Chapter 4: Reading text

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 ([).

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.
  • 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.

Hear punctuation

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.

Next: Chapter 5: Using Narrator with touch

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Article ID: 22799 - Last Review: 31 Aug 2016 - Revision: 17