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Balabolka Frequently Asked Questions

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I'm getting the error message "OLE error 80045042". What does that mean?
This error means: "The XML parser failed due to bad syntax." You must verify the syntax of the XML tags inside the text. Or, some part of the text looks like the start of an XML tag, and it is confusing SAPI. If you don't want to use XML tags, remove the symbols  "<"  and  ">"  from the text (or replace them by words "less than" and "greater than").
Where can I get SAPI 4?
To use SAPI 4 voices, download and install the redistributable Microsoft Speech API 4.0 file. Also, you may download and install the Microsoft Speech Control Panel; the Speech Control Panel will add an icon to your Control Panel to enable you to list the compatible text-to-speech engines installed on your system and customize their settings for your use.
Where can I get SAPI 5?
Windows XP (and later versions) comes with SAPI 5. If you use the previous version of Windows, you can get Microsoft Speech API 5.1 installer.
How do I know what Text-To-Speech voices have been installed on the computer?
You can view all the voices available on the computer by following Control Panel -> Speech -> Speech Properties -> Text To Speech -> Voice selection.
How can I make a silent installation of Balabolka?
To install Balabolka in silent mode without dialogs you may use a silent installation. A silent installation is available by using -silent command-line switch.
My computer contains two sound cards. How can I choose an audio device for text-to-speech playback?
You may select Speech in Control Panel of Windows and press the Audio Output button in the Speech Properties dialog box. Also, Balabolka contains the main menu item "Options | Audio Output".
I open a DjVu file, but the program doesn't show any text. What is wrong?
DjVu format was designed to store scanned documents. A DjVu file contains images of pages for books, magazines, etc. Also, DjVu can contain an OCR text layer. Balabolka can extract data from a text layer of DjVu only. If such layer is not available, the only way to get text is to use a text recognition system (for example, FineReader).
My computer is running the 64-bit version of Windows. I have installed the 64-bit Runtime package for Microsoft Speech Platform and the English voices. But the list of available voices is still empty. Where is a problem?
Balabolka is the 32-bit application. You need to install the 32-bit Runtime package for Microsoft Speech Platform also.
How can every line of a text file be converted to a separate audio file?
You may add two empty lines after every line with text in the document. Open the file in MS Word, choose the main menu item "Find and replace", wtite ^p at the field "Find", write ^p^p^p at the field "Replace to" and press the button "Replace all". Open the modified text file in Balabolka, choose the main menu item "Split and Convert to Audio Files"; choose the split method "by two empty lines in succession" and press the button "Split and convert".
How can I remove dashes in the beginning of paragraphs?
You should use the main menu item "Edit | Replace". Type ^p in the Find what box and ^p in the Replace with box. The program allows to use most of special codes from Microsoft Word:

Paragraph mark
Tab character
ASCII character (where nnn is the character code)
ANSI character (where 0 is zero and nnn is the character code)
Unicode character (where nnnnn is the character code)
Em dash ( )
En dash ( )
Caret character
Nonbreaking space
Any character (in the Find what box only)
Any digit (in the Find what box only)
Any letter (in the Find what box only)
Microsoft Windows Clipboard contents (in the Replace with box only)
Contents of the Find what box (in the Replace with box only)

Is it possible to use regular expressions for the menu items "Find" and "Replace"?
Yes, it is possible. If the text starts with %rex% into the "Find what" box, the application will treat the other part of the text as the regular expression. For example, if it is necessary to swap pairs of digits in the document, choose the main menu item "Edit | Replace", type %rex%(\d)(\d) into the Find what box, type $2$1 into the Replace with box, and then click the Replace All button. If the regular expression is used, the option "Match whole word only" is not available; the option "Match case" can be used only.
What is Google Text-To-Speech?
In Google Translate you can find a "Listen" button that converts text to speech. After pressing of this button a browser starts to download MP3 file. The service supports converting to speech texts not longer than 100 symbols. Balabolka allows to divide big text on small parts, create an audio file for each part and merge them together (WAV, MP3 and OGG formats are supported).
I use the voices eSpeak for converting of subtitles to audio files. But the result audio file contains speech without pauses. Where is a problem?
I strongly recommend not to use eSpeak for subtitle converting. These voices don't support the XML tag "silence"; the same problem was in the old versions of some other voices. It is recommended to use the latest versions of commercial software (Cepstral, CereProc, IVONA, etc.).
I am not satisfied, how Balabolka extracts text from PDF files. Can I use the other way for processing of PDF?
The process of text extracting from PDF files is complicated enough, because PDF files do not contain plain text. You may use an external command-line utility for text extracting: for example, the program pdftotext.exe from the Xpdf project. Copy pdftotext.exe to the subfolder "utils" in the folder of Balabolka, choose the main menu item "Options | Text Import", the tab "Custom Text Import", and press the button "Add". Define the command for using of pdftotext.exe:

%BFolder%\utils\pdftotext.exe -q -nopgbrk -enc UTF-8 %Input% %Output%

Define the name of the converter (for example, "Xpdf Converter"), file extension ("PDF") and output encoding ("UTF-8"). After activating of the option Use instead of default extracting method for this file type the program will be able to use the external utility for text extracting from PDF files.
What is Spritz-Reader?
Spritz is a a new speed-reading technology. It allows to speed reading rates anywhere from 100 to 1000 words per minute. The time consuming part of usual reading lies mainly in the actual eye movements from word to word and sentence to sentence. Spritz positions words in a spot on a display where you can recognize the word, without moving your eyes.
Windows 10 has the new voices Microsoft Mark Mobile and Microsoft Zira Mobile, but they are not available in text-to-speech software. Is it possible to unlock the new voices?
By default, the Microsoft mobile voice is locked for using in text-to-speech software via SAPI 5. You can unlock it with a simple registry tweak. Download the archive, extract the file for your language and for your version of the operating system ("mobile_x86.reg" for 32bit and "mobile_x64.reg" for 64bit), click the right mouse button on the file's name and choose the context menu item "Merge". The Microsoft mobile voice will appear in the list of the available voices in Balabolka.
Can I use the first line of text as the name of the audio file (for example, "01 Chapter One.mp3", "02 Chapter Two.mp3")?
Type %FirstLine% in the "Base Output Filename" box in the window "Split and Convert to Audio Files". The application will replace this variable by the first line of each text part. To change the position of the sequence number inside the filename, use the %Number% variable.
What is the IFilter interface?
The IFilter interface works with documents. It provides filters to extract information from proprietary file formats. Full-text search engines call the methods of the IFilter interface. IFilters are available for Adobe PDF, WordPerfect and many other popular file formats. You can get IFilter installers from respective vendors. is a good place to get started. Note that because Balabolka is the 32-bit application you may need to install the 32-bit version of IFilters.