Enable Narrator Scan Mode in Windows 10

How to Enable Narrator Scan Mode in Windows 10

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. One of its useful features is Scan mode. Today, we'll see how to enable and use it.

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

Scan mode 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 Enable Narrator Scan Mode in Windows 10,

  1. Enable Narrator (You can press Ctrl+Win+Enter).
  2. To turn scan mode on, press Caps Lock Spacebar. The keys can be customized.
  3. You will hear Narrator saying 'scan' when Scan mode is enabled.
  4. To turn off scan mode, press Caps Lock + Spacebar once again. You will hear 'Scan off'.

When scan mode is turned on, use the Up arrow key and Down arrow key to navigate apps and webpages. Press Enter or Spacebar to activate an item that you want to use, such as a button in an app, a link in a webpage, or a text box.

Scan mode turns on automatically when you use Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome to browse the web. It also turns on automatically when you open any Windows app where you turned it on before.

If you turn scan mode off for an app, it will remain off for that app until you turn it on again. Scan mode automatically turns off in edit fields so you can enter text. Press up or down arrow again to leave the edit field and resume scan mode.

Narrator Scan Mode Keyboard Shortcuts

When scan mode is turned on, use the following keys to navigate apps and webpages.

Narrator + SpacebarToggle scan mode
Enter
Spacebar
Primary action
Shift + Enter
Shift + Spacebar
Secondary action
HomeMove to and read the first character of a line
EndMove to and read the last character of a line
PRead next paragraph
Shift + PRead previous paragraph
Ctrl + Down arrowRead next line
Ctrl + Up arrowRead previous line
Ctrl + Right arrowRead next word
Ctrl + Left arrowRead previous word
Right arrowRead next character
Left arrowRead previous character
Ctrl + HomeMove to and read the first line of text
Ctrl + EndMove to and read the last line of text
Down arrowJump to next text or item
Up arrowJump to previous text or item
1Jump to next heading at level 1
Shift + 1Jump to previous heading at level 1
2Jump to next heading at level 2
Shift + 2Jump to previous heading at level 2
3Jump to next heading at level 3
Shift + 3Jump to previous heading at level 3
4Jump to next heading at level 4
Shift + 4Jump to previous heading at level 4
5Jump to next heading at level 5
Shift + 5Jump to previous heading at level 5
6Jump to next heading at level 6
Shift + 6Jump to previous heading at level 6
7Jump to next heading at level 7
Shift + 7Jump to previous heading at level 7
8Jump to next heading at level 8
Shift + 8Jump to previous heading at level 8
9Jump to next heading at level 9
Shift + 9Jump to previous heading at level 9
BJump to next button
Shift + BJump to previous button
CJump to next combo box
Shift + CJump to previous combo box
DJump to next landmark
Shift + DJump to previous landmark
EJump to next edit box
Shift + EJump to previous edit box
FJump to next form field
Shift + FJump to previous form field
HJump to next heading
Shift + HJump to previous heading
IJump to next item
Shift + IJump to previous item
KJump to next link
Shift + KJump to previous link
RJump to next radio button
Shift + RJump to previous radio button
TJump to next table
Shift + TJump to previous table
XJump to next check box
Shift + XJump to previous check box

Selecting Text in Scan Mode

Use these commands when you’re copying text from content areas like websites or email.

Shift + Right arrowSelect current character
Shift + Left arrowSelect previous character
Ctrl + Shift + Right arrowSelect current word
Ctrl + Shift + Left arrowSelect previous word
Shift + Down arrowSelect current line
Shift + Up arrowSelect previous line
Ctrl + Shift + Down arrowSelect current paragraph
Ctrl + Shift + Up arrowSelect previous paragraph
Shift + HomeSelect to beginning of line
Shift + EndSelect to end of line
Ctrl + Shift + HomeSelect to beginning of document
Ctrl + Shift + EndSelect to end of document
Shift + Page downSelect current page
Shift + Page upSelect previous page
F9Mark the beginning or end of a block of text
F10Select all text between a mark and the current point
Ctrl + CCopy selection
Ctrl + XCut selection
Ctrl + VPaste selection
Ctrl + ASelect all
Narrator + Shift + Down arrowRead selection
Narrator + Shift + Down arrow twice quicklySpell selection

That's it.

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