How to Make Microsoft Excel Speak Your Data Aloud

Microsoft Excel is one of the most popular spreadsheet applications you can find. You can use it to create, modify and manage all kinds of sheets for personal, professional or commercial purposes.

You may already be familiar with popular Microsoft Excel keyboard shortcuts, functions, and formulas, but did you also know that Excel can talk? Oh yes, it can.

With Speak Cells, you can have Excel read data from a cell, row, or column aloud. In this article, you’ll learn how to set up and use Speak Cells to read data into an Excel spreadsheet.

What you’ll need to use Speak Cells in Excel

First, you’ll need to make sure your computer’s audio is properly configured to play audio. Sound issues from your speaker output, cables, jacks, jacks, volume, speakerphone, headphone connections, audio drivers, or other sound settings can interfere with Speak Cells.

Second, you will need to manually enable Speak Cells in Excel. Talking Cells is one of many hidden features in Excel that you normally won’t find in the Ribbon area or Quick Access Toolbar.

How to Enable Voice Cells in Microsoft Excel

To add Speak Cells to the Quick Access Toolbar in Excel:

  1. Open the Microsoft Excel desktop application and click To file.
  2. Scroll all the way down the left pane and click Choice.
    Enable Speak, click File Options
  3. Click on Quick access bar, then click the Choose commands from drop-down list to change the selection of “Popular Commands”.
    Enable Speak Change Popular Commands All Commands
  4. In the list, click All orders.
  5. The commands are listed in alphabetical order. So drag the scroll bar or scroll the list of commands all the way to the bottom and click talk about cells, then click To add.
    Activate Speak click to add Speak cells
  6. The Speak Cells command should now be visible under the Customize the Quick Access Toolbar panel.
  7. Note that older versions of Excel may list different Speak Cells commands. Click and add them one by one.
  8. Click on Okay once you have finished.
  9. If you can’t find the talk about cells tab, click the Ribbon display options drop-down list at the far right of the ribbon.
    Enable speak click Show Quick Access Toolbar
  10. From Show Ribbon menu options, click Show quick access toolbar. The Talk Cells tab will appear in the Quick Access Toolbar at the opposite end of the Ribbon area.


The Speak Cells feature is available in Excel 365 and earlier versions. Now let’s see how to use Speak Cells to read Microsoft Excel data.

Related: The best text-to-speech Chrome extensions

How to Use Speak Cells in Microsoft Excel

  1. Launch the Microsoft Excel desktop application and open an existing sheet or create a new one.
  2. Select the cells, rows, and columns you want Speak Cells to read aloud to your audition.
  3. Click on talk about cells and Narrator will start reading the content of your selection, much like your Google Assistant player.
    Play Talk Cells
  4. You can also have Speak Cells read your data without selecting or specifying a cell range. Simply click on any neighboring cell of a cell, row, or column with an entry, and playback will begin.
  5. With auto-scroll, data or text in the active cell (being read) will be highlighted and displayed inside the Formula bar. It helps you keep up and keep up.

However, without playback controls, there’s no way to pause, resume, or stop playback once Speak Cells starts playing. This is a serious drawback that must be corrected as soon as possible.

Speak Cells works with your Windows Narrator settings. To change this, press windows key > Control Panel > Speech recognition > text to talk.

Click on Text-to-speech

From here you can adjust your Voice Selection and voice speed.

Related: How to Set Up and Manage the Read Aloud Feature in Microsoft Edge

Let Excel do the talking

Microsoft Excel’s Speak Cells feature can help you cross-reference large amounts of data faster and more accurately. Simply select the cells to check and let Speak Cells do the rest.

Speak Cells is even more useful for the visually impaired, as it can read aloud to their hearing, taking them and helping them visualize the data in their minds.

With Speak Cells, you won’t have to worry about prolonged sitting, eye strain, and reading fatigue from long periods of reading. You can also find similar text-to-speech features in Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

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