Dima Pavlenko // Software Developer

Microsoft Word Read Aloud No Sound Issue

The MS Word > Review [Tab] > Read Aloud feature turned out to be very useful for writing and reviewing scripts for my YouTube videos. Also for reading corporate emails and posts, mostly tech updates and senior tech-leads posts, as I first discovered our SharePoint based corporate website had this feature all this time.

Although it takes time to get used to the monotonic voice, it’s actually quite fluent and much better on the eyes and motivation, than reading the same script over and over again. Especially for very long and profound videos, like the upcoming video on my channel, about Wrist Picking guitar technique findings, that is currently 38 pages long! Originally written in Google Docs and downloaded to Word for the Read Aloud feature.

A problem I faced recently, was one day the Read Aloud player stopped producing any sound. Visually the player and word marking worked, but with no sound at all.

“Fixing” the MS Office 360 via Windows > Settings > Apps didn’t help.

I recalled the only recent change I could have made in any sound related preferences, was setting my Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 audio interface “buffer” size (a “chunking” size of audio bits to output, that effects your “latency” and CPU usage).

Cause: I probably forgot that I also switched to 48000 Hz recently after purchasing Mercurial 6160 III guitar amplifier VST plugin  (also has a standalone version with extremely low latency) for using with the audio interface Loopback feature, to play guitar on my YouTube streams.

Solution: apparently the Read Aloud feature supports Sample Rate of only 44100 Hz (a.k.a 44.1 kHz), so go to your audio interface settings (depends on the audio interface brand) and set the Sample Rate to 44100.

Sadly the software didn’t prompt any warning or error that no sound will be played or indication that it depends on it.

Anyway, I figured this post would be a nice addition to my blog, as it discloses a very neat productivity tool I began using this year (2023) and will hopefully help us, aspiring part-time YouTubers 🙂