NVDA – Simplified

NVDA from NV Access is a free text to speech tool Microsoft Windows machines. It stands for Non-Visual Desktop Access. It will not work on iOS machines. Many use this tool to listen to content.

Here are some simple commands to get you started using NV Access:

Note: documentation refers to the NVDA key. The default NVDA key is the insert key. It can be changed to Caps lock when installing NVDA the first time

  • Control + Alt + n to run NVDA
  • NVDA + q to close NVDA
  • Numpad + +to start reading at the top of the page
  • NVDA + down arrow to start reading at the current position
  • h moves us forward through a document by headings, shift + H moves us backward through headings
  • Control stops speech
  • shift pauses speech, hitting shift again continues where you left off
  • l moves us forward by links, shift + L moves us backward through links
  • up arrow or down arrow navigates by line
  • NVDA key + space to switch into a special mode (i.e. while focused on a form control). Do the same exit the mode.
  • F5 for a page refresh or Ctrl + F5 for a hard page refresh. If you get lost, this is how you can start over.
  • NVDA + Ctrl + up arrow or down arrow controls the rate of speech increase/decrease

Additional resources