Add the ability for Narrator to play sounds instead of speaking formatting information.
Narrator, at this time, uses spoken prompts to describe formatting. This requires more ability to parse information than print-reading people need to. Print readers don't hear "this is a bold test end bold." They see the bolded word or phrase. The blind should have the same experience, or as close as possible. There are two ways this may be achieved. Sounds for different formatting information may be played, but over time these may become confusing to the blind user as to what exactly is going on with the font if the sounds are too similar. The other option is the change the pitch, intonation, speed, head size, breathiness, and so on of the speech engine. This would more directly give the sense of font changes, and different speech schemes could be used for different formatting. This could also work well for spelling errors, links, and headings of web pages, where formatting is used most. If Narrator is to become the premier screen reader on Windows, it should innovate farther than others. AI image captioning and scan mode are great starts, so let's keep going in making Narrator a delightful screen reader.
Thank you for your feedback. A new feature is coming to Narrator in an upcoming update that will allow for document formatting to be echoed with a pitch change or different intonation when a font is underlined, bold, or italicized. Please look forward to it.
The Microsoft Disability Answer Desk team.
Jeff Petty commented
Hey Devin, "reading with emphasis" is coming to Narrator in the Spring Creators Update. We have more opportunities to reduce verbosity and increase efficiency with sound, but we are excited about this step. Looking forward to your feedback on "reading with emphasis". Thanks, Jeff