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NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free and open source screen reader for the Microsoft Windows operating system developed by NV Access, with contributions from the community. It can be downloaded from NV Access. This page only lists a few of the most used keyboard short-cuts and commands, for a complete list See NVDA User Guide.

The NVDA Modifier Key

Most NVDA-specific keyboard commands consist of pressing a particular key called the NVDA modifier key (Numpad Insert or Extended Insert by default) in conjunction with one or more other keys.

In the table below, this will be referred to as just NVDA. Notable exceptions to this are the text review commands for desktop keyboards which just use the Numpad keys by themselves, but there are some other exceptions as well.

NVDA can be configured so that either the Numpad Insert, Extended Insert, or Capslock key can be used as the NVDA modifier key.

If you wish to cause one of the NVDA modifier keys to act like its original key (for instance you wish to turn Capslock on when you have set Capslock to be an NVDA modifier key) you can press the key twice in quick succession.

Keystrokes for Basic NVDA Commands

These are the most basic commands used in NVDA.

Basic NVDA Commands
Function Keyboard Command
Stop speech Control
Pause Speech Shift
Browse mode elements list NVDA+F7
Toggle Speech Mode NVDA+S
Toggle Input Help Mode NVDA+1
Pass next key through NVDA+F2
Toggle application sleep mode on and off NVDA+Shift+S
Keyboard help NVDA+1

Keystrokes for Reading Text

These commands control the way that NVDA reads content on a Web page, and also specify exactly what type of content should be read.

Note: Some shortcuts require the use of Numpad keys, for example Numpad 1. In such cases, using the Numeric keys, like 1, on the left hand side with the alphabet pad, will not work.

Reading Text
Function Keyboard Command
Say Prior Character ←(Left Arrow) or Numpad 1
Say Next Character →(Right Arrow) or Numpad 3
Say Current Character Numpad 2
Say Word Numpad 5
Spell Word Numpad 5 twice quickly
Say Next Word Ctrl+→(Right Arrow) or Numpad 6
Say Prior Word Ctrl+←(Left Arrow) or Numpad 4
Say Prior Line ↑(Up Arrow) or Numpad 7
Say Next Line ↓(Down Arrow) or Numpad 9
Say Current Line NVDA+↑(Up Arrow) or Numpad 8
Spell Current Line NVDA+↑(Down Arrow) twice quickly
Read all starting at current position NVDA +↓(Down Arrow) or Numpad +
Top line Shift+Numpad 7
Bottom Line Shift+Numpad 9
Start of Line Shift+Numpad 1
End of Line Shift+Numpad 3

ARIA Landmarks

For NVDA 2011.2 the landmark keyboard combination in virtual buffer mode is:

ARIA Landmarks
Function Keyboard Command
List the landmarks (ARIA/HTML 5 banner/header, nav/navigation, main, footer/contentinfo, etc.) Insert+F7
Next landmark D
Previoius landmark Shift + D

Keystrokes for Links

These commands allow the user to navigate between the links within a Web page.

Links Navigation
Function Keyboard Command
Jump to next link/form element Tab
Next link K
Jump to previous link/form element Shift + Tab
Elements List – lists page links, headings, and landmarks NVDA+F7
Unvisited Link Quick Key U
Visited Link Quick Key V

Keystrokes for Headings and Lists

These commands allow the user to jump between headings and Lists on a Web page. For keystrokes containing "1–6" the command is valid with any number from 1 through 6, and will jump to headings of the corresponding level.

Headings and Lists
Function Keyboard Command
Headings Quick Key H
Headings level 1-6 1-6
List Quick Key L
List Item Quick Key I

Keystrokes for Tables

These keystrokes help the user navigate and read content within tables. Note that these keystrokes will be necessary to navigate both layout and data tables.

Function Keyboard Command
Table Quick Key T
Next Cell ↓ (Down Arrow)
Previous Cell ↑ (Up Arrow)

Keystrokes for Forms

These commands help the user navigate and manipulate HTML forms.

Function Keyboard Command
Form Quick Key F
Button Quick Key B
Enter Forms Mode Enter or NVDA+Space (in a form element)
Exit Forms Mode NVDA+Space
Navigate to Next form Control Tab
Navigate to Previous Form Control Shift+Tab
Select and Deselect Checkboxes Spacebar
Open Combo Box/Jump Menu/Auto-complete Menu Alt+↓(Down Arrow)
Select Radio Button ↑(Up Arrow) or ↓(Down Arrow)
Select Element in Combo Box ↑(Up Arrow) or ↓(Down Arrow) or the First letter
Checkbox X
Combo Box C
Radio Button R
Submit Form Enter (in forms mode)

Keystrokes for Voice Rate

These keystrokes help the control and adjust the voice rate.

Voice Rate
Function Keyboard Command
Decrease Voice Rate Ctrl+NVDA+↓(Down Arrow)
Increase Voice Rate Ctrl+NVDA+↑(Up Arrow)
Change Voice Settings (Inflection, Pitch,etc.) Ctrl+NVDA+>/<

Keystrokes for Application Specific Commands

NVDA provides its own extra commands for some applications to make certain tasks easier or to provide access to functionality which is not otherwise accessible to screen reader users.

Application Specific Commands
Function Keyboard Command
Microsoft Excel: Set column headers NVDA+Shift+C
Microsoft Excel: Set row headers NVDA+Shift+R
Microsoft PowerPoint: Toggle speaker notes reading Control+Shift+S
Miranda IM: Report recent message NVDA+Control+1-4
Poedit: Report Comments Window Control+Shift+C
Poedit: Report notes for translators Control+Shift+A

Miscellaneous Commands

NVDA provides some extra commands for some applications

Miscellaneous Commands
Function Keyboard Command
Search for a word or a phrase Ctrl+F
Keyboard help Insert+1
Go to next (or previous) graphic Shift+G
Go to next (or previous) blockquote Shift+X
Next key you hit ignores NVDA and is a normal keystroke Insert+F2
Speaks characters typed Insert+2
Speaks words typed Insert+3
Reads the entire foreground window (e.g. for dialogs) Insert+B
Announces the title of the current foreground window Insert+T

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