Hear text read aloud with Narrator

Windows 8.1

There are different ways to start Narrator. These are the four ways many people prefer:
Watch a video about how to hear text read aloud with Narrator. (To view captions in your language, tap or click the Closed captioning button
Closed Captioning button
.)

Narrator is a screen reader that reads text on the screen aloud and describes events like error messages so you can use your PC without a display.


Starting Narrator

There are different ways to start Narrator. These are the four ways many people prefer:

  • On a keyboard, press the Windows logo key + Enter.
  • On a tablet, press the Windows logo button and Volume Up button together.
  • On the sign-in screen, tap or click the Ease of access
    Ease of Access button
    button in the lower-left corner and choose Narrator.
  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.) Tap or click Ease of Access, tap or click Narrator, and then move the slider under Narrator to turn it on.

Exiting Narrator

There are also different ways to exit Narrator. These are the two shortcuts many people prefer:

  • On a keyboard, press the Windows logo key + Enter.
  • On a tablet, press the Windows logo button and Volume Up button together.


New touch gestures

Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 have new actions and new locations for common commands. Here are a few important gestures to get you started.

Use this touch gestureTo do this
Swipe in from the right edge with one fingerOpen the charms (Search, Share, Start, Devices, Settings)
Swipe in from the left edge with one fingerSwitch apps, snap them to the side, and close them
Swipe in from the top or bottom edge with one fingerShow app commands like Save, Edit, and Delete


New keyboard shortcuts

Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 have new keyboard shortcuts too. Here are a few helpful ones.

Use this keyboard shortcutTo do this
Windows logo key‌  + C Open the charms (Search, Share, Start, Devices, Settings)
Windows logo key‌  + Z Show app commands like Save, Edit, and Delete
Windows logo key‌  + periodSnap apps to the side
Windows logo key‌  + Tab or Alt + Tab Switch apps

Narrator settings

You can change settings for Narrator in PC settings. To find these settings:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
  2. Tap or click Ease of Access, and then change any of the following settings.

Hear what's on the screen

  • Narrator. Use this slider to turn Narrator on or off.
  • Start narrator automatically. You can choose whether Narrator starts automatically each time you sign in.

Voice

  • Choose a voice. With this drop-down menu you can select different types of voices in Narrator, if they're available in your language.
  • Speed. You can change the speed of the voice with this slider.
  • Pitch. You can change the pitch of the voice with this slider.

Sounds you hear

  • Read hints for controls and buttons. You can choose whether Narrator will read hints about how to interact with common items such as buttons, links, list items, and sliders.
  • Characters you type. You can choose whether or not Narrator reads each key you enter
  • Words you type. Choose whether or not Narrator reads the words that you type.
  • Lower the volume of other apps when Narrator is running. This option makes other apps quieter so it's easier to hear Narrator.
  • Play audio cues. This option turns on the extra sounds that Narrator plays when you do certain actions.

Cursor and keys

  • Highlight the cursor. This option lets you show or hide the box that highlights where Narrator is on your screen.
  • Have insertion point follow Narrator. This option lets you show or hide the box that highlights where Narrator is on your screen.
  • Activate keys on touch keyboard when I lift my finger off the keyboard. If touch mode is available, you can turn this setting on so you can type faster using the touch keyboard. With this setting, you can drag to search for the item you're looking for and lift your finger to press the key.

Keyboard commands

 Use this keyboard shortcut To do this
 Ctrl Stop reading
 Windows logo key  + Enter Exit Narrator
 Caps Lock + Space Do primary action
 Caps Lock + Right arrow Move to next item
 Caps Lock + Left Arrow Move to previous item
 Caps Lock + Up arrow Change view
 Caps Lock + Down arrow Change view
 Caps Lock + A Change verbosity mode
 Caps Lock + F1 Show commands list
 Caps Lock + F2 Show commands for current item
 Caps Lock + F3 Jump to next cell in row
 Caps Lock + Shift + F3 Jump to previous cell in row
 Caps Lock + F4 Jump to next cell in column
 Caps Lock + Shift + F4 Jump to previous cell in column
 Caps Lock + F5 Read which row and column Narrator is in
 Caps Lock + F6 Jump to table cell
 Caps Lock + F7 Read current column
 Caps Lock + F8 Read current row
 Caps Lock + F9 Read current column header
 Caps Lock + F10 Read current row header
 Caps Lock + F11 Toggle touch mode on/off
 Caps Lock + F12 Toggle keystroke announcements
 Caps Lock + Z Lock Narrator Key
 Caps Lock + X Pass keys to app
 Caps Lock + V Repeat last phrase
 Caps Lock + Page Up Increase voice volume
 Caps Lock + Page Down Decrease voice volume
 Caps lock + Plus Increase voice speed
 Caps Lock + Minus Decrease voice speed
 Caps Lock + D Read item
 Caps Lock + F Read item advanced
 Caps Lock + S Read item spelled out or read detailed reading for Japanese or Korean
 Caps Lock + W Read Window
 Caps Lock + R Read all items in containing area
 Caps Lock + Q Move to last item in containing area
 Caps Lock + G Move Narrator cursor to system cursor
 Caps Lock + T Move Narrator cursor to pointer
 Caps Lock + Tilde Set focus to item
 Caps Lock + Backspace Go back one item
 Caps Lock + Insert Jump to linked item
 Caps Lock + M Start reading
 Caps Lock + Close bracket Read text from start to cursor
 Caps Lock + 0 (zero) Read text attributes
 Caps Lock + H Read document
 Caps Lock + U Read next page
 Caps Lock + Ctrl + U Read current page
 Caps Lock + Shift + U Read previous page
 Caps Lock + I Read next paragraph
 Caps Lock + Ctrl + I Read current paragraph
 Caps Lock + Shift + I Read previous paragraph
 Caps Lock + O Read next line
 Caps Lock + Ctrl + O Read current line
 Caps Lock + Shift + O Read previous line
 Caps Lock + P Read next word
 Caps Lock + Ctrl + P Read current word
 Caps Lock + Shift + P Read previous word
 Caps Lock + Open bracket Read next character
 Caps Lock + Ctrl + Open bracket Read current character
 Caps Lock + Shift + Open bracket Read previous character
 Caps Lock + J Jump to next heading
 Caps Lock + Shift + J Jump to previous heading
 Caps Lock + K Jump to next table
 Caps Lock + Shift + K Jump to previous table
 Caps Lock + L Jump to next link
 Caps Lock + Shift + L Jump to previous link
 Caps Lock + Y Move to beginning of text
 Caps Lock + B Move to end of text
 Caps Lock + C Read current date/time


Touch Command

If you have a new PC that supports four or more contact points, you can use touch commands to control your PC.        

Use this touch command To do this

Swipe left/right with one finger

Move to next or previous item

Swipe up/down with one finger

Change move increment

Tap or drag a single finger

Read what's under your finger

Double-tap with one finger

Activate primary action

Triple-tap with one finger

Activate secondary action

Swipe left/right/up/down with two fingers

Scroll

Tap with two fingers

Stop Narrator from reading

Double-tap with two fingers

Show context menu

Hold with one finger and tap with a second

Activate primary action

Hold with one finger and double-tap with a second

Activate secondary action

Swipe left/right with three fingers

Tab forward and backward

Swipe up with three fingers

Read current window

Swipe down with three fingers

Start reading explorable text

Tap with three fingers

Change verbosity mode

Double-tap with three fingers

Read Text Attributes

Hold with one finger and tap with two other fingers

Start dragging or extra key options

Swipe left/right with four fingers

Move Narrator cursor to beginning / end of unit

Swipe up/down with four fingers

Turn zoom on/off

Tap with four fingers

Show commands for current item

Double-tap with four fingers

Toggle search mode

Triple-tap with four fingers

Show Narrator commands list


Windows 7

Windows comes with a basic screen reader called Narrator, which reads text on the screen aloud and describes some events (such as an error message appearing) that happen while you're using the computer.

Narrator is not available in all languages, so if the steps below don't work, Narrator is not available for your language.

  1. To open Narrator click the Start button
    The Start button
    , and then, in the search box, type Narrator. In the list of results, click Narrator
  2. Use the keyboard shortcuts in the following table to specify which text you want Narrator to read:


    Use this keyboard shortcutTo do this
    Ctrl + Shift + EnterGet information about the current item
    Ctrl + Shift + SpacebarRead the entire selected window
    Ctrl + Alt + SpacebarRead the items that are selected in the current window
    Insert + Ctrl + GRead a description of the items that appear next to the currently selected element
    CtrlStop Narrator from reading text
    Insert + QMove the cursor backward to the beginning of any preceding text that has different formatting. For example, the cursor moves from a bold word to the beginning of a non-bold word that precedes it.
    Insert + WMove the cursor to the beginning of any text that follows it that has different formatting. For example, the cursor moves from a bold word to the beginning of a non-bold word that follows it.
    Insert + EMove the cursor back to the beginning of any text that has the same formatting. For example, the cursor moves from the middle of a bold word to the beginning of that word.
    Insert + RMove the cursor to the end of any text that has the same formatting. For example, the cursor moves from the middle of a bold word to the end of that word.
    Insert + F2Select all of the text that has the same formatting as the character at the cursor
    Insert + F3Read the current character
    Insert + F4Read the current word
    Insert + F5Read the current line
    Insert + F6Read the current paragraph
    Insert + F7Read the current page
    Insert + F8Read the current document


 
Choose which text Narrator reads aloud
Change the Narrator voice
Start Narrator minimized
Turn off Narrator


Properties

Article ID: 14234 - Last Review: Aug 31, 2016 - Revision: 63

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