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Top 5 VTML Tags Infographic

You can change the speed, volume, pitch and more of our text-to-speech voices with VTML. If you’re wondering what VTML is, check out “What is a VTML tag?” Right now, we’ll show you how to use our most popular VTML tags: break, pause, pitch, speed, and volume. Feel free to bookmark this page for quick reference on how to use these popular VTML tags.

Top 5 VTML tags infographic


The VTML break tag tells the text-to-speech voice to take a breath, so to speak. The break tag is useful if you want to quickly insert a moment of silence within a sentence or want to have a longer break at the end of a paragraph.

                <vtml_break level =”3”/>

The values must be between 0-3. The 0 value is read continuously and the 3 value is a sentence break.


The VTML pause tag is like the break tag in that it is also a moment of silence. The advantage of the pause tag is that you can be precise about the length of the pause.

                <vtml_pause time=”250”/>

The value is in milliseconds and must be between 0-65535.

The break and pause tags don’t have a closing tag because they are used in spaces not on the words themselves. You can have a pause or break after a word or sentence, but not within a word. If you put a break or pause tag in the middle of a word, it will be read as two separate words. If you want a word to be said slowly, you’ll want to use the speed tag.


The VTML pitch tag raises or lowers the pitch of the text-to-speech voice.

The human voice is capable of a range of inflections and tones. While we’re working on emotional text-to-speech voices, for now, we can use pitch to simulate emotion. For example, a high pitch could inflect excitement or nervousness, while a low pitch could be sadness. You can also change the pitch to place emphasis on a specific word or phrase.

                <vtml_pitch value=”150”>

                Insert your text here.


The pitch value is between 50-200 with 50 being low and 200 high.

To use the pitch tag, the opening and closing tags have to enclose one word or more. The enclosed words will have the pitch change applied to them. The next two VTML tags, volume and speed, also have opening and closings tags and must enclose at least one word.


The VTML speed tag let’s you control how fast or slow the text-to-speech voice speaks. A slower speaking voice can be easier to understand, while a faster speed can give a lot of information in a short amount of time.

                <vtml_speed value=”75”>

                Insert your text here.


The value must be between 50-400 with 50 being the slowest and 400 the fastest.


The VTML volume tag controls how loudly the text-to-speech voice speaks. Along with pitch, volume is another way you can add emphasis to words.

                <vtml_volume value=”200”>

                Insert your text here.


The value can be between 0-500 with 500 being the loudest.

Remember to include the closing tag when using the pitch, speed, and volume tags. If you want to learn more about VTML, check out our VTML manual.

Learn More about NeoSpeech’s Text-to-Speech

Want to learn more about all the ways Text-to-Speech can be used? Visit our Text-to-Speech Areas of Application page. And check out our Text-to-Speech Products page to find the right package for any device or application.

If you’re interested in integrating Text-to-Speech technology into your product, please fill out our short Sales Inquiry form and we’ll get you all the information and tools you need.

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