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How to get Excel to speak to you - reading out the contents of cells
Part three of a three-part series of blogs

Deep within its bowels Excel contains a feature allowing it to read out the contents of cells (you can also get your VBA macros to talk to users). This blog goes to those deep places hidden within Excel!

  1. Getting Excel to answer back!
  2. Getting Excel to read out cell contents
  3. Getting Excel VBA to speak to you (this blog)

Posted by Andy Brown on 12 August 2013

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Getting Excel VBA to speak to you

The previous part of this blog showed how you can get Excel to read things out to you, but you can also perform the same trick in VBA.

Newcomers to VBA might like to read the first bit of our Excel VBA tutorial at this point, before proceeding further, or even consider booking one of our training courses in VBA.

Basic speaking

Here's a basic subroutine to speak to you:

Sub SaySomethingSimple()


'say something!

Application.Speech.Speak ("Wise Owl")


End Sub

The Speak method has 3 arguments, but only the first one is of any interest, as this Microsoft page demonstrates.

Reading out the first n primes

If you want to get Excel to do this, you could run this macro!

Sub ReadPrimes()


Dim ThisNumber As Integer

Dim i As Integer

Dim IfPrime As Boolean


'hideously inefficient algorithm!

For ThisNumber = 2 To 100

IfPrime = True

For i = 2 To Int(Math.Sqr(ThisNumber))

If ThisNumber Mod i = 0 Then

IfPrime = False

Exit For

End If

Next i


If IfPrime Then Application.Speech.Speak CStr(ThisNumber)


Next ThisNumber


End Sub

Reading out cell contents 

Probably the best use of Excel speech is to read out the contents of cells.  This nifty macro would read out the contents of all of the values in column A, colouring each in as it went:

Sub ReadCellValues()

Dim DataRange As Range

Dim DataCell As Range

'get reference to range of data


Set DataRange = Range( _

ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0), _


'loop over cells, reading each

'and then colouring in

For Each DataCell In DataRange

DataCell.Interior.Color = RGB(250, 220, 240)

Application.Speech.Speak ( _

Replace(DataCell.Address, "$", "") & _

" = " & _


Next DataCell

End Sub

Here's the macro in action (the data is actually my scores at an app called Scramble, if you must know):

Colouring and reading out cells

The macro has read out so far:


As you can see from the above three examples, the world of speech is now your oyster!

  1. Getting Excel to answer back!
  2. Getting Excel to read out cell contents
  3. Getting Excel VBA to speak to you (this blog)
This blog has 2 threads Add post
01 Jul 20 at 15:19

Is there any possibility in Excel to make it speak in other languages (Dutch for exeaple) using VBA ("application.speech"). I don't seem to be able to select a Dutch voice with "speech.Getvoices.item(x)", although I have a Dutch voice in Windows 10.

01 Jul 20 at 15:47

I honestly don't know!  Anyone else ever seen this?

03 Jul 20 at 11:59

I found the answer myself. This site is great. And it works. I have a Dutch voice now in Excel. Should work for all other languages you can download from Microsoft.

Andy B  
03 Jul 20 at 12:06

That's so cool!  Although slightly scary too, as it involves editing the registry.  I haven't tried it - I think I'll stick with Microsoft English ...

26 Sep 16 at 11:33

I just read this article about "Getting Excel vba speak to you".  My question is if you could help me setting up my excel sheet to speak a few selected cells when I press the "calculate" button.  Is this possible to do with excel?  I have about 8 cells that gives me some calculation results that I would like to be read when I press the calculate button.

26 Sep 16 at 16:04

I've written a separate blog explaining how to do this.

27 Sep 16 at 11:09

Thank you so much for replying to my message on your blog.  It worked perfectly! Now, I just click the calculate button and then excel speaks the cells I've chosen.