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Balabolka 2.12.0.664

Have your PC read the text of Word, PDF, EPUB and other files

by Mike Williams

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Based on 2 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish, Ukranian
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 19 July 2018
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 3860
Developer: Ilya Morozov
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Balabolka
Read text from many file types

Balabolka is a free and powerful text-to-speech program which can read the text from Office documents, PDF files, web pages and more. It uses Microsoft's Speech Platform and requires at least one Microsoft voice, but this shouldn't be a problem for most PCs. (If in doubt, launch Narrator.exe, or look for Narrator options in Control Panel's "Ease of Access Centre"; if Narrator can read text, Balabolka should be able to do so as well.)

At its simplest, you can just use the program to open and read a file. Supported formats include PDF, DOC, DOCX, AZW, AZW3, MOBI, PRC, DJVU, EPUB, HTML, TXT, RTF, RAR, ZIP and more. You're also able to tweak the narration speed, pitch and volume.

Just as with any other text-to-speech software, Balabolka regularly makes pronunciation errors. But unlike most of the competition, it also provides a way to fix them.

Click the "Panel of Dictionaries" toolbar button, and check "default_dic". Highlight any word which isn't pronounced correctly, right-click it and select "Pronunciation". Change the spelling in the "Like this" box to something which helps the program say that word correctly - replace Philadelphia with Phillaadellphia, say - and click "Add and Save". That word should now be spoken correctly.

Once everything is set up as you like, click File > Save Audio File to save the document as an MP3 or WAV.

Alternatively, click File > ID3 Tags, check "Set ID3 tags" and click Text > Add Text to MP3 Tags. The spoken text will be saved as tags within the MP3 file, then appear on playback, synchronised with the speech (just like song lyrics) as long as your media player supports that.

Verdict:

A versatile text-to-speech tool with some unusual features

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.18.71

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

What's New in Version 2.18.71

- Group admins can now choose to allow only admins to send messages to a group. Open "Group Info" > tap "Group Settings". Non-admins will still be able to read messages and respond privately by tapping "Message Admin".
- You can now easily notify people when you change your phone number. Tap "Settings" > "Account" > "Change Number". You can select which contacts or chats you would like to notify.

[...]
Value:
Free
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