Balabolka is a free text-to-speech engine that boasts quality and flexibility worthy of a paid app.
Balabolka is a Text-To-Speech (TTS) program. All computer voices installed on your system are available to Balabolka. The on-screen text can be saved as a WAV, MP3, MP4, OGG or WMA file. The program can read the clipboard content, view text from documents, customize font and background colour, control reading from the system tray or by the global hotkeys. Supported file formats: AZW, AZW3, CHM, DjVu, DOC, DOCX, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LIT, MOBI, ODT, PDB, PRC, PDF, RTF, TCR, WPD.
Portable Version: Download ( MB)
Portable Balabolka does not require an installation and can be run from a USB drive.
A computer must have at least one voice installed.
Command Line Utility: Download ( KB)
The utility contains no graphical user interface and works only from the command line.
The application handles various command line parameters to be able to read text aloud or save as an audio file.
Text Extract Utility: Download ( KB)
The program allows to extract text from the various types of files. The extracted text can be combined into one file or/and split into few files. The utility works from the command line, without displaying any user interface.
* Balabolka is a Russian word, it can be translated as "chatterer".
Balabolka supports skins that allow you to customize your window appearance.
Download Skin Pack (6.7 MB, 108 skins)
The program can use SAPI 4.x/5.x voices and the Microsoft Speech Platform text-to-speech engines.
All voices for SAPI 4 became obsolete; they are not recommended for installing anymore.
Use the fresh versions of speech engines.
RealSpeak TTS engine (free voices, published on the server of Microsoft):
Yaroslav Kozak (Lviv, Ukraine) created the Ukrainian voice UkrVox:
Ekho - free TTS engine (it supports Cantonese, Mandarin and Zhaoan Hakka):
To get better voice quality, you can buy commercial TTS engines.
High Quality Commercial Voices:
Microsoft Speech Platform
The Microsoft Speech Platform allows developers to build and deploy Text-to-Speech applications. The Microsoft Speech Platform consists of a Runtime, and Runtime Languages (engines for speech recognition and text-to-speech). There are separate Runtime Languages for speech recognition and speech synthesis. The version of the Runtime Languages must match the version of the Speech Platform that you installed.
Use the following steps to install the Microsoft Speech Platform (version 11.0):
The Microsoft Speech Platform currently provides support for 26 languages for speech synthesis. XML tags can be used both for SAPI 5 and the Speech Platform.
Balabolka can use Hunspell (hunspell.github.io). Hunspell is the default spell checker of OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice and Mozilla Firefox.
Spell checker dictionaries for Windows:
Balabolka can use language modules from Microsoft Office 97/2000 for spell checking. If Microsoft Office is not installed on your computer, or you use the other version of Microsoft Office, you can download spell checking components from my web-site:
Balabolka allows to use the spell checking built in operating system. The Spell Checking API is available beginning with the Windows 8.