Speak! Speaking Email Announcer for Eudora Windows

July 27 2000
Version 0.92 (000727)
by William Hollingworth
email: will@airmail.net


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.


1. Quallcomm Eudora Pro 4.0 or newer
2. Windows® 95, Windows 98, Windows NT® 4.0 (x86), or Windows 2000
3. A Pentium 100-MHz PC (or faster)
4. At least 16 MB of RAM
5. At least 1 MB free disk space for the core components
6. An additional 2-4 MB for each character you install.
7. An additional 32K for each language component (dll).
8. MFC4 DLLs


Software Installation

  1. Install all of the following required Microsoft Agent files:

    (Microsoft Agent Core Components version 2.0 (395K))

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

    (some Microsoft Agent Characters)

  2. Next install the Speak! plugin:
    Extract the speak.dll file and copy it to your \Eudora\plugins directory
    Restart Eudora
    Confirm that Speak! is shown in the Eudora Plugin list



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

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 character will show some animated sequence when they first appear on the screen. To disable this feature, deselect this checkbox.
X Position, 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.

Advanced Configuration

The following advanced options are available by editing the SPEAK.INI file which is created in the plugins directory.

Add the text you want to be spoken instead of the default 'message from'.

Add the text you want to be spoken instead of the default 'subject'. Add a "." to separate sentences.

Use these to overide the default system language. For example if you are using English Windows, but want your messages spoken using the German text-to-speech engine, then put:
The numbers represent the Windows language codes. If you need the code for a particular language, send me an email and I will look it up.

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


Known Problems with Version 0.92 (000727)



Future Enhancements

Open for suggestions



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 :will@airmail.net.


Revision History

V0.92 - 00/7/27

V0.91 - 99/8/20

V0.9 - 99/6/13

V0.8 - 99/5/01



For bug reports, success stories comments, questions, suggestions, job offers etc.: will@airmail.net


By using 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.