NVDA Keyboard Shortcuts

Screen reader keyboard shortcuts > NVDA

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NVDA works best with Chrome and Firefox. If you try to use it with any other browser, it may work for some things, but not as consistently as with Firefox.

NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a screen reader for Microsoft Windows that is totally free, yet fully functional and portable; you can download it to your PC, or to portable media such as a USB stick. It was initially released in 2006 by NV Access founders Michael Curran and James Teh—blind computer programmers who believe passionately in universal access to computers.

NVDA Shortcut Keys

Note: Some keyboard shortcuts require using the NVDA modifier key. By default, both the numpad Insert key and the extended Insert key are set as NVDA modifier keys, but users can designate the Caps Lock key as the NVDA modifier key. In the tables below, the assumption is that the Insert key is set as the NVDA modifier key. If you have changed your settings, you may need to substitute the Caps Lock key in the place of the Insert key.

Essential Keyboard Shortcuts

The Basics

Topic Task Command
On/Off: Turn NVDA on Control + Alt + N
Turn NVDA off Insert + Q
Reading: Stop Reading Control
Start reading continuously from this point on Insert + down arrow or Num Pad +
Read next item down arrow or Num Pad +
Read next focusable item (e.g. link, button) Tab
Activate: Link Enter
Button Enter or Spacebar
Headings: Go to next heading H
Go to next heading of level [1-6] 1 - 6
List all headings Insert + F7
Landmarks: Go to next landmark/region D
Elements list: Show list of all links, headings, and landmarks Insert + F7
Tables: Go to next table T
Navigate table cells Ctrl + Alt + down arrow or up arrow or left arrow or right arrow
Lists: Go to next list L
Go to next list item I
Graphics: Go to next graphic G
Links: List all links Insert + F7
Go to next link K
Go to next unvisited link U
Go to next visited link V
Navigate: Toggle between:
Radio buttons
<select>list items
Tabs (ARIA widget)
Tree view items (ARIA widget)
Menu items (ARIA widget)
right arrow or down arrow or left arrow or up arrow
Go backward: To previous heading, landmark, table, focusable item, etc. Shift + [H, D, T, Tab, etc.]

Reading Text

Topic Task Command
Line: Say prior line up arrow or Num Pad 7
Say next line down arrow or Num Pad 9
Say current line Insert + up arrow or Num Pad 8
Start of line Shift + Num Pad 1
End of line Shift + Num Pad 3
Top line Shift + Num Pad 7
Bottom line Shift + Num Pad 9
Character: Say prior character left arrow or Num Pad 1
Say next character right arrow or Num Pad 3
Say current character Num Pad 2
Say character phonetically Num Pad 5 twice quickly
Word: Say prior word Ctrl + left arrow or Num Pad 4
Say next word Ctrl + right arrow or Num Pad 6
Say current word Num Pad 5
Sentence: Say prior sentence Alt + up arrow
Say next sentence Alt + down arrow
Say current sentence Alt + Num Pad 5
Paragraph: Next paragraph Ctrl + up arrow or Q
Spelling: Spell word Num Pad 5 twice quickly
Spell current line Insert + up arrow twice quickly


Topic Task Command
Table: Go to next (previous) table T (Shift + T)
Cell: Cell to right Ctrl + Alt + right arrow
Cell to left Ctrl + Alt + left arrow
Cell below Ctrl + Alt + down arrow
Cell above Ctrl + Alt + up arrow


Topic Task Command
Navigate: Next form F
Next focusable item Tab
Next button B
Checkboxes: Select and deselect Spacebar
Next checkbox X
Combo boxes(<select>): Open combo box Alt + down arrow
Browse/select options down arrow or the First letter
Select multiple options Shift + down arrow (or up arrow)
Next combo box C
Radio buttons: Toggle selection up arrow/down arrow
Next radio button R
Forms mode:* Toggle between forms mode and browse mode Insert + Spacebar

* “Forms mode” allows you to enter data into form fields. Browse mode allows you to navigate the page using standard screen reader shortcuts (e.g. to navigate headings, landmarks, links, etc.)

Other Commands

Task Command
Search for a word or a phrase NVDA + Ctrl + F
Keyboard help Insert + 1
Next blockquote Q
Next key you hit ignores NVDA and is a normal keystroke Insert + F2
Speak characters typed Insert + 2
Speak words typed Insert + 3
Read entire foreground window (e.g. for dialogs) Insert + B
Announce title of the current foreground window Insert + T

Additional Resources

NVAccess' support webpage is available at www.nvaccess.org/help/.