Turn on and use Narrator

Narrator reads what is displayed on the screen, including the contents of the active window, menu options, or text that has been typed. Narrator is designed to work with Notepad, WordPad, Control Panel programs, Internet Explorer, the Windows desktop, and some parts of Windows Setup, and may not read words aloud correctly in other programs.

Here's how to turn it on and choose different settings.

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To turn on Narrator and choose settings using your mouse

  1. Click the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to Accessibility, and then click Narrator.

  2. In the Narrator dialog box, you can select different options, including:

    • Announce events on screen

    • Read typed characters

    • Move mouse pointer to the active item

    • Start Narrator minimized

  3. Click Exit when you are done.

To turn on Narrator and choose settings using your keyboard

  1. Display the Start menu by pressing Ctrl+Esc (or the Windows logo key). Press R and type narrator. Then press Enter.

  2. In the Narrator dialog box, you can select different options:

    • To turn on Announce events on a screen, press Alt+A.

    • To turn on Read typed characters, press Spacebar.

    • To turn on Move mouse pointer to the active item, press Alt+M.

    • To Start Narrator minimized, press Alt+M.

  3. To turn off Narrator, press Alt+X, Y.

You can also adjust Narrator voice options to make the Narrator voice easier to hear and understand:

To adjust Narrator voice options using your mouse

  1. Click the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to Accessibility, and then click Narrator.

  2. In the Narrator dialog box, click Voice.

  3. In the Voice Settings dialog box, select the Speed you want by using the arrow buttons. You can also select the Volume and Pitch you want by using those arrow buttons. click OK.

To adjust Narrator voice options using your keyboard

  1. Display the Start menu by pressing Ctrl+Esc (or the Windows logo key). Press R and type narrator. Then press Enter.

  2. In the Narrator dialog box, press V to select Voice.

  3. In the Voice Settings dialog box, you can make the following adjustments:

    • Select the Speed you want by pressing Alt+S. Use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to adjust the setting.

    • Select the Volume you want by pressing Alt+O. Use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to adjust the setting.

    • Select the Pitch you want by pressing Alt+P. Use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to adjust the setting.

    When you're done, press Enter.

  4. To turn off Narrator, press Alt+X, Y.