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Cheat Sheet – Screen Reader Commands for JAWS, NVDA – Web

Being a low vision user, before I was introduced to screen readers I always wondered if I could ever use a computer. As all I knew of computer was it was a powerful tool to get information over the internet, which had a monitor which displays the information, a keyboard to type the data and a mouse to navigate and click the interactive elements.

But it was like a dream come true when I began to work with screen readers. Yes screen readers do not rely on mouse. I could perform all activities only by my keyboard that someone could do with a mouse. Isn’t that cool??

Though at first I found it difficult and tiring job as I had to navigate to entire page with the arrow keys. But as I explored more I found many keystrokes that helped in scanning through a page through heading, quickly jumping to links, finding the form field etc.

Now Screen readers such as NVDA, JAWS and many more is been a part of my day to day job. But sometimes I too get confused with some of the keystrokes. So I always keep a Cheat sheet for screen reader commands handy with me!

So I thought of sharing it with the community so that users can access a webpage with ease.

Navigating Using both Jaws and NVDA:

The following table lists JAWS and NVDA commands for accessing website:

Keystrokes to read content:

Function Jaws

Commands

NVDA

Commands

Read Web page TitleInsert + TInsert + T
Go to Next Heading HH
Go to Previous HeadingShift + HShift + H
Heading levels 1-6 (Numeric)1-61-6
Open the Headings list dialog (JAWS) or Elements List dialog (NVDA)Insert+F6Insert + F7 then Alt + H
Go to Next ListLL
Go to Previous ListShift+ LShift+ L
Go to Next  List ItemII
Go to Previous  List ItemShift + IShift + I
Go to Next LinkTabTab/ K
Go to Previous LinkShift + TabShift + Tab/ Shift +K
Go to Next Unvisited LinkUU
Go to Previous Unvisited LinkShift + UShift + U
Go to Next Visited LinkVV
Go to Previous Visited LinkShift + VShift + V
Open the Links list dialog (JAWS) or Elements List dialog (NVDA)Insert+F7Insert+F7
Elements List – landmarks Insert + Control + RNVDA+F7
Go to Next GraphicGG
Go to Previous GraphicShift + GShift + G
List of GraphicInsert + Control + G

Now let’s find out the commands for navigating with tables!

Keystrokes to read Table:

The following table lists JAWS and NVDA commands for reading Tables:

Function Jaws

Commands

NVDA

Commands

Go to Next TableTT
Go to Previous TableShift + TShift + T
List of TablesInsert + Control +T
Move to next cellCtrl + Alt +Right ArrowCtrl +Alt +Right Arrow
Move to previous cellCtrl + Alt+ Left ArrowCtrl+ Alt+ Left Arrow
Move Down cellCtrl+ Alt+ Down ArrowCtrl + Alt + Down Arrow
Move Up cellCtrl + Alt + Up ArrowCtrl + Alt + Up Arrow

Now let’s find out the commands for interacting with Web forms!

Keystrokes to interact with Form Fields:

The following table lists JAWS and NVDA commands for reading Web forms:

Function Jaws

Commands

NVDA

Commands

Go to Next Form ElementF or TabF or Tab
Go to Previous Form ElementShift +F or Shift + TabShift + F or Shift + Tab
List of Form ElementsInsert+F5
Go to Next ButtonBB
Go to Previous ButtonShift  +BShift + B
Go to Next Radio buttonAR
Go to Previous Radio buttonShift + AShift + R
Go to Next CheckboxXX
Go to Previous CheckboxShift + XShift + X
Go to Next Combo boxCC
Go to Previous Combo boxShift + CShift + C
Enter Forms ModeEnter keyEnter key or NVDA key + Space
Exit Forms Mode keyEscape or Numpad 5 (Num lock off)NVDA key + Space

Tip : Instead of remembering multiple keystrokes for various elements in JAWS, there is one master keystroke “Insert+F3”.

Screenshot of Virtual HTML features when JAWS users use keystroke Insert + F3.

Hope this cheatsheet will make your life easier  and do share your experiences of using the above commands!!

3 thoughts on “Cheat Sheet – Screen Reader Commands for JAWS, NVDA – Web”

  1. Hi,

    I would like to know if you provide any services for ADA testing including providing certification after your company performs ADA testing? If so, please share your pricing information at my email address.

    Regards,
    Angie

  2. Hello,
    I’m keen in learning SPSS/STATA data statistical tools. Is it possible with Jaws or NVDA? If yes, kindly advice on the key strokes.
    Thanks

  3. Thank you for this! How do you read noninteractive text? I’ve been looking all over and can’t seem to get NVDA to read anything but links, headings, landmarks, etc. but I cannot get it to read the content on websites. I’ve tried the arrow keys, and that just takes me back and forth between the links.

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