Disability Services

Narrator Hotkeys for Reading

If you do not want to install a new program on your computer running Windows Vista, 7, or 8 here are some directions for using Narrator with WordPad in Windows Vista. Narrator will not read in MS Word or Works so the text will need to be copied to Word Pad or opened with Word Pad. The files that we provide in RTF can be opened in Word Pad. The following directions explain how to do this.

Narrator in Windows 8

Directions for Narrator in Windows 8 have changed. There are some new hotkeys and they have added touch screen support so it works in Windows 8 RT. To open Narrator in Windows 8 Hold the Windows Key and Press Enter or on tablets Windows Key and Press Volume Up. You can find more Windows 8 specific information on Microsoft's Hear Text Read Aloud with Narrator page.

Open Narrator

  1. Open the Ease of Access Center by going to the Control Panel or using the hotkey “Windows Key+U”
  2. Double Click on Start Narrator or use the hotkey Alt+N and press enter.

Open Word Pad

  1. Go to the Start Menu
  2. Type WordPad in the search menu then press enter.

You can open RTF and text files in WordPad

Paste Text from Word Documents into Word Pad

  1. Open your file from us in Works or Word
  2. Hold Control and press A to Select All
  3. Hold Control and press C to copy the text
  4. Click on Word Pad in the Taskbar
  5. Hold Control and press V to paste the text in to Word Pad
  6. Use the commands below to read the text

Reading Hotkeys for Narrator

Hotkey Command
INSERT+F3 Read the current character
INSERT+F4 Read the current word
INSERT+F5 Read the current line
INSERT+F6 Read the current paragraph
INSERT+F7 Read the current page
INSERT+F8 Read the current document

You can also use the up and down arrows to read line by line.

Narrator IS NOT VERY EFFECTIVE. It will not track down through the document while you read. So if you want to look at the text while it reads you need to use the arrow keys to read.

WordPad will not display all RTF files. Some files with more complex formatting will not display all of the formatting and graphics. The files that Disability Services scans have very simple if any formatting so they should open without much trouble.