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How to use windows narrator

Windows Narrator is a screen reader and text-to-speak tool that allows you to hear text and screen elements read aloud. Here’s how to use and customize this accessibility feature.

How to use windows narrator

Windows has long offered a screen reader and text-to-speech feature called Narrator. This tool can read web pages, text documents, and other files aloud, as well as speak every action you take in Windows. Narrator is specifically designed for the visually impaired, but it can be used by anyone. Let’s see how it works in Windows 10.

Turn on Narrator

If you want to use Narrator, the feature must first be turned on. Click the Start button and open Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator to view the Narrator pane. Turn on the Narrator button and a message may appear explaining how the Narrator keyboard layout has been updated to more closely match your experience with other screen readers.

How to use windows narrator

Click OK to dispense with this message, and check the box next to “Don’t show again” if you don’t want to see this message each time Narrator starts.

How to Use Narrator

Now, if you want to use Narrator as a helpful text-to-speech reader, you’re ready to go. You just have to turn on the functionality when inside a web page, document, or file. Move your cursor to the area of text you want Narrator to start reading. Press Caps Lock + R and Narrator starts reading the text on the page to you. Stop Narrator from speaking by pressing the Ctrl key.

How to use windows narrator

Change Narrator Settings

First, let’s look at the different Narrator settings available as you scroll down the screen.

How to use windows narrator

  • Open Narrator Home. This opens a “Welcome to Narrator” screen where you can learn how to use and customize the tool and find out about new features.
  • View the complete guide to Narrator online. This takes you a web page that offers complete information on using Narrator with a table of contents and a description of new features.

Start-Up Options

  • Allow the shortcut key to start Narrator. If this box is checked, you can use the keystroke Win key+Ctrl+Enter to turn Narrator on and off.
  • Start Narrator after sign-in for me. This starts Narrator after you sign into Windows with your account.
  • Show Narrator Home when Narrator starts. This automatically takes you to the Welcome to Narrator screen when the tool starts.
  • Minimize Narrator Home to the system tray. This minimizes the “Welcome to Narrator” screen to the taskbar.

Personalize Narrator’s Voice

You can change the Narrator’s voice a number of different ways. From the Narrator settings screen, use the drop-down menu to choose which voice you want to use for Narrator.

How to use windows narrator

You can also change the speed, pitch, and volume of your chosen voice through the sliders on the settings screen. Certain keystrokes can also be used to change these elements.

How to use windows narrator

Additional voices can be added to Windows, including those for other languages, by navigating to Settings > Time & Language > Language. Click the “Add more voices” link, and on the next screen, click the Add voices button. Choose the language you wish to add and click Add.

Change What You Hear

By default, Narrator will speak aloud any buttons, screens, or windows you hover over or select, as well as any text on those screens. If you want to change this level, click the drop-down menu next to “Change the level of detail Narrator provides about text and controls.” For example, to hear only text and not controls narrated, select the option for Text only or Some text details.

Below the drop-down menu are additional options to check that will have Narrator emphasize formatted text, read aloud by character, use punctuation to determine pauses, and speak advanced details, like help text, on buttons and other controls.

How to use windows narrator

The second drop-down menu in this section allows you to set the level of context that Narrator provides for buttons and other controls. You may want to first try the highest option, “Full context of old and new controls,” and then lower the level if you wish to hear less context. You can then set when Narrator provides details about buttons, either before or after you activate them. Next, you can try the other three options for this section: Hear hints on how to interact with buttons and other controls; Hear Narrator announce why an action can’t be performed; and Hear audio cues when you perform actions.

Under the “Change what you hear when typing” section, you can determine whether you want to hear letters, numbers, words, function keys, navigation keys, toggle keys, and modifier keys as you type them.

How to use windows narrator

Additional Settings to Change

Under the “Choose keyboard settings” section, you can select your keyboard layout and pick the Narrator modified key. Click the link for “Create your own keyboard commands,” and you can choose from a variety of commands to use with Narrator.

How to use windows narrator

In the “Use Narrator cursor” section, you can determine how and where the Narrator cursor works and how you can control it with your mouse or keyboard. Under the “Use braille” section, you can install and set up braille software to use a braille display with Windows.

How to use windows narrator

Under the “Sync my settings” section, click the “Use current settings before sign-in” button to save any changes you made to Narrator settings so they automatically apply to anyone else who uses Windows on this computer.

How to use windows narrator

Windows Narrator aims to make it easier for those with vision problems by reading what’s on display. You may already have a screen-reading tool, but this one is at least worth trying.

Windows Narrator has been sitting on your computer for quite some time, and if you’ve been curious to see it in action, the following guide will show you how to use it. You’ll see that you don’t have to be a tech genius to get the most out of the app.

What Is Windows Narrator?

Windows Narrator is a text-to-speech app that will read text out loud in a document or through every action you perform. It’s a great app to use if you have vision problems since it will help you reduce the possibilities of you making a mistake.

How to Enable Windows Narrator

To enable Windows Narrator, click on the Start button -> Settings -> Ease of Access -> Narrator.

How to use windows narrator

Under “Use Narrator” you’ll need to toggle on the feature, and immediately after it’s done, it will start working. You will see a blue square, and everything you do will be highlighted with that blue square. Every single thing that is in the blue square will be narrated.

If you want Narrator to launch with a keyboard shortcut, make sure to click on the box that enables it. You will need to press the Windows Start menu + Ctrl + Enter . Below you will also see options to either start the app as soon as you sign in or before others sign in.

How to use windows narrator

You can also share how you set up narrator with the rest of the family thanks to the sync settings. Simply click on the “Use Current Settings” before the sign-in box.

How to Personalize Windows Narrator

Keep scrolling down, and you can even personalize the narrator’s voice. You can choose between Microsoft David, Zira, and Mark. The voice that sounds more human-like is Mark, but if you like the robotic style voice, you can go for Zira or David.

Use the sliders below to adjust the voice speed, voice pitch, and volume. You’ll get a real-time preview of your setting as you use the slider.

If you need to make the formatted text (any text that contains special formatting such as font color, font size, italic, bold, etc.) stand out, there is also an option for that, too.

How to use windows narrator

Control How Much You Will Hear in Narrator

If there is no need to hear every single thing it does, look for the “Change how much content you hear” section. You can check the box for Narrator to narrate the characters as you type, hear words as you type, speak Narrator errors, hear audio cues when you perform an action, and hear hints on how to interact with control and buttons.

How to use windows narrator

Windows Narrator Keyboard Shortcuts

Don’t forget that once the app is active, there are some useful keyboard shortcuts you can use. For example, you can use:

  • Ctrl – Stops Narrator
  • Win + Enter – Start or Exit Narrator
  • Caps + F2 – Displays commands for the current item
  • Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow – Narrator reads word for word
  • Caps + Spacebar – Turns on Scan Mode (with this feature you can move around using the arrow keys, and by pressing Enter you select that option.
  • Caps + Enter – Modifies search mode
  • Caps + Up/Down Arrow – adjust view
  • Caps + V – Repeat phrase
  • Caps + W – Read Window
  • Caps + Backspace – Goes back one item
  • Caps + U – Reads next page
  • Shift + CAPS + U – Reads prior page
  • Caps + O – Reads next line
  • Shift + Caps + O – Reads former line
  • Ctrl + Caps + P – Reads current word

Conclusion

Windows Narrator is a tool that can help you avoid mistakes if you have vision problems.

As you can see, it’s also possible to customize Narrator in various ways, so that it can have your own personal touch. Do you find Windows Narrator useful? Let us know in the comments.

Just a simple guy that can’t enough of Technology in general and is always surrounded by at least one Android and iOS device. I’m a Pizza addict as well.

Narrator reads aloud the text on your PC screen. It also describes events such as notifications and calendar appointments, which lets you use your PC without a display.

To start or stop Narrator, press Windows logo key + Ctrl + Enter. To see all Narrator commands, press Caps Lock + F1 after you open Narrator. If your device has a touchscreen, tap it three times with four fingers.

Note: For detailed info about how to use Narrator, including a complete list of Narrator keyboard commands, see Complete guide to Narrator.

Use Scan Mode to get going fast

Scan Mode can help you navigate apps and webpages more quickly. To turn Scan Mode on or off, press Caps lock + Spacebar.

When Scan Mode is turned on, press the up and down arrow keys to move to the next or previous line of text in an app or webpage. Press the right and left arrow keys to move to the next or previous character. To activate an item such as a button, press the Spacebar.

You can also navigate by word or paragraph. Press Ctrl + Left arrow and Ctrl + Right arrow to move by word. Press Ctrl + Up arrow and Ctrl + Down arrow to move by paragraph.

How to use windows narrator

Note: Narrator is available in Arabic (Egypt, Saudi Arabia), Catalan (Spain), Cantonese (Chinese Traditional), Czech, Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands, Belgium), English (United States, United Kingdom, India, Ireland), Finnish (Finland), French (France, Canada, Switzerland), German (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional), Norwegian (Norway), Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Spain and Mexico), Swedish (Sweden), Thai, Turkish (Turkey).

Windows Narrator is a screen reader and text-to-speak tool that allows you to hear text and screen elements read aloud. Here’s how to use and customize this accessibility feature.

How to use windows narrator

Windows has long offered a screen reader and text-to-speech feature called Narrator. This tool can read web pages, text documents, and other files aloud, as well as speak every action you take in Windows. Narrator is specifically designed for the visually impaired, but it can be used by anyone. Let’s see how it works in Windows 10.

Turn on Narrator

If you want to use Narrator, the feature must first be turned on. Click the Start button and open Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator to view the Narrator pane. Turn on the Narrator button and a message may appear explaining how the Narrator keyboard layout has been updated to more closely match your experience with other screen readers.

How to use windows narrator

Click OK to dispense with this message, and check the box next to “Don’t show again” if you don’t want to see this message each time Narrator starts.

How to Use Narrator

Now, if you want to use Narrator as a helpful text-to-speech reader, you’re ready to go. You just have to turn on the functionality when inside a web page, document, or file. Move your cursor to the area of text you want Narrator to start reading. Press Caps Lock + R and Narrator starts reading the text on the page to you. Stop Narrator from speaking by pressing the Ctrl key.

How to use windows narrator

Change Narrator Settings

First, let’s look at the different Narrator settings available as you scroll down the screen.

How to use windows narrator

  • Open Narrator Home. This opens a “Welcome to Narrator” screen where you can learn how to use and customize the tool and find out about new features.
  • View the complete guide to Narrator online. This takes you a web page that offers complete information on using Narrator with a table of contents and a description of new features.

Start-Up Options

  • Allow the shortcut key to start Narrator. If this box is checked, you can use the keystroke Win key+Ctrl+Enter to turn Narrator on and off.
  • Start Narrator after sign-in for me. This starts Narrator after you sign into Windows with your account.
  • Show Narrator Home when Narrator starts. This automatically takes you to the Welcome to Narrator screen when the tool starts.
  • Minimize Narrator Home to the system tray. This minimizes the “Welcome to Narrator” screen to the taskbar.

Personalize Narrator’s Voice

You can change the Narrator’s voice a number of different ways. From the Narrator settings screen, use the drop-down menu to choose which voice you want to use for Narrator.

How to use windows narrator

You can also change the speed, pitch, and volume of your chosen voice through the sliders on the settings screen. Certain keystrokes can also be used to change these elements.

How to use windows narrator

Additional voices can be added to Windows, including those for other languages, by navigating to Settings > Time & Language > Language. Click the “Add more voices” link, and on the next screen, click the Add voices button. Choose the language you wish to add and click Add.

Change What You Hear

By default, Narrator will speak aloud any buttons, screens, or windows you hover over or select, as well as any text on those screens. If you want to change this level, click the drop-down menu next to “Change the level of detail Narrator provides about text and controls.” For example, to hear only text and not controls narrated, select the option for Text only or Some text details.

Below the drop-down menu are additional options to check that will have Narrator emphasize formatted text, read aloud by character, use punctuation to determine pauses, and speak advanced details, like help text, on buttons and other controls.

How to use windows narrator

The second drop-down menu in this section allows you to set the level of context that Narrator provides for buttons and other controls. You may want to first try the highest option, “Full context of old and new controls,” and then lower the level if you wish to hear less context. You can then set when Narrator provides details about buttons, either before or after you activate them. Next, you can try the other three options for this section: Hear hints on how to interact with buttons and other controls; Hear Narrator announce why an action can’t be performed; and Hear audio cues when you perform actions.

Under the “Change what you hear when typing” section, you can determine whether you want to hear letters, numbers, words, function keys, navigation keys, toggle keys, and modifier keys as you type them.

How to use windows narrator

Additional Settings to Change

Under the “Choose keyboard settings” section, you can select your keyboard layout and pick the Narrator modified key. Click the link for “Create your own keyboard commands,” and you can choose from a variety of commands to use with Narrator.

How to use windows narrator

In the “Use Narrator cursor” section, you can determine how and where the Narrator cursor works and how you can control it with your mouse or keyboard. Under the “Use braille” section, you can install and set up braille software to use a braille display with Windows.

How to use windows narrator

Under the “Sync my settings” section, click the “Use current settings before sign-in” button to save any changes you made to Narrator settings so they automatically apply to anyone else who uses Windows on this computer.

Contents:

Narrator is a very useful Windows built-in tool. It is a very efficient and useful screen reader tool for blind people and people with visual impairments. Sometimes, after using the narrator, when you want to turn off the narrator and its voice function, you will find that your narrator voice still functions. If you encounter the situation, this article can help you turn off Narrator and solve the problem that narrator is always open issue.

How to Turn Narrator off on Windows 10?

There are so many ways to turn off Narrator on your PC, first I will introduce three easy ways to help you to get your Narrator closed.

First, you can use the keyboard shortcut to turn off Windows 10 Narrator. It is the easiest and fastest way to switch off the Narrator.

For closing Narrator, press ESC + Caps keyboard, and the Narrator can be turned off.

How to use windows narrator

Second, you can turn it off in your Settings.

Step 1: Click Windows icon at the left bottom of your screen, and click Settings.

Step 2: Choose Ease of Access.

Step 3: Then you can find Narrator icon, locate the right pane and toggle it off.

How to use windows narrator

The third way to turn Narrator off is also very easy.

Step 1: Type Narrator in the search box and find Narrator in the results.

Step 2: Click Narrator to open the Narrator Settings, and then choose Exit icon at the bottom or click the close icon at the right top to turn off the Narrator.

How to use windows narrator

When your Narrator keeps open, you can choose any of the above ways to turn it off when you don’t need it.

How to Turn On Narrator Windows 10?

If you want to turn your Narrator on, the first way is through Settings. After entering the Narrator Settings, locate the right pane and toggle it on, and then your Narrator is opened.

How to use windows narrator

Another easy way is to search the Narrator in the search box and then hit Enter to open it. Click the Narrator desktop app to open it.

Fixed: Cannot Turn Off Narrator in Windows 10

Some people reported after turning Windows 10 Narrator off, but the voice still keeps reading the letter on screen, the Narrator is not closed in a right way. And some people said every time he reboots the computer, the Narrator will be turned on login screen or lock screen automatically. So how to fix the Narrator keeps turn on issue?

#1

You should make sure you have turned off these two options. In Narrator settings, turn off Narrator and turn off Start Narrator Automatically.

How to use windows narrator

This can help some people solve their Narrator keeps turning in the lock screen problem. If this cannot work, you can follow the next steps to turn it off.

#2

There is another condition where you may turned Narrator on in control panel, so you should shut off it in it.

1. Follow this path: Control Panel > Ease of Access Center > Make the computer easier to use.

2. Turn off the two options: Turn on Narrator and Turn on Audio Description.

How to use windows narrator

3. Click Apply and OK.

4. Close the Narrator program or reboot the computer to let settings take effect.

Now, you will have already turned off Narrator and its voice functions completely.

#3

Third, you can try to deny all the Narrator permissions to close Narrator.

Step 1: Type Narrator in the search box and find Narrator in the results.

Step 2: Right-click Narrator to find Open file location, and then click it.

Step 3: Right-click Narrator and tap Properties.

Step 4: In the Narrator Properties, choose Security and then click Edit.

How to use windows narrator

Step 5: In the Permission for Narrator, check Permissions for SYSTEM all in the Deny column.

How to use windows narrator

#4

You can disable Narrator on Windows 10 by registry editor.

1. Press Windows + R and then input regedit to open registry editor window.

2. Locate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution Options.

3. In the right side, right-click the Blank window, select New > Key and rename it as Narrator.exe.

4. In the Narrator.exe folder, create a New > String Value name as Debugger.

5. Modify the Debugger data as %1.

6. After that, reboot your computer.

Now, your Narrator will be turned off completely. And if you want to turn it on, you can enter the registry editor to delete the Narrator.exe folder.

Conclusion: From the above content, you can know how to turn on and turn off Narrator easily and fast. You can both set them up on your screen and through your keyboard, you can choose a method that you are familiar with to set up your Narrator on Windows 10, but I’d like to say that all of those methods are very easy and convenient. Hope this post can help you to solve Windows 10 Narrator issue.

In our daily life, we come across so many people who are visually impaired or disabled somehow. Such people find it really difficult to take advantage of the new technologies because they cannot comfortably interact with them. For such kind of people, Windows narrator was introduced in Windows 10. It is a utility, which reads aloud every action that you take while using Windows 10. It also helps the visually impaired people to understand what is written in any sort of text document by reading it for them. In this article, we will explain to you the method through which you can use the Windows narrator in Windows 10.

Using the Windows Narrator in Windows 10

In order to use the Windows narrator in Windows 10, you will need to perform the following steps:

Type settings in the search section of your taskbar and click on the search result to launch the settings window. The newly opened Settings window is shown in the following image:

How to use windows narrator

Click on the Ease of Access tab as highlighted in the image shown above.

Now click on the Narrator tab.

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Turn on the toggle button corresponding to the field saying, “Use the Narrator to read and interact with your device” as highlighted in the image shown below:

How to use windows narrator

As soon as you will click on it, the Narrator Settings window will appear on the screen which is shown in the following image:

How to use windows narrator

In the Narrator Settings window, you can configure multiple settings according to your own choice. We will look at all these settings one by one.

Click on the General tab in order to open the General Settings as shown in the image below:

How to use windows narrator

Here you can set up the basic settings for your Windows narrator such as launching shortcut, reading the hints and tips that appear on your screen etc. You can enable all the features that you want to have in your Windows narrator simply by checking the checkboxes against them. Once you have made all the desired changes in the General Settings, you need to save them by clicking on the Save Changes button as highlighted in the image shown above.

Now click on the Navigation tab in order to see the Navigation Settings as shown in the following image:

How to use windows narrator

Here you can synchronize your Windows narrator cursor with the movement of your mouse and keyboard. Check all the checkboxes against the features that you want to enable and then click on the Save Changes button.

Click on the Voice tab in order to open the Voice Settings as shown in the image below:

How to use windows narrator

Here you can adjust the voice-related settings of your Windows narrator such as volume, pitch, speed etc. After customizing these settings, just click on the Save Changes button as highlighted in the image shown above.

Now click on the Commands tab in order to see the Command Settings as shown in the following image:

How to use windows narrator

Here you will see a list of all the default Windows narrator commands along with their shortcuts but you can customize them according to your own choice simply by clicking on the command whose shortcut you want to change and then typing an appropriate shortcut for it. Once you have customized these commands, click on the Save Changes button in order to save these settings.

The other three tabs i.e. User Guide, Minimize and Exit, in the Narrator Settings window are quite self-explanatory.

As soon as you manage to configure all the necessary settings, you are all set to use the Windows Narrator. Whenever you want the Windows narrator to start working, you can simply press Caps Lock + M and the narrator will start reading.

Conclusion

By following the method discussed in this article, you can easily use the Windows narrator in Windows 10 and help the visually impaired people by enabling them to listen to whatever action they perform while using Windows 10.

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Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. He blogs at LinuxWays.

    tutorial by Chad Whitley published on 08/10/2012

The Narrator program, one of several Ease of Access tools, can be used to read aloud text that appears on your screen. This can be useful for people who have vision or language issues and prefer to hear rather than to read. In this article we will go over how to access Narrator, what options it has available, and some basic shortcuts that will make it easier to use.

Accessing Narrator

The fastest way to open Narrator is to simply open the Start Menu and type “narrator” into the search field at the bottom.

Or, if you prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, open the Start Menu and go to All Programs > Accessories > Ease of Access > Narrator.

Either method will bring up the Narrator panel, and if your sound is on you will probably immediately begin to hear it talking to you.

Options and Settings

Before we get into how to use this function, let’s make sure it’s talking exactly when you want it to and at a volume that you can hear it.

When you open Narrator, its panel should look like it does below. There are four options you can turn on and off by checking their boxes. The “Echo User’s Keystrokes” box will cause Narrator speak aloud aloud every key that you type, “Announce System Messages” will read aloud any alerts that pop up, “Announce Scroll Notifications” will tell you whenever the screen scrolls, and “Start Narrator Minimized” will make it so that when you initially open Narrator in the future it is minimized on your taskbar.

As an aside, if you would like a tutorial to be read aloud to you, click on “Quick Help” here and Windows will do this for you.

Below the checkbox items you will see the option to “Control whether Narrator starts when I log on.” If you would like for Narrator to open automatically when you begin using your computer click this, and the panel below will open. The top checkbox reads “Turn on Narrator.”

Check this and click OK. Now, whenever you start up your computer, Narrator will automatically be opened.

Still further down the initial Narrator window, near the bottom and in the middle, you will see the Voice Settings option. Here, if you have multiple voices to choose from, you can select a different one. As you can see, I’m personally stuck with the English version of Ms. Anna for now, which suits me fine. Below this, you can also manipulate how fast Anna talks, how loud she talks, and how high or low pitched her voice is. Each of these is on a scale of 1 to 9, and you’ll want to tinker with them to get the most comfortable experience for yourself. Don’t forget to click OK once you have your ideal settings.

Using Narrator

By now, you’ve probably recognized that Narrator will babble on as you go from window to window. Whatever your keyboard is focused on, it will begin to read from. There are also a few keyboard commands you can use to control Narrator a little more.

If you want to make it stop talking in the middle of something, hit the Ctrl key on your keyboard. If you want Narrator to give you some information about the currently selected item, hold Ctrl and Shift keys and hit Enter on your keyboard. If you want Narrator to read the entire selected window, hold Ctrl and Shift and hit the Spacebar.

If you are looking for a complete list of commands that can be used with Narrator, I recommend that you read the table found here: Choose which text Narrator reads aloud. You can also access a help file listing several commands by going into the Help menu and clicking Documentation. This can also be achieved by simply hitting F1 while using the Narrator.

Closing

Narrator is a very simple tool, but a knowledgeable Windows user could use it to do some basic navigation through a computer without a monitor. Further, anyone having difficulty reading their screen might be grateful for its assistance. Personally, I can’t imagine not being able to read my screen, but sometimes it is nice to hear someone talking to me when I’m up late at night… even if it is only the computer! Let us know what you think about this tool, and if you have any other ideas for ways it can be used. Until next time, friends.

Windows Narrator is a screen reader and text-to-speak tool that allows you to hear text and screen elements read aloud. Here’s how to use and customize this accessibility feature.

How to use windows narrator

Windows has long offered a screen reader and text-to-speech feature called Narrator. This tool can read web pages, text documents, and other files aloud, as well as speak every action you take in Windows. Narrator is specifically designed for the visually impaired, but it can be used by anyone. Let’s see how it works in Windows 10.

Turn on Narrator

If you want to use Narrator, the feature must first be turned on. Click the Start button and open Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator to view the Narrator pane. Turn on the Narrator button and a message may appear explaining how the Narrator keyboard layout has been updated to more closely match your experience with other screen readers.

How to use windows narrator

Click OK to dispense with this message, and check the box next to “Don’t show again” if you don’t want to see this message each time Narrator starts.

How to Use Narrator

Now, if you want to use Narrator as a helpful text-to-speech reader, you’re ready to go. You just have to turn on the functionality when inside a web page, document, or file. Move your cursor to the area of text you want Narrator to start reading. Press Caps Lock + R and Narrator starts reading the text on the page to you. Stop Narrator from speaking by pressing the Ctrl key.

How to use windows narrator

Change Narrator Settings

First, let’s look at the different Narrator settings available as you scroll down the screen.

How to use windows narrator

  • Open Narrator Home. This opens a “Welcome to Narrator” screen where you can learn how to use and customize the tool and find out about new features.
  • View the complete guide to Narrator online. This takes you a web page that offers complete information on using Narrator with a table of contents and a description of new features.

Start-Up Options

  • Allow the shortcut key to start Narrator. If this box is checked, you can use the keystroke Win key+Ctrl+Enter to turn Narrator on and off.
  • Start Narrator after sign-in for me. This starts Narrator after you sign into Windows with your account.
  • Show Narrator Home when Narrator starts. This automatically takes you to the Welcome to Narrator screen when the tool starts.
  • Minimize Narrator Home to the system tray. This minimizes the “Welcome to Narrator” screen to the taskbar.

Personalize Narrator’s Voice

You can change the Narrator’s voice a number of different ways. From the Narrator settings screen, use the drop-down menu to choose which voice you want to use for Narrator.

How to use windows narrator

You can also change the speed, pitch, and volume of your chosen voice through the sliders on the settings screen. Certain keystrokes can also be used to change these elements.

How to use windows narrator

Additional voices can be added to Windows, including those for other languages, by navigating to Settings > Time & Language > Language. Click the “Add more voices” link, and on the next screen, click the Add voices button. Choose the language you wish to add and click Add.

Change What You Hear

By default, Narrator will speak aloud any buttons, screens, or windows you hover over or select, as well as any text on those screens. If you want to change this level, click the drop-down menu next to “Change the level of detail Narrator provides about text and controls.” For example, to hear only text and not controls narrated, select the option for Text only or Some text details.

Below the drop-down menu are additional options to check that will have Narrator emphasize formatted text, read aloud by character, use punctuation to determine pauses, and speak advanced details, like help text, on buttons and other controls.

How to use windows narrator

The second drop-down menu in this section allows you to set the level of context that Narrator provides for buttons and other controls. You may want to first try the highest option, “Full context of old and new controls,” and then lower the level if you wish to hear less context. You can then set when Narrator provides details about buttons, either before or after you activate them. Next, you can try the other three options for this section: Hear hints on how to interact with buttons and other controls; Hear Narrator announce why an action can’t be performed; and Hear audio cues when you perform actions.

Under the “Change what you hear when typing” section, you can determine whether you want to hear letters, numbers, words, function keys, navigation keys, toggle keys, and modifier keys as you type them.

How to use windows narrator

Additional Settings to Change

Under the “Choose keyboard settings” section, you can select your keyboard layout and pick the Narrator modified key. Click the link for “Create your own keyboard commands,” and you can choose from a variety of commands to use with Narrator.

How to use windows narrator

In the “Use Narrator cursor” section, you can determine how and where the Narrator cursor works and how you can control it with your mouse or keyboard. Under the “Use braille” section, you can install and set up braille software to use a braille display with Windows.

How to use windows narrator

Under the “Sync my settings” section, click the “Use current settings before sign-in” button to save any changes you made to Narrator settings so they automatically apply to anyone else who uses Windows on this computer.

Windows has a built-in function that allows the user to hear the text on the screen aloud. Here are the steps for enabling this function, as well as some directions on how to use keyboard shortcuts to read items out loud. You will need headphones or speakers in order to use this function.

For more information, refer to Windows support page: Hear text read aloud with Narrator

Step-by-step guide

Or, type Narrator into the Start menu search bar.

You will see a dialog box open. This box indicates that Narrator is started and working. How to use windows narrator
To get the most out of Narrator, use the keyboard shortcuts below.

You will not be able to insert characters by simply pressing the Insert key while Narrator is running. To do this, press Insert+I and then the characters you wish to add.

Move 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.

Move 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.

Select all of the text that has the same formatting as the character at the cursor

Read the current character

Read the current word

Read the current line

Read the current paragraph

Read the current page

Read the current document

In the Narrator dialog box, you are given several options to configure. In Main Narrator Settings, you may choose which text Narrator reads aloud.

To hear what you type, select the Echo User’s Keystrokes check box.

To hear background events, such as notifications, select the Announce System Messages check box.

To hear an announcement when the screen scrolls, select the Announce Scroll Notifications check box

Also in Main Narrator Settings , you may choose whether to start Narrator minimized so it does not disturb your viewing experience. To do this, select the Start Narrator Minimized box. The next time you start Narrator, it will appear as an icon on the taskbar instead of being open on your screen.

In Voice Settings, you may change the Narrator voice.

To select a different voice, click the voice you want to use in the Select Voice box.

For a faster voice, select a number in the Set Speed list. The higher the number, the faster the voice.

For a louder voice, select a number in the Set Volume list. The higher the number, the louder the voice.

For a higher-pitched voice, select a number in the Set Pitch list. The higher the number, the higher the pitch. A higher-pitched voice can be easier for some people to hear.

To turn off Narrator, click Control whether Narrator starts when I log on .

In the window that opens, clear the Turn on Narrator and Turn on Audio

Description check boxes and click Apply .