Chapter 1: Introducing Narrator

Applies to: Windows 10

Narrator lets you use your PC without a mouse to complete common tasks if you’re blind or have low vision. It reads and interacts with things on the screen, like text and buttons. Use Narrator to read and write email, browse the internet, and work with documents.

Specific commands let you navigate Windows, the web, and apps. Navigation is available using headings, links, landmarks, and more. You can read text (including punctuation) by page, paragraph, line, sentence, word, and character, as well as determine characteristics like font and text color. Efficiently review tables with row and column navigation.

Narrator also has a navigation and reading mode, which you’ll learn more about in Chapter 3: Using scan mode. Use it to get around Windows 10 using just the up and down arrows on your keyboard. You can also use a braille display to navigate your PC and read text, which you’ll learn more about in Chapter 8: Using Narrator with braille.

You can also customize the speaking rate, pitch, and volume of the voice that Narrator uses, and install other text-to-speech voices.

Narrator Home

Every time you turn on Narrator you’ll go to Narrator Home, which gives you one place where you can open everything you need, whether you want to change your Narrator settings or learn basics with QuickStart. The links at Narrator Home include QuickStart, Narrator guide (which takes you to this online user guide), What’s New, Settings, and Feedback. You can also control whether Narrator Home opens when Narrator starts. 

Three ways to start and stop Narrator

  • Press Windows logo key  + Ctrl + Enter together to start Narrator. Press these keys again to stop Narrator. If you're using a previous version of Windows, press Windows logo key  + Enter together to start and stop Narrator. On many keyboards, the Windows logo key is located on the bottom row of keys, to the left or right of the Alt key.
  • Press Windows logo key  + Ctrl + N to open Narrator settings, and then turn on the toggle under Use Narrator.
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to go to your sign-in screen, select the Ease of access  button in the lower-right corner, then turn on the toggle under Narrator.

Start Narrator automatically before or after you sign in to your PC

  1. Press Windows logo key + Ctrl + N to open Narrator settings.
  2. To start Narrator automatically after you sign in, select the check box next to Start Narrator after sign-in.
  3. To start Narrator automatically before sign-in for all users, select the check box next to Start Narrator before sign-in for everyone. This is recommended if you want to use a serial braille display before sign-in.

Next: Chapter 2: Narrator basics

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