Speaking Email Announcer Eudora Plugin

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What is Speak!?

Speak! is an Eudora Pro Email plugin that uses Microsoft Agent to automatically announce new messages using a speech synthesizer and animated character. As a new message is received, the character will pop up and read who the message is from and the subject. Different animated characters can be selected and the messages to be announced can be customized.

What's it for?

I developed Speak! because I receive typically over one hundred email messages each day. I didn't like being distracted by wanting to check who an email message was from each time I got a new message, only to find it was some irrelevant or spam message. Now whenever a message arrives, I can listen to the message and decide if I want to bother reading it.


Why is Speak! free?

I developed Speak! for my own use since there wasn't any such product available at the time. I'm sharing this with everyone since it's quite a useful utility.

While there are several speaking email programs available, they typically check the POP server directly instead of working as a plugin. The drawback of this approach is that you can run into "pop-lock" if both Eudora and the other software try to connect to the POP server at the same time. Speak! uses Eudora's plugin architecture to link into the messaging system and it only gets loaded when a new message arrives.


What do I need to get going?

First of all, Speak! requires Quallcomm's Eudora Pro 4.0 or newer for Windows.

Next you will need to install the various Microsoft Agent files:

  1. Install Microsoft Agent Core Components
    version 2.0 (395K)

  2. If you are using Windows XP then you need to install Microsoft Speech API 4.0

  3. Install the Lernout & Hauspie TruVoice,
    Text-to-Speech Engine (English version)  (1MB).

  4. or other language versions are available from Microsoft

  5. Download some Agent Characters from the Agent Web Ring or from Microsoft Agent Downloads

Once you have downloaded and installed all the above files, you are ready to install Speak!


Installing Speak!

  1. Download the speak.zip file available below
  2. Extract the speak.dll file and copy it to your \Eudora\plugins directory
  3. Restart Eudora Pro
  4. Confirm that Speak! is shown in the Eudora Plugin list (see below)


How do I configure Speak!?

Speak! is configured from the Eudora Message Plug-ins Settings... from the Special menu. Select "Speak!" and click the Settings button.


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Enable Speak! - This turns Speak! on and off. With this checkbox deselected, Speak! will not announce any messages.

Say FROM - With this selected, Speak! will read the name of the person the message is from.

Say SUBJECT - With this selected, Speak! will read the subject heading of the message.

Say this first: - Speak! will read this text before saying FROM and SUBJECT.

Convert text to lowercase- Convert all text to lower case before speaking. This prevents messages using ALL CAPS from being spelled out character by character.


Filename: - This is the name of the Agent character file.

Select - Use this to select different Agent characters. The character files should be located in the "\windows\Msaganet\chars" directory.

Show open animation - Some Agent characters will show some animated sequence when they first appear on the screen. To disable this feature, deselect this checkbox.

X & Y Position - Sets the location that the character will appear on the screen. X=0, Y=0 is the top left of the screen.

Test Speech

Text to speak: - Type any text in here to test the character you have selected and to make sure Agent is working correctly.

Speak - Click this button to have Speak! read the text entered in the Text to speak area.


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Testing Speak!

  1. First make sure all of the required Microsoft Agent files are correctly installed. From the Speak! settings (see above).
  2. Select a character using the "Select" button.
  3. Enter some text in the Test Speech "Speak" area.
  4. Click on the "Speak" button.
  5. The character should pop up and read the text to you.
  6. Speak! is now ready for use.
  7. Next try sending an email message to yourself. When you receive it, Speak! should pop up and announce it.


Turing Speak! Off:

If you need to quickly disable Speak! while it is reading a message, double-click the character.

System Requirements:




By downloading the Speak! software, you agree to the following terms:

1. Speak! software is available free of charge and must not be resold or included with other software packages without prior authorization from William Hollingworth.
2. This software must not be distributed or copied without prior authorization from William Hollingworth.
3. No warrantees are given or implied. If it works great! If it doesn't I'll try to help, but I'm not responsible for any damage to your system.
4. Copyrights, brand names and trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
5. The Speak! software is Copyright (C) 1999-2000 William Hollingworth.



File Size Description
speak.zip 19kb Speak! Speaking Email Announcer Version 0.92 (000727)
speakreadme 11kb "Readme" file for Speak! Version 0.92 (000727)



I will continue to make improvements and updates to the software. If you would like to be notified when a new version is available, please send me an email message to: will@airmail.net.


Want to know more about Microsoft Agent?

For more information on Microsoft Agent, try the following sites:


For comments, questions, suggestions etc.:

Speak! is available from:


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