Turn On or Off Narrator Announce Modifier Keys as Typed

How to turn on or off Narrator Announce Modifier Keys as Typed in Windows 10

Narrator is a screen-reading app built into Windows 10. It lets users with vision issues to use PC and complete common tasks. Starting in Windows 10 version 1903 it is possible to make Narrator announce modifier keys (Shift, Ctrl, Alt) when the keys are pressed. Here is how to disable or enable this feature.

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 key.

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.

A modifier key is a special key (or combination) on a computer keyboard that temporarily modifies the normal action of another key when pressed together. Traditionally, the Ctrl, Shift, Win, and Alt keys are the modifier keys available on modern keyboards. If you are running Windows 10 version 1903, the Narrator announces modifier keys immediately after you press them. You can disable or enable this feature with Settings, or a Registry tweak.

To Turn On or Off Announce Modifier Keys as Typed in Narrator,

  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 typing section.
  5. Turn off (uncheck)  or on (check) the option 'Hear Shift, Alt, and other modifier keys as you type' on the right side for what you want.Windows 10 Narrator Announce Modifier Keys

You are done. You can turn on (re-enable) this option at any moment of time.

Alternatively, you can apply a Registry tweak.

Turn Off or On Announce Modifier Keys in the Registry

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.

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

  3. On the right, modify or create a new 32-Bit DWORD value EchoModifierKeys.
    Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.Windows 10 Narrator Announce Modifier Keys Tweak
  4. Set its value data to one of the following values:
    • 0 - Disabled
    • 1 - Enabled (used by default)
  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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