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Windows 8 Accessibility Options
This support document pertains to HP Desktop, Notebook, and TouchSmart PCs with Windows 8.
Windows 8 offers a variety of accessibility tools to customize your computer to make it easier to use.
NOTE:
If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.
Getting familiar with Ease of Access Center
Ease of Access Center is a central location where you can change accessibility options to make your computer easier to see, hear, and use. Ease of Access Center is made up of three sections:
  • The Make your computer easier to use section contains the Quick access to common tools feature, which allows you to try out the most commonly used accessibility tools.
  • The Get recommendations to make your computer easier to use link opens an optional questionnaire to help you determine which tools might be most helpful to you.
  • The Explore all settings section allows you to set up tools and change options by clicking links that address common needs.
When selected from the Quick access to common tools menu, tools turn off when you log off.
  1. To open Ease of Access Center when starting your computer, click the Ease of Access icon in the lower-left corner of the sign-in screen.
    Figure : Ease of Access icon on the sign-in screen
    The sign-in screen, with a red arrow pointing to the Ease of Access icon.
  2. To open Ease of Access Center from the Windows desktop or Start screen, press the Windows + U keys.
    Figure : Ease of Access Center
     Ease of Access Center menu
    When Ease of Access Center opens, the four choices in Quick access to common tools are highlighted one by one. Narrator, a basic screen reader, reads the content aloud as each tool is highlighted, and describes the on-screen activity.
  3. To select a tool, press the SPACE BAR key when the tool is highlighted.
    • If you do not want Windows to scan and highlight tools in Ease of Access Center in the future, remove the selection from Always scan this section .
    • To stop Narrator from starting automatically when opening Ease of Access Center, remove the selection from Always read this section aloud .
  4. You can also use your mouse pointer to select tools:
    • Selecting Start Magnifier makes it possible to enlarge the entire screen (full-screen mode), the area around the mouse pointer (lens mode), or a part of the screen (docked mode).
    • Selecting Start Narrator starts a basic screen reader.
    • Selecting Start On-Screen Keyboard opens a keyboard on the screen. Use On-Screen Keyboard to type on the screen with a mouse pointer or joy stick, or, if you have an HP TouchSmart Computer or a computer with a touch screen, with a stylus, mouth stick, or a finger.
    • Selecting Set up High Contrast opens the Make the computer easier to see menu. The High Contrast function eliminates many of the colors on the screen, and white or colored text is displayed on a black background in many areas.
  5. If you want some Ease of Access tools to start when the computer starts, click the Change sign-in settings link in the upper-left corner.
    Figure : The Change sign-in settings menu
    The Change sign-in settings menu in Ease of Access Center
  6. In the At sign-in column of the Change sign-in settings window, select the check boxes next to tools that you want to start on the sign-in screen, and click Apply .
  7. In the After sign-in column of the Change sign-in settings window, select the check boxes next to tools that you want to start once you have signed in, and click Apply .
If you want specific tools to start automatically when you log on, follow the steps below to change the settings using the Explore all Settings options in the Ease of Access Center.
Using the computer without a monitor
When enabled, Narrator is a basic screen reader that reads on-screen text aloud in some applications and programs. Where available, Audio Description describes what is happening in videos. You can also turn off visual effects and set time limits for notifications.
Setting up and using Narrator
Narrator requires headphones, built-in computer speakers, or external speakers. When enabled, Narrator opens when you log in to Windows.
Follow the steps below to set up Narrator:
  1. Open Ease of Access Center by pressing the Windows + U keys.
  2. Under Explore all settings , click the Use the computer without a display link.
  3. Under Hear text read aloud , select the check box next to Turn on Narrator , and then click Apply .
    The Narrator Settings window opens, and Narrator begins reading content and describing on-screen activity aloud.
    Figure : Narrator Settings menu
    The Narrator Settings menu.
  4. On the Narrator Settings window, click the General option.
    Choose from the following settings:
    • To eliminate the need to press the Caps Lock key when entering Narrator shortcuts, select the check box next to Lock the Narrator key so you don't have to press them for each command (Caps Lock) , and then click Save changes .
    • If you want Narrator to announce the individual keys you type, select the check box next to Hear characters as you type , and then click Save changes .
    • If you want Narrator to read the words you type, select the check box next to Hear words as you type , and then click Save changes .
    • If you want Narrator to announce errors, in addition to the error tone that the computer plays, select the check box next to Read out voiced Narrator errors , and then click Save changes .
    • If you want a blue box to highlight the selection that Narrator is reading, select the check box next to Highlight cursor , and then click Save changes .
      Figure : Example of the blue box that highlights text read by Narrator
      Example of the blue box that highlights the selection being read by Narrator
    • If you want Narrator to play extra sounds when you perform certain actions, select the check box next to Play audio cues , and then click Save changes .
    • If you want Narrator to read information about how to interact with items such as buttons or slider bars, or to offer additional information, select the check box next to Read UI hints and tips , and then click Save changes .
    • To make other apps quieter when Narrator is running, select the check box next to Lower the volume of other apps when Narrator is running , and then click Save changes .
    • To control how long notifications are retained before being read by Narrator, select the desired amount of time from the Retain notifications to be read for drop-down, and then click Save changes .
  5. Change Navigation settings by clicking the Navigation option on the Narrator Settings window, and then click Save changes .
    Figure : Narrator navigation settings
    Navigation settings in Narrator
    Choose from the following settings:
    • If you want Narrator to read what is next to the cursor, select the check box next to Read and interact with the screen using the mouse , and click Save changes .
      • To turn on Mouse Keys in Narrator, select the check box next to Use the numeric keypad to move the mouse around the screen , and click Save changes .
      • If you want Narrator to read whatever you are pointing at with the mouse pointer, select the check box next to Narrator cursor follows the mouse cursor , and click Save changes .
    • By default, when you drag your finger across the touch keyboard while using Narrator, Narrator announces the keys that you are touching. When you reach the key that you want to type, you double-tap that key to type the character. To be able to type by pressing the keys once, select the check box next to Activate keys on the touch keyboard when you lift your finger , and then click Save changes .
    • To add a blue box that moves with the keyboard focus, select the check box next to Narrator cursor follows keyboard focus , and then click Save changes .
    • If you want Narrator to read text as it is typed in applications such as Notepad or Microsoft Word, select the check box next to Enable the text insertion point to follow the Narrator cursor . If you want the cursor to appear after the Narrator cursor, click Enable the text insertion point to follow the Narrator cursor .
  6. To change how Narrator sounds, click the Voice option on the Narrator Settings window.
    Choose from the following settings:
    • To make Narrator read faster or slower, use the mouse pointer to move the Select the speed of the voice slider to the desired speed.
    • To make the Narrator voice quieter or louder, use the mouse pointer to move the Select the volume of the voice slider.
    • To make the Narrator voice lower or higher in pitch, use the mouse pointer to move the Select the pitch of the voice slider.
    • To choose an alternate Narrator voice, make a selection from the Select a different voice for Narrator drop-down.
    • Click Save changes .
      Figure : Narrator voice settings
       Voice settings in Narrator
  7. To change Narrator keyboard shortcut commands, click the Commands option on the Narrator Settings window.
    1. From the list of commands, select the keyboard shortcut command that you would like to change.
    2. Click the Change command keyboard shortcut button.
      Figure : The Commands menu in Narrator Settings
      The Commands menu in Narrator Settings with the Change command keyboard shortcut button encircled in red
    3. Click the Type a keyboard shortcut window that opens on the screen.
    4. Type the new keyboard shortcut into the field.
      The new keyboard shortcut appears in the command list.
    5. Click Save changes .
Using Narrator keyboard shortcut commands
Keyboard shortcuts can make using Narrator faster and easier.
Basic commands for Narrator
Use these keyboard shortcut commands to perform basic functions in Narrator.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F1 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F1 keys for notebooks) to show a list of all Narrator commands.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F2 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F2 keys for notebooks) to show commands for the current item.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + ESC keys to exit Narrator .
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F12 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F12 keys for notebooks) to turn keystroke announcements on and off.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + Z keys to lock the Narrator key, making it possible to use Narrator commands without having to press the CAPS LOCK key.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + X keys if you want Narrator to ignore the next command shortcut that you use.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + V keys to repeat last phrase.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + PAGE UP keys to increase voice volume.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + PAGE DOWN keys to decrease voice volume.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + plus (+) sign keys to increase voice speed (do not use the numeric keypad).
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + minus (-) sign keys to decrease voice speed (do not use the numeric keypad).
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + D keys to read an item.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F keys for advanced information.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + S keys to read an item spelled out.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + W keys to read a window.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + R keys to read all items in the containing area.
Navigation commands
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + SPACE BAR keys to perform a primary action, such as opening a selected document.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + RIGHT ARROW keys to move to the next item.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + LEFT ARROW keys to move to the previous item.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + UP ARROW keys to change view.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + DOWN ARROW keys to change view.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + ENTER to switch between search modes.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + NUMBER LOCK keys to turn mouse mode on or off.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + A keys to switch between advanced and normal navigation mode.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + Q keys to move to the last item in the containing area.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + G keys to move Narrator cursor to system cursor.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + T keys to move Narrator cursor to pointer.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + tilde (~) keys to set focus item.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + BACKSPACE keys to go back one item.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + INSERT keys to jump to linked item.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + C keys to read the current date and time.
Text commands
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + M keys to start reading.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + ] (close bracket) keys to read text from start to cursor.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + 0 (zero) keys to read text attributes.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + H keys to read a document.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + U keys to read the next page.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + CTRL + U keys to read the current page.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + SHIFT + U keys to read the previous page.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + I keys to read the next paragraph.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + CTRL + I keys to read the current paragraph.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + SHIFT + I keys to read the previous paragraph.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + O (letter O) keys to read the next line.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + CTRL + O (letter O) keys to read the current line.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + SHIFT + O (letter O) keys to read the previous line.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + P keys to read the next word.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + CTRL + P keys to read the current word.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + SHIFT + P keys to read the previous word.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + [ (open bracket) keys to read the next character.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + CTRL + [ (open bracket) keys to read the current character.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + SHIFT + [ (open bracket) keys to read the previous character.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + L keys to jump to the next link.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + SHIFT + L keys to jump to the previous link.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + Y keys to move to the beginning of the text.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + B keys to move to the end of the text.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + N keys to rewind while reading a document.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + , (comma) keys to fast-forward while reading a document.
Table commands
Navigate in tables or spreadsheets with special Narrator commands.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F3 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F3 keys for notebooks) to jump to the next cell in a row on a table.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + SHIFT + F3 keys to jump to the previous cell in a row.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F4 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F4 keys for notebooks) to jump to the next cell in a column.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + SHIFT + F4 keys to jump to the previous cell in a column.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F5 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F5 keys for notebooks) to hear the row and column location of Narrator.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F6 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F6 keys for notebooks) to jump to a table cell.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F7 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F7 keys for notebooks) to read the current column.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F8 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F8 keys for notebooks) to read current row.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F9 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F9 keys for notebooks) to read the current column header.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F10 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F10 keys for notebooks) to read the current row header.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + F11 keys ( CAPS LOCK + FUNCTION + F11 keys for notebooks) to turn touch mode on or off.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + J keys to jump to the next heading.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + SHIFT + J keys to jump to the previous heading.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + K keys to jump to the next table.
  • Press the CAPS LOCK + SHIFT + K keys to jump to the previous table.
Touch commands
When using Narrator, computers with touch screens, such as HP TouchSmart computers, use special touch commands. Many Narrator touch commands only work in computers that support four-finger touch. If your computer does not support four-finger touch, experiment with the touch commands below to see which ones work on your touch screen.
  • Tap twice with one finger to perform a primary action.
  • Hold with one finger and tap with a second finger to perform a primary action.
  • Tap three times with one finger to perform a secondary action.
  • Hold with one finger and tap twice with a second finger to perform a secondary action.
  • Flick right with one finger to move to the next item.
  • Flick left with one finger to move to the previous item.
  • Flick up or down with one finger to change view.
  • Swipe up with two fingers to scroll up.
  • Swipe down with two fingers to scroll down.
  • Swipe right with two fingers to scroll left; Narrator will tell you when you cannot scroll further left.
  • Swipe left with two fingers to scroll right; Narrator will tell you when you cannot scroll further right.
  • Tap once with three fingers to show or hide the Narrator Settings window.
  • Tap three times with four fingers to show the commands list.
  • Tap once with four fingers to show commands for the current item, tap the item with one finger to select, and then tap twice with one finger to perform the selected action.
  • Tap twice with four fingers to switch between search modes.
  • Swipe right with three fingers to tab forward.
  • Swipe left with three fingers to tab backward.
  • Swipe up with three fingers if you want Narrator to read a window
  • Swipe down with three fingers to start reading.
  • Tap once with two fingers to stop reading.
  • Tap twice with three fingers to show or hide the keyboard
  • Hold one finger and tap once with a second and third finger to start dragging, or for extra key options.
  • Swipe up with four fingers to zoom out.
  • Swipe down with four fingers to zoom in.
Making content readable by Narrator
The Windows 8 version of Narrator is not capable of reading all content in every application. If content is unreadable by Narrator, try the steps below:
  1. From the Start screen, with Narrator running, type Notepad .
  2. Select Notepad from the search results.
    An untitled Notepad window opens.
  3. Switch to the application that contains the content that you want Narrator to read, and highlight the content.
  4. Right-click the highlighted content, and select Copy .
  5. In Notepad, right click and select Paste .
  6. In the Notepad, press the CAPS LOCK + H keys to read the entire document.
Setting up and using Audio Description (where available)
Where available, Audio Description describes the action in videos.
To turn on Audio Description:
  1. Open Ease of Access Center by pressing the Windows + U keys.
  2. Under Explore all settings , click the Use the computer without a display link.
  3. Under Hear text read aloud , select the check box next to Turn on Audio Description .
  4. Click OK .
Turning off visual effects and setting time limits for notifications
  1. Open Ease of Access Center by pressing the Windows + U keys.
  2. Under Explore all settings , click the Use the computer without a display link.
  3. To turn off some visual effects, such as fading, select the check box next to Turn off all unnecessary animations (when possible) , and click Apply .
  4. To determine how many seconds Windows notification dialog boxes should stay open, make a selection from the drop-down menu, and click Apply .
Making the computer screen easier to see
You can increase the size of text and images or change the way items appear on the screen.
Open Ease of Access Center by pressing the Windows + U keys, and then click the Make the computer easier to see link under Explore all settings .
  • To change the size of items on the screen, click the Change the size of text and icons link, use the mouse pointer to move the slider to the desired size, and then click Apply .
  • To make window borders easier to see by changing the color, click the Adjust the color and transparency of the windows borders link, select a color, and click the Save changes button.
  • To make the rectangle around selected items in dialog boxes easier to see, select the check box next to Make the focus rectangle thicker , and click Apply .
  • To make the cursor easier to see, select a number from the Set the thickness of the blinking curser drop-down, and click Apply .
  • To turn off some visual effects, such as fading, select the check box next to Turn off all unnecessary animations (when possible) , and click Apply .
  • To turn off images or content that are not wanted, select the check box next to Remove background images (where available) , and click Apply .
Turning on High Contrast
By intensifying the color contrast of some of the text and images on the computer screen, the High Contrast feature makes items more distinct and easy to identify.
  1. Under Explore all settings in Ease of Access Center, click the Make the computer easier to see link.
  2. Under High Contrast, to permanently change the visual theme on your computer, click the Choose a High Contrast theme link.
    The Personalization window opens.
  3. Under Basic and High Contrast Themes, select the desired color combination.
    The computer changes to the new color scheme.
  4. To be able to turn on High Contrast without opening Ease of Access Center, select the check box next to Turn on or off High Contrast when left ALT + left SHIFT + PRINT SCREEN is pressed .
  5. Click OK .
    Figure : A desktop, and the same desktop with High Contrast turned on
    An image  of a regular desktop above an image of the same desktop with High Contrast turned on
    Figure : The Start screen, and the Start screen with High Contrast turned on
    An image  of the Start screen above an image of   the Start screen with High Contrast turned on
Using Magnifier
The Magnifier feature makes it possible to enlarge the entire screen, the area around the mouse pointer, or a part of the screen.
To access a menu of Magnifier tools:
  1. Under Explore all settings in Ease of Access Center, click the Make the computer easier to see link.
  2. Under Make things on the screen larger , select the check box next to Turn on Magnifier , and click OK .
  3. Click the magnifying glass icon on the screen to open the Magnifier toolbar.
    Figure : Selection to open the Magnifier toolbar
    The magnifying glass icon being selected.
  4. Select the viewing mode by clicking the Views down-arrow:
    Figure : View choices in Magnifier toolbar
    Magnifier toolbar with Views down-arrow selected and list of view choices
    • To enlarge the entire screen, select Full screen from the drop-down.
    • To enlarge the area around the mouse pointer, select Lens from the drop-down.
      Figure : Example of Magnifier in Lens mode
      An example of Magnifier in Lens mode
      1. When in Lens mode, customize the lens size by clicking the Options icon in the Magnifier toolbar to open the Magnifier Options menu.
        Figure : Options icon in the Magnifier toolbar
        The Options icon in the Magnifier toolbar
      2. Use the mouse pointer to move the height and width sliders until the lens is the desired size.
      3. Click OK .
        Figure : Magnifier lens size adjustment options
        Magnifier lens size adjustment sliders
    • To enlarge a part of the screen, select Docked from the drop-down.
      Figure : Example of Magnifier docked at the top of a screen at 150 percent enlargement
      An example of the Magnifier tool being used in Docked mode at 150 percent enlargement, with the magnified area docked at the top of the screen
  5. To select general Magnifier options, click the Options icon on the Magnifier toolbar.
    • To alter how much the view changes when zooming in or out, select the desired percentage of enlargement by using the mouse pointer to move the slider between Less and More, and then click OK .
      Figure : Magnifier Options menu
      The Magnifier Options menu with the zoom options slider selected
    • To reverse the color scheme within the magnified area, select the check box next to Turn on color inversion .
    • To show the area around the mouse pointer in the magnified area, select the check box next to Follow the mouse pointer , and click OK .
    • To shift the area of magnification when the Tab or arrow keys are pressed, select the check box next to Follow the keyboard focus , and click OK .
    • To magnify the area around text being typed in applications such as Notepad or Microsoft Word, select the check box next to Have the Magnifier follow the text insertion point , and then click OK .
    • To optimize the appearance of text, click the Fine tune what my screen fonts look like link, follow the on-screen prompts on the ClearType Text Tuner, and then click Finish .
  6. On the Magnifier menu, click the minus or plus buttons to decrease or increase the level of magnification.
Using Magnifier shortcuts
Make using Magnifier easier and faster with keyboard shortcuts.
  • While holding down the Windows key, press the + (plus) key to zoom in or the - (minus) key to zoom out.
  • Exit Magnifier by pressing the Windows + ESCAPE keys.
  • To switch to full-screen mode, press the CTRL + ALT + F keys.
  • To switch to docked mode, press the CTRL + ALT + D keys.
  • To switch to lens mode, press the CTRL + ALT + L keys.
  • To resize the lens, press the CTRL + ALT + R keys, move the mouse pointer up, down, left, and right until you get the shape and size that you want, and then left-click to make the size permanent.
  • To invert background and text colors, press the CTRL + ALT + I keys .
  • To pan up, down, left, or right within the magnified area, press the CTRL + ALT + up arrow , down arrow , left arrow , or right arrow keys.
Using the computer without a mouse or keyboard
On-Screen Keyboard and Speech Recognition can make using the computer without a mouse or keyboard possible.
  1. Open Ease of Access Center by pressing the Windows + U keys.
  2. Under Explore all settings , click the Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard link.
Setting up and using On-Screen Keyboard
On-Screen Keyboard is a visual keyboard that opens on your screen and takes the place of a physical keyboard. You can type using a mouse pointer or joystick. If you have an HP TouchSmart computer or a computer with a touch screen, you can also type using a stylus, mouth stick, or your finger. To type or use keyboard commands with On-Screen Keyboard, move the cursor to the software program you want to use, such as a Microsoft Word document or an Internet browser field.
  1. On the Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard window, select the check box next to Use On-Screen Keyboard , and click OK .
    The On-Screen Keyboard opens.
  2. To change the settings, click the Options key on the On-Screen Keyboard.
    Figure : On-Screen Keyboard with Options key highlighted
    Image of On-Screen Keyboard with Options key highlighted
    • On the On-Screen Keyboard Options menu, to hear an audible click when a key is selected, select the check box next to Use click sound , and then click OK .
      Figure : On-Screen Keyboard Options menu
      The On-Screen Keyboard Options menu
    • To add a numeric keypad to the On-Screen Keyboard, select the check box next to Turn on the numeric key pad and click OK .
    • To type text by clicking on-screen keys with a mouse pointer, select the radio button next to Click on keys , and click OK .
    • If you do not choose the click on keys option, follow the steps below to use hover over keys mode or scan through keys mode.
Using hover over keys mode
In hover over keys mode, you can type characters without pressing keyboard keys or clicking with a mouse. Using On-Screen Keyboard and a mouse or joystick, you can type by pointing to and hovering over a character for a predetermined amount of time.
  1. On the On-Screen Keyboard Options menu, select the radio button next to Hover over keys .
  2. To set the amount of time you have to hover over a key to type a character, use the mouse pointer to move the hover duration slider bar.
    Figure : On-Screen Keyboard hover over keys mode
    On-Screen Keyboard with Hover over keys selected and hover duration set to 3 seconds
  3. Click OK .
    Figure : Example of the number 8 being selected using hover over keys mode
    Example of the number 8 being selected using hover over keys  mode
Using scan through keys mode
When in scan through keys mode, On-Screen Keyboard scans and highlights areas of the keyboard. Selections are made by pressing the space bar on the physical keyboard. The On-Screen Keyboard is scanned line-by-line until the space bar is pressed. Groups of keys within the selected line are scanned and highlighted until the space bar is pressed again. Keys are then scanned one at a time until the space bar is pressed, which types the character.
To type text by scanning keys, select the radio button next to Scan through keys .
  1. On the On-Screen Keyboard Options menu, select a scanning speed by using the mouse pointer to move the slider bar.
  2. Under To select a key , select the check box next to the input device or devices you use.
  3. To change the keyboard shortcut key, select the desired key from the Space Bar Key drop-down menu.
    Figure : On-Screen Keyboard scanning mode
    On-Screen Keyboard with Scan through keys selected, scanning speed set to 1 second, and the space bar key selected from the drop-down
  4. Click OK .
    Figure : Example of the On-Screen Keyboard scanning through the keys
    An example of the On-Screen Keyboard being scanned by groups of letters.
Using Text Prediction
Text Prediction can make typing easier by suggesting words based on what you have already typed. Suggested words appear in the top row of On-Screen Keyboard. When you select a word, the word is typed.
  1. In the On-Screen Keyboard Options menu, select the check box next to Use Text Prediction , and click OK .
  2. To add spaces automatically, select the check box next to Insert space after predicted words , and click OK .
    Figure : Text prediction options
    The On-Screen Keyboard Options window with text prediction options encircled in red
  3. To enter text, move the cursor into an editable field in the application you are using, and begin typing using On-Screen Keyboard.
    A list of predicted words appears in the top row of On-Screen Keyboard above the numbered keys.
  4. To select a predicted word:
    • To type a predicted word when in click on keys mode, click the desired predicted word.
      Figure : Typing in Notepad using Text Prediction
      An example of text being typed into Notepad using On-Screen Keyboard, and the word ''easier'' being selected from the list of predicted words
    • To type a predicted word when in hover over keys mode, use the mouse pointer or joy stick to hover over the desired predicted word.
    • To type a predicted word when in scan through keys mode, press the SPACE BAR key on the physical keyboard when the row of predicted words is highlighted, press the SPACE BAR key again when the desired group of predicted words is highlighted, and then press the SPACE BAR key once more when the desired word is highlighted.
Setting up and using Speech Recognition
With Speech Recognition, you can control your computer using spoken commands, as well as dictate text. If the computer does not have a built-in microphone, find and use a microphone and connect it to the computer.
When setting up Speech Recognition, you are prompted to print a speech reference card that details basic and advanced commands that apply to most Windows operating systems. Use the following Speech Recognition commands to use Windows 8 features:
  • To go to the Start screen or switch between the Start screen and the last app used, say "Start menu."
  • To go to the Windows desktop, say "desktop."
  • To open an app on the Start screen, say the name of the app. For example, say "HP Recipe Box."
  • To unpin an app from the Start screen, uninstall an app, make the tile larger or smaller, or turn the live tile on or off, say "right-click" and the app name, and then the action. For example, say "right-click People," and then "turn live tile on."
  • To navigate in charms, say "display Windows charms," the charm name, and then the names of the desired features or settings. For example, say "display Windows charms," then "Settings," then "Change PC settings," then "General," and then say "highlight misspelled words" to turn the setting on or off.
  • Say "scroll right" or "scroll left" to move left or right on the Start screen.
  • To turn the computer off, say "display Windows charms," then "Settings," then "Power," and then "Shut down."
Follow the steps below to set up Speech Recognition.
  1. On the Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard window, click the Use Speech Recognition link.
    The Speech Recognition window opens.
  2. In the right pane, click Start Speech Recognition .
    Figure : Start Speech Recognition
    The link to start Speech Recognition
  3. On the Welcome to Speech Recognition window, click Next .
  4. When prompted, select your type of microphone from the list, and then click Next .
    Figure : Microphone type options
    Microphone type options in the Ease of Access Speech Recognition setup wizard
  5. Review the microphone placement information on the Set up Speech Recognition window, and then click Next .
  6. Read from the script on the Adjust the volume of the Microphone window, and then click Next .
  7. On the Your microphone is now set up window, click Next .
  8. On the Improve speech recognition accuracy window, click the Read our Privacy Statement online link.
  9. Review Microsoft's Windows 8 Privacy statement to determine if you want to allow Windows to review your documents and email:
    • To allow Windows to review your documents and email to determine which words and phrases you use the most, select the radio button next to Enable document review , and then click Next .
    • If you do not want Windows to review documents or email, select the radio button next to Disable document review , and then click Next .
  10. On the Choose an activation mode window, select the preferred option for reactivating Speech Recognition once the feature has been deactivated.
  11. On the Print Speech Reference Card page, click the View Reference Sheet if you would like to read and print a list of Speech Recognition commands, and then click Next .
  12. On the Run Speech Recognition at startup page, select the checkbox next to Run Speech Recognition at startup .
Setting up advanced Speech Recognition options
Make Speech Recognition work better with advanced options.
  1. On the Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard window, click the Use Speech Recognition link.
    The Speech Recognition window opens.
  2. Click the Advanced speech options link on the upper left side of the Speech Recognition window .
    Figure : Speech Recognition advanced speech options
    The advanced speech options link in Ease of Access Speech Recognition
    The Speech Properties window opens.
Adding a new profile
You can create different profiles on the computer for everybody using speech recognition, or different profiles for each noise environment.
  1. On the Speech Properties window, click the New button under Recognition profiles .
    Figure : New profile setup in Speech Properties
    New profile setup in Speech  Properties with the  New button highlighted
  2. On the Add a profile window, name the profile, and then click OK .
  3. Follow the on-screen directions in the Microphone Setup Wizard .
  4. To change the default microphone, click the Advanced button in the Speech Properties window.
    • On the Audio Input Settings window, select the radio button next to Use this audio input device .
    • Select the desired microphone input from the drop-down menu.
    • Click OK .
Setting up user settings
Enhance the ability of Speech Recognition to understand your speech.
  1. On the Speech Properties window, highlight your profile name.
  2. Click the Train Profile button and follow the on-screen directions in the Speech Recognition Voice Training wizard.
  3. On the Speech Properties window, if you want Speech Recognition to start automatically when you log on, select the checkbox next to Run Speech Recognition at startup (optional).
  4. On the Speech Properties window, select the check box next to Enable voice activation (optional).
  5. To change the spacing between sentences, select the desired number from the Number of spaces to insert after punctuation drop-down.
Setting up Sound themes
The computer makes sounds to alert you when certain events occur, such as the receipt of a new email. You can change the sounds for Speech Recognition events.
  1. On the Speech Properties window, click the Audio Input button.
  2. On the Sound window, click the Sounds tab.
  3. Under Program Events , scroll down to the Windows Speech Recognition program events.
  4. Click the program event that you want to change.
  5. Select a new sound from the Sounds drop-down menu.
    Figure : Sound options for Speech Recognition program events
     Sound options for Speech Recognition program events  in the Sound menu
  6. Click the Test button to preview a sound.
  7. Click Apply .
Enhancing microphone performance
Improve the ability of Speech Recognition to understand your speech by muting or reducing background sounds.
  1. On the Speech Properties window, click the Audio Input button.
  2. On the Sound window, click the Communications tab.
  3. Select the radio button next to your preferred option, and then click Apply .
    Figure : Options to mute or reduce sounds
    Options to reduce or mute other sounds while using the microphone
Making the mouse easier to use
Make the mouse pointer more visible by changing the way it looks, and turn on features that make the mouse easier to use.
  1. Open Ease of Access Center by pressing the Windows + U keys.
  2. Under Explore all settings , click the Make the mouse easier to use link.
Changing the color and size of mouse pointers
If you have trouble seeing the mouse pointer on your screen, you can make it more visible by following the steps below.
  1. Under Mouse pointers , select the radio button next to the desired color and size combination.
    Figure : Options for changing the mouse pointer
    Options for changing the color and size of the mouse pointer
  2. Click Apply .
Turning on Mouse Keys
Enabling Mouse Keys makes it possible to use the numeric keypad to move the mouse pointer around on the screen.
To set up Mouse Keys:
  1. Click the Make the mouse easier to use link under Explore all settings in the Ease of Access Center menu.
  2. Select the check box next to Turn on Mouse Keys , and then click Apply .
  3. Click the Set up Mouse Keys link.
  4. To be able to turn on Mouse Keys without opening Ease of Access Center, select the check box next to Turn on Mouse Keys with left ALT + left SHIFT + NUM LOCK , and then click Apply .
  5. Under Pointer speed , set a top speed and/or rate of acceleration for the mouse pointer by moving the slider bar to the desired level, and then click Apply .
  6. To manually control the mouse pointer speed when using the computer, select the check box next to Hold down CTRL to speed up and SHIFT to slow down .
  7. Under Other settings , choose whether you want to use Mouse Keys when NUM LOCK is on or off by selecting the radio button next to On or Off , and then click Apply .
  8. For a visual reminder that the Mouse Keys feature is on, select the check box next to Display the Mouse Keys icon on the taskbar , and then click Apply .
  9. While in Set up Mouse Keys , choose the desired functions:
    • To see a warning message when turning Mouse Keys on, select the check box next to Display a warning message when turning a setting on , and then click Apply .
      Figure : Warning message that appears when Mouse Keys are turned on
      The warning message that appears when Mouse Keys are turned on
    • If you want to hear a sound when turning Mouse Keys on or off, select the check box next to Make a sound when turning a setting on or off , and then click Apply .
Using Mouse Keys
Move the mouse pointer using the numeric keypad.
  • Move the pointer up and left by pressing 7 .
  • Move the pointer up by pressing 8 .
  • Move the pointer up and right by pressing 9 .
  • Move the pointer left by pressing 4 .
  • Move the pointer right by pressing 6 .
  • Move the pointer down and left by pressing 1 .
  • Move the pointer down by pressing 2 .
  • Move the pointer down and right by pressing 3 .
  • Drag an item by pointing to it, pressing 0 , and then pressing the desired directional button.
  • Drop an item that is being dragged by pointing to it, and then pressing the . (decimal) key.
  • On the numeric keypad, press the / (forward slash) plus the 5 keys to left-click.
  • On the numeric keypad, press the - (minus symbol) plus the 5 keys to right-click.
  • On the numeric keypad, press the / (forward slash) plus the + (plus symbol) keys to double-click.
  • On the numeric keypad, press the * (asterisk) plus the 5 keys to select an item and right-click it.
Changing the way you switch between windows
If clicking with a mouse is difficult, you can change options in Ease of Access Center to make it possible to select windows by hovering over them with the mouse or a joy stick.
  1. Click the Make the mouse easier to use link under Explore all settings in Ease of Access Center.
  2. Under Make it easier to manage windows , select the check box next to Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse .
  3. Click Apply .
Disabling Aero Snap
Aero Snap, a Windows 8 feature that makes it possible to resize an application by dragging the window to the edge of the screen, can be disabled in Ease of Access Center.
  1. Click the Make the mouse easier to use link under Explore all settings in Ease of Access Center.
  2. Under Make it easier to manage windows , select the check box next to Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen .
  3. Click Apply .
Making the keyboard easier to use
Changing the settings in Windows 8 can make the keyboard easier and more comfortable to use.
Setting up and using Sticky Keys
Sticky Keys allows you to press one key at a time to use key combinations, such as CTRL + ALT + DELETE.
To configure Sticky Keys:
  1. From the Start screen, click the arrow in the lower-left corner of the screen to open a list of apps.
    Figure : The arrow to access apps
  2. Under Windows System , click Control Panel .
    Figure : Control Panel in Apps
    An enlarged view of Control Panel in All apps
  3. In Control Panel, click Ease of Access .
  4. Click Ease of Access Center .
  5. Click the Make the keyboard easier to use link under Explore all settings in the Ease of Access Center menu.
  6. In the Make the keyboard easier to use menu, select the check box next to Turn on Sticky Keys , and click Apply .
    Figure : Sticky Keys settings in the Make the keyboard easier to use menu
    Sticky Keys settings in the Make the keyboard easier to use menu
  7. Click the Set up Sticky Keys link and chose the desired functions:
    • To be able to turn on Sticky Keys without opening Ease of Access Center, select the check box next to Turn on Sticky Keys when SHIFT is pressed five times , and click Apply .
    • If you want to see a warning message when turning Sticky Keys on, select the check box next to Display a Warning message when turning a setting on , and click Apply .
      Figure : Warning message that appears when the Sticky Keys feature is turned on
      The warning message that appears when the  Sticky Keys feature is turned on
    • If you want to hear a sound when turning Sticky Keys on or off, select the check box next to Make a sound when turning a setting on or off , and click Apply .
    • To make it possible to lock a modifier key, such as CTRL , ALT , SHIFT , or Windows , select the check box next to Lock modifier keys when pressed twice in a row , and click Apply .
    • To make it possible to turn off Sticky Keys when a modifier key and another key are pressed simultaneously, select the check box next to Turn off Sticky Keys when two keys are pressed at once , and click Apply .
    • To hear an audible cue when a modifier key is pressed, locked, or released, select the check box next to Play a sound when modifier keys are pressed , and click Apply .
    • For a visual reminder that the Sticky Keys feature is turned on, select the check box next to Display the Sticky Keys icon on the taskbar , and click Apply .
      Figure : Settings for Sticky Keys
       The Set Up Sticky Keys menu with the Apply button highlighted
Setting up and using Toggle Keys
Enabling Toggle Keys makes it possible to hear sound cues when pressing locking keys such as CAPS LOCK , NUM LOCK , or SCROLL LOCK .
Follow the steps below to use Toggle Keys:
  1. Open Ease of Access Center by pressing the Windows + U keys.
  2. Click the Make the keyboard easier to use link under Explore all settings in the Ease of Access Center menu.
  3. In the Make the keyboard easier to use menu, select the check box next to Turn on Toggle Keys , and click Apply .
  4. To be able to turn on Toggle Keys without opening Ease of Access Center, select the check box next to Turn on Toggle Keys by holding down the NUM LOCK key for 5 seconds , and click Apply .
Setting up and using Filter Keys
Filter Keys stops the computer from processing brief or repeated keystrokes. By turning on Filter Keys, you can also slow the rate at which a key repeats when held down.
Follow the steps below to use Filter Keys:
  1. From the Start screen, click the arrow in the lower-left corner of the screen to open a list of apps.
    Figure : The arrow to access apps
  2. Under Windows System , click Control Panel .
    Figure : Control Panel in Apps
    An enlarged view of Control Panel in All apps
  3. In Control Panel, click Ease of Access .
  4. Click Ease of Access Center .
  5. Click the Make the keyboard easier to use link under Explore all settings in the Ease of Access Center menu.
  6. In the Make the keyboard easier to use menu, select the check box next to Turn on Filter Keys , and click Apply .
  7. Click the Set up Filter Keys link and chose the desired functions:
    • To be able to turn on Filter Keys without opening Ease of Access Center, select the check box next to Turn on Filter Keys when SHIFT is pressed for 8 seconds , and click Apply .
    • To see a warning message when turning Filter Keys on, select the check box next to Display a Warning message when turning a setting on , and click Apply .
      Figure : Warning message that appears when Filter Keys are turned on
      The warning message that appears when Filter Keys are turned on
    • To hear a sound when turning Filter Keys on or off, select the check box next to Make a sound when turning a setting on or off , and click Apply .
    • To hear an audible cue, select the check box next to Beep when keys are pressed or accepted , and click Apply .
    • For a visual reminder that the Filter Keys feature is turned on, select the check box next to Display the Filter Keys icon on the taskbar , and click Apply .
Setting up and using Bounce Keys or Repeat Keys and Slow Keys
The Bounce Keys function stops the computer from processing repeated keystrokes. You can specify the amount of time you want the computer to wait before processing repeated keystrokes. The Repeat Keys and Slow Keys functions stop the computer from processing all repeat keystrokes, or those that occur within a specific amount of time.
Bounce Keys
When using the Bounce Keys feature, the computer ignores key presses that are rapidly repeated.
Follow the steps below to set up Bounce Keys:
  1. From the Start screen, click the arrow in the lower-left corner of the screen to open a list of apps.
    Figure : The arrow to access apps
  2. Under Windows System , click Control Panel .
    Figure : Control Panel in Apps
    An enlarged view of Control Panel in All apps
  3. In Control Panel, click Ease of Access .
  4. Click Ease of Access Center .
  5. Click the Make the keyboard easier to use link under Explore all settings in the Ease of Access Center menu.
  6. Click the Set up Filter Keys link.
  7. In the Set up Filter Keys menu, select the radio button next to Turn on Bounce Keys , and click Apply .
  8. From the drop-down menu, select the desired amount of time the computer should wait before accepting keystrokes.
    Figure : Bounce Keys drop-down in Set up Filter Keys
    The Bounce Keys drop-down menu in Set up Filter Keys
Repeat Keys and Slow Keys
When using Repeat and Slow Keys, you can set a delay for avoiding accidental keystrokes, ignore repeated keystrokes, or slow down the rate at which the computer accepts repeated keystrokes.
Follow the steps below to turn on Repeat Keys and Slow Keys:
  1. From the Start screen, click the arrow in the lower-left corner of the screen to open a list of apps.
  2. Under Windows System , click Control Panel .
  3. In Control Panel, click Ease of Access .
  4. Click Ease of Access Center .
  5. Click the Make the keyboard easier to use link under Explore all settings in the Ease of Access Center menu.
  6. Click the Set up Filter Keys link.
  7. In the Set up Filter Keys menu, select the radio button next to Turn on Repeat Keys and Slow keys .
  8. Click the Set up Repeat Keys and Slow Keys link.
  9. From the drop-down menu under Avoid accidental keystrokes , select the desired amount of time the computer should wait before accepting keystrokes.
  10. To stop the computer from processing repeated keystrokes, select the radio button next to Ignore all repeated keystrokes .
  11. To stop the computer from processing all repeated keystrokes that occur within a specific amount of time, select the radio button next to Slow down keyboard repeat rates .
  12. If Slow down keyboard repeat rates is selected, use the first drop-down menu to set the amount of time the computer should wait before accepting the first repeated keystroke, and then use the second drop-down menu to select the amount of time the computer should wait before accepting subsequent repeated keystrokes.
  13. Click Apply .
  14. To test the settings, enter sample text into the Type text here to test settings field, and click Apply .
    Figure : Test settings
    The field to enter text to test Repeat Keys and Slow Keys settings
  15. Click OK .
Making keyboard shortcuts and access keys easier to see
Turning on the Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys feature can make keyboard shortcuts and access keys easier to see. For example, the Help menu in the Internet Explorer Menu Bar can be opened at any time by pressing the ALT + H keys. When the Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys feature is enabled, the H in the Help menu is underlined, providing a visual reminder of which key to use. To open Help or any other menu, press the ALT key while pressing the underlined key.
Figure : The Help menu being opened using the ALT + H shortcut keys
The Help menu in the Menu Bar of Internet Explorer (desktop version) being opened by pressing the ALT + H  keys
When the Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys feature is enabled, radio buttons and check boxes can be selected, or the selection removed, by pressing ALT and the underlined keys at the same time. For example, in the Narrator Settings Navigation window, the F in Activate keys on the touch keyboard when you lift your finger selection is underlined. To select the check box for Activate keys on the touch keyboard when you lift your finger , press the ALT + F keys.
Figure : Example of a check box selected by pressing ALT + F
The Activate keys on the touch keyboard when you lift your finger selection in the Narrator Settings Navigation menu, with the F in finger enlarged and circled in red.
Follow the steps below to underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys:
  1. Open Ease of Access Center by pressing the Windows + U keys.
  2. Under Explore all settings , click the Make the keyboard easier to use link.
  3. Under Make it easier to use keyboard shortcuts , select the check box next to Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys , and then click Apply .
Substituting text or visual alternatives for sounds
After turning on visual notifications, system sounds and announcements are replaced with visual cues, such as a flash on the screen, making system alerts visually noticeable. In some applications, you can turn on text captions to display spoken dialog as text.
  1. Open Ease of Access Center by pressing the Windows + U keys.
  2. Under Explore all settings , click the Use text or visual alternatives for sounds link.
  3. To replace system alerts with visual cues, select the check box next to Turn on visual notifications for sounds (Sound Sentry) .
    • To make the caption bar at the top of a dialog box or window flash during an audio event, select the radio button next to Flash active caption bar , and click Apply .
    • To make the entire window flash during an audio event, select the radio button next to Flash active window , and click Apply .
      Figure : Example of the flash that occurs when flash active windows is enabled
      A flashing dialog box with the flash active window visual warning enabled
    • To make the entire desktop flash during an audio event, select the radio button next to Flash desktop , and click Apply .
      Figure : Example of the flash that occurs when flash desktop is enabled
      A flashing desktop with the flash desktop visual warning enabled
  4. To make system sounds and spoken dialog display as text (where available), select the check box next to Turn on text captions for spoken dialog .
  5. Click OK .
Other related information
For more information on accessibility options, visit Microsoft Accessibility Options .