Use the TalkBack menu and reading controls

The TalkBack menu and reading controls help you manage settings, use controls and take action with TalkBack. Reading controls help you manage settings, like how fast TalkBack speaks and whether it reads by character, line or paragraph.

Use the TalkBack menu

With TalkBack 9.1, the menu lets you use commands to read, edit text and control speech output.

Important: The TalkBack 9.1 menu combines the global context menu and local context menu.

Open the TalkBack menu

  • On devices with multi-finger gestures: Three-finger tap. Or, in one motion, swipe down then right.
  • On devices without multi-finger gestures (prior to updated Android R with TalkBack 9.1): In one motion, swipe down then right.

Customise menu options

  1. Open TalkBack settings.
  2. Select Customise menus.
  3. Select Customise TalkBack menu.

The TalkBack menu includes these options by default:

  • Read from next item: From the last focused item, hear the items on the screen.
  • Copy last spoken phrase: Copy the last spoken phrase. Then, you can paste it in another app or take other actions on it.
  • Spoken language. If you’ve installed more than one language, change the text-to-speech language.
  • Screen search: Search the screen with a search term.
  • Hide or show screen: To improve privacy when you’re around other people, hide your display.
  • Voice commands: Speak a command for TalkBack to complete.
  • TalkBack settings: Open TalkBack settings.
  • Text-to-speech settings: Open text-to-speech settings.

Based on where focus is placed, you may hear different options that respond to the focus. For example:

  • Actions
  • Edit options
  • Links
  • Add label or edit label
  • Suspend TalkBack
    • Only on Android 7 and lower

Use reading controls

Reading controls let you change how you navigate your screen. You can manage settings like how fast TalkBack speaks and whether it reads character to character or line to line.

Open reading controls

  • On devices with multi-finger gestures: Three-finger swipe up or down. Or, single-finger swipe up then down, or down then up.
  • On devices without multi-finger gestures (prior to updated Android R with TalkBack 9.1): Swipe up then down, or down then up.

Customise reading controls

  1. Open TalkBack settings.
  2. Select Customise menus.
  3. Select Customise reading controls.

Reading controls includes these options by default:

  • Characters: Read character by character.
    • To read the next character: Swipe down.
    • To read the previous character: Swipe up.
  • Words: Read word by word.
    • To read the next word: Swipe down
    • To read the previous word: Swipe up.
  • Lines: Read one line at a time.
    • To read the next line: Swipe down.
    • To read the previous line: Swipe up.
  • Paragraphs: Read one paragraph at a time.
    • To read the next paragraph: Swipe down.
    • To read the previous paragraph: Swipe up.
  • Headings: Jump to the next or previous heading, if available.
  • Controls: Jump to the next or previous items, like buttons, tick boxes or text fields.
  • Links: Jump to the next or previous link.
  • Speech rate: Change how fast TalkBack speaks.
    • To make it faster: Swipe up.
    • To make it slower: Swipe down.
  • Spoken language: Change text-to-speech language, if you’ve installed more than one text-to-speech language.

For more help with TalkBack, contact the Google Disability support team.

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