ChromeVox Lesson 1: Introduction to Navigation with ChromeVox

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Greetings ChromeVox Users!

Is this thing on? Can you hear me?

Okay, whew! Great, this means you have ChromeVox enabled and we are ready to start.

PSSSST: pro tip, have your fingers on those arrows and that search key. For this page, that's how we'll be navigating the text.

The Basics

So what is a screen reader? Well, have you noticed everything on this page is being read out loud? That's the gist of a screen reader. It reads what's on the screen.

But How?

Press your search key with the down arrow and you will navigate to and hear the next line.


I know right! There's a bit more to it, but one step at a time!

You've made it here. Great work using your down arrow. What do you think happens when you press the search key + up arrow? Why don't you try and come back here. I'll wait

Yep, you hear the previous line.

What else can this thing do?

The internet is made up of different pieces of information called elements. Some of these elements include headings, static text, links, images, the list goes on and on. But for purposes of ChromeVox, these elements are called objects.

To move from the current object to the next, you will press the search key + right arrow. Try it now!

I am the next object!

Woot Woot! You are doing great!

To navigate from the current object back to the previous object, you will use search key + left arrow. Try it now!

Options and More Options

We can also navigate via item.

Oh no!!!! What's the difference between an object and an item? I can just hear your thoughts.

This is a pretty important concept we need to cover as you navigate your ChromeBook.

  • An object refers to every part of the web page, from things you can click on, to text you can just read.
  • An item refers to only those objects that you can interact with or press enter on.

So, let's take this page for example. If you used the command to navigate by object (search + right or left arrow), you would hear all of this text being read. You would also hear the links and any other part of this page. But, if you were to navigate by item, ChromeVox would skip right over all of this text because if you try to press enter on it, nothing would happen.

The way you navigate to the next item is by pressing the tab key. To navigate to the previous item, press shift + tab.


Try navigating this page by moving by object (search + left or right arrow), and then compare your experience to navigating by item (tab or shift + tab).

Quick Review

What navigation strategy should you use to hear all the elements on a web page?

Navigate by chunks

Navigate by items

Navigate by object