TechDis Voices (Jack and Jess)

TechDis voices are two high-quality, UK English voices (Jack and Jess) that can be used with text-to-speech tools to read on-screen text. They are installed on all managed cluster PCs along with TechDis Voices (Jack and Jess), a simple clipboard reading application.  

Listening to text from the screen may be helpful as a way of: 

  • understanding new text
  • proof-reading your own work

Jisc Techdis gives a helpful video introduction (transcript)

Getting Jack and Jess on your own computer

TechDis voices are free to students and staff.  You need to fill out a form before you can download them, full details are on the TechDis page How to get the Voices

Using TechDis Voices

TechDis Voices can be used within a wide range of applications:

Microsoft Word

Word Speak Selected Text

Word has a Speak Selected Text tool that can be added to the Quick Access Toolbar


Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader Read Out Loud

Current versions of Adobe Reader have a Read Out Loud function on the View menu.


Chrome extensions e.g. ChromeSpeak and SpeakIt are available from the Chrome Web Store

Clipboard Applications

Clipboard applications like ClipSpeak, Orato, DSpeech and Balabolka will automatically speak text that you copy to the clipboard.   We have installed ClipSpeak onto our managed clusters.


On Cluster PCs start ClipSpeak by selecting Programs then  LearningApps then ClipSpeak.

Start ClipSpeak

When ClipSpeak starts it places a small icon in the system tray.

When Active Clipspeak is in the system tray

Any text that is now copied to the clipboard is now spoken out.

 Useful ClipSpeak Keyboard Commands
  • To stop speech:  tap Right Control 
  • To disable ClipSpeak:  Hold down right shift and tap right control 
    When deactivated clipspeak icon in the system tray is blue
  • To change voice and speed settings right click on the clipspeak Icon
    Right Click to get ClipSpeak Settings

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