Tips Tuesday: Using “Read Aloud” to Catch the Typos Your Brain Has Autocorrected for You

Today’s Tips Tuesday features a tip regarding one of the most under-rated features in Microsoft Word: Read Aloud.

Located under the “Review” tab in the ribbon, Read Aloud does exactly what it sounds like: it will read your document back to you, aloud so that you can hear the grammatical or wording errors you may have made when drafting. 

If you’re like me you like to torture yourself by going back and re-reading through a draft of a document or an e-mail that you just sent, and without fail this is when you catch a typos. It’s embarrassing and frustrating because if you’re like me you don’t like to make mistakes. In this situation, it’s likely that you proofread the document or e-mail many, many times looking for typos, yet still managed to miss it.

When we are the drafter of a document or e-mail, our brain knows exactly what it was we wanted to say and sometimes when we’ve made a typo, our brain auto-corrects or fills in the blanks for us despite the presence of the typo. The Read Aloud feature eliminates this problem because your brain cannot auto-correct for you.

With the Read Aloud feature you have a selection of computer generated voices, can change the speaking speed, and skip over or return to paragraphs that have already been read.

I have caught countless typos using this method and better yet, it assists a lot with grammatical typos – especially comma related typos because it allows you to hear that the reader didn’t take a pause where you expected one or took a pause in a place you didn’t want one.

-Charlene Scheffelmair

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