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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.

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 + Spacebar Toggle scan mode
Enter
Spacebar
Primary action
Shift + Enter
Shift + Spacebar
Secondary action
Home Move to and read the first character of a line
End Move to and read the last character of a line
P Read next paragraph
Shift + P Read previous paragraph
Ctrl + Down arrow Read next line
Ctrl + Up arrow Read previous line
Ctrl + Right arrow Read next word
Ctrl + Left arrow Read previous word
Right arrow Read next character
Left arrow Read previous character
Ctrl + Home Move to and read the first line of text
Ctrl + End Move to and read the last line of text
Down arrow Jump to next text or item
Up arrow Jump to previous text or item
1 Jump to next heading at level 1
Shift + 1 Jump to previous heading at level 1
2 Jump to next heading at level 2
Shift + 2 Jump to previous heading at level 2
3 Jump to next heading at level 3
Shift + 3 Jump to previous heading at level 3
4 Jump to next heading at level 4
Shift + 4 Jump to previous heading at level 4
5 Jump to next heading at level 5
Shift + 5 Jump to previous heading at level 5
6 Jump to next heading at level 6
Shift + 6 Jump to previous heading at level 6
7 Jump to next heading at level 7
Shift + 7 Jump to previous heading at level 7
8 Jump to next heading at level 8
Shift + 8 Jump to previous heading at level 8
9 Jump to next heading at level 9
Shift + 9 Jump to previous heading at level 9
B Jump to next button
Shift + B Jump to previous button
C Jump to next combo box
Shift + C Jump to previous combo box
D Jump to next landmark
Shift + D Jump to previous landmark
E Jump to next edit box
Shift + E Jump to previous edit box
F Jump to next form field
Shift + F Jump to previous form field
H Jump to next heading
Shift + H Jump to previous heading
I Jump to next item
Shift + I Jump to previous item
K Jump to next link
Shift + K Jump to previous link
R Jump to next radio button
Shift + R Jump to previous radio button
T Jump to next table
Shift + T Jump to previous table
X Jump to next check box
Shift + X Jump 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 arrow Select current character
Shift + Left arrow Select previous character
Ctrl + Shift + Right arrow Select current word
Ctrl + Shift + Left arrow Select previous word
Shift + Down arrow Select current line
Shift + Up arrow Select previous line
Ctrl + Shift + Down arrow Select current paragraph
Ctrl + Shift + Up arrow Select previous paragraph
Shift + Home Select to beginning of line
Shift + End Select to end of line
Ctrl + Shift + Home Select to beginning of document
Ctrl + Shift + End Select to end of document
Shift + Page down Select current page
Shift + Page up Select previous page
F9 Mark the beginning or end of a block of text
F10 Select all text between a mark and the current point
Ctrl + C Copy selection
Ctrl + X Cut selection
Ctrl + V Paste selection
Ctrl + A Select all
Narrator + Shift + Down arrow Read selection
Narrator + Shift + Down arrow twice quickly Spell selection

That's it.

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