How to make Windows 11 more accessible

How to make Windows 11 more accessible

In recent months, Microsoft has made it clear that accessibility is a top priority.

In 2021, along with the new Surface equipment, Microsoft introduced its first special accessibility accessories. The Surface Adaptive Kit uses a few simple tools to make it easy to use on almost any laptop, while the upcoming Microsoft Adaptive Accessories focus on simplifying the keyboard and mouse experience.

But it is important to keep the software as simple as possible. Windows 11 has a special Access section in Settings, but there are a few other options you may not be aware of.

This article was inspired by Twitter by Jen Gentleman from Microsoft, but the five features she highlighted are joined by five more. Some have not yet been updated.

Make the colors more prominent

If you have color blindness, it can be difficult to understand the muted tones of Windows 11. Fortunately, you can easily change the color filters.

  1. Go to Settings> Accessibility
  2. Under the ‘View’ subheading, click on ‘Color Filters’ and you will see a screen as follows.
  3. Press the button to turn on the color filters, then select one of the six options. The “red-green” options are generally good
Accessibility

Change the shape, color and design of the cursor

Not everyone is familiar with not being able to find the cursor on the screen, but what to do if this is a daily occurrence? Windows 11 has a solution that allows you to completely customize the mouse pointer to your liking.

  1. Open Settings> Accessibility
  2. Scroll to the “Contact” subheading and select “Mouse”
  3. Under ‘Related settings’, select ‘Mouse pointer’
  4. Select one of the four basic styles from the screen that appears. If you want, you can personalize the vibrant green option with a different color.
  5. Whichever one you choose, you can resize the cursor by moving the slider between 15 different levels.
Mouse pointer

Enlarge the text

By default, text in Windows 11 is very small. But there is an easy way to set it up

  1. Go to Settings> Accessibility
  2. Select “Text Size” from the screen that appears – this should be the first choice
  3. Here you will find another slider that reaches 225%. Once you are satisfied with your choice, click the “Apply” button and wait for the changes to take effect.
Text size

One-touch access to screenshots options

Most of us know how to click the “Prt Scr” button to capture an entire window, but what if you want more options? Instead of relying on the Windows Key + Shift + S key each time, you can set the Print Screen button to open the Windows 11 Snipping Tool instead.

From there, instead of cutting later, you can choose to draw a rectangular, free-form or a single window. It’s easy to set up

  1. Go to Settings> Accessibility
  2. Scroll to the “Contacts” subheading and select “Keyboard.”
  3. In the second section, you will find an option called “Use the Print Screen button to burn the screenshot”. Press the toggle button to open
Keyboard

Use a magnifying glass

You’ve probably used the Ctrl + Plus and Ctrl + Minus shortcuts to zoom in and out on various programs, but there’s a solution that works throughout Windows 11.

It couldn’t have been easier – just press Windows Key + Plus or Windows Key + Minus to use it. This brings up the Magnifying Toolbar, which can be used to read aloud any text you highlight.

Plus or Windows Key

Pay attention to the task at hand

We all know how distracting it can be to use your computer, but Windows 11 has a tool to help you. It is based on the Pomodoro productivity technique, simply known as “Focusing” (formerly “Focus Sessions”) – work focused for a period of time, followed by a short break.

By default, it blocks notifications until you pause, plus there is integration with Microsoft’s To-Do program and Spotify.

You can easily start Focus sessions in the Action Center, but all options are part of the Clock application.

Focus sessions

Have Edge read it to you

Microsoft’s Edge application is extremely aggressive for many people, but the browser has really good features.

They include “Immersive Reader” mode, which deletes ads to make articles easier to read. In this regard, you can also read the article aloud to you. Here’s how to do it

  1. Open Edge and go to the article you want to read aloud
  2. In the address bar, click on the Immersive Reader icon, which looks like a small dynamic book.
  3. Select “Read aloud” from the options at the top of the page
  4. You can change the volume and speed of reading at any time by pausing or clicking on “Audio Options”.
speed

Get Windows to explain what’s on the screen

Windows 11 has an internal narrator, meaning that blind and partially sighted people can still use a computer. To get started, go to Settings> Accessibility> Narrator and turn on the appropriate link.

Narrator

Some information will be displayed to help you understand how things work. Initially, there was only one robot sound, but it has been expanded to include more natural sounds. Once installed, all of these can be used without an internet connection.

More accessibility features are on the way

In a recent blog post, Microsoft reaffirmed its commitment to accessibility by announcing three new features. One was a new sound inside the Narrator, but the other two sounds that are currently being tested are worth noting.

Live subtitles change the game for the deaf, hard of hearing or those who do not speak English. Instead of relying on video programs to add subtitles, it can be used on the entire system, including when you’re offline.

Then there’s Voice Access, which lets you take full control of your Windows 11 device with just your voice. Microsoft says it can open and modify applications, browse the Internet, manage email, and more.

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