NVDA screen reader


NVDA is a screen reader which can be used to browse web pages. NVDA operates on an operating system level, meaning it is not exclusively a screen reader for web pages but has the functionality to do so.

The NVDA User Guide is used as the source of reference for the below shortcuts. I've organised them here as a quick reference guide for myself.

Throughout this page the NVDA key will be referenced in shortcuts. By default, this is set to the Insert key by default but can be changed.

Shortcut reference


Ctrl + Alt + n
Start NVDA.
NVDA + q
Close NVDA.
NVDA + Space
Toggle between focus and browse mode. When NVDA has focus on a browser's contents it enters what is called "browse mode".
NVDA + Shift + Space
Toggle single character mode on or off. Single character mode refers to using h to navigate through headings. When single character mode is disabled, applications can listen to these keyboard shortcuts without NVDA overriding them. All single character shortcuts will require the NVDA key to function, e.g. NVDA + h.

For most navigation shortcuts, using Shift will allow for backwards traversal.

Navigate forward through links and form elements.
Navigate to the end of a containing element, such as a list or table.
Navigate forward through headings.
1 to 6
Navigate forward through heading levels equal to the number pressed.
Navigate forward through landmarks (i.e. main, banner, contentinfo).
Navigate forward through lists.
Navigate forward through buttons.
NVDA + Ctrl + f
Opens a dialog to find text in the current document.
Find next occurrence of the text being searched.
Open the elements lists, which outlines all links, headings, landmarks, etc.