Friday, July 5, 2013

I'm Back!

Sorry that I've been MIA for so long. There have been other things in my life that have taken priority over updating the blog even on a weekly basis. Wednesday is not a good day for me to regularly update, so I will try Friday for a bit.

What have I been doing? There's an online game I play that's only around once a year. I was busy playing that last month, in between looking for a job and suddenly having a social life. Fortunately, I was NOT in the middle of editing or writing, so the break came at a perfect time for me.

For all five of my faithful readers, I do apologize.

Anyway, while I was playing my game, I discovered a neat trick relating to writing. I've heard it said for years that it's always best to hear your words read aloud. I've been fortunate to have a father that is willing to listen to me reading my stuff, but I can't get through a whole book like that.

A few years ago I decided to listen to my first book as I was cleaning up in the kitchen. I used the Adobe Reader program. While playing my game and listening to various music, I somehow remembered that Adobe had a read aloud feature.

It took some time to figure it out, but I found a way to listen to my stories while playing my mindless games. That way, I was being "productive." It would have helped if I made notes of what sounded wrong, but it still helped.

Now, if you happen to have both Word and Adobe on your computer, here's what you do. Take your finished document and save it as a PDF. Open Adobe and pull up the document. Under View, first set it to view a single page at a time. The last option under view is Read Out Loud. Select the option to Activate Read Out Loud.

Go to Document, and scroll down to Accessibility Setup Assistant. Keep hitting Next. On Screen 4 of 5, you will find the default option is to only show one page at a time if the document is over 50 pages. Select the middle option to read the entire document at once. Hit next again and select Done.

Go back to View. Scroll down to Read Out Loud and tell it to read to the end of the document.

Every now and then, the program will not obey and will ONLY read the current page. Move to the next page and tell it to read to the end of the document. If it disobeys again, close the program, go back to your last starting point, and turn on Read Out Loud again. It should work from there.

Now that you know how to listen to your work, you can join me in playing mindless games and still call that time productive. Or, you know, do chores or something. Have fun! See you next week!

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