Change Narrator Context Reading Order for Buttons and Controls

How to change Narrator Context Reading Order for Buttons and Controls

As you may already know, Narrator is a screen-reading app built into Windows 10. Narrator lets users with vision issues to use PC and complete common tasks. It is possible to change the context reading order for buttons and controls for Narrator in Windows 10. We will review how it can be done with either keyboard, Settings or a Registry tweak.

Microsoft describes the Narrator feature as follows:

Narrator lets you use your PC without a display or mouse to complete common tasks if you’re blind or have low vision. It reads and interacts with things on the screen, like text and buttons. Use Narrator to read and write email, browse the Internet, and work with documents.

Specific commands let you navigate Windows, the web, and apps, as well as get info about the area of the PC you're in. Navigation is available using headings, links, landmarks, and more. You can read text (including punctuation) by page, paragraph, line, word, and character as well as determine characteristics like font and text color. Efficiently review tables with row and column navigation.

Narrator also has a navigation and reading mode called Scan Mode. Use it to get around Windows 10 using just the up and down arrows on your keyboard. You can also use a braille display to navigate your PC and read text.

Windows 10 allows to customize options for Narrator. You can change its keyboard shortcuts, personalize Narrator's voice, enable Caps Lock warnings, and more. You can choose the voice for Narrator, adjust the speaking rate, pitch, and volume.

Windows 10 1903 Narrator Page

The Narrator supports Scan mode that lets you navigate apps, email, and webpages using the arrow keys. You’ll also be able to use common keyboard shortcuts to read text and jump directly to headings, links, tables, and landmarks.

To launch certain Narrator features, you can use its keyboard shortcuts. The keyboard shortcuts include a special modifier key, which is set to both Caps Lock and Insert by default. You can change the modifier keys.

Also, you can turn on special Lock Mode for the modifier key of Narrator. When it is enabled, you do not have to press the Narrator key to launch a Narrator feature.

Narrator comes with support for reading characters phonetically. That is, reading out “a Alfa, b Bravo, c Charlie” while navigating “abc” by character.

You can make Narrator read context either before or after the current item. The Narrator allows adjusting the order of context reading for buttons and other controls.

To Change Narrator Context Reading Order for Buttons and Controls, do the following.

  • To hear the current context at any time, press Narrator + forward slash (/).
  • To change the level of context that’s read, press Narrator + Alt + forward slash (/).
  • To change whether context is read before or after the current item, press Narrator + Ctrl + forward slash (/).

Change Narrator Context Reading Order for Buttons and Controls in Settings

  1. Open the Settings app.Windows 10 Creators Update Settings 15019
  2. Go to Ease of Access -> Narrator.Windows 10 1903 Narrator Page
  3. On the right, enable Narrator if required.
  4. Scroll down to the Change what you hear when reading and interacting section.
  5. Select the desired option from the 'Adjust when Narrator provides details about buttons and other controls' drop down list on the right side. The available options are Before controls or After controls.Windows 10 Narrator Context Reading Order

You are done.

Alternatively, you can apply a Registry tweak.

Change Narrator Context Reading Order for Buttons and Controls in Registry

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Narrator\NoRoam

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

  3. On the right, modify or create a new 32-Bit DWORD value RenderContextBeforeElement.
    Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
  4. Set its value data to one of the following values:
    • 0 - After controls
    • 1 - Before controls
  5. You are done.

To save your time, you can download the following Registry files:

Download Registry Files

The ZIP archive includes the undo tweak.

That's it.

More Narrator tips:

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