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Download and installation for use with NVDA

SpeechHub Version 1.1.0, 1 July 2015

SpeechHub can be installed in Windows Vista, 7 and 8 / 8.1.

At present in Windows, the NVDA screen reader and SpeakOn MediaSuite can use SpeechHub; more applications will follow in the future. You have to install SpeechHub only once no matter how many applications use it.

The computer resource requirements of SpeechHub itself are modest but the efficiency of the synthesizers connected to it vary considerably. Therefore your success in using SpeechHub will depend on the specification of your computer and the synthesizer you use.

The installation procedure below assumes that the purpose of SpeechHub is to be used with NVDA; once installed it can be used if desired automatically with SpeakOn MediaSuite as well.

SpeechHub is using an NVDA add-on. To get SpeechHub to work with NVDA you need first to install SpeechHub and then install separately the NVDA SpeechHub add-on wich is included with the package as explained further below otherwise it would not work!. If you have upgraded from an older version of SpeechHub make sure you install again the latest version of the NVDA SpeechHub add-on.

Download the SpeechHub installer from here

New installation (SpeechHub was not installed before)

Run the installer SpeechHubInstall.exe. Confirm that you have read and agree with the license agreement and press Next to continue. There are no choices; the installer will announce that the installation is complete; press Enter to confirm.

Install the SpeechHub add-on as explained further down this page.

Upgrading SpeechHub from a previous version

SpeechHub cannot be upgraded while it is running and if NVDA is used and SpeechHub is selected as your NVDA synthesizer, simply shutting down the server will leave you without speech.

To prevent this, before you install the new version of SpeechHub, select NVDA's own synthesizer as follows:

Now you need to make sure that the SpeechHub server is not running. Assuming you have selected the espeak NVDA's own synthesizer as explained above, probably the easiest way is to simply wait for 15 minutes from the last time you brought up the Synthesizer selection dialog. This is because each time you bring up the Synthesizer selection dialog SpeechHub starts again if not started already.

Run the SpeechHubInstall.exe file and proceed normally. You will be asked to confirm that you want to replace your previous installation; select OK. Confirm that you want to replace the old version; the installer will announce that the installation is complete; press Enter to confirm. See the next page for instructions for use.

Install the latest version of the NVDA SpeechHub add-on as explained below.

Installing the SpeechHub add-on

The SpeechHub add-on speechhub.nvda-addon is placed in your computer when you install SpeechHub in:
On 32-bit computers:
C:\Program Files\SpeechHub\NVDAAddOn\speechhub.nvda-addon
On 64-bit computers:
C:\Program Files (x86)\SpeechHub\NVDAAddOn\speechhub.nvda-addon

You can install the SpeechHub add-on using either the AddOn Manager or directly from Windows Explorer which might be more convenient.

Installing directly from Windows Explorer

This method works only when NVDA is running otherwise you will get an error. Navigate to:
On 32-bit computers:
C:\Program Files\SpeechHub\NVDAAddOn\speechhub.nvda-addon
On 64-bit computers:
C:\Program Files (x86)\SpeechHub\NVDAAddOn\speechhub.nvda-addon
Make sure the focus is on speechhub.nvda-addon and press Enter. A dialog box is opened asking you if you wish to install the SpeechHub add-on; select OK to confirm. If you had a version of this add-on before you will be asked if you want to update it; select OK to confirm. You will be asked to restart NVDA to make sure your new add-on takes effect; select OK to confirm.

Once NVDA has restarted you can choose a SpeechHub synthesizer and voice in the usual way.

Installing using the AddOn Manager

Follow the instructions below copied from NVDA's manual and in the open dialog box navigate to:
On 32-bit computers:
C:\Program Files\SpeechHub\NVDAAddOn\speechhub.nvda-addon
On 64-bit computers:
C:\Program Files (x86)\SpeechHub\NVDAAddOn\speechhub.nvda-addon

The AddOn Manager (From NVDA's manual)

The AddOn Manager, accessed by selecting Manage add-ons under Tools in the NVDA menu, allows you to install and uninstall add-on packages for NVDA. These packages are provided by the community and contain custom code that may add or change features in NVDA or even provide support for extra Braille displays or speech synthesizers.

The AddOns Manager contains a list that displays all the add-ons currently installed in your NVDA user configuration. A package name, version and author are shown for each add-on, though further information such as a description and URL can be viewed by selecting the add-on and pressing the About add-on button.

To install an add-on, press the Install button. This will allow you to browse for an add-on package (.nvda-addon file) somewhere on your computer or on a network. Once you press Open, NVDA will ask if you really wish to install the add-on. As the functionality of add-ons is unrestricted inside NVDA, which in theory could include accessing your personal data or even the entire system if NVDA is an installed copy, it is very important to only install add-ons from sources you trust. Once the add-on is installed, NVDA must be restarted for the add-on to start running. Until you do, a status of "install" will show for that add-on in the list.

To remove an add-on, select the add-on from the list and press the Remove button. NVDA will ask if you really wish to do this. As with installing, NVDA must be restarted for the add-on to be fully removed. Until you do, a status of "remove" will be shown for that add-on in the list.

The Manager also has a Close button to close the dialog. If you have installed or removed add-ons, NVDA will first ask you if you wish to restart so that your changes can take effect.

Once NVDA has restarted you can choose a SpeechHub synthesizer and voice in the usual way.

SpeechHub and your firewall

SpeechHub runs as a socket server on your computer. This server is available only locally (known as localhost) which should not expose your computer to security risks but some firewall programs might ask you to confirm that you want to use it; you will need to confirm for SpeechHub to be usable. SpeechHub does not contact any resources outside your computer; it is simply communicating with its client applications such as the NVDA add-on or SpeakOn MediaSuite.


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