How to read the screen aloud using Narrator in Windows 11 - Windows Basics


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

How to read the screen aloud using Narrator in Windows 11

Windows Narrator has been around as an essential accessibility feature for a long time. It helps users navigate web pages, Windows applications, etc. by reading text on the screen.

Since the release of Windows 11, many accessibility features have been significantly upgraded. New features (such as more natural voices) make Narrator even more powerful and customizable on Windows 11.

Here's everything you need to know about setting up and using Narrator on Windows 11.

How to set up Narrator on Windows 11

Similar to other accessibility tools, you can configure Narrator to launch automatically before or after logging in to Windows, or via a dedicated keyboard shortcut.

To set how Narrator starts on your system:

1. Launch the Settings app from the Start menu and select Accessibility from the sidebar.

2. Under Vision, click the Narrator tab.

3. To activate Narrator immediately, turn on the Narrator toggle.

4. If you want to automatically set up Narrator to start before or after you log in, expand the Narrator tab. Click the toggle switch for Narrator to turn it on. Tick the checkbox next to Start narrator before sign-in or Start narrator after sign-in if you want Narrator to start automatically when Windows launches.

5. To enable Narrator's shortcut (Win + Ctrl + Enter), enable Keyboard shortcut for Narrator.

6. Similarly, you can also set Narrator Home to launch automatically.

How to change Narrator's voice on Windows 11

Windows 11 offers a lot of flexibility in customizing Narrator's voice to your preferences. You can choose from several different voices to adjust narration speed, pitch, volume, and more.

To change Narrator's voice settings on Windows 11:

1. Navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Narrator.

2. Select the Voice drop-down menu and choose your preferred Microsoft voice.

3. In addition, you can also add another voice through the Add voices tab. Select Add voices from the Speech settings page and select a language pack.

4. You can adjust Speed, Pitch and Volume from the respective control sliders.

5. If you want to change the default output device, connect the output device to the PC and select it from the Narrator audio output device drop-down box.

How to configure Narrator's voice on Windows 11

In addition to adjusting Narrator's voice, you can also change the level of detail Narrator provides while reading the screen.

1. Launch the Settings app and navigate to Accessibility > Narrator.

2. Select the drop-down menu Verbosity level and required detail level for narration.

3. Similarly, you can also decide how much detail Narrator provides when you interact with buttons or controls via the Context level for buttons and controls drop-down box.

4. If you want Narrator to announce every time you press a key on your keyboard, you can enable this feature by expanding the Have Narrator announce when I type tab. Windows allows you to choose to enable this feature for a specific group of keys (letters, numbers, function keys, etc.).

Advanced Narrator Settings

In addition to the audio section, Windows 11 allows you to configure advanced Narrator settings. This includes customizing how the Narrator cursor appears, integrating braille displays, and choosing how data is managed.

You can easily manage these settings through the same Narrator settings page.

Windows 11 has now started supporting natural speech for Narrator. Thanks to the Insider update, users can now experience browsing, reading, and composing messages in a more realistic way.

While the update is currently limited to Windows Insider users, it's likely that Microsoft will soon start supporting all Windows 11 devices with multiple additional languages.

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