Division of Academic Innovation

Accessibility


For a general introduction to the concept of accessibility, watch this short video.

Android Accessibility Guide

Live transcribe

When activated provides live captioning of a conversation or meeting.

Live caption

Captions videos, podcasts, and audio messages.

Sound amplifier

Amplifies and boost sound, filter background noise, and fine tune to how you hear.

Hearing aid support

Built-in support for streaming media and calls directly to hearing aids. Uses Bluetooth low energy so that you can stream longer.

Talkback

Fully interact with what is on your screen through sound and touch.

Lookout

Use your camera to identify what’s near you by pointing at it.

Magnification

Make text and icons larger and easier to see.

Color correction

Calibrate colors on your phone so it is easier to distinguish between them.

Switch access

Plug in your adaptive switch. Hook up a physical switch, use an external keyboard or assign actions to your phone’s volume buttons.

Voice access

Use your voice to open apps, navigate between screens, type messages, and edit text.

Chromebook Accessibility Guide

Turn on captions
  1. Select the time at the bottom right of the screen.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. On the left, select Advanced &rarr Accessibility &rarr Manage Accessibility Features.
  4. Under “Audio and Captions,” select Captions.
  5. Turn on Live Caption.

Tip: If you can’t find the Live Caption setting, this feature isn’t yet supported on your device.

Customize your captions

Important: Your caption preferences might not apply to all apps.

  1. On your Chromebook, at the bottom right, select the time.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. On the left, select Advanced Accessibility Manage accessibility features.
  4. Under “Audio and captions,” select Captions.
  5. In the dropdown menu, select your preferred font size.
Change your caption preferences

To make captions easier to read, you can:

  • Collapse and expand captions with the arrow on the caption box
  • Drag and move the captions to your preferred place on your browse
  • Change your caption’s font size
Browser zoom

Increase: Ctrl + “+”
Decrease: Ctrl + “-”
You can also click on the magnifying glass icon on the upper right, then increase or decrease by clicking on the “+” or “-” on the screen. To reset to default, Ctrl + 0 or click on Reset under the magnifying glass icon.

Display size

To increase/decrease the size of everything on the screen, use Ctrl + Shift + keys mentioned above.

Full screen magnifier

Turn on full screen magnification in Settings > Advanced > Accessibility. Under Display, click on Enable fullscreen magnifier. The magnification can go up to 20x. Move around the screen with the mouse or touchscreen.

Docked magnifier

The top third of the screen is magnified, while the other two thirds of the screen stays the same. Some users prefer this feature to zoom in on only portions of the screen. Enable this in the Accessibility menu.

High contrast

Under the “Accessibility” section, check the box “Use high contrast mode.”

Larger mouse cursor

Under the “Accessibility” section, check the box “Show large mouse cursor.”

Highlighting features

Under the “Accessibility” section, there are three separate boxes for highlighting features: one for highlighting the text caret, one for highlighting the mouse cursor, and one to highlight the object with keyboard focus when it changes.

Listen to all text

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

Text-to-Speech settings: Settings > Advanced > Accessibility. Under Text-to-Speech, click on Enable ChromeVox (spoken feedback).

Listen to selected text
  1. Press and hold the Search key and select a line of text
  2. Press and hold the Search key and drag the pointer over an area of the screen.
  3. Highlight the text and press the Search key + s.
  4. At the bottom right, near the time, select Select-to-speak icon. Then select a line of text or drag the pointer over an area of the screen.
  5. On a touchscreen: At the bottom right, near the time, tap Select-to-speak icon. Then tap a line of text or drag your finger over an area of the screen.

Your Chromebook will read the section aloud and each word will be highlighted.

To stop Select-to-speak while it’s reading, press Ctrl or the Search key. You can also select Stop.

Tip: With navigation controls, you can pause and play, adjust speed, and skip lines of text.

Turn image descriptions on or off

You can turn image descriptions on in Chrome Settings or in a page you’re already on.

Turn on image descriptions from Google in the context menu

You can turn on image descriptions for all pages or for just one specific page.

  1. On your computer, open Chrome browser.
  2. Open the context menu.
    • Windows: Shift+F10
    • Mac: VoiceOver+Shift+ m or Ctrl + Alt + Shift + M
    • Chromebook: Search + M or Launcher + M
  3. Use the up or down arrow keys to select “Get Image Descriptions from Google.”
  4. Use the right or left arrow to open the image description menu.
  5. When you turn image descriptions on or off, you may be asked to agree to image descriptions from Google. Turn image descriptions on or off:
    • For one page: Press space to select Just once
    • For all pages: Press space to select Always

If you had image descriptions allowed for only one page, leave or refresh the page to turn it off.

If “Get image descriptions from Google” is turned on for all pages, there’s a check mark next to the option in the context menu.

If you’re signed in and syncing to Chrome, you get image descriptions on all signed-in and synced devices.

Turn on image descriptions in Chrome settings

You can also turn image descriptions for all pages on and off in Chrome settings. Image descriptions for all pages work the same way if they are turned on in settings or the context menu.

  1. On your computer, open Chrome
  2. At the top right, click More Settings
  3. At the bottom of the Settings page, click Advanced > Accessibility
  4. Turn Get image descriptions from Google on or off

If “Get image descriptions from Google” is turned on, there’s a check mark next to the feature.

Image descriptions are only available to screen reader users through spoken feedback or braille and don’t visually appear on the screen. The image descriptions may not be fully accurate.

If you have feedback, contact our Google Accessibility support team

Images are sent to Google servers to provide the description but aren’t saved by Google. Web pages are never modified by Google when Google describes an image. For your privacy, this feature is designed so a site, your screen reader, and your operating system don’t know this feature is being used. To learn more, review our privacy policy.

Dictation
  1. At the bottom right, select the time or press Alt + Shift + s.
  2. Select Settings icon.
  3. At the bottom, select Advanced.
  4. In the “Accessibility” section, select Manage accessibility features.
  5. Under “Keyboard and text input,” turn on Enable dictation (speak to type).
  6. Tap or select where you want to type. (You can also press Search + d or press Launcher + d.)
Voice commands
Command Description
“Type [word/phrase]” Types the spoken text.
“Select all” Selects everything in the text input area.
“Unselect” Clears the selection.
“Cut” Copies and deletes any selected text.
“Copy” Copies selected text.
“Paste” Pastes text from clipboard.
“Delete” Deletes the previous character or selected text.
“Undo” Undoes previous text-editing action.
“Redo” Redoes previous text-editing action.
“Help” Opens a support help center article.
“New line” Moves the cursor to a new line.
“Move to the next character” Moves the cursor right one character.
“Move to the previous character” Moves the cursor left one character.
“Move to the next line” Moves the cursor down one line.
“Move to the previous line” Moves the cursor up one line.
Using the keyboard with limited hand mobility
Sticky keys

This is useful when you can’t hold down more than one key. Under “Accessibility” section, check the box “Enable sticky keys.”

Tag-dragging

Settings → Devices → Touch pad settings. Check the “Enable Tap-to-Click.” Go to “Accessibility” section, check the “Enable tap dragging.”

Automatic clicks

Under “Accessibility” section, check “Automatically click when the mouse pointer stops.” You can also adjust the delay time before automatically clicking.

Switch Access
Use Switch Access

Switch Access is an alternate input method for your Chromebook. When you use Switch Access, it scans the items on your screen until you use a switch to make a selection. Switches can be used with the built-in keyboard, or an external device that you connect through Bluetooth or USB.

Set up Switch Access

Important: If you want to use an external device for your switches, make sure it’s connected to your Chromebook before you set up Switch Access.

Turn on Switch Access
  1. On your Chromebook, open Settings.
  2. Select Advanced Accessibility Manage accessibility features.
  3. Under “Keyboard and text input,” select Switch Access (control the computer with just one or two switches) → Switch Access options. When you turn Switch Access on, a setup guide appears to help you set up your switches.
  4. Assign a switch to the “Select” action. You use this switch to select items on the screen.
  5. If you want to use multiple switches to move the selector between items on the screen, you can assign switches for the “Next” or “Previous” actions. If you only have one switch, you can move between different items on the screen when you turn on Auto-scan.

Tip: You can rerun the setup guide to set up different switches.

Auto or manual scan
Use auto-scan

To start scanning:

  1. Press the switch assigned to the “Select” action, which makes the selector automatically move between different selectable items.
  2. To select the highlighted item, press the switch again.
Use manual scanning

Important: Manual scanning requires more than one switch. If you only have one switch, use Auto-scan.

  1. To move the selector between different items on the screen, press the switch assigned to the “Next” button until the item you want is highlighted. If you have 3 switches, you can also use the “Previous” switch to cycle backwards through the items.
  2. To select the highlighted item, press your Select switch.
Point scanning

Point scan lets you locate specific areas on your screen that may not have a clear button to select or have too many options. You can turn point scan on at any time.

Turn on point scanning

Important: If you have Auto-scan turned on, the selector will automatically move between different selectable items in the action menu.

  1. Press the switch assigned to the “Select” action.
  2. When the action menu appears, press your Next switch to go to Point scanning.
  3. Press your Select switch to select Point scanning.
Select an item

When you select Point scanning, the scan begins.

  1. When horizontal range scan begins, press your Select switch when the range lands on the area you want to select.
  2. Press your Select switch again to lock the horizontal position.
  3. When vertical range scan begins, press your Select switch when the range lands on the area you want to select.
  4. Press your Select switch again to lock the vertical position.
  5. When the location is confirmed, in the action menu, focus on the “Left click” action and then press your Select switch to select the item.

Tip: After the click action is completed, scan resumes.

Change point scan speed
  1. On your Chromebook, open Settings.
  2. Select Advanced → Accessibility → Manage accessibility features.
  3. Select Advanced Accessibility Manage accessibility features.
  4. Under “Point scanning speed,” move the slider between “Slow” and “Fast” to adjust.

iPhone Accessibility Guide

Hearing devices

Hearing devices: pair your hearing aids or devices to iPhone

Live Listen

Live Listen: use the iPhone as a remote microphone for hearing devices or AirPods.

Sound recognition

Sound recognition: iPhone can recognize certain sounds such as crying baby, door bell, or siren, and alert you when it recognizes these sounds.

RTT/TTY

RTT/TTY: iPhone provides built-in RTT/TTY software at no cost.

Mono audio, balance, and phone noise cancellation

Mono audio, balance, and phone noise cancellation: adjust audio options to suit your hearing needs.

LED flash for alerts

LED flash for alerts: iPhone can do LED flashes to alert you to incoming calls or other iPhone alerts.

Headphone accommodations

Headphone accommodations: amplify or adjust sound to suit your hearing needs.

Background sounds

Background sounds: choose background sounds to mask unwanted environmental noise to minimize distractions for focus or rest.

Subtitles and captions

Subtitles and captions: display subtitles or captions of video on iPhone.

Transcriptions for Intercom messages from HomePod

Transcriptions for Intercom messages from HomePod: for HomePod users, can transcribe Intercom messages for you.

VoiceOver

VoiceOver: All text and actions are narrated aloud.

Zoom

Zoom: Magnify the full phone screen.

Display and text size

Display and text size: Adjust the size of display and text.

Motion

Motion: Customize iPhone for motion sensitivity.

Spoken content

Spoken content: Choose what content will be spoken.

Audio descriptions

Audio descriptions: Hear audio descriptions for video content that includes it.

AssistiveTouch

AssistiveTouch: provides alternatives when you have difficulty touching the screen or pressing buttons.

Touch accommodations

Touch accommodations: provides alternatives when you have difficulty with fine motor hand control.

Back tap

Back tap: you can assign taps to specific actions.

Reachability

Reachability: for persons using only one hand, makes screen lower so items on screen are reachable with the thumb.

Call audio routing

Call audio routing: automatically route audio output to speaker or auto answer to speaker.

Vibration

Vibration: customize vibration sensitivity.

Face ID and attention

Face ID and attention: adjust Face ID and attention settings if you have physical or vision limitations.

Switch Control

Switch Control: add external switches to operate phone.

Voice Control

Voice Control: speak commands to perform gestures, interact with screen elements, dictate and edit text, etc.

Side or Home button

Side or Home button: adjust the accessibility setting for the side/Home button.

Apple TV remote

Apple TV remote: switch the Apple TV remote from swipes/gestures to buttons.

Pointer control

Pointer control: adjust pointer size, color, etc.

Keyboards

Keyboards: adjust on-screen keyboard display, or select to use an external keyboard.

AirPods

AirPods: adjust the accessibility settings on AirPods to suit motor and hearing needs.

Guided Access

Guided Access: helps you stay focused on a task by temporarily restricting iPhone to a single app, and allowing you to control which app features are available.

Siri

Siri: you can open apps, turn many settings on or off, or use Siri for what it does best—acting as your intelligent personal assistant.

Accessibility Shortcut

Accessibility Shortcut: assign the side/Home button an accessibility feature to quickly turn it on or off.

Mac Accessibility Guide

Use these features to show and customize captions on the screen, make and receive Real-Time Text (RTT) calls, and more. See macOS accessibility features for hearing.

Audio features

Have the screen flash when alerts or announcements occur, and play stereo audio as mono. If you have a Mac with Apple silicon, you can choose whether Spatial Audio follows the movement of your head when you listen to spatial audio content. See Change Audio preferences for accessibility.

RTT features

If your Mac supports it, set up your Mac to make and receive RTT calls. See Change RTT preferences for accessibility.

Captions features

Control how subtitles are styled, and whether to use closed captions and SDH instead, when they’re available. See Change Captions preferences for accessibility.

Use these features to zoom in on the screen, make the pointer or menu bar bigger, apply color filters, and more. Or have your Mac speak what’s on the screen.

VoiceOver

Use VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader on your Mac, to speak what’s on the screen, and the text in documents, webpages, and windows. With VoiceOver, you can control your Mac with the keyboard, trackpad gestures, or a refreshable braille display. To customize VoiceOver, use VoiceOver Utility. See the VoiceOver User Guide.

Zoom features
  • Make content on the screen larger and easier to see by zooming the entire screen or an area of it. If you’re using a second display, you can set the zoom for it separately. See Change Zoom preferences for accessibility.
  • Use Hover Text to zoom whatever is under the pointer—for example, text, fields, menu items, or buttons—in high resolution in a separate window. See Use Hover Text.
  • If your Mac has a Touch Bar and items in the Touch Bar are hard to see, turn on Touch Bar zoom to display a larger version of the Touch Bar on the screen. See Zoom in on the Touch Bar.
Display features
Spoken Content features

Customize the voice your Mac uses to speak text, and have your Mac speak announcements, items under the pointer, and whatever you type or select. See Change Spoken Content preferences for accessibility.

Descriptions

Listen to a description of the visual content in movies, TV shows, and other media, if available. See Change Descriptions preferences for accessibility.

Use these features to control your Mac and apps using spoken commands, the Tab key, an onscreen keyboard, the pointer, or assistive devices. You can also set options that make it easier to use a mouse and trackpad. See macOS accessibility features for mobility.

Voice Control features
  • Use Voice Control to dictate text and speak commands to edit text, navigate the desktop and apps, and control your Mac, performing tasks such as scrolling in a document or pressing a button. See Control your Mac and apps using Voice Control.
  • macOS provides a standard set of Voice Control commands, and you can create your own commands. See Create a custom vocabulary.
  • If the name of an item on the screen isn’t apparent or you need to interact with a precise area of the screen, you can overlay the screen with numbers on each item or a grid so it’s easier to select items or navigate the screen. See Use item number and grid overlays.
Keyboard features
Pointer Control features
Switch Control features

Switch Control lets you use one or more adaptive accessories to enter text, interact with items on the screen, and control your Mac. Switch Control scans a panel or the user interface until you select an item or perform an action using a switch. See Use Switch Control.

Use these features to easily turn various accessibility features on or off, and to type your Siri requests. See macOS general accessibility features.

Siri

Type your Siri requests instead of speaking them. See Change Siri preferences for accessibility.

Shortcut

Quickly enable or disable various accessibility features using the Accessibility Shortcuts panel. See Change Shortcut preferences for accessibility.

Use the Accessibility Shortcuts panel on Mac

The Accessibility Shortcuts panel offers shortcuts to quickly turn on or turn off common accessibility features such as Zoom, VoiceOver, and Sticky Keys.

Open the Accessibility Shortcuts panel

Press these keys together: Option (⌥), Command (⌘), and F5. On notebook computers with a Touch Bar, you might need to press the Fn (Function) key as well

On notebook computers with Touch ID, triple-press Touch ID. (If you press and hold the Command key while doing this, VoiceOver turns on or off.)

To close the panel, click Done or click anywhere outside of the window.

Change the shortcuts in Accessibility Shortcuts

To change the shortcuts that appear in the panel, choose Apple menu → System Preferences, then click Accessibility. Select Shortcut in the sidebar, then use the checkboxes to turn shortcuts on or off.

Windows 11 Accessibility Guide

Captions

Captions let you read the words spoken in the audio portion of a video, TV show, or movie. To define how the captions appear in Windows and some Windows apps, you can select one of the predefined caption options or customize an option to better suit your needs.

  1. Select (Start) → Settings → Accessibility → Captions.
  2. In Caption style, expand the menu, select one of the predefined options, and see how it appears in the preview. Windows lets you customize things like the color, size, and background of closed captions.
  3. To customize the selected predefined option, select Edit and then modify the option details to your liking.
Hear all sounds in one channel

Windows lets you convert stereo sound into a single channel so you can hear everything, even if you’re using just one headphone. Select the Start button, then select Settings → Accessibility → Audio, and then switch on the Mono audio toggle.

Display audio alerts visually

If you have trouble hearing audio alerts, you can have your PC display them visually. Select the Start button, then select Settings → Accessibility → Audio. Under Flash my screen during audio notifications, choose how you want audio alerts displayed. You can choose to have the title bar of the active window, the active window, or the entire screen flash when a notification arrives, instead of relying on sound alone.

Make notifications stick around longer

By default, Windows notifications disappear five seconds after they appear. If you want more time to read them, you can increase how long they’re displayed. Select the Start button, then select Settings → Accessibility → Visual effects. Then, under Dismiss notifications after this amount of time, choose the amount of time you want.

Turn contrast themes on or off
  1. Select the Start button, and then select Settings → Accessibility → Contrast themes.
  2. To turn on contrast themes, select the theme you want from the Contrast themes drop-down menu, and then select the Apply button. Windows may display a “Please wait” screen for a few seconds, after which the colors on the screen change.
  3. To turn off contrast themes, select the None option from the Contrast themes drop-down menu, and then select the Apply button. Windows may again display a “Please wait” screen for a few seconds, after which the colors on the screen change back to default.

    Tip: Press the left Alt key + left Shift key + Print screen (Print Scrn on some keyboards) to quickly turn high contrast mode on or off.

Make your own high contrast theme

If none of the default themes work perfectly for you, you can further customize the colors of various screen elements. For example, if you have some form of color blindness, you can swap out the affected colors.

  1. After selecting a theme, select the Edit button under the Contrast themes drop-down menu. You can modify the color of the following screen elements:
    • Text: nearly all text you see in Windows or on a web page, for example.
    • Hyperlinks: all hyperlinks you see in Windows or on a web page, for example.
    • Disabled Text: text that would normally be grayed out, for example, when you cannot select a specific option or button.
    • Selected Text: any selected menu item or option. For example, the alignment of the currently selected paragraph in Word is indicated with this color on the tool ribbon.
    • Button Text: text on any buttons that contain text.
    • Background: the background of nearly all text you see in Windows or on a web page, for example.
  2. Select a new color by clicking on the color picker palette, adjust the selected color’s brightness using the slider under the palette, and select Done.
  3. To save any color changes you have made to the theme, select Apply.
Adjust size and color

To adjust the size of text, apps, and other items, select the Start button, then select Settings → Accessibility → Text size. Use the slider next to Text size to make just the text on your screen larger. To scale up everything on your screen, select the Start button, then select Settings → System → Display, and change the Scale drop-down menu under Scale & Layout to a larger percentage.

If there’s not enough contrast between the elements on your screen, try using a high contrast theme. Select the Start button, then select Settings → Accessibility → Contrast themes, select one of the options in the drop-down menu next to Contrast themes, and select Apply. You can select between Aquatic, Desert, Dusk, and Night sky

Adjust Mouse Pointer and Cursor

Make your mouse more visible by changing the color and size of the mouse pointer. Select the Start button, then select Settings → Accessibility → Mouse pointer & touch, and choose the options that work best for you.

By adding pointer trails you can see where the mouse is moving on the screen. Select the Start button, then select Settings → Bluetooth & devices → Mouse → Additional mouse settings. In the Mouse Properties window, select the Pointer Options tab, and then Display pointer trails.

Windows can also show visual feedback when you touch the screen. Select the Start button, then select Settings → Accessibility → Mouse pointer & touch, and then set Touch indicator to On.

Magnification

Magnifier enlarges part or all of your screen so you can see words and images better. To open Magnifier quickly, press the Windows logo key + Plus sign (+). When Magnifier is open, use Windows logo key + Plus sign (+) or Windows logo key + Minus sign (-) to zoom in or out. To close Magnifier, press Windows logo key + Esc.

Apply color filters

Make photos, text, and colors easier to see by applying a color filter to your screen. Color filters change the color palette on the screen and can help you distinguish between things that differ only by color. To apply color filters, select the Start button, then select Settings → Accessibility → Color filters, set Color filters to On, and choose the options that work best for you.

To turn on and turn off your color filters quickly, select the Start button, then select Settings → Accessibility → Color filters, and set Keyboard shortcut for color filters to On. Then press the Windows logo key + Ctrl + C to turn them on and off.

Use Narrator to navigate your PC

Narrator is the built-in screen reader in Windows that reads aloud what’s on your screen so you can use that information to navigate your PC. To start or stop Narrator, press the Windows logo key + Ctrl + Enter

Eye Tracking

Windows supports the following eye tracking devices:

Tobii

  • Tobii Eye Tracker 4C
  • Tobii EyeX
  • Tobii Dynavox PCEye Plus
  • Tobii Dynavox EyeMobile Mini
  • Tobii Dynavox EyeMobile Plus
  • Tobii Dynavox PCEye Mini
  • Tobii Dynavox PCEye Explore
  • Tobii Dynavox I-Series+
  • Selected laptops and monitors that include eye tracking integrations

EyeTech

  • TM5 Mini

Eye control is available in Windows 11 in all regions. However, the eye control keyboard only supports the EN-US keyboard layout, and some eye control settings are only available in English. The Region and Language settings of your PC don’t need to be changed; they don’t affect eye control use.

You may need the help of a friend, family member, or caregiver to complete the set-up and to change eye control settings. Go to Microsoft Support for additional set up information.

Use voice typing to talk instead of type on your PC

Turn on voice typing:

  1. Press Windows logo key + H on a hardware keyboard.
  2. Press the microphone key next to the Spacebar on the touch keyboard.

Stop voice typing:

  1. Say a voice typing command like “Stop listening.”
  2. Press the microphone button on the voice typing menu.

Voice typing commands:

Voice typing command What you can say
Pause voice typing “Pause voice typing” “Pause dictation” “Pause voice mode”
Stop voice typing “Stop voice typing” “Stop dictation” “Stop listening” “Stop dictating” “Stop voice mode”
Delete last spoken word or phrase “Delete that” “Erase that” “Scratch that”
Select last spoken word or phrase “Select that”
Use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Edge

Immersive Reader in Microsoft Edge simplifies web page layouts, removes clutter, and helps you customize your reading experience in Windows 10 and Windows 11. Immersive Reader was originally designed to meet the needs of readers with dyslexia and dysgraphia. However, anyone who wants to make reading on their device easier can benefit from this tool!

Enter Reader Mode in Immersive Reader

Entering Reader Mode in Immersive Reader will simplify the page you’re on by hiding distracting pop-ups and buttons, leaving you with just the important parts: textual and visual content. Once you enter Reader Mode, start using tools like Read Aloud, Text preferences, Grammar tools and Reading preferences.

To enter Reader Mode, use Microsoft Edge to visit a website you want to read. Select Enter Immersive Reader in the address bar or use the keyboard shortcut F9.

To exit Immersive reader, select Exit Immersive Reader in the address bar or use the keyboard shortcut F9.

Tip: If you don’t see the Immersive Reader icon in the address bar, you can still view the text in Immersive Reader. Just select the text you want to read, right-click, and select Open in Immersive Reader from the context menu

Read Aloud in Microsoft Edge

Read Aloud is a simple but powerful tool that reads the text of a web page audibly.

To begin, select Read Aloud from the Immersive Reader toolbar. A ribbon toolbar appears at the top of the page after you start Read Aloud. The toolbar includes buttons to play audio,  skip to the next or previous paragraph, and adjust Voice options. Voice options allow you to change the reader’s voice and slow down or speed up their reading pace.

To stop listening, select the Pause button or the X to close Read aloud.

Tip: Another way to access Read Aloud is to select  Settings and more → Read Aloud.

Text preferences in Immersive Reader

Choose from a wide variety of text and color options such as Text size, Text spacing, and Page themes to enhance your experience in Immersive Reader.

Find these settings in Text preferences from the Immersive Reader toolbar.

  • Text size: Under the label Text size, move the slider right to make the text larger; move it left to make the text smaller.
  • Text spacing: Turn on Text spacing to increase spacing between lines of text.
  • Text column style: Adjust how wide your page’s text column spreads.
  • Page themes: Choose from a variety of page themes and color options, including themes inspired by Irlen Spectral Filters for people with Irlen Syndrome. Select More themes to view all available themes.
Grammar tools in Immersive Reader

Grammar tools help improve reading comprehension by splitting words into syllables and highlighting nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

To open Grammar tools, select Grammar tools  from the Immersive Reader toolbar.

  • Syl·la·bles: Turn on Syl·la·bles to divide words by showing small dots between syllables.
  • Parts of speech: Under Parts of speech, turn on Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, or Adverbs to highlight every noun, verb, adjective, or adverb on the page in a color that corresponds to the color of the label. Customize highlight colors and show labels inline by turning on Show labels.
Reading preferences in Immersive Reader

In Reading preferences, you can turn on tools like Line focus to focus on reading one, three or five lines at a time, Picture dictionary to see a visual representation of a word, or Translate to change the language of the text.

Find these tools in Reading preferences on the Immersive Reader toolbar:

  • Line focus: Line focus narrows the focus of your reading to one, three, or five lines in Immersive Reader. When just a portion of text highlighted, content is easier to read and comprehend. Use the up and down arrows in Immersive Reader or up and down keys on the keyboard to move the line focus up or down on the page.
  • Picture dictionary: With Picture dictionary on, you can click on any single word and see an illustration related to the meaning.
  • Translate: Translate lets you change the language of the text you’re reading. Select the language in the list and turn on Translate entire page.
Make it easier to focus

Turn off animations

Minimize visual distractions by turning off animations, background images, and more.

  1. Select Start → Settings → Accessibility → Visual effects
  2. To minimize distractions, do one or more of the following:
    • To automatically hide the scrollbars in Windows, turn off the Always show scrollbars switch.
    • To make some window backgrounds more opaque, turn off the Transparency effects switch.
    • If you don’t want Windows to show animations, turn off the Animation effects switch.
    • To define how long notifications are shown, expand the Dismiss notifications after this amount of time menu and select the option you want.
Clean up taskbar clutter

Choose which icons appear on the taskbar and reduce the number of items in view.

  1. Select Start → Settings → Personalization → Taskbar
  2. Select Taskbar items and Taskbar corner icons to expand those sections and turn off the switches for the items you don’t want to see on the taskbar.
  3. To select which icons can appear in the taskbar corner, select Taskbar corner overflow. Turn on the switches for the icons that you want to see in the taskbar corner. The icons with the switches turned off won’t show directly on the taskbar—they’ll only appear in the taskbar corner overflow menu.
Simplify the Start menu

You can select what to show in the Start menu—keeping distractions at a minimum and finding what you need quickly.

  1. Select Start → Settings → Personalization → Start.
  2. To simplify the Start menu, do one or more of the following:
    • To show or hide recently added apps, toggle the Show recently added apps switch on or off.
    • To show or hide the apps you use the most, toggle the Show most used appsswitch on or off.
    • To show or hide your recently opened items, toggle the Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer switch on or off.
    • To select which folders are shown or hidden in the Start menu next to the power button, select Folders, and turn on the switches for the folders you want to see. Turn the switches off for the folders you want to hide.
Quiet notifications

Do not disturb allows you to define which notifications you see and hear and when. The rest of the notifications will go to the notification center where you can see them any time. You can also modify the notifications settings to choose which apps display notifications.

Choose the notifications you want to see and hear
  1. Select Start → Settings → System → Notifications, then adjust the settings.
  2. To see and hear fewer notifications, turn on Do not disturb.
  3. If you want to choose notifications from certain apps, select Set priority notifications. Modify these options to get the notifications you want to see when do not disturb is turned on.

Tip: To quickly switch Do not disturb on, go to the taskbar and select the battery, network, or volume icon to open the notification center, then turn it on or off.

Limit late-night notifications
  1. Select Start → Settings → System → Notifications
  2. In Turn on do not disturb automatically, select During these times to turn it on
  3. Choose when do not disturb turns on, turns off, and how often it repeats.
  4. You can also choose the types of tasks that will turn on do not disturb automatically.
Choose which apps display notifications

If notifications are distracting when they appear on your screen, adjust which apps display notifications and fine-tune how they appear.

  1. Select Start → Settings → System → Notifications.
  2. In Notifications from apps and other senders, turn off the apps you don’t want notifications from and turn on the apps you do want to get notifications from.
  3. To define where the notifications appear for each app, select a specific app, then change the options as desired.
Read with fewer distractions

To read a web page on a simpler and cleaner layout, use the Immersive Reader in Microsoft Edge. For more info on the Immersive Reader, go to Use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Edge.

  1. To start using the Immersive Reader, open the web page you want to read in Microsoft Edge, and then press the function key + F9. Alternatively, select Enter Immersive Reader on the address bar.

    Tip: If you don’t see the (Enter Immersive Reader) icon on the address bar, select the text you want to read, right-click, and select Open selection in Immersive Reader.

  2. The page opens on a simpler layout. To change how the page is displayed, review the options on the toolbar at the top of the page. Under Text preferences, for example, you can modify the background color using themes or change the font.
  3. To exit the Immersive Reader, select Exit Immersive Reader on the address bar or press the function key + F9.