Use the built-in screen reader

Chromebooks have a built-in screen reader called ChromeVox, which allows visually impaired people 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 that 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.

Move through a page with keyboard shortcuts

Next button Search + b
Next character Search + Shift + right arrow
Next tick box Search + x
Next combo box Search + c
Next editable text area Search + e
Next focusable item Tab
Next form field Search + f
Next graphic Search + g
Next group Search + Ctrl + down arrow
Next heading Search + h
Next Level 1 Heading Search + 1
Next Level 2 Heading Search + 2
Next Level 3 Heading Search + 3
Next Level 4 Heading Search + 4
Next Level 5 Heading Search + 5
Next Level 6 Heading Search + 6
Next landmark Search + ; (semicolon)
Next line Search + down arrow
Next link Search + L
Next object Search + right arrow
Next table Search + t
Next visited link Search + v
Next word Search + Ctrl + Shift + right arrow
Previous button Search + Shift + b
Previous character Search + Shift + left arrow
Previous tick box Search + Shift + x
Previous combo box Search + Shift + c
Previous editable text area Search + Shift + e
Previous focusable item Shift + Tab
Previous form field Search + Shift + f
Previous graphic Search + Shift + g
Previous group Search + Ctrl + up arrow
Previous heading Search + Shift + h
Previous Level 1 Heading Search + Shift + 1
Previous Level 2 Heading Search + Shift + 2
Previous Level 3 Heading Search + Shift + 3
Previous Level 4 Heading Search + Shift + 4
Previous Level 5 Heading Search + Shift + 5
Previous Level 6 Heading Search + Shift + 6
Previous landmark Search + Shift + ; (semicolon)
Previous line Search + up arrow
Previous link Search + Shift + L
Previous object Search + left arrow
Previous table Search + Shift + t
Previous visited link Search + Shift + v
Previous word Search + Ctrl + Shift + left arrow
Increase the level of detail Search + plus sign
Go to bottom of page Search + Ctrl + right arrow
Go to top of page Search + Ctrl + left arrow

Move through a page with your touchscreen

Previous word Two-finger swipe left
Next word Two-finger swipe right
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
Previous line Swipe up
Next line Swipe down
Previous character Swipe left
Next character Swipe right
Previous word Two-finger swipe left
Next word Two-finger swipe right
Open most recently visited menu Four-finger tap
Previous menu item Swipe up within menus
Next menu item

Swipe down 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 that your cursor is in the table.

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

To go to different cells:

  • First cell in the table: Search + Alt + Shift + left arrow
  • First cell in current row: Search + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + left arrow
  • First cell in current column: Search + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + up arrow
  • Last cell in the table: Search + Alt + Shift + right arrow
  • Last cell in current row: Search + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + right arrow
  • Last cell in current column: Search + Alt + Shift + Ctrl + down arrow
Select and click
  • Move through selectable items, such as links and tabs: Tab
  • Move backwards through selectable items: Shift + Tab
  • Click: Enter, or press Search + Space
  • Select text: Search + s. At the end of your selection, press Search + s again
Get information about a page
  • Hear title of current page: Search + a, then w
  • Hear URL of current page: Search + a, then u
  • Hear current date & time: Search + a, then d

Change the voice or language

When you first turn on ChromeVox, it automatically chooses a voice, based on the language that 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.
  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 that you’ve selected.
  4. When you’re finished, press Ctrl + w.
Slow down, speed up or pause spoken feedback
  • Slow down: Search + Shift + [ (left square bracket)
  • Speed it up: Search + [ (left square bracket)
  • Pause speaking: Ctrl
Change pitch of the ChromeVox voice
  • Higher frequency: Search + ] (right square bracket)
  • Lower frequency: Search + Shift + ] (right square bracket)

Use ChromeVox keyboard shortcuts

Type shortcuts faster

To avoid pressing Search for each shortcut, quickly press Search twice. You'll know that it's on when you hear 'Sticky Mode enabled'. It will stay on until you press it twice again.

To stop holding down Search, press Search again twice. ChromeVox will say 'Sticky Mode disabled'.

See lists of shortcuts, change settings or learn about ChromeVox

See or hide shortcuts

See all possible ChromeVox shortcuts Search + . (full stop)
Hide shortcuts Esc
Show forms shortcuts Search + Ctrl + f
Show headings shortcuts Search + Ctrl + h
Show landmarks shortcuts Search + Ctrl + ; (semicolon)
Show links shortcuts Search + Ctrl + L
Show table shortcuts Search + Ctrl + t


Change spoken feedback settings

Open Search options Search + o, then o
Turn Braille captions on/off Search + a, then b
Find in page Search + / (forward slash)
Start reading from current location Search + r
Turn earcons on or off Search + a, then e
Hear punctuation marks as you type them Search + a, then p
Hear letters as you type them Search + a, then t
Ignore the next key press Search + Shift + Esc


Learn more about ChromeVox and your Chromebook

Open context menu Search + m
Open Search tutorial Search + o, then t
Hear the names of the keys on your keyboard ('Learn Mode') Search + o, then k. Your keyboard will say the name of any key or key combination that you press, and explain what the keyboard shortcut does.
Turn off Learn Mode Ctrl + w
Open update notes Search + 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.

Get more help

Using ChromeVox on your Chromebook: Fundamentals

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