TTS in Anki Desktop

Joseph's Avatar


21 Mar, 2020 05:50 PM

The recently added native TTS in anki desktop doesn't seem to be fully working. I added all the accents for English, Spanish, and Portuguese (so British English, European Spanish, etc). After installation and computer restart, the voices do indeed show up in "Preview" utility in the Microsoft language section.. so I know they're there.

However, in Anki when I do {{tts-voices:}} not all voices are listed. It has..

TTS voices available:
{{tts en_GB voices=Microsoft_Hazel}}
{{tts en_US voices=Microsoft_David}}
{{tts en_US voices=Microsoft_Zira}}
{{tts es_ES voices=Microsoft_Helena}}
{{tts es_MX voices=Microsoft_Sabina}}
{{tts ja_JP voices=Microsoft_Haruka}}
{{tts pt_BR voices=Microsoft_Maria}}

It's missing Irish, Canadian, Australian, European Portuguese. I thought it might be a display problem, but when I input this onto the front side..
{{tts en_GB Microsoft_James:written}}
{{tts en_GB Microsoft_Hazel:written}}
{{tts en_GB Microsoft_Susan:written}}
.... I get Hazel's voice repeated three times. Any suggestions?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Damien Elmes on 22 Mar, 2020 12:04 PM

    Damien Elmes's Avatar

    Perhaps not all of the voices are exposed by the TTS API Anki is using.

    @evandro: is this something you'd be interested in looking into?

  2. 2 Posted by addons_zz on 22 Mar, 2020 04:12 PM

    addons_zz's Avatar

    Sure. Now I am working on a pull request for the GitHub Actions on Windows.

    When I finished this I will give a look into it and post back here what I find out.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Damien Elmes on 23 Mar, 2020 06:15 AM

    Damien Elmes's Avatar

    Great - thank you!

  4. 4 Posted by addons_zz on 26 Mar, 2020 10:07 PM

    addons_zz's Avatar


    How can I install more voices on Windows? How did you install your voices?

    What is the output of the following command on your system: ver

  5. 5 Posted by Joseph on 26 Mar, 2020 10:35 PM

    Joseph's Avatar

    The output of that command is

    Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.18363.720]

    As for installing voices, to do it on my computer I go to Windows Settings -> Time and Language -> Speech. From there, under "Manage Voices" I am given the option of adding different voice packages. Once added, the voice shows up under "Choose a Voice" and also says a phrase upon selection of it and pressing the "Preview Voice" button.

  6. 6 Posted by addons_zz on 27 Mar, 2020 03:54 AM

    addons_zz's Avatar

    I use an older version of Windows 10:

    Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.15063]

    I did not find this `Manage Voices` on `Speech`. See the attached screenshot. There is some time I do not update my Windows because it loose/reset most of my settings. It also has a special touch of making programs that are working, to stop working/start crashing, etc. As of now, I have no program crashing or things not working, except the ability to add new language voices as you can. But I can live with that for now.

    While I was researching how to install new voices in my old Windows 10, I found this, perhaps that is the problem. Can you look into this tutorial and see if it works or if you can use those languages in other programs not from Microsoft as Balabolka:

    > Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system comes with a set of voices for each language installed on the device. Only some of the installed voices become available system-wide so that third-party software and services may make use of them as well. The majority of voices are restricted to internal use, e.g. for Cortana or other areas.

  7. 7 Posted by addons_zz on 28 Mar, 2020 06:34 PM

    addons_zz's Avatar


    Can you see all your voices when you run Balabolka? If not, then, I will look into how to install new voices in my old windows to look more into the problem.

  8. 8 Posted by Joseph on 30 Mar, 2020 07:49 PM

    Joseph's Avatar

    Thank you for helping me with this issue. I installed Balabolka and see that only the limited set are available on that program... in other words, it is missing the same voices that Anki Desktop is missing.

  9. Support Staff 9 Posted by Damien Elmes on 31 Mar, 2020 08:07 AM

    Damien Elmes's Avatar

    Well, the good news is that it's not Anki's fault :-) The bad news is that Microsoft doesn't want other apps using those voices.

  10. 10 Posted by Joseph on 04 Apr, 2020 07:12 PM

    Joseph's Avatar

    Thank you for helping me with this issue. So I take it since this is a Microsoft issue, there will be no attempt to try to modify Anki to use more of the voices?

    I have a tangentially related question. I followed the steps in the link provided by @evandro to edit the registry file for a voice (Canadian male). After editing, the voice does indeed appear in balabolka and it is able to be used by Anki in the TTS. If I were to follow the same steps in the guide for the Cortana voices, would they be accessible in Anki too?

  11. Support Staff 11 Posted by Damien Elmes on 04 Apr, 2020 10:41 PM

    Damien Elmes's Avatar

    I assume if it works in one it'll work in the other, but I'm afraid this is something I haven't tried myself.

Comments are closed, but you can start a new discussion.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac