I came across the excellent text-to-speech app, ClipSpeak, last week. It’s a freeware program that you can download here.
Installing and opening ClipSpeak
I extracted the .zip file to my desktop and created a shortcut on my Windows Taskbar for ClipSpeak. Open it up and you’ll notice that nothing happened. (You may notice a new yellow icon next to your clock.)
Open up anything with text. Yes, anything. A browser. A Word document. A .txt file. Highlight what you want read outloud can hit “copy” (Ctrl-C).
WHAT’S THAT SONOROUS NOISE?
Yes, that’s ClipSpeak reading you your copied text. You can right-click on the system icon of ClipSpeak (next to the clock, possibly buried under the ^ symbol) and increase/decrease the speed under Select Voice.
Why I love this
This is the most simple program ever. There is no interface. It does what you want it to do. Want it to stop reading? Quit the program and open it back up to clear the audio playback.