Skip to content
The Open University

Text-to-speech software

If you require specialist support and intend to study with us, or are currently studying with us, we recommend that you visit the Services for disabled students website to find out what support and assistive technology or adaptations may be available to you. This support is often tailored to specific needs and requirements.

However, there is a range of text-to-speech software options available online which you can try. The best one for you may depend on your needs and your computer. Here are some examples for you to consider.

Thunder is a free screenreader that works well with Windows XP, Vista and 7. It also works particularly well with the WebbIE browser.

Balabolka is a free text-to-speech program for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 and has a number of export options. For guidance on how to use Balabolka please refer to

NVDA screenreader works well with Chrome and Firefox on 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows XP or later and is free. Please note that you may experience stability issues when using NVDA screenreader with Internet Explorer.

VoiceOver is Apple's screen-access technology for Macintosh OSX users.  Press CMD+F5 to turn VoiceOver on and off. Further guidance and support is available here:

BrowseAloud Plus is no longer supported by the OU, however BrowseAloud (PC or Mac) can still be used with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

© The Open University   +44 (0)300 303 5303   Email us