Text to speech in Adobe Captivate 5.


Text to speech was introduced in Captivate 4 and I am sure many will have used it to generate professional narration audio instead of the manual narration to generate  high quality learning content.

Text to speech does the same functionality in Captivate 5 as it used to do in Captivate 4, i.e. it converts the text to speech. The distinctive part being that it has quite a number of enhancements to make it even more easier to use.


Following are the Enhancements in “Text to speech” feature in Captivate 5.

1. Dedicated Speech management dialog for every slide.

2. Multiple speakers can be used to generate speech in a slide.

3. Slide notes, Closed Captions and Text to speech share a common slate. They are tightly coupled leading  to closer integration between these three features.

4. Re-ordering of text in the Speech management dialog.

5. New speakers from Loquendo.

6. Custom speakers can be installed on the system.

7. Project level speech management dialog.

Let me explain each of the above enhancements.

1. Dedicated Speech management dialog for each slide



This is the Slide notes panel. Slide notes panel can be invoke from Window >> Slide notes or by using the shortcut “Control + Alt + N” in Windows or “Command + Option + N” on MAC. The Speech management dialog for a slide can be invoked by clicking on the “Text to speech” button

Clicking on the “Text-To-Speech” button will invoke the speech management dialog for the slide as shown above. Each slide will have a dedicated speech management dialog.

Label Headings

A: Speech Agent Selection Drop down. B: Add TTS Text. C: Delete TTS text. D: Save button.

E: Close button. F: Slide label G: Generate audio button. H: Help link.

2. Multiple speakers can be used to generate speech for a single slide


In Captivate 5 with the help of Speech management dialog multiple speakers can be used to generate speech. Following snapshot shows the use of multiple speakers.

The workflow to use multiple speakers is as follows

1. Invoke the Speech management dialog for the slide from the Slide notes panel

2. Select the speaker in the Speech agent drop down.

3. Click on the “+” button to add TTS (Text to speech) text with the selected speaker.

4. Perform steps 2 and 3 to add text with different speakers.

5. To generate speech for the text. Click “Generate audio” button

6. To save the TTS text changes and to generate speech at a later stage, click on the “Save” Button.

3. Tight Coupling between Slide notes, Closed Captions and Text to speech.

The Speech management dialog , Slide notes panel  and Closed captions dialog share a common slate. i.e. Editing a Slide note which is a TTS and CC will reflect the changes in Speech Management dialog and Closed Captions dialog. Editing a Closed Caption which is also a TTS will reflect the changes in Speech management dialog and Slide notes panel. Similarly editing a TTS text which is a closed caption will reflect the changes in Slide notes panel and Closed captions dialog.

-Adding TTS from Slide Notes Panel

1. Add few slide notes in Slide notes panel and enable the Slide notes for TTS using the Checkbox present under the TTS column.

2. Launch the Speech management dialog for the slide and notice that all the Slide notes with TTS enabled appear in this dialog.

3. Now select a TTS text in the Speech management dialog and select the Speaker. Click on “Generate audio” to generate audio for the TTS text with the set speakers.

-Adding  CC from the Slide notes panel

1. Add few slide notes in the Slide notes panel and enable the slide notes for CC( after importing audio to the slide) using the CC checkbox present in the CC column.

2. Launch the Closed Captions dialog by clicking on the “Closed Captioning” button

3. Notice that the Closed Captions are distributed in the audio.

4. Re-ordering of the TTS text.

In Captivate 5 you have the flexibility to write the text in random sequence and then re-order the text to suite your needs by drag drop of TTS text over other text.

5.  New Speakers from Loquendo.

In Captivate 5, three new speakers from Loquendo are added. Loquendo’s voices are expressive, clear, natural and fluent; and would be a great complement to the current set we have. Captivate 5 will offer 3 new voices from Loquendo: Stefan (German), Juliette (French), and Simon (British English).

6. Custom Speakers can be installed on the system.

Captivate 5 picks up the speakers installed on the system. The speakers can be the default ones installed on the operating systems, or voices from third-party vendors that  you have purchased and installed as system speakers. Captivate detects these speakers and lists them in the Speech Management dialog box. You can then select these voices to convert text to speech.

 Note:  Captivate supports NeoSpeech and Loquendo voices that are installed on the system as system speakers. For Neo speech you need to install the Win Speech API compliant SAPI5version of the speaker. Successful installation of the speaker would list it in the System accessibility speakers list. Captivate picks up these speakers and they can be used to convert text to speech .


7. Project level Speech management dialog

 This is the snap of Speech management dialog – project level. This dialog can be invoked from Audio >> Speech management. This dialog lists all the slides present in the project and the TTS text present in the slides. It is possible to add/edit/delete  the TTS text across slides and generate speech in one shot using this dialog.

In the coming weeks i will post more details on this feature. Stay Tuned !!

69 Responses

  1. Great article. If I were to use C5 and TTS to generate audio narration in several different languages (in addition to English, German, and French), where would I purchase the additional voices? Or, does Windows 7 already include Narrator voices in most languages?

  2. In Captivate 5 as i have mentioned the system accessibility voices will be shown in the Speech management dialog. In Windows 7 whatever narattor voices are present they would be listed Captivate. I think, to get Win 7 narrator voices in different languages you should install them.You can also buy the voices from third party vendors like NeoSpeech, Loquendo and install them. Captivate would detect the new voices and the same gets listed in the Speech Management Dialog.

    • I asked Loquendo for information about purchasing additional non-English voices for use directly within Captivate, and the Loquendo rep said this was not possible–that any additional voices would not be integrated into Captivate. Here is the response from Loquendo.

      “As per Adobe Inc choice,Adobe Captivate 5 incorporates 3 Loquendo TTS voices: UK English Simon, German Stephan and French Juliette; Loquendo TTS has been integrated into Adobe Captivate 5 by Adobe and it is redistributed by Adobe (SW and license); any additional voices added outside Adobe Captivate package is not integrated in Captivate.
      You can purchase the audio files generator license from Loquendo that should be installed in a separate computer and you can use audio files generated in Captivate by loading them as an external file.”

      Is this your understanding as well?

      • Joel,

        I have a similar requirement. I need to integrate American English voices from Loquendo. I have tried reaching out to Loquendo for information on their product profiles and pricing . I haven’t heard back from them at all. Can you share information about how you integrated any external voice from Loquendo or otherwise to C5?


  3. Hi Sandra,Yes you can install Spanish Speakers on the system, after installation relaunch captivate and open the Speech management dialog. The speech agent selection drop down would list the speakers for you. Point no. 6 in the blog post mentions this.Thanks

  4. Please provide additional instructions for obtaining the speech agents. I used Captivate 4 with Paul and Kate. I converted to Captivate 5 but only have Microsoft Sam–the others do not appear. Unlike Captivate 4, the eLearning Suite installation does not show an option to install text to speech. I’m using Windows 7 if that helps.

  5. Hi TerranceYou need to run the Speech installer for the speech agents to be listed in Captivate 5. The installer is present in the Goodies Folder.There are two installers available. One for Neo speech installer ( to use Kate and Paul) Second one for Loquendo speakers ( Simon, Juliette and Stefan)

  6. I installed the trial version of Captivate 5 to see if I want to upgrade from Captivate 4. Problem is I don’t see the Goodies Folder to check out the voices. All I get are very digital sounding LH Michelle and LH Michael. If I buy the upgrade will the good voices be there or are they hidden in the trial version somewhere?

  7. Hi Susan,If you have downloaded a trial version of Captivate then you should download the voice installers seperately, The installers can be downloaded from the same web page where you downloaded Captivate.If you have bought captivate then the DVD has an Add-Ons folder and the Voice installers are present inside this folder.No ,You cannot use Neo Speech voices from Captivate 4 to Captivate 5.

  8. Hi Leigh,If you have downloaded a trial version of Captivate then you should download the voice installers seperately, The installers can be downloaded from the same web page where you downloaded Captivate.-Ashwin

  9. When I open a previous project that uses Kate on all the slides, how do I change all of them to now use Simon? I tried using the Speech Management dialog, but changing the Speech Agent at the top doesn’t do anything. So I tried clicking on the first TTS area and can change that one to Simon, but it won’t let me change the 2nd, 3rd, etc. after that. Help?

  10. Hi,

    I have been using the new voices in Cp5 from Loquendo, and have been able to edit and customise the Loquendo dictionary to include custom pronunciation, phrase, and words.

    I have also been able to use another voice on my system Nuance – RealSpeak – NextUp – ScanSoft voices. In my case I have been using the Karen Australian voice. I was wondering if anyone else has been able to customise a Nuance – RealSpeak – NextUp – ScanSoft voice to include new pronunciations.

    If anyone knows how to update these voices, please let me know.

    Kind regards,


    • Hi Duncan,

      How did you manage to customise the Loquendo dictionary to include custom pronunciation? I have been trying to find published docs for CP5 on this, but Adobe only has for CP4 at the moment

      Also, do you happen to know if the ‘Expressive Cues’ Loquendo feature works in CP5?

      Many thanks for your reply


  11. I have been unable to get the ScanSoft voices to work in Captive 5. When I click the Generate Audio button, it asks if I want to change it and then says it cannot generate audio for slide “x”.

    Also, my client is in the process of purchasing the whole Loquendo TTS Director product. Since the only voices that come with Captivate 5 are not English speaking and I cannot see the ability to “tweak” the voices like you can in Director – I would assume that we need to continue buying the Loquendo product. Can I embed Director in to Captivate so I do not have to work with the audio files outside of Captivate 5?

  12. I purchased Captivate 5.0 and was told by Adobe Support that the new NeoSpeech Julie voice was included, which is why we were purchasing an upgrade from 4.0. It is not in there? Can she be included???

    • Cindy, that is correct – only Kate and Paul (Neospeech) and Juliette, Simon & Stefan (Loquendo) voices are included in Captivate 5. If you’d like to request new features (or even new voices) the best path is the captivate-wish mailing address – it’s always at the right column of pages on our blog and i’ve linked it here for your convenience. Remember to say ‘why’ you want the voice added so we’ll know what makes it an important feature for you.

  13. Ashwin,

    TEXT TO SPEECH ISSUE: I just upgraded to C5 and have several dozen projects created in c3 or c4. When I open a project from these older versions in C5 the audio is not working properly for either the recorded voice or the computer generated TTS. when I play the movie (F4, F8, or F10) the audio speed somehow has been reduced to a crawl so the playback sounds terrible. Only if I play one slide at a time (F3) does the audio play normally. I downloaded the most recent updates, I even regenerated the audio on 5 slides and replayed only them with F10 but I cannot fix the problem

  14. The only voice I have in Captivate 5 is Microsoft Sam. The program was loaded on my pc by our IT department, and I was told they did it from a download and don’t have discs. How do I get the Cp5 voices?

    • Hi Karen,
      The Speakers for Text to speech dont get installed with Captivate. They are seperate installers and needs to be installed manually.
      Follow these steps to install the speakers
      1. Close Captivate if already open
      2. Open this page : http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=captivate
      3. Login using your Adobe ID and in the page youcan find to download the Neo speech and Loqundo Speakers.
      4. Download the installers and install one at a time.
      5. After installation is successful relaunch captivate and you will find the speakers.

      Let me know if this worked.


      • I have used Captivate for many years and am very familiar with the functions of the text-to-speach. In the past my IT department has installed the software and the voices. I have just completed the download of CP5.5 and the NeoSpeach file. Yet when I try to complete the text-to-speach conversion, I get an error that the NeoSpeach file is not loaded. I have restarted my computer, I let the downloads for both Captivate and NeoSpeach write to their default files, yet Captivate is NOT seeing the additional voices for Kate and Paul in the NeoSpeach files. How do I get the Captivate program to “see” the file and make these voices available?

  15. Dr. P- No it doesn’t. I pulled in a Cp4 project and tried to edit some existing TTS on a slide(Kate) and Microsoft Sam is the only vioice option that shows.
    We just received the eLearn Suite installed from a download, but I still have Cp4 installed on my computer. Is there a way to at least get Kate and Paul from Cp4 into a location where Cp5 can “see” them?

  16. Is it possible in Captivate 5 to use the TTS function and hav the audio as mp3 files – right now they are all recorded as wav – and my project is getting very large by now…. Is it posiible to set soem prefernces which allows Captivate Text to Speech to generate files in a lower quality and decrease the size this way?

    • Marlene, they are converted to MP3 when you publish. The files are kept as WAV files internally to ensure maximum quality while authoring.
      To export the file as MP3 you can go to the Audio Manager (Audio:Advanced Audio Management), select the slides you want to export. Uncheck include wav files in export, check the box for include mp3 files in export, and then click the export button. Now you could reimport that mp3 file and put it in your library – and see that its some 15x smaller than the original Wav sound, but as soon as you edit it, or associate it to the slide etc. Captivate will reconvert it to a wav, so you won’t really benefit in any way in the authoring environment.

      If however what you want is to just optimize the audio file sizes of the output project, go to Audio: Audio Settings and adjust the bitrate. Variable bitrate will adjust the amount of memory used to define given portions of the sound based on waveform complexity, higher bitrate settings will result in higher quality, but also larger file sizes. To get smaller file sizes, turn the bitrate size down, but be sure to listen, as quality is a personal choice. You can also watch an eSeminar about sound including tips for optimization here.

  17. Is it possible to add more than one voices into one slide? Now I need to add some different voices into one slide and play them one by one at different time. While I could find that just one voice could be added into one slide. Is it right or not? Thanks!

    • Sure LT, just select the line with the voice name and change it – you can use as many as you like. You can also associate them with individual elements – like captions, rather than the slide itself. I often find this approach easier to work with / adjust timing on the timeline.

      • Allen, I still could not understand you. Every time I import the voice or add TXT-to-Speech voice into a slide, it will merge into the original voice and become one voice. Please give me the details or a video to do it. Thanks!

        • LT,

          I’ll try to elaborate. Each time you record TTS, you can generate a unique audio wave file, by ensuring that you delete the audio associated with the currently selected slide is ‘Removed’. Because Captivate always stores your media (even removed audio files) in the library, you can create a collection of audio files that you are then free to associate with captions. So here are the steps.

          1. Select a slide with no audio associated.
          2. Type caption(s) into the notes for the slide.
          3. Enable closed captions for the current audio clip / caption. (don’t enable it for all the captions, just the one you want to associate with caption n)
          4. Click the button for TTS Editor in the notes /cc dialog.
          5. In the TTS dialog choose the voice you want to associate with the currently selected caption.
          6. Click Generate TTS
          7. Close the TTS dialog.
          8. Right click the slide and choose find in library.
          9. Note the name.
          10. Right click the slide and choose remove audio.
          11. Select the caption you want to associate the audio to.
          12. Choose Audio in the Prop inspector while the caption is selected.
          13. Choose Library from the audio dialog (bottom).
          14. Choose the file from the library (you noted the name in step 9)

          Repeat as needed. (This is of course not an ideal workflow at all. You could record audio – or associate the audio directly from the caption Props as well. I suspect that the recording of captions is not generally a requested feature because a.) if its done for ADA/508 compliance Jaws or other readers will just read the caption. b.) cognitive eLearning Theory has a principle called the redundancy principle which suggests that reading the same text that exists on screen verbatim, will generally cause difficulties to learning (it has to do with Paivio’s theories – wrt Dual Coding).

          Hope this helps you sort it out. – Allen

  18. I am converting projects from Cap 4 to Cap 5. The Cap 4 projects use voice recordings, and I want to change them to TTS using the exact text that is presented in on-screen captions. In Cap 4 I could insert TTS on multiple rows in the timeline, then set timing to start TTS when the on-screen caption displays. So I would end up with multiple TTS audio rows in the timeline.

    Am I missing something – it seems I can’t do that in Cap 5, Multiple TTS rows per slide are implemented in one audio file in the timeline.



    • Mike, i think this might be a workflow for you:
      1. Select the on screen text line to be generated as audio.
      2. Open the TTS Panel and generate audio for that line.
      3. Remove the audio from the slide (right click the slide: Audio: Remove).
      4. Select the caption itself: under the Prop Inspector, choose Audio: Library: and associate the new audio file.
      I can see how this workflow could become tedius, so i’m filing an enhancement request that asks for TTS generation direct from captions.

  19. Hi guys, I already asked this question before, but i cant seem to find a way to “caress’ the voices. I just published my project and the voices skip. A last word of every slide is being skipped.
    I tried inserting silence after the audio is finished, however the problem is still there. Please help.


  20. Hi All…..it’s late …..am frustrated and have a question. Am using Windows 7 & Captivate 5. Want to add two new voices. Have created a new folder in Captivate – VT – _ _ _ _ and placed content in folder. Captivate should recognize and place on the Speech Management option. It does.

    BUT…..when I go to use ….it is Microsoft Anna.

    What am I missing??


    • I am having the same problem. My Captivate 5 came with the Acrobat X Suite. I have downloaded the two files from the “try” Captivate download site. I have installed them, proud of myself because I figured out how to do that with no instructions. The VT and Loquendo files are in the Catptivate 5 program files.
      In Captivate I click text to speech on the slde notes and select a voice “Paul” That voice is now checked but when I click generate audio it is Microsoft Anna that plays. I am on windows 7 and I did find in their text to speech that Anna is the only one listed and set as the default. Could Windows 7 be overriding Captivate?
      I too am frustrated … What are we missing?

      • Just one more thing that I think might be the problem my laptop is 64bit.
        From reading the Microsoft blog on text to speech I think this might be an issue. If so where can I get voices that will work?

          • By Mary – 6:28 PM on May 5, 2011 Reply
            Thanks for the video it did the trick. I wasn’t clicking on the proper location to in Speech Management screen. The line above the text which shows the assigned voice, but not on the arrow that worked!!!
            Is there a way to set a default voice?
            Thanks so much, Mary

  21. Thanks for the video it did the trick. I wasn’t clicking on the proper location to in Speech Management screen. The line above the text which shows the assigned voice, but not on the arrow that worked!!!
    Is there a way to set a default voice?
    Thanks so much, Mary

  22. I have a question…hope this is the forum…can i easily convert existing speech to a different agent in and re-generate all slides at one time…? Is there a speech-to-text feature where i can talk the slide notes into a mic and then select a speech agent?

    • Yes, Converting the agent for an existing text is possible. Invoke the speech management dialog and select the text (Multi select using Control + select) and then change the speaker.

      Sorry, there is no “Speech to Text” feature in captivate.

    • Denise, there is no Speech to Text, so while you can convert Text to Speech, you cannot convert Speech to Text. You can switch speech agents by changing the name associated in the speech editor and then press generate speech again.

  23. Hi, I have downloaded the C5 trial version and trying to use the text to speech functionality.
    I have installed the Neospeech for Windows already. But my speech agents list shows me only ‘Microsoft Anna’ voice. I do not see ‘Kate’ or ‘Paul’ in the list. Can someone please help asap?

  24. Hi, I installed trial version of Captivate 5 for Mac and then downloaded Loquendo voices. I can create text to speech into slides, but when I play the slide it only says “warning there is no valid license on this system”. I tried it for the Simon voice

    Does Loquendo not work for trial adobe captivate

  25. Hi. Can some please tell me how i actually add up the speakers voices to Captivate. I have downloaded them but dont know how to get them up on Captivate. I have lookked but cannot find instructions on this.
    Many thanks,

    • Make sure the Captivate application is closed. You will need to find a file called Adobe Captivate 5.5 Content. When you dowloaded from the Adobe site, the download should have created a file on your desktop called Adobe Captivate 5.5 Content. Navigate through Adobe Captivate 5.5 Content – Addons – NeoSpeach Text to Speach Voices, then click on CpExtrasCLI.exe to run this executable. That will link the voices to the Captivate.

      • Hey, Killockt you just saved me a load of hassle. Why the hell don’t they tell you to do this when they give you the links to download the packages? I’ve spent hours trying to work out how to get this working and at last after reading your instructions, hey presto! Thanks. Merv

  26. Hi, I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this question as it is kind of the opposite to the subject of discussion:
    Is it possible to automatically generate captions from recorded voice in Captivate. (I intend to speak in French, but English might be a possibility too).

  27. Trying to access Paul’s voice for Captivate 5.0. It appears the link that was used before only goes to 5.5. Is there a separate link that I can use to get it for 5.0



  28. I am having the same problem Sean is having. I have Captivate 5.0 and need the Loquendo or NeoSpeech files. Only the files for 5.5 appear to be available.

  29. I spoke with Adobe about this and they were supposed to put the links for the Captivate 5 voice packs on the Captivate page. I guess this never happened? Please note, I’m not employed by Adobe. I’m an eLearning developer. Please go to the links below to either download the Captivate 5 trial and also to download the Captivate 5 Loquendo and NeoSpeech voice packs.

    Please spread the word about my site: http://www.dgsdesigns.com
    I do custom Flash, Graphic design and eLearning development. Thanks!

    Captivate 5 trial. Download both files:

    Captivate 5 voice packs:


    • Try putting a comma or a period where you want the pause. It won’t be correct to look at or read, grammar-wise but it will put a pause in. Your other option is to edit the speach audio file and use the “insert silence” and add 0.2 – 0.5 seconds of silence to effect a pause.

  30. Okay, I give up. Where is the darn option to change all slides from Kate to Paul or vice versa?
    Surely you don’t have to edit every single slide. You can Ctrl-A easy enough to tag all, but there is no way to select a different speaker without losing your tags.

  31. Hi. Has anyone tried to change the emphasis of a word using Loquendo tags? It seems the emphasis tag that´s included in their online manual doesn´t work. Mixing pitch and speed doesn´t work either. Thanks!

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