Making your computer speak using Windows

Windows narrator

Windows Narrator is a basic screen-reading program. It offers speech feedback for all menus and dialog boxes, Windows Explorer and Notepad but will not speak out a whole Word documents or web page.

To start Narrator:

  • Open the ‘ Start ‘ menu by clicking on the ‘ Start ‘ button or by pressing the Windows logo key (located between the Ctrl and Alt keys on most keyboards), alternatively press ‘ Ctrl ‘ + ‘ Esc ‘ .
  • Click on ‘ All Programs ‘ or alternatively press ‘ P ‘ on the keyboard until All Programs is highlighted and then press ‘ Enter ‘ .
  • Click on ‘ Accessories ‘ or press ‘ A ‘ on the keyboard until ‘ Accessories ‘ is highlighted and then press ‘ Enter ‘ .
  • Click on ‘ Accessibility ‘ or if you are using the keyboard, it will already be highlighted so just press ‘ Enter ‘.
  • Click on ‘ Narrator ‘ or press’ N ‘ until ‘ Narrator’ is highlighted and then press ‘ Enter ‘.
  • The ‘ Microsoft Narrator ‘ window will then appear and ‘ Narrator ‘ immediately starts talking and reads out the instructions on how to use this feature.
  • After clicking on the ‘ OK ‘ button or pressing ‘ Enter ‘ , another window appears which has various options which you can select by clicking on the checkbox or tabbing to the checkbox and pressing the ‘ Spacebar ‘ . You can also adjust the voice settings from here by clicking on the ‘ Voice ‘ button or pressing ‘ V ‘ on the keyboard.

Please note: Window’s Narrator is only available for Windows 2000 and XP.


You can also find help with making your computer speak on these other operating systems:

For Linux, For Mac.

Back to Accessibility.

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