Jump to content

Desktop screen reader keyboard shortcuts

While desktop screen readers literally have dozens (if not hundreds) of keyboard shortcuts, only a fraction of them is needed for everyday usage. The following cheat-sheet lists the most important ones.

We keep this page short and sweet. Throughout this guide, there is much more information available about the tackled subjects.

And remember: when talking about the NVDA or JAWS keys, we mean the Insert key.

  • Ctrl + Home announces the current page title and moves the cursor to the top of the page.
  • Down/Up announces the next/previous line of text in the current element.
    • If the end (or start) of the element is reached, the cursor is moved to the next (or previous) one.
  • In NVDA, pressing Ctrl + Down (or Ctrl + Up) moves to the next (or previous) element, announcing it fully in one go (regardless of its length).
  • Tab moves to the next focusable element (e.g. link or button), triggering focus mode if appropriate.
  • H/Shift + H moves to the next/previous heading.
  • 1/Shift + 1 to 6/Shift + 6 moves to the next/previous heading of that level.
  • K/Shift + K moves to the next/previous link.
  • T/Shift + T moves to the next/previous table.
  • Control + Alt + Arrow keys moves the cursor around a table's cells.
  • L/Shift + L moves to the next/previous list.
  • I/Shift + I moves to the next/previous list item.
  • F/Shift + F moves to the next/previous form control.
  • B/Shift + B moves to the next/previous button.


  • Enter activates an element (e.g. link or button).
    • When on a form field, focus mode is activated.
    • When on an ARIA widget, application mode is activated.
  • Esc exits focus mode (if active).

Audio output

  • Control interrupts the screen reader output.
  • Shift skips the current line of the screen reader output.


  • NVDA + N shows the NVDA menu.
  • NVDA + F7 shows the elements list (with links, headings, landmarks, etc.).
  • NVDA + Space toggles between browse mode and focus mode.
  • NVDA + S toggles between speech modes (talk/beep/off).


  • JAWS + J shows the JAWS menu.
  • JAWS + F6 displays the heading list.
  • JAWS + F3 shows the elements list (with links, headings, landmarks, etc.).