Is your Acapela voice laughing and crying with NVDA?

Acapela voices use special codes to laugh, cry, cough and so on. These codes are called “Acapela sounds”. the Acapela sounds are usually not found in ordinary text, it may be amusing or useful to write special texts to hear these special effects.

Unfortunately NVDA has few smart rules which interferes with the Acapela sounds making it impossible to hear them, which has been a cause of frustration for many users of the Acapela TTS for NVDA plug-in.

However thanks to some clever and helpful NVDA users from the NVDA mailing list we have now found a solution to the issue.

If you want your Acapela TTS Voices for NVDA to cry, laugh and cough in NVDA you need to edit an NVDA file called “builtin.dic”. Always backup the original “builtin.dic” file before editing it, so that you can always reverse your changes.

builtin.dic is found in the installation folder of NVDA and contains few regular expression rules to handle text in a smart way. One of them is named “Break words that have numbers at the end” and it is the one interfering with the Acapela.

To tell NVDA not to use this rule you need to add a # character at the beginning of the next line, that should then look like the following:

# ((?:(?=\D)\w)+)(\d+)    \1 \2    1    1

The # character means that you are “commenting out” this rule and thus it would not be applied. Restart NVDA for this to make effect.

After that you will be able to use the Acapela Sounds. here below is a list of codes. Please note that these do not work with all voices, but only with the most recent voices of Acapela:

  • #AARGH01#
  • #AARGH02#
  • #AARGH03#
  • #BREATH01#
  • #BREATH02#
  • #BREATH03#
  • #CLICK01#
  • #CLICK02#
  • #COUGH01#
  • #COUGH02#
  • #CRY01#
  • #CRY02#
  • #CRY03#
  • #LAUGH01#
  • #LAUGH02#
  • #LAUGH03#
  • #MMM01#
  • #MMM02#
  • #MMM03#
  • #SLEEP01#
  • #SLEEP02#
  • #SNEEZE01#
  • #SNEEZE02#
  • #SWALLOW01#
  • #SWALLOW02#
  • #THROAT01#
  • #THROAT02#
  • #THROAT03#
  • #WHISTLE01#
  • #WHISTLE02#

A complete explanation of Acapela’s sounds and exclamation, including a link to a huge list with all sounds and exclamations is found here.