Use the built-in screen reader

Chromebooks have a built-in screen reader called ChromeVox, which enables people with visual impairments to use the Chrome operating system.

Turn screen reader on or off

You can turn ChromeVox on or off from any page by pressing Ctrl + Alt + z

On tablets: Press and hold the Volume down + Volume up buttons for 5 seconds. While holding the buttons, you’ll hear a sound to indicate it’s working. Keep holding the buttons, then ChromeVox will start speaking.

Read a page

Tip: To hear a description of your cursor’s current position on a page, press Search  + k. Or press Launcher  + k.

Choose text with your cursor

You can have ChromeVox read the text under your cursor.
  1. To open your ChromeVox options, press Search  + o + o. Or press Launcher  + o + o.  
  2. Turn on Speak text under the mouse.
  3. Move your cursor around the screen and hear text spoken aloud. 

Move to different tabs and windows

Open a new window Ctrl + n
Open a new window in Incognito mode Shift + Ctrl + n
Open a new tab Ctrl + t
Open a file in the browser Ctrl + o
Close the current tab Ctrl + w
Close the current window  Shift + Ctrl + w
Reopen the last tab or window you closed Shift + Ctrl + t
Go to tabs 1-8 in the window Ctrl + 1 through Ctrl + 8
Go to the last tab in the window Ctrl + 9
Go to the next tab in the window Ctrl + Tab
Go to the previous tab in the window Shift + Ctrl + Tab
Switch quickly between windows Press & hold Alt, tap Tab until you get to the window you want to open, then release.
Open the window you used least recently Press & hold Shift + Alt, tap Tab until you get to the window you want to open, then release. 
Go to previous page in your browsing history Alt + Left arrow 
Go to next page in your browsing history  Alt + Right arrow 
Open the webpage in a new tab Type a web address (URL) in the address bar, then press Alt + Enter
Dock a window on the left Alt + [ (left square bracket)
Dock a window on the right Alt + ] (right square bracket)
Maximize window Alt + =
Minimize window Alt + - (minus)
Switch windows between screens (when your Chromebook is connected to a monitor)

Search  + Alt + m (or) 

Launcher  + Alt + m

Open tabs menu

Press and hold Ctrl, tap Forward  or Back  until a tab is selected.

Then press Search  + Shift + Volume up . Or press Launcher  + Shift + Volume up .

Move through a page with keyboard shortcuts

Important: Depending on your keyboard, you can press the Search  key or Launcher key for some shortcuts. Both keys work the same. 

Next button

Search  + b (or)

Launcher  + b

Previous button

Search  + Shift + b (or)

Launcher Shift + b

Next character

Search  + Shift + Right arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Shift + Right Arrow 

Previous character

Search  + Shift + Left arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Shift + Left arrow 

Next checkbox

Search  + x (or)

Launcher  + x

Previous checkbox

Search  + Shift + x (or)

Launcher  + Shift + x

Next combo box

Search  + c (or)

Launcher  c

Previous combo box

Search  + Shift + c (or)

Launcher  + Shift + c

Next editable text area

Search  + e (or)

Launcher  + e

Previous editable text area

Search  + Shift + e (or)

Launcher  + Shifte

Next focusable item Tab
Previous focusable item Shift + Tab
Next form field

Search  + f (or)

Launcher  + f

Previous form field

Search  + Shift + f (or)

Launcher  + Shift + f

Next graphic

Search  + g (or)

Launcher  + g

Previous graphic

Search  + Shift + g (or)

Launcher  + Shift + g

Next group

Search  + Ctrl + Down arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Ctrl + Down arrow 

Previous group

Search  + Ctrl + Up arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Ctrl + Up arrow 

Next heading

Search  + h (or)

Launcher  + h

Previous heading

Search  + Shift + h (or)

Launcher  + Shift + h

Next Level 1 Heading

Search  + 1 (or)

Launcher  + 1

Previous Level 1 Heading

Search  + Shift + 1 (or)

Launcher  + Shift + 1

Next Level 2 Heading

Search  + 2 (or)

Launcher  + 2

Previous Level 2 Heading

Search  + Shift + 2 (or)

Launcher  + Shift + 2

Next Level 3 Heading

Search  + 3 (or)

Launcher  + 3

Previous Level 3 Heading

Search  + Shift + 3 (or)

Launcher  + Shift + 3

Next Level 4 Heading

Search  + 4 (or)

Launcher  + 4

Previous Level 4 Heading

Search  + Shift + 4 (or)

Launcher  + Shift + 4

Next Level 5 Heading

Search  + 5 (or)

Launcher  + 5

Previous Level 5 Heading

Search  + Shift + 5 (or)

Launcher  + Shift + 5

Next Level 6 Heading

Search  + 6 (or)

Launcher  + 6

Previous Level 6 Heading

Search  + Shift + 6 (or)

Launcher  + Shift + 6

Next landmark

Search  + ; (semicolon) (or)

Launcher  + ; (semicolon)

Previous landmark

Search  + Shift + ; (semicolon) (or)

Launcher  + Shift + ; (semicolon)

Next line

Search  + Down arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Down arrow 

Previous line

Search  + Up arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Up arrow 

Next link

Search  + L (or)

Launcher  + L

Previous link

Search  + Shift + L (or)

Launcher  + Shift + L

Next object

Search  + Right arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Right arrow 

Previous object

Search  + Left arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Left arrow 

Next table

Search  + t (or)

Launcher  + t

Previous table

Search  + Shift + t (or)

Launcher  + Shift + t

Next visited link

Search  + v (or)

Launcher  + v

Previous visited link

Search  + Shift + v (or)

Launcher  + Shift + v

Next word

Search  + Ctrl + Shift + Right arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Ctrl + Shift + Right arrow 

Previous word

Search  + Ctrl + Shift + Left arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Ctrl + Shift + Left arrow 

Go to top of page 

Search  + Ctrl + Left arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Ctrl + Left arrow 

Go to bottom of page

Search  + Ctrl + Right arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Ctrl + Right arrow 

Start reading from current location

Search  + r (or)

Launcher  + r

Jump to details

Search  + a + j​​​​​​​ (or)

Launcher  + a + j​​​​​​​

Move through a page with your touchscreen

Next word Two-finger swipe right
Previous word Two-finger swipe left
Go to top of page Two-finger swipe up
Start reading from current location Two-finger swipe down
Click focused item Tap twice
Stop speech Two-finger tap
Next line Swipe down
Previous line Swipe up
Next character Swipe right
Previous character Swipe left
Next word Two-finger swipe right
Previous word Two-finger swipe left
Open most recently visited menu Four-finger tap
Next menu item Swipe down within menus
Previous menu item Swipe up within menus
Next menu heading Swipe right within menus

Move to different cells in a table

You can move around tables using keyboard shortcuts. To start, make sure your cursor is in the table.

To move your cursor from its current location in a table, press Search  + Ctrl + Alt  or press Launcher  + Ctrl + Alt and use the arrow keys to move one cell up, down, left, or right.

Important: Depending on your keyboard, you can press the Search key  or the Launcher key  for some shortcuts. Both keys work the same.​​​​​​​

First cell in the table

Search  + Alt + Shift + Left arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Alt + Shift + Left arrow 

Last cell in the table

Search  + Alt + Shift + Right arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Alt + Shift + Right arrow 

First cell in current row

Search  + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + Left arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + Left arrow 

Last cell in current row

Search  + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + Right arrow  (or)

​​​​​​​Launcher  + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + Right arrow 

First cell in current column

Search  + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + Up arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + Up arrow 

Last cell in current column

Search  + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + Down arrow  (or)

Launcher  + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + Down arrow 

Select and click

Important: Depending on your keyboard, you can press the Search key  or the Launcher key  for some shortcuts. Both keys work the same.

Move through selectable items, like links and tabs Tab
Move backward through selectable items Shift + Tab
Click

Enter, or press Search  + Space (or)

Enter, or press Launcher  + Space

Select text

Search  + s. At the end of your selection, press Search  + s again (or)

Launcher  + s. At the end of your selection, press Launcher  + s again

Get information about a page or your Chromebook

Important: Depending on your keyboard, you can press the Search key  or the Launcher key  for some shortcuts. Both keys work the same.

Hear title of current page

Search  + a, then (or)

Launcher  + a, then w

Hear URL of current page

Search  + a, then (or)

Launcher  + a, then u

Hear current date & time

Search  + a, then (or)

Launcher  + a, then d

Hear how much battery your Chromebook has left

Search  + o + b (or)

Launcher  + o + b

Change the voice or language

When you first turn on ChromeVox, it automatically chooses a voice based on the language you’ve chosen for your Chromebook. Learn how to change your language and voice settings

Change language
  1. Press and hold Search , then press the letter o twice. Or press Launcher , then press the letter o twice. 
  2. In the Voices section, select Chrome OS. Your default language shows on the button label.
  3. Choose another language from the list. You’ll hear the new language you’ve selected.
  4. When you’re done, press Ctrl + w.
Slow down, speed up, or stop spoken feedback

Important: Depending on your keyboard, you can press the Search key  or the Launcher key  for some shortcuts. Both keys work the same.

Slow down

Search + Shift + [ (left square bracket) (or)

Launcher + Shift + [ (left square bracket)

Speed it up

Search  + [ (left square bracket) (or)

Launcher  + [ (left square bracket)

Stop speaking Ctrl
Change pitch of the ChromeVox voice

Important: Depending on your keyboard, you can press the Search key  or the Launcher key  for some shortcuts. Both keys work the same.

Higher frequency

Search  + ] (right square bracket)

Launcher  + ] (right square bracket)

Lower frequency

Search  + Shift + ] (right square bracket)

Launcher + Shift + ] (right square bracket)

Use ChromeVox keyboard shortcuts

Type shortcuts faster

To turn on Sticky Mode and avoid pressing the Search key  or Launcher key  for each shortcut, quickly press the Search or Launcher key twice. You'll know it's on when you hear "Sticky Mode enabled." It will stay on until you press it twice again.

To stop holding down the Search or Launcher key, press the Search or Launcher key again twice. ChromeVox will say "Sticky Mode disabled."

Use the ChromeVox menu

To open the ChromeVox menu, press Search  + . (period). Or, press Launcher  + . (period). If you are on a touchscreen, you can tap the screen with 4 fingers.
You can press the left or right arrow to switch between the menus. If you are on a touchscreen, you swipe left or right.
To open a specific item from a list, press the up or down arrow and then press Enter.
  • Search: Type into the bar to find a list of results from any of the ChromeVox menus.  
  • Jump: List of all of the ChromeVox shortcuts.
  • Speech: List of speech shortcuts that includes how to increase or decrease the speech rate and pitch. 
  • Tabs: List of all your open tabs. 
  • ChromeVox: List of several ChromeVox shortcuts that includes the ChromeVox Tutorial and Learn Mode. 
  • Actions: List of touch-specific options

You can use the ChromeVox menu lists to navigate a web page.

  • Heading: List of headings on the web page. 
  • Landmark: List of landmarks on the web page.
  • Link: List of links on the web page.
  • Form controls: List of buttons or forms on a web page. 
  • Table: List of tables on a web page. 

Navigate the ChromeVox menu

Important: Depending on your keyboard, you can press the Search key  or the Launcher key  for some shortcuts. Both keys work the same.

Turn Braille captions on/off

Search  + a, then (or)

Launcher  + a, then b

Hide the ChromeVox menus Esc
Show Heading list

Search  + Ctrl + (or)

Launcher  + Ctrl + h

Show Landmark list

Search  + Ctrl + ; (semicolon) (or)

Launcher  + Ctrl + ; (semicolon)

Show Links list

Search  + Ctrl (or)

Launcher  + Ctrl L

Show Form list

Search  Ctrl + f (or)

Launcher  Ctrl + f

Show Table list

Search  + Ctrl + t (or)

Launcher  + Ctrl + t

Change spoken feedback settings

Important: Depending on your keyboard, you can press the Search key  or the Launcher key  for some shortcuts. Both keys work the same.

Open Search options

Search  o, then (or)

Launcher  o, then o

Find in page

Search  + / (forward slash) (or)

Launcher  + / (forward slash)

Start reading from current location

Search  + r  (or)

Launcher  + r

Turn earcons on or off

Search  a, then e  (or)

Launcher  a, then e

Hear punctuation marks as you type them

Search  + a, then p  (or)

Launcher  + a, then p

Hear letters as you type them

Search  a, then t  (or)

Launcher  a, then t

Ignore the next key press

Search  Shift + Esc  (or)

Launcher  Shift + Esc

Learn more about ChromeVox

Important: Depending on your keyboard, you can press the Search key  or the Launcher key  for some shortcuts. Both keys work the same.

Open the ChromeVox context menu

Search  (or)

Launcher  m

Open Search tutorial

Search  + o, then t (or)

Launcher  + o, then t

Turn on Learn Mode (Hear the names of the keys on your keyboard)

Search  + o, then k. Your keyboard will say the name of any key or key combination you press, and explain what the keyboard shortcut does. (or)

Launcher  + o, then k. Your keyboard will say the name of any key or key combination you press, and explain what the keyboard shortcut does.

Note: You can also use this with connected braille displays and touch gestures on a touchscreen to hear the names of the functions.

Turn off Learn Mode Ctrl + w
Open update notes

Search  + o, then (or)

Launcher  + o, then n

Send feedback or get help using ChromeVox

  • Chat with other people: Join the ChromeVox-Discuss group
  • Send us feedback about ChromeVox: Turn on ChromeVox, press and hold Search , then press a + i. Or press and hold Launcher , then press a + i

 

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