How to Make Ubuntu Linux Talk


by Lonnie Lee Best
Lonnie Lee Best

This article is intended for users of Ubuntu Linux 10.10. It shows you how to make your computer read to you!

Background

Do your eyes get tired of reading sometimes? Mine do. When I once used Microsoft Windows as my primary desktop operating system, I had a program called TextAloud that I used for making my computer read text to me. After moving to Ubuntu Linux (which I now use exclusively), I discovered that I didn't have to leave this wonderful functionality behind and didn't have to purchase some new solution.

Instructions

Install Jovie (formerly called kttsdmgr)
  1. Open a command prompt by going to the "Applications" menu: Applicaitons > Accessories > Terminal.
  2. Type: "sudo apt-get install jovie speech-dispatcher-festival flite" (without quotes).

Make Jovie Ready-to-Go Each Time You Login (optional)

  1. From your Ubuntu "System" menu, select: Preferences > Sessions > Startup Applications. This will bring up the Statrup Applications Manager.
  2. Click the "Add" button. The "Add StartUp Program" dialog will appear.
  3. Type "Jovie" in the "Name" textbox, and "jovie" (lowercase) into the "Command" text box (no quotes on either).
  4. Click "OK" and then "Close". Now Jovie will start minimized (in your status tray by the clock) each time you login.
  5. Now, to test our work, bookmark this article, then logout of Ubuntu and then log back in. If we did everything right, a new icon (for Jovie) should be resting in the status tray (by the clock).

Configure Jovie

  1. If Jovie isn't already running (indicated by an icon in your status try), open it from the Ubuntu menu bar: Applications | Accessibility | Jovie. (Don't see it? Click here.)
  2. The first time I started jovie, I believe it automatically asked me to select a voice. However, to do this, you simply select the "Talker" tab. Jovie will now search for a list of voices provided by Festival. Simply select one from the list, and then click "OK".

Using Jovie

Ok, make sure your speakers have volume. Simply highlight this paragraph (that you are currently reading). Then, hit "ctrl-c" on your keyboard (or alternatively you can right-click on "that which you've highlighted" and select "copy"). Now, the text of this paragraph is in your computer's clipboard memory. Right click on the Jovie icon (in your system tray) and click "Speak Clipboard Contents" from the context menu. Your computer should read this paragraph aloud. Congratulations, you have a reading partner!

Bonus

How would you like to *listen* to incoming instant messages? It's easy to set up; go here:




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About the Author

Lonnie Best has been using the internet since 1993, and has been making web pages since 1995. visit: http://www.lonniebest.com



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