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Home / Tips and Tricks / A guide to the accessibility features of your Chromebook

A guide to the accessibility features of your Chromebook



  Chromebook Accessibility Hero Image

If you're having trouble reading text, seeing specific colors, or seeing things onscreen, Chrome OS's accessibility tools are bursting at the seams to help you out. You can manage them individually using the system menu or the Settings app to use them for everyday tasks.

RELATED: Adding accessibility to Google Chrome

How to display accessibility

The easiest way to enable / disable any accessibility feature without having to open the Settings app directly from the setup menu each time , Since this is disabled by default, you must first enable it.

First, click on the clock to open the system menu and the notification bar. Then click on the Settings icon.

 Click on the clock and then on the setting gear

Scroll down and click on "Advanced".

 Under Settings, click Advanced, located at the bottom of the page "width =" 650 "height =" 238

Scroll down a bit until you see the accessibility area and switch Then click on "Show accessibility always in the system menu" at the on position.

 Enable or disable the input help icon to always be available in the taskbar "width =" 650 "height =" 195

. Click to open the advanced view.

 Click on the clock and then on accessibility "width =" 495 "height =" 569

You can click on one of the available functions menu to activate it. However, if you are not sure what a particular function does, read on to get full details about each feature.

 A complete list of all the available accessibility options Taskbar "width =" 400 "height =" 906

Text-to-Speech Functions

  Text-to-Speech Functions "width =" 592 "height =" 294

Both of the features in this section are about using Google's Text to Speech Engine (TTS) to take content from the active window and then read it to you. Chromebooks come with a free built-in screen reader that lets you hear what's displayed on your screen.

ChromeVox: Chrome OS screen reader

ChromeVox is a free screen reader that integrates with any Chromebook and supports the visually impaired when using Chrome OS. It's based entirely on web technologies (HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript) and provides a fast and versatile way to navigate Chrome OS. It is preinstalled in all current versions of Chrome OS. So you just have to activate it and it will read everything on the screen.

You can turn ChromeVox on at any time by pressing Ctrl + Alt + to hear a voice that reads the contents of the current position of your cursor. If you're using a tablet with Chrome OS, press and hold the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons for five seconds. You will hear a beep and a ChromeVox bar will appear at the top of your screen informing you that it is activated.

 ChromeVox is enabled and the icon appears in the upper-left corner of the "width =" screen "513" height = "244

Some common shortcuts are:

  • Tab: Next focusable element
  • Shift + Tab: Previous focusable element
  • Find + H: Next Heading
  • Find + Shift + H: Previous Headline
  • Find + Down Arrow : Next Line
  • Find + Up Arrow: Previous Line
  • Find + L: Next Link
  • Find + Shift + L: Previous Link
  • Find + Ctrl + Shift + Right Arrow: Next Word
  • Find + Ctrl + Shift + Left Arrow: Previous Word
  • Find + Ctrl + Left Arrow: Go to the top of the page
  • Suchen + Strg + Rechtspfeil: To the bottom of this page

A full permanent list of keyboard shortcuts can be found on the Chromebo ok help page for ChromeVox or by pressing Search +. (Period) while ChromeVox is enabled.

If you want to disable ChromeVox, repeat the hardware shortcut and a beep will sound to let you know that the feature is disabled.

Select text to read with language selection [19659021] Select-to-Speak works much like ChromeVox, but does not read whole pages, but only text that you select. When activated under System menu> Accessibility> Language selection, an icon will be displayed next to the taskbar.

 Language selection is enabled, and the icon will appear next to the taskbar "width =" 378 "height =" 86

After activation, Select-to-Speak provides various options to the desired text to select:

  • Hold down the search key and select a line of text. [19659044] Hold down the search key and drag the pointer over an area of ​​the screen.
  • Select the text and press Search + p.
  • Select the language selector icon in the system tray, then select a line or drag the pointer over an area of ​​the screen.
  • On a touch screen: Tap Select to Speak. Then tap a line of text or drag across a portion of the screen.

Select-to-Speak surrounds the selected text with a pink border, highlighting the currently-read word so you can easily follow the voice.

 Select-to-Speak reads the selected text and highlights each word while "width =" 650 "height =" 143

You can stop Select-to-Speak at any time Reading is done by pressing the search key or the Ctrl key.

Changing the language or language settings

If you do not like the way TTS talks to you, you can easily change it. You can change his voice, pitch or language without hurting his feelings. Go back to Settings> Manage Accessibility and in the Voice Output area, click "Voice Output Settings".

 Change the settings for sound, speed and language when you click on the voice output - Language Settings "width =" 592 "height =" 294

Inside you will find a lot of options for Vocal change to give the TTS a personal touch to your ear. You can even change the language module used for playback.

 A list of all text-to-speech language settings to be changed "width =" 650 "height =" 873

Display Features

 All accessibility features "width =" 650 "height = "294

For those who have trouble viewing the screen, Google offers a number of tools that let you optimize your screen. Whether you need to use high-contrast mode to make text reading easier, or a magnifier to increase the size of everything, your Chromebook is equipped with everything.

Ease reading text in high-contrast mode

In high-contrast mode, you can use your Chromebook with inverted colors to make it easier to read text on your screen. When this option is enabled, white becomes black, black becomes white, blue becomes orange, orange becomes blue, and so on.

 Example of the high-contrast mode "width =" 650 "height =" 604 [19659007] You can turn this option on High Contrast Mode in the System Menu> Accessibility> High Contrast Mode or by pressing Ctrl + Find + H on the keyboard followed by "Next".

 Click Next to enable High Contrast Mode using the keyboard shortcut. "width =" 650 "height =" 161

Magnify everything with a magnifier

The Magnifier for Chrome OS has two options: full screen or a docked magnifying glass. Fullscreen is a static enlargement that enlarges the entire screen while the docked version only enlarges the area around the mouse pointer. Both modes can increase from 2X to 20X. You can activate one of the two options in the system menu> Accessibility.

 Full-Screen Zoom and Docked Zoom Options "width =" 650 "height =" 247

Here is a look at the docked magnifying glass at 2x zoom:

 Sample view for docked zoom "width =" 650 "height =" 366

Warning: 20x magnification is no joke. If you accidentally select it, you can use the Ctrl + Alt + Brightness Down (F6) or Ctrl + Alt + keys to scroll down the magnifier with two fingers on the touchpad.

Adjusting other display settings

There are additional display options on the Accessibility menu that allow you to adjust the screen resolution – to make everything look bigger and better on your screen – and the harsh blue light at night with a few extra displays You can adjust the settings on your eyes.

Go to the accessibility settings by clicking System Menu> Accessibility> and then the Settings Gear. Click on "Manage accessibility".

 Manage Accessibility "width =" 650 "height =" 171

In the "Display" section, click "Open Settings for Display Devices."

 Click Open Display Device Settings to display additional settings for the display. "Width =" 650 "height =" 160

Inside, you can set the resolution, orientation, or night setting for the display. Light – Remove blue light and ease the eye at night.

 A list of additional settings for display devices "width =" 650 "height =" 481

Screen text is hard to read or strain your eyes. You can change the size and style of the font in Chrome OS. Just go to the accessibility settings and in the "Display" section, click "Open Appearance Settings."

 Click Open Appearance Settings to redirect to the Appearance section of the Settings app. "Width =" 650 "height =" 160

It will redirect you to the Appearance section of the Settings app. Select the font size at the bottom of the section, adjust the font, or increase the page zoom to make it easier to see.

 Change the font size here, adjust the fonts, and change the page zoom. "Width =" 650 "height =" 511

Keyboard and text input

 Keyboard and text input accessibility "width =" 650 "height =" 244

Keyboard and text input include sticky Keys – a function that allows sequential keyboard shortcuts – an on-screen keyboard and a text dictation (talking to text). If you use your keyboard to navigate Chrome OS and surf the Internet, you can use highlighting features that show the navigation focus on the screen.

Using Sequential Input for Shortcuts

The Sticky Keys feature is ideal for users who have problems pressing more than one key at a time. It remembers each key you press and allows you to release your finger to press additional keys in a command. So you no longer have to press several keys at the same time, but you can take the time to press them one at a time with one finger. For example, if you want to take a screenshot instead of pressing Ctrl + []] at the same time, you can simultaneously press them – first Ctrl, then []]].

When enabled, the top left corner displays a box with the current stuck key and a list of other keys available to be pressed. Pressing the button a second time will lock it so you can enter multiple commands without having to press it again. This is indicated by an underline. Press the button a third time to clear a stuck button.

 Trapped keys appear in a small dialog box in the upper left corner. "Width =" 201 "height =" 387

Ditch the Physical keyboard for on-screen keyboard

When on, displays a keyboard icon next to the notification area and the clock. Click to bring up the keyboard, or click in a text box to bring up the keyboard.

 The on-screen keyboard icon appears next to the taskbar when you enable the feature. Click to bring up the keyboard or minimize it. "Width =" 411 "height =" 97

Some useful functions of the on-screen keyboard include handwritten text input in windowed mode: a Function that lets you undock the keyboard at the bottom of the screen and speak with text.

 The on-screen keyboard docks to the bottom of the screen. "width =" 650 "height =" 240

If these options are not displayed, click the arrow icon on the left side of the keyboard. They should appear in the bar next to it.

 Click the arrow to display additional features, such as: For example, entering text, undocked (window) mode, settings, and speech output (speech-to-text). "width =" 650 "height =" 121

Enter your thoughts into any text box with voice output. to-text

If you do not want the on-screen keyboard to use the text-to-speech feature, your Chrome OS also has a stand-alone accessibility feature specifically for dic tation. After you enable voice prompting in the Accessibility area on the taskbar, a microphone icon appears next to the clock on the shelf.

Click the icon to activate the dictation, and everything you say is typed in a text box.

 When dictation is turned on, a microphone icon appears next to the taskbar. Click to activate the dictation. "Width =" 320 "height =" 121

Note: Anything you say while the dictation is being rendered will be sent to Google for it to work properly. If you do not want Google to record all your comments, do not use dictation.

Tagging objects using keyboard navigation

If you use a keyboard to navigate in Chrome OS or to surf the Internet, this is possible. It's a challenge to see exactly where the focus is, given the small dotted one Line surrounding each element is missing. To do this, check "Highlight the object with keyboard focus when it changes" to display an orange border around your intended focus. Now, if you press the Tab key to move between links on the page, you do not have to scan the entire page to find the focus.

 When you navigate through objects on a page, it is surrounded by an orange frame to find "width =" 650 "height =" 538 "

Select the text cursor when changing its position

This function works much the same as above, but instead of keyboard focus, highlighting the text caret – the flashing vertical line that appears when you click in a text box – when it's displayed or its position Each time you click or start typing in a text box, a blue aura surrounds the caret.

 A blue border surrounds the caret when initialized or moved. "Width =" 650 " height = "382 [19659020] Changing keyboard device settings

Under the Keyboard and text entry section in the Accessibility settings, there is a submenu where you can see the behavior when you press keyboard shortcuts and keyboard shortcuts Functions of the buttons in the top row can change.

Under Settings> Manage Accessibility, click Open Keyboard Device Settings to see a list of available features.

 Open additional keyboard settings when you click Open Keyboard Device Settings. "Width =" 650 "height =" 467 "

Here you can change the upper row of keys in Windows-style" function keys "and enable whether or not the keys should be repeated if you continue to hold them down You can also set the delay and repetition rate between the output of each character on the screen.

 Change the top row of keys to Windows-like F-keys, or enable auto-repeat if you long press a key "width =" 650 "height =" 403

Mouse and Touchpad

 A list of mouse and touchpad accessibility options. "width =" 650 "height =" 227

Mouse and At The accessibility of the touchpad is focused on cursor visibility and interaction with a mouse / touchpad, allowing you to better identify the mouse pointer, reduce mouse clicks, and highlight the cursor. when he moves.

Reduce physical mouse clicks with automatic clicks

With this feature, you no longer have to click mouse / touchpad. Each time you stop the cursor, a timer starts and triggers the click for you if it is not moved. You can set the timer to various intervals ranging from "Extremely Short (0.6 s)" to "Very Long (4 s)".

 Enable automatic clicks and select the delay before clicking "width =" 650. height = "309

Easily locating the mouse cursor when the mouse pointer is larger

The default mouse pointer Chrome OS is by far one of the most difficult tasks to perform on screen, even for those with perfect 20/20 vision. Fortunately, with this input help, you can change the size of the pointer to an almost weird foam finger size.

<img class = "alignnone wp-image-416468 size-full" src = "https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/ScreenshotCursorBIG.png.pagespeed.ce.7ibC7Dj -wI.png "alt =" Zoom in. "width =" 650 "height =" 232 [19659122] Hover over the cursor as its position changes.

How many times have you moved the mouse desperately and onto the We're all to blame, and with this feature you just have to move the pointer and a red circle surrounds it, making it easier to see on screen.

 Mark the Mouse cursor with red circle when moving on the screen "width =" 650 "height =" 412

Additional mouse and touchpad device settings

There are several other mouse and touchpad settings that you can do can access via a submenu, where you can further customize them.

Click under "Settings en ">" Manage Accessibility "in the" Mouse and Touchpad "section, click" Open Mouse and Touchpad Device Settings "to open the settings.

 Just Change Other mouse and touchpad settings when you click Open Mouse and Touchpad Device Settings. "width =" 650 "height =" 290

Inside is the button for switching the mouse, reversing the scroll direction, and changing the mouse speed. Then you can change the speed of the touchpad for the touchpad, tapping to click or drag by tapping (double-tap, then move window), and scrolling.

 Here you can swap the primary mouse button, reverse scrolling, change mouse speed and touchpad speed, enable tap to click and drag, and change touchpad scrolling "width =" 650 "height =" 726

Audio [19659006]  A list of audio entry aids "width =" 650 "height =" 165

Chrome OS offers a number of audio features to round things off. You can turn on Mono mode so that all speakers play the same audio or Chrome OS plays a sound on startup.

Playing the same audio across all speakers

Most devices use the stereo mode for audio playback from their speakers / headphones with more than one channel (left and right). If you find it difficult to hear in one ear, or hear audio with just one earbud / speaker, you can easily switch your Chromebook to "mono" mode, giving the same sound from all the speakers.

RELATED: [19659004] To turn your Chromebook to "mono" (so you can wear an earphone)

Play a sound when starting Chrome OS

Like the Title says. When you start Chrome OS, you will hear a beep that signals that you are ready to log in. You can enable this feature only through Settings> Accessibility> Manage accessibility features.


Chrome OS does a great job involving everyone, regardless of their ability to use a standard computer or not. With this comprehensive list of accessibility features, you can easily add any number to your laptop that suits your individual needs.


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