Windows Narrator screen reader

Apr 27, 2020

Hi guys, 

I'm trying to make my published courses to be read by Windows Narrator but it only reads interactive buttons (it doesn't read the body text at all). Is it a known problem? Or it's just JAWS that it's supported as a screen reader for SL courses? Any advice more than welcome. 

Another thing is that JAWS reads interactive buttons twice - once when reached and the second time when Enter pressed. Please help. 

10 Replies
Lauren Connelly

Hello Jacek!

Right now, we currently support JAWS, NVDA, TalkBack, and VoiceOver. 

Interactive buttons can be a little tricky when navigating them with a keyboard and screen reader. The button could be read twice depending on the triggers and states associated with the specific button. It will also depend on the alternate text.

I've explained how a screen reader should read this content in a short tutorial for you!

Jacek Kuczynski

Thank you very much Lauren, I replied to your post by email as I have a few more questions about a specific slide. I hope it's OK. 

But another question that would interest other designers would be: why JAWS reads the Slide Title 3 times in a row? Does it come from SL? Can we remove this functionality (reading the slide title) at all? 

Jacek Kuczynski

Lauren, I have just tested NVDA. It doesn't read the body text on some slides. It just reads "BLANK" then you can only skip to the interactive button, nothing more. The March update where you implemented the navigation with key arrows is a nonsense for me, genuinely, this is something no one needed. Why did you change something which was good (tab navigation)? Can I have the SL version with just TAB navigation (without the key arrows)? This is really frustrating as I'm just wasting time on something that is not polished and doesn't work as intended :( 

Lauren Connelly

Hi Jacek!

It doesn't look like the attachment came through when you replied via email. Do you mind attaching it to this discussion instead?

I've listed out your questions below, and I'll answer them one by one:

Why does JAWS read the slide title 3 times in a row? Is this a snag in Storyline or JAWS? Can you remove this functionality completely?

Unfortunately, this is a bug in JAWS that we've noticed in other areas too. We are staying up to date with JAWS software updates and I hope this is included in an upcoming release. It is definitely somewhat obnoxious, and I've heard many screen reader users mention this bug.

However, I've heard that this issue was partially fixed in JAWS 2020 so that's a step in the right direction!

Why does JAWS read buttons twice?

This is the same bug that reads the slide title continuously, so hopefully, both of these will be fixed in the next update for JAWS.

JAWS doesn't read body text on some slides. It just reads blank. 

I've noticed the same thing! Luckily, this was addressed in JAWS 2020.

Here are the release notes:

The "blank" issue is addressed in this line: 

  • Added a new JAWS Settings Center option called "Skip Blank Lines While Navigating" which is on by default when reading web pages and PDF documents. This feature helps make reading more efficient as JAWS and Fusion ignores blank lines as you navigate using UP and DOWN ARROW. For those who prefer to hear blank lines while navigating, open Settings Center (INSERT+6) and clear this check box. You can find this new option in the Web / HTML / PDF group under Reading.

Why did we switch gears by removing the TAB navigation to using Key Arrows?

Simon, one of our talented Product Managers, explained this really well in this post.

Can you install a version of Storyline that doesn't use the Key Arrows and only uses TAB navigation?

Our Accessibility enhancements were first released in Storyline 360 Update 36 (Build 3.36.21213.0). We've continued to release improvements in Update 37 (Build 3.37.21453.0), Update 38 (Build 3.38.21779.0), and Update 39 (Build 3.39.21985.0). You'll find that content created in previous versions of Storyline 360 (Update 35 and earlier) aren't up to date with the recent WCAG standards. As we continue releasing accessibility enhancements, you'll see that courses built in previous versions of Storyline aren't fully keyboard-accessible nor do they communicate with screen readers properly. 

Jacek Kuczynski

Hi Lauren, thank you for your reply. Just to add to this I'd like you to know that I use the newest version of JAWS and it happens (this means they haven't repaired this in any way in the newest JAWS' update). The only safe option I can see for my courses is to abandon any screen readers and add crate Audio versions for blind people. This is the only option to have it under control, otherwise there are too many factors on the relation SL>JAWS that could go wrong. Anyway, thanks for your view on it.    

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Steven,

You can absolutely ask. We do not have any immediate plans to include this functionality. Our current plans are outlined here:

Articulate 360 Feature Roadmap

It is on our radar since it is built into the OS. According to the latest WebAim Survey, it has not bubbled to the top for users in general yet:

Hassan Mujtaba

Hi Leslie,

Just wondering if anything has changed regarding support for windows narrator. Is it under consideration?

Usage of Narrator continues to increase. 30.3% use it commonly on desktop/laptop. My source for this information is I also attached the screenshot that has this info. 

Thank you.