This chapter explains how to read text with Narrator and how to get info about text, such as font, text color, and punctuation.
There are several ways to read text using Narrator. The first and simplest way is to use the arrow keys to navigate text if you’re interacting with a document in a word processor, such as Microsoft Word.
You can also use Scan Mode to read text. To turn on Scan Mode, press Caps lock + Spacebar. Then use the up and down arrow keys to read by line and the left and right arrow keys to read by character. To learn more about Scan Mode, see Chapter 3: Using Scan Mode.
When you want more control over what text you read, Narrator provides a series of text reading commands to help navigate and read text in webpages and applications.
- To read a complete document or webpage from the beginning, press Caps lock + H.
- To read a document from the beginning to the current cursor position, press Caps lock + Right bracket (]).
- To read continuously from the current location in a document or webpage, press Caps lock + M.
- To move the cursor to the beginning of a document or webpage, press Caps lock + Y.
- To move the cursor to the end of a document, press Caps lock + B.
Work with paragraphs, lines, words, and characters
Narrator provides ways to read text by page, paragraph, line, word, and character.
To read by page
- To read the current page, press Caps lock + Ctrl + U.
- To read the next page, press Caps lock + U.
- To read the previous page, press Caps lock + Shift + U.
To read by paragraph
- To read the current paragraph, press Caps lock + Ctrl + I.
- To read the next paragraph, press Caps lock + I.
- To read the previous paragraph, press Caps lock + Shift + I.
To read by line of text
- To read the current line, press Caps lock + Ctrl + O.
- To read the next line, Caps lock + O.
- To read the previous line, Caps lock + Shift + O.
To read by word
- To read the current word, press Caps lock + Ctrl + P.
- To read the next word, press Caps lock + P.
- To read the previous word, press Caps lock + Shift + P.
To read by character
- To read the current character, press Caps lock + Ctrl + Left bracket ([).
- To read the next character, press Caps lock + Left bracket ([).
- To read the previous character, press Caps lock + Shift + Left bracket ([).
- As a best practice, use these text reading commands and Scan Mode together. For example, turn on Scan Mode and use the up and down arrow keys to read by line and Caps lock + P or Caps lock + Shift + P to read by paragraph. If you want to reread the current line, press Caps lock + Ctrl + O. To reread the current paragraph, press Caps lock + Ctrl + I.
- If an app doesn’t support text reading commands, Narrator will say “not on explorable text.” In this case, use Scan Mode to navigate and read text.
Get more detail on text
Narrator provides different levels of detail about the characteristics of text, known as verbosity. To change the level of verbosity, press Caps lock + A until you hear the level that you want.
- Verbosity level 0. Hear only text.
- Verbosity level 1. Hear basics such as heading levels, and errors in documents such as spelling and grammar. This is the default level.
- Verbosity level 2. Hear formatting frequently found on webpages and in email, such as bullet styles, text bold, underline, italic, subscript, superscript, and color.
- Verbosity level 3. Hear additional annotations, such as document headers and footers.
- Verbosity level 4. Hear extended formatting, such as font name, size, and other list styles.
- Verbosity level 5. Hear layout and animation information, such as the type of animation, whether a paragraph starts with an indent or not, and more.
- You can also press Caps lock + Ctrl + Plus sign (+) or Caps lock + Ctrl + Minus sign (-) to select different verbosity levels.
- To check advanced information about text at any time, press Caps lock + 0 (Zero).
Get details on formatting
Narrator provides details about formatting, such as font name, font size, and text alignment. To hear formatting attributes, press Caps lock + F. To hear the next group of formatting attributes, press Caps lock + F again. To hear the previous group of formatting attributes, press Shift + Caps lock + F.
Formatting information is separated into the following groups:
- Font information. Font name, weight, size, italic, underline, underline color, strikethrough, background color, foreground color.
- Advanced font information. Hyperlink, style, bullet style, subscript, superscript, capitalization style, outline style, overline color, language.
- Object color and outline information. Fill type (none, color, gradient, picture, or pattern), fill color, outline color, outline thickness.
- Paragraph spacing Information. Line spacing, before paragraph spacing, after paragraph spacing.
- Page margin information. Top margin, bottom margin, leading margin, trailing margin.
- Alignment information Horizontal text alignment, text flow direction, indentation first line, indentation leading, indentation trailing.
- Visual effects information. Animation style, visual effects (reflection, glow, soft edges, and bevel).
- Object layout information. Center point, size, rotation.
- Annotation information. Annotations such as spelling and grammar suggestions and comments.
Narrator gives you control over how much punctuation you hear when reading text. Press Caps lock+ Alt + Plus sign (+) or Caps lock+ Alt + Minus sign (-) until you hear the punctuation mode you want to use: Default, Math, Some, Most, or All.
- Default. Hear little to no punctuation. Natural pauses will indicate items such as commas and periods.
- Math. Hear most mathematical symbols.
- Some. Hear most conversational punctuation, such as commas and periods.
- Most. Hear additional symbols, such as parentheses.
- All. Hear all punctuation, including all special symbols.
Read text in other languages
When reading text in a different language, Narrator will automatically select the text-to-speech (TTS) voice for that language if it's installed. To learn more about installing additional TTS voices, see Appendix C: TTS voices.
If the TTS voice for a language isn’t installed, Narrator will state the name of the language and read the text using the default TTS voice.
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Article ID: 22799 - Last Review: Apr 11, 2017 - Revision: 25