Narrator Keyboard Shortcuts

Screen Reader Keyboard Shortcuts and Gestures > Narrator

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Narrator is the built-in screen reader that comes with Windows. Narrator has been around for a long time, but starting with Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, Narrator has matured significantly, making it a much more viable option for blind users than it ever was previously.

The main keystrokes for navigating the web with Narrator are shown in the tables below.

Note:

Narrator works best with Microsoft Edge. If you try to use it with any other browser, it may work for some things, but not as consistently as with Edge.
Windows Narrator + Edge

Note:

Standard and Legacy keyboard layouts: Narrator has a Standard keyboard layout that is the default, and this guide uses the keystrokes from that layout. There is also a Legacy keyboard layout that uses a different set of keystrokes to accomplish the same actions possible in the Standard keyboard layout, although there are some actions added in the newer Standard keyboard layout which can't be used in the Legacy keyboard layout if the keystroke assigned for the new action conflicts with a legacy keystroke. See Microsoft's official Narrator guide appendix for a list of Legacy keyboard layout keystrokes.

Narrator key: By default, either Caps Lock or Insert can be used as the Narrator key. This guide refers to it as Caps Lock.

Narrator Views: Narrator has several navigation settings, called views. View types include items (default), characters, words, lines, paragraphs, headings, links, tables, and landmarks. Change view type using Caps Lock + Page Up or Caps Lock + Page Down (or Caps Lock + Control + Up Arrow or Caps Lock + Control + Down Arrow).

Scan mode: Scan mode allows quick navigation of a web page or application and enables specific keystrokes to navigate by elements such as headings, links, and landmarks. It also includes keystrokes for table navigation. Activate scan mode using Caps Lock + Space Bar.

Developer mode: Developer mode masks the screen, highlighting only the objects and text exposed programmatically to Narrator. This offers a visual representation of the accessibility of the information on the screen and what is exposed to Narrator through UI Automation.

The basics

Topic Task Command
On/Off: Turn Narrator on Windows key + Control + Enter
Turn Narrator off Windows key + Control + Enter
or Caps Lock + Escape
Reading: Stop Reading Control
Start reading continuously from this point on Caps Lock + down arrow
or Caps Lock + Control + R
Read from beginning of page Caps Lock + Control + I
Read next item Caps Lock + right arrow
Read next focusable item (e.g. link, button) Tab
Read current item Caps Lock + Tab
Repeat last statement Caps Lock + X
Activate: Link Caps Lock + Enter
Button Caps Lock + Enter
Headings: Go to next heading* H
Go to next heading of level [1-6]* 1 - 6
List all headings Caps Lock + F6
Landmarks: Go to next landmark/region* D
Go to main content region* Caps Lock + N
Tables: Go to next table* T
Navigate table cells Ctrl + Alt + down arrow or up arrow or left arrow or right arrow
Links: List all links Caps Lock + F7
Go to the next link* K
Navigate: Rotate between:
characters
words
lines
paragraphs
items
form fields
landmarks
headings
links
and tables
Caps Lock + Page Up or Caps Lock + Page Down
or Caps Lock + Control + up arrow or Caps Lock + Control + down arrow
Toggle: Developer Mode Caps Lock + Control + F12
Read: Title and contents of window Caps Lock + W
Go backward: Go to previous heading, landmark, table, focusable item, etc. Shift + [H, D, T, Tab, etc.]

Reading text

Topic Task Command
Line: Say prior line Caps Lock + U
Say current line Caps Lock + I
or Caps Lock + up arrow
Say next line Caps Lock + O
Document: Go to start of document Caps Lock + B
or Caps Lock + Control + Home
Go to end of document Caps Lock + E
or Caps Lock + Control + End
Character: Say prior character Caps Lock + M
Say current character Caps Lock + , (Comma)
Say next character Caps Lock + . (Period)
Word: Say prior word Caps Lock + J
or Caps Lock + Control + left arrow
Say current word Caps Lock + K
or Caps Lock + Control + 5 (Numpad)
Say next word Caps Lock + L
or Caps Lock + Control + right arrow
Paragraph: Previous Paragraph Caps Lock + Control + J
Current Paragraph Caps Lock + Control + K
Next Paragraph Caps Lock + Control + L
Spelling: Spell item Twice quickly:
Caps Lock + Tab
or Caps Lock + K
or Caps Lock + 5 (Numpad)
or Caps Lock + Control + 5 (Numpad)

Scan mode

Topic Task Command
Toggle: Toggle Scan Mode Caps Lock + Space Bar
Primary: Primary action (e.g. activate an item) Enter or Space Bar
Secondary: Secondary action (e.g. select or expand) Shift + Enter
or Shift + Space Bar
Next: Next/previous line Control + down arrow / Control + up arrow
Next/previous character right arrow / left arrow
Next/previous word Control + right arrow / Control + left arrow
Next/previous paragraph P / Shift + P
Next/previous text or item down arrow / up arrow
Next heading H
Next heading of level [1-6] 1 - 6
Next table T
Next link K
Next landmark D
Next form field F

Tables

Topic Task Command
Table: Go to next table* T
Cell: Cell to right Control + Alt + right arrow
Cell to left Control + Alt + left arrow
Cell below Control + Alt + down arrow
Cell above Control + Alt + up arrow
Read: Read row header Control + Shift + Alt + left arrow
Read current row Control + Shift + Alt + right arrow
Read column header Control + Shift + Alt + up arrow
Read current column Control + Shift + Alt + down arrow
Announce: Announce location in table Control + Shift + Alt + / (Forward Slash)
or Control + Shift + Alt + 5 (Numpad)

Touch gestures

Task Command
Read what's under your finger Touch or drag a single finger
Activate primary action Double tap
Activate secondary action Triple tap
Quick double (or triple) tap Hold with one finger, tap (or double tap) anywhere with another
Next or previous item Flick right or left
Change view Flick up or down
Stop reading Two-finger tap
Change verbosity Three-finger tap
Show commands for current item Four-finger tap
Show context menu Two-finger double tap
Read text attributes Three-finger double tap
Open search mode Four-finger double tap
Show all Narrator commands Four-finger triple tap
Scroll Two-finger swipe up, down, left, or right
Tab forward or backward Three-finger swipe right or left
Read current window Three-finger swipe up
Start reading on explorable text** Three-finger swipe down
Enable (disable) semantic zoom Four-finger swipe up (down)
Move Narrator cursor to beginning or end of unit Four-finger swipe left or right

*Scan mode only

**Although using this gesture will act similarly to the keyboard command to “Start reading continuously from this point on,” the difference is that when you use this gesture and then use the keyboard command or gesture to “Stop reading,” the focus remains where the reading began, instead of moving to where the reading was stopped.