January 28, 2009

Working with ‘Text To Speech’


‘Text to Speech’ functionality of Adobe Captivate 4

Adobe Captivate 4 has just been released and special attention has been provided to various audio workflows in the product. The headlight audio feature that has been added is the ‘Text to Speech’ (T2S) engine. As the name suggests, Adobe Captivate 4 allows you to convert your text to professional quality voice-over narration. Users need to install the ‘Text to speech’ utility- available in the DVD or for download from the Captivate website.
So where does one find the T2S functionality in Adobe Captivate 4? Well, it comes as a part of ‘Slide Notes’ panel and converts your slide notes to audio at the click of a button.
T2S allows you to add professional voice-over-narration to your project by simply marking the text in your slide notes panel for ‘Text to speech’ and then converting the same to an audio file. Adobe Captivate provides two voices, a female voice in the form of ‘Kate’ and a male voice in the form of ‘Paul’, using which you can either have a female or a male voice-over narration  added to your Adobe Captivate project.

Let’s see this example.

As shown in the movie, once you mark the text in the slide notes, the slide notes panel, should look something like this:



Clicking on ‘convert to speech’ will bring up the Speech Agent selection dialog called ‘Speech Setting’. Select the male or the female voice and convert the text to Speech.

Also, it’s very simple to modify the speech. Just modify the text in the slide notes panel and hit ‘convert to speech’ once again. Modified speech files will be created.

Posted by Mukul Vinay Lele3:13 PM
  • Frank McAllan

    Paul and Kate (English version) are included in the package, the question is: “how does one import and utilize multi-lingual Paul and Kate into Captivate 4 so that the same training package can be directed to a multi-lingual audience?”

  • Hi Frank,We do not have an option to import and utilize additional voices (including multi-lingual choices).Regards,ShameerAdobe Captivate and eLearning Suite

  • Carol

    I have downloaded the free version of Captivate 4 and would like to test the text-to-speech feature. I have tried to down load several times, but have been unsuccessful. Can you instruct me on accessing this download on the adobe site? I need to make sure this works before I purchase this software package. Thanks.

  • Carol, you can download the voices from this link (you will need to log in):http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=captivateOn this page there is hyper linked text that reads: ‘Run this executable to install NeoSpeech…’Regards,ShameerAdobe Captivate and eLearning Suite

  • Matthew

    Are their plans to allow for additional voices in the future?

  • The intonation in the speech for both Kate and Paul is a little disappointing. Is there a way technique to use to make it sound a little more natural?

  • Robert

    Thank you for posting the direct link. While not as smooth as a professional voice actor, the benefits of this flexible tool is amazing. I hope you will consider a way to edit or apply different inflections directly in the sound editor. If not maybe a guide to assist in manipulating the scripted words to make them sound more natural.

  • Jena

    Tip: After I downloaded the Text to Speech from the link I just kept seeing the Download button which kept taking me back to the Adobe site. Once I closed the project I was working on – and reopened – the button “Convert to Speech” then appeared and worked perfectly. So after you download from the link – close your project and reopen.

  • Hauke Fuhrmann

    I have a lot of text labels only visible for a few seconds in my slides. I would like to add audio such that all text labels are read by the text-to-speech functionality. You have a nice feature to easily record audio that corresponds to a label. Why is there no possibility to convert a label automatically to speech? Will that feature follow in short term future?

  • Charles

    Greetings,I am very pleased to hear that Captivate 4 has text to speech now. I tried to use the Kate and Paul voices in my last Captivate 3 project but found out that Kate’s and Pauls creator, NeoSpeech require you to purchase a distribution license from them before you can distribute ANY product(s) (software, training material, presentations, etc)that includes thier voices. Last month they quoted me a price of $1,500 per year for a license to distribute Kate or Paul with a training package I wanted to create. That was thier NON commercial license price I was given. Since I was trying to launch a new business I didn’t reply to thier salemans to ask what a commercial license would cost. Does anyone know if this requirement has been waved if you upgrade or purchase Captivate 4. This would make CBT creation so much easier.Thanks

  • Mukul

    Hi Hauke,Although currently you cannot convert the text label directly to audio, yet you can achieve the desired effect. You can write down the text in slide note panel and convert to audio using ‘text to speech’. Then use these audio files from library and insert it in respective text captions (as caption audio). Now whenever the movie plays and text caption appears, even the audio will play.Regards,Mukul

  • Hi Charles,Of-course, you can distribute any training content that is created using the text-to-speech feature in Cp4. This is part of the license.Regards,Shameer AyyappanAdobe Captivate and eLearning Suite

  • Denise

    I have downloaded the trial version of the upgrade software and the text to speech voices; however, when I try to convert the text to speech, I keep getting the same “You must download the voices” message. Any ideas why the voices are not available?

  • Mukul

    Hi Denise,Please make sure that you have installed text to speech voices. this can be done by performing following steps:1. Close Adobe Captivate instances2. Go to the Captivate installation directory. It can be found at /Program Files/Adobe/Adobe Captivate 4/3. Please look for a folder called ‘VT’4. Approximate size of the folder should be 464mb5. If you find this folder present, please launch Captivate 4 and try using the text to speech featureThis time when you mark a text for ‘text to speech’, you should get a button with label ‘convert to speech’ in slide notes section.Hope it worksRegards,Mukul

  • Joe

    Awesome! I saw the Text to Speech button and was sure it was gonna be an added cost. VERY happy to find out otherwise.Now, here’s my question — I see how I can use this for slide audio; but, what about using it in the various elements: roll-over captions, etc.? Can that be done?Joe

  • Joe

    Regarding my last post:As I was saying, I didn’t see a “convert to speech” button in the captions; but, I discovered a workaround…I entered my text as a slide note; converted it to speech (which stored a cut in the library); deleted the audio track from my slide; opened caption properties > audio tab and imported the cut from the library.So, that worked fine; but, is a bit cumbersome. Is there another way to do it (or, will there be?).Having the text-to-speech for the slide main audio is great — but, for the more interactive bits, having a straight-forward way to convert text to speech for captions and such would be even better!!!Joe

  • Kevin

    I have downloaded Captivate 4 and the file for the Text to Speech voices. However, I still get the same “Donload Adobe Captivate Voices” message, and the software keeps sending me back to download the voices application. Please help!

  • Mukul

    Hi Joe,You are correct. It is the only way we can use the text to speech audio inside Captivate objects.Regards,Mukul

  • Mukul

    Hi Kevin,Please make sure that you have installed text to speech voices. This can be done by performing following steps:1. Close Adobe Captivate instances2. Go to the Captivate installation directory. It can be found at /Program Files/Adobe/Adobe Captivate 4/3. Please look for a folder called ‘VT’4. Approximate size of the folder should be 464mb5. If you find this folder present, please launch Captivate 4 and try using the text to speech featureThis time when you mark a text for ‘text to speech’, you should get a button with label ‘convert to speech’ in slide notes section.Hope it worksIf you dont see the folder ‘VT’ in Captivate installation folder, it means, text to speech utility is not installed. Then please run the text to speech executable which you have downloaded from web site.Regards,Mukul

    • L Warwar

      I want to download the text to speech program. When I choose the “download Adobe Captivate voice” button. I’m redirected to Captivate 5…not 4 and do not see the executable to download. Please advise what the next best step is.


  • Susan Smith

    My team of Instructional Designers is just getting started with Captivate. I initally purchased two licenses for Captivate 3 and have several training programs developed in Captivate 3. I’m planning to purchase more licenses for Captivate 4 and possibly upgrade the existing Captivate 3 licenses. If I upgrade all of my current licenses, will I encounter a problem if we attempt to update an existing program developed in Captivate 3 using Captivate 4?

  • Rich Ison

    When I go to convert text to speech, the dialog that pops up to where you can choose Kate or Paul doesn’t pop up anymore, I must have clicked ‘don’t sho me again’. Can I get this to pop up again….or set the converter to default to Paul rather than Kate??

  • Duncan

    Hi,Above I read a question about whether there will be additional voices available, however I didn’t see a response. I was wondering whether you would be able to offer an answer to this.I work in Australia for the Australian government, and although the voices provided are great, unfortunatley it doesn’t work having an American accent on our e-Learning packages.I have found companies that have got Australian accents available (Nuance RealSpeak, TextAloud), however I was wondering if there is a way to import these accents into Captivate 4.Kind regards,Duncan

  • Teresa`

    I purchased the e-learning suite with Captivate and I have followed the directions regarding downloading the voices (twice). Still no voices, and no “VT” file in the Captivate directory… sigh. However, oddly enough, it will allow me to chose either “Paul” or “Kate” in the voice options, but when I try to activate the the text to voice within the slide it still tells me I need to download the file. I tried to download a third time, from the link provided here, and now it won’t even go through the motions of downloading… sigh, please help.

  • Andrew Mortimer

    I have a similar problem to some already posted, however I cannot locate a ‘VT’ Folder. When I attempt to download again as instructed, I get a message saying ‘a problem occurred while extracting the archive – please try downloading Adobe Captivate 4 Content again’. However when I go to the download link as described above it automatically tries to extract the files and tells me there is a problem extracting the archive. (I am on a trial of captivate and need to analyse the text to speech functionality)Please help me get out of the circle.Kind regardsAndrewAndrew

  • Bart Daniel

    When I use the voices in Captivate 4, they sound scratchy or tinny. Kind of like a lisp or something that is hard on the ears. When I type the same text on the NeoSpeech website, it sounds much smoother. Any thoughts on why this happes or what I can do about it? I installed captivate 4 as part of the eLearning Suite.

  • Mukul

    Hi Rich Ison,’dont show me again’ confirmation options can be set in the Preference menu.Open a blank project > menu item ‘Edit’ > Preference > category ‘Global > General Settings’Click on ‘confirmation messages’ button and look for ‘speech selection’. Please check the box and you should see the ‘speech selection’ dialog coming up everytime.Regards,Mukul

    • Sagar

      Thanks a lot Mukul. I had a similar problem…

  • Craig

    Hi Adobe,We have developed a few demos using the text to speach feature. They were well received by our enployees but the main complaint was the voice, in particular the accent and the pitch. Are there any plans to increase the number of voices (currently 2) or voice options, eg speed, pitch, accent etc. in Adobe captivate 4 ?

  • Greg

    Adobe-Neospeech has just released a new voice, Julie, that is much more natural sounding. Will the Captivate 4 community be able to take advantage of the new Julie voice from neospeech? If so, where can we get it?

  • George

    Hi- We’ve started using Captivate 4 with the NeoSpeech TTS voices. There is a lot of great potential here. I would like to tweak the pronounciation of some words as well as add our software product names to the custom dictionary. I have tried the UserDicEng.exe and vt_eng.exe apps. Those are exactly what I’m looking for…however, I receive a notice saying I need to obtain a valid license. Are we not able to use those 2 apps under Captivate 4? Is there a way to obtain a license? Thank you.

  • LuAnn

    I installed Captivate as part of the eLearning Suite installation, but the VT folder was not listed in the Captivate program files. However, I found the NeoSpeech utility on installation Disc 2. Launch the NeoSpeech.exe from Disc 2. Once installed, the VT folder appears in the Captivate program files.For those who purchased and installed Captivate as part of the Adobe eLearning Suite, you can find the Captivate4_NeoSpeech.exe on installation disc 2 under English/Goodies/Adobe Captivate 4/NeoSpeech Text to Speech Voices/Captivate4_NeoSpeech.exe.

  • guybill

    How can I change the type of file that “Text to Speech” converts text to speech into — from .wav to .mp3?(the default is set at .wav, but the files are way too large, so I’d like to convert them to mp3’s instead)

  • How can I change the type of file that “Text to Speech” converts text to speech into — from .wav to .mp3?(the default is set at .wav, but the files are way too large, so I’d like to convert them to mp3’s instead)

  • If you would rather convert into MP3 than WAV, you can convert text, documents or anything else into MP3 directly on iSpeech.org. They also have an API to automate things.

  • kevin

    Hi can someone from Adobe answer some of the valid and important questions about audio and voices please?The TTS is a bit crappy as the issues with TTS (intonation, accents, file size) have exiosted for several years, so this is not an imporvement on current practice.Ideally we should be able to link to audio files as can be achieved in ‘even’ powerpoint.

  • Sadaf

    HiI would like to know if we can market our demos built in Trial Version of Adobe Captivate?Sadaf

  • Kara Todeschini

    Hi,I have used the test to speech but I can’t seem to find a way to reorder the text. For example, if I have audio for a slide and then convert it, but then realize I want an intro sentence, it seems like I can only add that to the end and then have to cut and paste the actual audio. Is there an easier way to do this?Thanks!Kara

  • barb

    Love the text to speech. I turned off the change voice prompt box – now I can’t find it to change back to Paul…. and I miss him. I even reinstalled the voicees, but all I have is the default Kate voice. What do I need to do?

  • barb

    Is there a way to move the closed captioning? I’d like it to appear in a frame on the right side of my page so it can be larger and more pronounced. I also want it to scroll and generate with customizable line breaks (as Captivate does).

  • Where to you change the default setting so that text to speech records as mp3 file instead of wave files? I can’t seem to find it within Captivate 4.Thanks!Colin

  • David Hoyer

    I too am trying to get the Text to Speech to work with my ELearning Suite, but when I use the links provided to download the NeoSpeech TTS voices is downloads the full version of Capitvate. I have not been able to find any options to set up the Text to Speech Features.

  • Aakanksha

    Hi. Text to Speech is great. However, i cannot figure out a way to lower the speed of talking. Can anyone help with this?

  • I took the robowizard tutorial which was helpful, however, when I click download trial I get a web page error. Can you assist me in completing the NeoSpeech download?

  • Kelly McDonald

    Adobe -I have started using the text to speech capability. I used it on a small file. ZI was very disappointed with the sound quality. The voices (Kate or Paul) are very tinny (as others have described here) and scratchy.I’ve looked high and low for a fix but have not been able to locate one. So, is there a fix for this problem? Also, can you import other voices?Thanks for your help!

  • Mike Davis

    On June 11, 2009, Kara Todeschini wrote:”Love the text to speech. I turned off the change voice prompt box – now I can’t find it to change back to Paul…. and I miss him. I even reinstalled the voicees, but all I have is the default Kate voice. What do I need to do?”Hard won answer:1.From your open project, on the Edit Menu, choose Preferences.2.Under Global > General Settings, click the Confirmation messages… button.3.In the Confirmation Messages box, make sure the Speech Selection box is checked, and click OK.You will then be able to select between Kate an Paul instead of getting stuck with using Kate all the time.Joy!Mike Davis

  • Kai

    Hi Adobe,I’m currently using Tech Com Suite 2 with Captivate 4.I tried to use text to speech but didn’t work. After selecting “Kate”, the popup “Unable to decode and import the selected wav/mps file” appears. Then i went to Command prompt to run the DLLRegisterServer and it prompted as error message: DLLRegisterServer in NSAudio.dll failed. Return code was: 0x80070005.Please help. Thanks!Kai

  • James Schell

    There is a global change process available under Audio|Speech Management.Once you are in this dialog box you can make global changes to the voices through out your project using the dropdown box on the far right of the dialog box.If you click the elipsis to the right of your text you can make changes to the desired text.To apply your changes click the apply changes button.Anyone have word about downloading the new voice Julie for use in Capivate 4?Jim

  • David Hensley

    I have installed Captivate 4 on my PC, and have created several movies. Unfortunatley text-to-speech was not loaded during the original install. I am told that I need to re-install the software to obtain the feature. My fear is that even if I do backups, I may lose my movies when I do the new install. Do you have any suggestions?

  • Dominique Sinclair

    The Closed Caption text does not appear. I have converted the text to speech which works fine, but the closed caption text never appears on screen. Is there somethign else that needs enabling? All the rows are ticked for Closed Caption text.

  • Mukul Vinay Lele

    Hi Dominique,You need to enable closed captioning for your project. You can do this by going to menu item Project > Skin Editor and check the checkbox “Closed Captioning”Hope it helps.Regards,Mukul

  • Mariarj

    Hi friends,I am new to this adobe Captivate tool.I want to knowhow to reduce the speech speed in the adobe Captivate.

  • Mukul Vinay Lele

    Hi Mariarj,Please check this link. It might be helpful to youhttp://blogs.adobe.com/captivate/2009/04/vtml_tags_in_text_to_speech_1.htmlRegards,Mukul

  • Jennifer

    I have the software installed for text to speach. However, when i convert text to speach i do not receive the pop up where i can choose a speach agent.The only way i can access is to go through the speach management tool.Is there a way to default which speach agent you wish to use for an entire project?

  • Teri Warner

    With the release of Captivate 5, are there new voices for TTS and/or can we now import voices?

  • I’m learning to use Text-to-Speech with Captivate 5. I can add multiple notes in the Notes slide (entering many notes per slide to go with various captions on same slide). I would just like to know how to change the order in which they are said. Then I entered another note in the row above my first note, and then my third note went in the row before my second note. When I look at my list of notes, my first note is last in the list while my last intended note is first in the list. I want to ensure the notes are spoken in the correct order. Is there a setting for this? Thank you!

  • Mukul

    Hi Louise,
    You can open closed captioning dialog (ctrl-alt-c). You will the timing markers on the waveform. Just click and drag these markers to left or right. Order of slide notes should automatically get modified.

  • Jon

    I’m using Captivate 4, and I am having trouble installing voices for this version.
    Downloaded “Captivate_5_Neo_Content_LS12.exe”
    but alas, that seems to be only for the new version.

    I need a pointer to the .exe file for Captivate 4 voices please?


  • Hussain

    I am unable to download the text to voice in captivate. Although i am connected to internet ,wwen i click on download voice from a slide in my project, it says an internet connection is needed!!!

    Any suggestions how to fix this ?


  • Polly

    No one seems to have answered the questions about whether it’s possible to obtain additional voices for use in Captivate 4. Where are you Adobe folks?

  • Lolly Chant

    It seems that the Download Voice button for downloading the text to speech in Captivate 4 now points to pages for downloading Captivate 5 and the Cap 5 voices (Captivate_5_Neo_Content_LS12.exe).

    However, after extensive searching of the Adobe website (they don’t make these older versions easy to find!!), I have found a download URL for text to speech for CAPTIVATE 4:


    Download the file, then double-click on the file to complete the installation (select Run if prompted). Note, just downloading the file does not install it.

    I hope this helps!

    • Chuckles

      Thank you so much for the legwork on the captivate 4 link!

    • 438 MB? anyways I’m going to download it and see. Thank you for the link Lolly!!

    • Thank you so much, it worked!

      • aldaine

        can u help with the installing process its giving me alot of trouble i installed it and i dnt see it

  • Udit

    Does someone has the VT folder in a zip format uploaded somewhere? Installation on Windows XP SP3 does not work and gives an error.

    Please let me know!!!

  • Phil

    I, along with many others, clearly want to know if it is possible to add new voices to CP4, particularly Julie and Bridget.
    Is nobody from Adobe capable of answering this question, or do you think that, by ignoring it, it will go away?
    Please do the decent thing, and answer the question.

    • Phil, as far as I know you cannot add new voices to Captivate 4. In Captivate 5 the SAPI for speech is used, and adding new voices becomes possible using the Standard Speech API.

  • Elizabeth

    Hi, is there anyway to speed up the voices? I’ve been trying different things, but nothing seems to speed his voice up!

    • Elizabeth, you’ll find detailed instructions for changing the speed and other properties of voices here for Loquendo voices (Simon, Juliette & Stefan) and here for NeoSpeech voices (Kate & Paul)

      In a nutshell for Loquendo enter the following
      Where 60 is any number from 0 to 100 (Scale 0-100)

      For Neospeech use the following;
      then the text to speak then a closing tag
      Where 50 is any number from 50 to 400 apparently representing percentile – eg. 100 is normal and 400 is chipmunk. ***NOTE: if you don’t close the vtml tag for NeoSpeech- the tag will just be ignored.

      • Sophia

        But how do you just speed up or slow down a particular word in the audio. For example, Paul says the word “dashboard” with a slight pause between dash and board, It sounds weird. Can I fix this. The speech sounds so robotic and unnatural.

  • Gavin P

    I’ve gotten the text-to-speech agents to work and even used the VTML tags to adjust speed and pauses but I can’t seem to hide the VTML tags in the closed captioning. I realize this is easier in Captivate 5 but the place where I am working only has Captivate 4.

  • Prakash

    I am trying to slow down the voice speed on Captivate 5.

    Is there a way to slow down the speech speed?

    Thank you

  • Jodi B.

    Has anyone heard about IVONA Text to Speech Voices? They sound even better than Loquendo and IVONA responded to my information request within an hour of submitting it. Loquendo has never returned a call or information inquiry. I definately hope Adobe Captivate Developers are talking with IVONA. Customer Service is awesome!

  • Lakshmihp

    does anybody know how to take audio directly from the video from where its being recorded?
    and not through a microphone.?

  • Sarah

    Can you edit the pitch of the voice without Audition? It’s really expensive to buy and it says it’s only available as part the Suite package, which I don’t have. Are there any other options?

  • Abbassi Shaheed

    Hi – I’ve got captivate 7 software all my videos and stuff turned great, exactly the way I wanted but I got a problem here. Thing is all my tutorials are professional and I cannot use my voice being south asian with a sloppy accent, I’ve tried couple of software but voice sounds like computer generated or something, can you please guide me if captivate 7 support some sort of a voice changer so I can comeover this hurdle? appreciate all your help.


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