Microsoft details upcoming improvements to Narrator in Windows 10

Last month, Microsoft announced some improvements that are coming to Narrator in Windows 10. These improvements are currently available in Windows Insider Preview Build 14328 or newer. Microsoft today detailed the updated features includeing Scan Mode, Verbose modes, Punctuation modes, Faster text to speech Voices and AutoSuggest Announcements.

Scan Mode:

Scan Mode is a new navigation mode to Narrator called Scan mode.  When this mode is on, you can use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to move through applications and web content.  Scan Mode is turned on with a press of CAPS LOCK and SPACE.  While you are in Scan mode you can press SPACE to activate an item of interest, such as following a link on a web page or pressing a button in an app.

Verbose modes:

Narrator now supports six levels of verbosity for giving you more details about the characteristics of text.  For example, at what we call Verbose mode 0 (zero), you will hear just the text.  At verbose mode 1, you will hear if the text is a heading.  At other verbose levels, you will get varying indications of other text properties, like text color or formatting as an example.

Punctuation modes:

Narrator now supports the ability to give you more control over how much punctuation you hear when reading text.  CAPS LOCK+ALT+(PLUS) and CAPS LOCK+ALT+(MINUS) cycle through the settings for punctuation.  The settings for punctuation include none, some, most, all and math along with default.

Faster Text to Speech:

The three new voices average nearly twice the speed at approximately 800 words per minute.  You can select one of these new voices by pressing ALT+TAB when Narrator is running and then choosing voice settings.  Select either the David Mobile, Zira Mobile or Mark Mobile voices to get these faster speech rates.

AutoSuggest Announcements:

Many applications in Windows 10 offer what we call AutoSuggestions as you enter information.  For example, when you start entering a search term in the Cortana search box you will get suggestions based on what you are entering.  With Narrator you will now get a verbal hint with an audio indication when these suggestions are available.

Read about these improved features in detail here.

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