Speak Cells – Empowering Excel to Speak

One of the really cool feature in excel is ‘Speak Cells’ which is again an unknown and under-utilized option in Excel. What it does is; it reads out the cell contents for you. It is very useful in case you want to tally the contents entered in excel with other source, may be the data in the paper.

If you highlight a cell or range of cells and click the speak cells option it will read back to us what is there in each cell, means it reads out the numbers or text to us. This is very useful if you have captured some data and you don’t have someone to assist you to check if you have entered it correctly or not. Excel can read it out while you are looking, for example, at the paper based input to see if the data is correct.

In order to use this option, first you need to add this to your Quick Access Tool bar.

Click on Customize Quick Access Tool bar, choose more commands – choose ‘All Commands’ from the drop down

Go down in the list below and look for the option ‘Speak Cells’


Below this option you will see few other options of “speak-cell” like

Speak Cells -Stop Speaking Cells, Speak Cells by Columns, Speak Cells by Rows, Speak Cells on Enter.

Let us select them one by one and click ‘Add’ button to add it to the Quick Access Tool bar.

Click on OK button to close this window and come back to our excel sheet.

Now if you place the cursor over the newly added options in Quick Access Tool bar, it displays its name there.



Now let us try the working of this option. We will highlight some cells, click the ‘Speak Cells’ – now you can hear the voice in the back ground, voice may not be clear in this video but I am sure you will properly hear when you do this yourself. Since by default the ‘Speak cells by column’ is selected, it reads out the data by column. Now we will choose the ‘Speak cells by Rows’. As you see the data is read in the first row and at the end it moves to second row and so on. This is great for checking the data which are already entered in to the sheet. Suppose if you want to readout the number as you type, then choose this option ‘Speak cells on Enter’. We will try typing some numbers and text. Hope you heard the voice in the back ground. Keeping this option ON always may be annoying, so you can switch if OFF by clicking on the option ‘Speak cells on Enter’ again. Hope these options will be of good use in your work. Thanks for your time.

Just to summarize the various options of speak cells-

Speak Cells – Excel starts reading out the values of the cells selected.

Stop Speaking Cells – This will stop Excel reading out the values.

Speak Cells by Columns – When this option is chosen along with the Speak cells, Excel will readout the cells by columns.

Speak Cells by Rows – When this option is chosen along with the Speak cells, Excel will readout the cells by rows

Speak Cells on Enter – This enables Excel to readout the value when we press the Enter key on Keyboard.


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