Where are Read Aloud voices for Micorsoft Word?

Copper Contributor

I'm trying to use Read Aloud in Word and can only get access to "male" and "female" voices. I know there are others, Msft David, Msft Zira, and a whole bunch of others. I've used them in other programs. Where are they? How do I get access in Word? 


Ed B


ASUS laptop/Dell desktop, Windows 10 Pro up to date, Office 365 Personal, brand new. 

12 Replies

@EJBSFO It appears to be a bit random.


First I had two voices


Then I played around with the voices under Windows>Settings>Time & Language>Speech, previewing some of them,




then when I went back to Word, I had three voices, none of them being any of the original two (and not including the one that I had left as the default under Windows Settings





Thanks for the reply, Doug.

I'd already tried what you recommended but got nowhere with my Asus laptop running Win10 Pro. OTOH, my Dell Desktop running Win10 Home gives me access to several voices, including David and Zira, no problem. 


The settings are the same on the two, only the Pro vs Home is different. Is that part of it? It's the laptop I need the voices on, so this is frustrating. 


Here's something amusing: until recently, I was using LibreOffice rather than Word, and in LO I can get David and Zira to talk just fine. But I can't in Word? It was nonsense like this that moved me from Word to LO in the first place (after years of teaching Word to others!)


Would it be worthwhile to delete the voice packs and reinstall? Reinstall Windows? 




Based on some tests performed here, the voices that are available appear to depend upon the proofing language that has been applied to the text.

See my response to the following thread in the Answers Forum:

I've gone over your comment here and the link. As far as I can tell, I should be all set up to get David and Zira natural voices, but Word persists in offering only male and female robots on my Asus. Very frustrating. Any other suggestions? Reinstall? Reinstall Windows?
What version and build of Office are you using? Here, I have Version 2202 (Build 14931.20132 Click-to-Run) Current Channel.


I have the same version exactly. Rebooted after the latest download. 


From the Voices drop-down at Windows>Settings>Time & Language>Speech, do you see the list of Microsoft personalities - Hortense, Stefan, George, David, Cosimo, Hazel, Susan, Hedda, Zira, Catherine, Julie, Katja, Elsa, Mark, Paul, Sean, James? If not, make sure that Windows is up to date.
If yes, then try performing an On-Line repair of Office via the Control Panel. See the Knowledge Base article at:
I see David, George, Linda, Hazel, Susan, Catherine, Zira, Sabina, Richard, Mark, James, Raul and Sean. None of the others you mentioned, though. It's set to Microsoft Zira.

ASUS laptop runs Windows 10 Pro, 100% up to date. 21H2 19044.1586. I update weekly.

I removed Office completely, including using the SARA tool, then reinstalled, opened a doc, and the voices available are as before: male and female.

Why this is happening on my laptop (where I do my writing) and not my desktop I do not understand. Only difference is the desktop, a new Dell XPS, has Win10 home with intel i7, the laptop, a 1 year old Ryzen, runs Win10 pro.

Getting frustrated by this, though please know I much appreciate your help.


Ok, I finally solved it. It took a re-install of Windows, but now I get David, Zira and Mark in Word. Something in Windows must have been messed up.

Thanks for all your help.


This is not really a solution, but if you have to have David and Zira back, I stumbled upon an annoying way to cure the problem guaranteed. Cut your internet connection. Word in 365 will then display David, Zira and Mark. Probably any voice you have on your PC. I thought I was stuck with the new crappy male, female voices. Which I hate.

I have no idea why it is like that. I can’t find away to fix it. I use Word’s read aloud to edit my books. So I like switching from David to Zira depending on if it’s a male or female talking.
The new male and female voices have been slightly improved, but they still sound bland, choppy and they accent when they don’t need to. The old David and Zira read much more naturally and accent things like a question when it needs to be. A lot of people like the male, female. They must be reading office documents. Male Female are terrible for a story.

Like I said, terribly annoying work around. I have no choice. I hate the new male female voices.
OMGosh thank you!! I must have David!!

Well, the problem came back for me. Now nothing I do will bring back David and Zira. I even upgraded to Windows 11 (mistake) in hopes it would fix the problem. Nope.


BECcrittenden's 'fix' works. Except, it's not a fix if you have to disconnect from the 'net and the cloud just to get the voices back! Hellooo MSFT!


Here's a word processor that works perfectly with David and Zira plus a host of other voices: LibreOffice with the text-to-speech extension. Works better with MSFT's own voices than Word ever has, and you can even make changes to the text as the voice continues.


Just one of a long list of Word bugs that remind me why I stopped using it.