Microsoft KB Archive/252435

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Article ID: 252435

Article Last Modified on 2/28/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition

This article was previously published under Q252435


This article describes the Narrator accessibility tool and some of its features. Narrator is a tool that works through Active Accessibility to read objects on the screen, their properties, and their spatial relationships. To start Narrator, use either of the following methods:

Method 1

Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Narrator.

Method 2

NOTE: This process can be used if you cannot see the screen.

  1. Press CTRL+ESC.
  2. Press P, press A, press RIGHT-ARROW, press N, and then press ENTER.

NOTE: The purpose of this tool is to permit accessibility users to work with a computer for an amount of time that is sufficient to install their favorite speech software product. Note that if Narrator does not meet your needs, you may need to obtain a more robust, third-party Text-to-Speech program.


When you change the active window (or focus), Narrator automatically reads information from this new window. Because Narrator is installed by default, this tool is normally available for any user on any Windows 2000-based computer. The following are some of the features in Narrator:

Narrator Uses Text Normalization on Certain Words

"Text Normalization" is the ability to discern certain abbreviations as a correct, complete word. For example:

$25.00 is read as "Twenty-five dollars" and not "Dollar sign, two, five, period, zero zero."
WWW is read as World Wide Web.
SE is read as South East, NW is read as North West, and so on.
N.Y. is read as New York, L.A. is read as Los Angles, and so on. Note that TX is not identified as Texas.

Narrator Reads .htm or .html Files But Does Not Read HTML and JAVA Script Codes

When you view Web pages, Narrator reads the .htm or .html files but does not read HTML and JAVA Script codes. Note that Narrator may also follow algorithmic rules, such as reading the information in parentheses before the beginning of the sentence.

Narrator Can Read the Contents of Some Windows

While Narrator is running, click the window you want read, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR at the same time. If possible, Narrator will then read the contents of the windows. Note that keys that you press are also read aloud.

If you press CRTL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR with Notepad, Narrator only reads the first 72 words of Notepad. After that you must use the arrow keys to read each line separately. You can press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to read the entire text (.txt) file.

Narrator Does Not Work with any Microsoft Office 2000 Programs

If you need to use text-to-speech functionality with Office 2000 programs, you may need to obtain a more robust, third-party Text-to-Speech program.

Narrator May Pronounce Some Words Incorrectly

For example, the word ON is pronounced as IN. When you click Start and then click Help, Narrator may generate a "Spin box 65,536 invisible" error message, and then read what is actually on the Help window.

Keywords: kbenablesight kbinfo KB252435