As Daniel Hubbel from Microsoft writes on the Accessibility Blog, the company recognized that it “must continue to invest in accessibility” and that they were “committed to the continued improvement of built-in features like Narrator and Magnifier as well as the accessibility of experiences and apps like Cortana, Mail and setup.”
Most of the improvements of narrator come as a result from user feedback. Apart from the speed-up to 800 words per minute, Microsoft is adding a large set of new available languages:
- Spanish (Mexico)
- French (Canada)
- Portuguese (Brazil)
- Arabic (Egypt)
- Catalan (Spain)
- Danish (Denmark)
- Finnish (Finland)
- Norwegian (Norway)
- Dutch (Belgium)
- Dutch (Netherlands)
- Portuguese (Portugal)
- Swedish (Sweden)
- Turkish (Turkey)
Keyboard navigation also has been improved to ensure better ergonomics as they are now much easier to type. But there is much more as you can see in the following list from Microsoft:
“Introducing scan mode
We’ve introduced a new navigation mode to Narrator called Scan mode. 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.
Six levels of verbosity
Narrator now supports six levels of verbosity for giving you more details about the characteristics of text. You can cycle through these modes by pressing CAPS LOCK + CTRL + (PLUS). For example, at what we call Verbose mode 0 (zero), you will hear just the text. At verbose mode 1, you might 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.
Narrator now gives 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.
Now announcing AutoSuggest results
Many applications in Windows 10 offer automatic suggestions as you enter information. For example, when you start entering a search term in an application search box you may 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.
Feedback made easy
Pressing CAPS LOCK + E + E when running Narrator is an easy way to send us feedback. This shortcut will bring up a feedback form where you can submit comments and suggestions about your experience with Narrator.
User guides and documentation
Our documentation team has been working hard to update the resources available to those who are learning how to use Narrator. We are looking forward to providing improved and more complete documentation like an updated Narrator user guide that will be available online when the Anniversary Update is released.”