Ask an Expert – March 2024 – Ten Tips for Learning the Narrator Screen Reader

Donna Jodhan, a woman with short dark hair and glasses, sits at a table with a laptop in front of her.

Hello everyone! Welcome to my “Ten Tips” series, where each month I’ll be sharing 10 tips on various pieces of technology. This would include tips on popular screen readers, office software, and browsers.

If you have any suggestions on what you would like me to share, then by all means! Write to me at

For this month:

Ten Tips for Learning the Narrator Screen Reader

Learning to use a screen reader like Narrator can significantly enhance accessibility for individuals with visual impairments. Here are 10 tips to help you get started with learning the Narrator screen reader:

  1. Explore Basic Navigation: Familiarize yourself with fundamental navigation commands such as moving through elements on the screen, navigating by headings, links, and landmarks.
  2. Keyboard Shortcuts: Learn the keyboard shortcuts specific to Narrator. These shortcuts are essential for quick navigation and interaction with various elements on your computer.
  3. Practice Regularly: Consistent practice is key to becoming proficient with a screen reader. Regular use will help you gain confidence and improve your speed and accuracy.
  4. Use Help and Resources: Take advantage of the user guides, tutorials, and online resources available for Narrator. Microsoft provides comprehensive guides and tutorials on their website.
  5. Customize Settings: Narrator offers various customization options. Explore and adjust settings such as voice type, speed, pitch, verbosity, and other preferences to suit your needs and preferences.
  6. Focus on Specific Tasks: Start by focusing on specific tasks such as browsing the internet, using word processing software, or navigating through different applications. Mastering one task at a time can be more manageable.
  7. Get Support and Community: Join online forums, communities, or groups where users share tips, ask questions, and provide support. Learning from others’ experiences can be incredibly beneficial.
  8. Learn Braille Integration, If Applicable: If you use a Braille display in conjunction with Narrator, learn how to integrate it and practice using Braille for navigation and interaction.
  9. Practice Reading Aloud: Narrator often reads out text. Practicing reading aloud as Narrator speaks can help reinforce understanding and improve comprehension.
  10. Stay Patient and Persistent: Learning any new technology takes time. Be patient with yourself and persistent in your efforts. Over time, you’ll become more comfortable and efficient with the screen reader.

Remember, mastering a screen reader like Narrator can greatly improve accessibility, and it’s an ongoing learning process. The more you use it, the more proficient you’ll become.

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