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The Scottish Voice

A free computer voice (Heather, Stuart or Ceitidh) with a Scottish accent designed specifically for Scottish schools, Colleges, Universities and public bodies such as NHS Scotland.

Can be used with most 'text-to-speech' programs (text reader) to read documents back to you.

Use Heather, Stuart or Ceitidh with a text reader to:

  • Read electronic books;
  • Read PDF files (such as SQA exam papers);
  • Read worksheets and other documents in Microsoft Word;
  • Read web pages;
  • Create audio files using the voice;
  • Provide voice output for a communication aid.

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or, read on...

Requirements

  • A 'text-to-speech' program (text reader) that supports SAPI5 voices;
  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10;
  • or Mac OS X (Intel based processor type);

Don't know what a text-to-speech program is? Then find out more on our 'text-to-speech' page.

How does the voice work?

The Scottish voice is installed onto your computer and sits in the background. It's not an actual program you can open but more of a service that other programs can use.

Here's how text on your document or page is converted to speech:

  1. The text reader sends text from the document or web page to the computer voice;
  2. The text is converted to speech by the computer voice;
  3. The audio is read aloud.

What about the iPad and Android?

  • There is an Android version of Heather and an Android version of Stuart available on the Google Play store for £1.19;
  • The voice cannot be installed on an iPad or iPhone at a system level as this is not allowed by Apple. However, if an app producer has decided to include the voice on their app then it will work only work for this app.

Why do we need a Scottish computer voice?

We believe there is a strong cultural and educational imperative for pupils, students and people with disabilities in Scotland to be able to read and listen to Scottish educational and information resources spoken using a Scottish synthetic voice.

The Scottish Government funds CALL Scotland to provide a Scotland-wide schools licence for 'Heather', 'Stuart' and 'Ceitidh' (Gaelic voice) - high quality Scottish computer voices from CereProc in Edinburgh. The voices are licenced for schools, colleges, universities and NHS patients.

Is it free and where do I get it?

  • Do you have a valid Scottish school, public sector, College or University email address?
  • Or, do you require the voice for home use for a school pupil?

If the answer is yes or you meet the criteria in the list below then you can download it for free!

If you don't and still want to get it, you can purchase a copy from the CALL Scotland shop.

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The voices are licensed for non-commercial, non-profit personal,
educational and research purposes for
:

  1. State-run schools,
  2. Pupils at home,
  3. Scottish Colleges,
  4. Scottish Universities,
  5. Scottish Open University students,
  6. Scottish charities dealing with pupils and NHS patients,
  7. Scottish Local Authorities,
  8. NHS Scotland,
  9. Scottish government agencies and public sector in general.

The voices are not licensed for:

  1. Independent schools,
  2. Private companies,
  3. Scottish students studying abroad,
  4. and individuals not covered by the above.