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User Dictionary for VT Editor and SAPI

You can customize the pronunciation of our natural sounding text-to-speech voices with VTML tags or the User Dictionary. The User Dictionary allows you to add and modify words to our text-to-speech engine’s vocabulary. We’ll show you how to access the User Dictionary, add an abbreviation, and modify the pronunciation of a word with International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols.

If you have terms or acronyms that you use frequently, it’s easier and faster to input the pronunciations once in User Dictionary instead of constantly editing the words with VTML tags. However, if you want a word to be pronounced a certain way one time, it’s better to use VTML tags, which you can learn how to use in our “Fine Tune Text-to-Speech Pronunciation” article.

How to access the User Dictionary

VT Editor

Open up VT Editor and click the book icon called UserDic.

Open the User Dictionary in VT Editor


If you’re using one of our SAPI voices, you can access the User Dictionary application by going to the Program Files folder. For 32-bit SAPI, go to Program Files (x86). For 64-bit SAPI, go to Program Files. Then go through the folders VW, then VT, then the name of the text-to-speech voice, M and the sampling rate, then lib, and click on UserDicEng.

Open the User Dictionary for SAPI voices

Adding an abbreviation or acronym

In the Source field, type the acronym or abbreviation you want to have read differently. For this example, select case-sensitive because we only want “US” to be read as “United States.” We still want the word “us” to be read normally.

Add a word in the User Dictionary

The Target field is what the text-to-speech voice will read out. In the Target field, make sure Alphabet is selected as it will allow you to type regular letters so we can type in “United States.”

Select case-sensitive and Alphabet in the User Dictionary

Click Read to listen to how the text-to-speech voice will read the abbreviation. If it sounds good, click OK to add the word.

Note: When you add a word in the User Dictionary, it applies to all instances of that word.

Modifying the pronunciation of a word

To change the pronunciation of a word, you’ll have to input IPA symbols.

In the Target area, when you select Pronunciation Symbol, the window expands to show IPA symbols for vowels and consonants.

Select Pronunciation Symbol in the User Dictionary

You can now type these IPA symbols with your keyboard or select the symbols individually to insert them into the Target field. Here’s a chart of the IPA symbols you can type with your keyboard.

User Dictionary IPA Symbol Keyboard

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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