Isn’t it frustrating when you’re typing and when you look at the screen, you’ve been shouting the text all along because you’ve accidentally pressed the Caps Lock key? Everyone knows you type in all Caps when you want to shout your argument, obviously.
It’s even worse when you are typing a password. One accidental hit of the Caps Lock key and you’re left wondering if you’ve forgotten your password. If only there were a way Windows would announce when you hit the Caps Lock key. Great news – there is!
Although its primary purpose is not to announce when Caps Lock is activated, you can tweak it. Without further ado, let’s get to what we’re talking about – Windows Narrator.
What is Narrator in Windows 11?
The narrator is a screen reader app built into Windows 11. As it’s built directly into Windows, you don’t even have to download an app. It’s essentially an accessibility app that describes everything that’s on your screen.
It’s a tool built for users who are blind or have low vision. You can use it to complete common tasks without a mouse. It can not just read, but also interact with things, like buttons and text, on the screen.
But even if you don’t need to use Narrator for screen reading, you can use it as an announcer for the Caps Lock key.
Using Narrator to Announce Caps Lock key Activation
Open the Settings app in Windows from the Start menu or Search option. You can also use the Windows logo key + i keyboard shortcut.
Then, go to ‘Accessibility’ from the navigation menu on the left.
Scroll down a little and go to ‘Narrator’ from the Vision section.
In the Narrator settings, scroll down to ‘Have narrator announce what I type’ in the Verbosity section and click it.
Few options will expand underneath it. Now, by default, a few of those options will be selected. If you keep it that way, the narrator will announce the caps lock key, but it’ll also announce when you type letters, numbers, punctuations, and words.
If you keep these on, the narrator will speak letters as you type. This can be irritating if you only wanted an announcement for the Caps lock key. In that case, deselect all other options except ‘Toggle keys like Caps lock, Num lock’. Num Lock and Caps Lock are a package deal; besides it’s just as useful to have Windows announce when you turn the Nums Lock on/ off.
Now, you can turn on the narrator when you want to type. To enable the narrator, scroll up and turn on the toggle for ‘Narrator’. But the more efficient way is to use the Windows logo key + Ctrl + Enter keyboard shortcut to quickly turn the narrator on or off without navigating into the Settings window each time.
But to use the keyboard shortcut, make sure the toggle for ‘Keyboard shortcut for Narrator’ is on.
Although, if you’d like narrator to start on its own, click Narrator to expand the options. Then, check the option for ‘Start Narrator After Sign-in’.
Now, whenever you press Caps Lock, the narrator will clearly announce “Caps Lock On”/ “Caps Lock Off” depending on its state.
And once you’re done typing, turn off the narrator to resume your normal browsing.
Other Settings to Tweak
Now, once you turn on the narrator, your work still isn’t done. You’d need to tweak some more settings to make the experience seamless.
First, every time you turn on the narrator, Narrator Home will open. It has a few links like Quick Guide, Complete Guide, What’s New, Settings, etc. You can minimize it. For those who want to use Narrator to its complete capabilities, it has useful links. But to use it for this fix, it’s not necessary. So, uncheck the option for ‘Show Narrator Home when Narrator Starts’.
Also, open the narrator settings again. Then, scroll down to the Mouses and Keyboard section. Next to Narrator Key, the option would say ‘Caps Lock or Insert’.
When this is selected, a lot of narrator shortcuts work with either Caps Lock or Insert key. But it also means that you have to press Caps Lock twice to activate or deactivate it. Click the drop-down menu and select only ‘Insert’. Now, those shortcuts (which you won’t require for this trick) will work with Insert only and you can use Caps Lock normally.
Scroll further down and turn off the toggle for ‘Show Narrator Cursor’. The narrator cursor is the blue box that highlights what the narrator is reading.
Now, you won’t even realize the narrator is on when you’re typing most of the time except when you hit Caps Lock or Num Lock. If the narrator is reading something and you want it to stop, press the Ctrl key once.
For further personalization, you can also change the voice of the narrator from the settings window. Click the drop-down menu next to ‘Voice’ to select one of the options provided other than the default ‘Microsoft David’ voice.
Turning on Caps Lock accidentally can be a huge pain in the neck. This trick saves you that pain. And who knows, maybe you’ll find some other uses for Narrator too; it has a lot of commands if you decide to dig deeper.