee and let it read back something you've been pecking away at for a while.
      Well, for kicks, I just pasted your post into the free online version (just paste the text in) and it helped me pick up your use of "that" instead of "than" which I had skimmed over in reading the post first.

      Interesting software but very robotic and definitely lacking in the tempo / timing department, as suggested. I agree that self proof-reading has rarely let me down, but it's interesting what we skim when our brains think they have it covered on auto-pilot.

      I "used" US Julia, by the way
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      • Profile picture of the author ronr
        That's my problem I tend to skim and don't catch it on autopilot.

        I don't know if you can do it with the online version but with the free download version you can change the speed but I agree that the tempo is kind of strange at times. It has limitations for sure and you won't get inflections or emotions but if you can live with it's shortcomings, it can be a helpful tool

        I think "Anna" is the least robotic of the voices they include.

        Originally Posted by DPM70 View Post

        Well, for kicks, I just pasted your post into the free online version (just paste the text in) and it helped me pick up your use of "that" instead of "than" which I had skimmed over in reading the post first.

        Interesting software but very robotic and definitely lacking in the tempo / timing department, as suggested. I agree that self proof-reading has rarely let me down, but it's interesting what we skim when our brains think they have it covered on auto-pilot.

        I "used" US Julia, by the way
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