Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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Speak and Read: MS Agent Automation with XML

This Windows Forms application was written for kids to help give them a jump-start with reading. The app uses XML to automate the speech of a Microsoft Agent character named Merlin, and to drive the text, pictures, and sentences that show up in the program:

By editing the XML (someday I hope to create an XML admin utility for this) the program can be customized to show various pictures and speak virtually any word. The program teaches several XML DOM techniques as well as using COM interop (thanks to Microsoft for the COM interop code-base).

To run the program download the example below and extract the files to your system. You will also need to download the following items from

  • Microsoft Agent Core Components
  • Merlin Character File
  • L&H TruVoice Text-To-Speech Engine (English)
  • XP Users Need SAPI 4.0

If you enhance the code or add new features please email me at and I will include the changes in the build.

Teaches XmlDocument, XmlNode, XPath, MSAgent, COM Interop
Requirements .NET 1.0
Example: Click Here
View Source Code: Click Here
Download Code: Click Here


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