The Windows 10 October 2018 Update brings a host of Accessibility improvements

Microsoft announced in a blog post new and improved Accessibility features that are being introduced as part of the Windows 10 October 2018 update. These updates focus primarily on improving Ease of Access, Narrator and Learning Tools to “enhance your personal computing experience”.

Starting with Ease of Access, the October 2018 update brings improvements to customising text sizes, Magnifier and custom DPI scaling. Users will be able to simply search “larger text” in the search bar to bring up a text size slider to adjust the size of all text on a page; this also can be found under Display in Ease of Access. The October 2018 update also brings five and ten per cent magnification increments for a better Magnifier user experience. Both updated features can be used with DPI scaling, known as “Make Everything Bigger” according to Microsoft, for users to “tailor their Windows 10 display”.

Microsoft will also be rolling out new Narrator functions that are aimed at making “Windows 10 easier to use without a screen”. Users will now be greeted by a tutorial when opening Narrator for the first time that Microsoft calls QuickStart, designed to teach the basics of “keyboarding, navigation and editing”. This tutorial can be hidden too, as the below photo demonstrates.

There is also an updated Accessibility keyboard with greater keyboard ergonomics and usability, while Microsoft has also updated Narrator Find. The latter function can now search for specific text and jump straight to search results.

Finally, the October 2018 update will also bring updates to Learning Tools within Edge. First rolled out in the 2017 Fall Creator’s Update, users can now customise the page theme colour with Irlen colours in any ePub or webpage when in reading view.

The update bolsters grammar tools too, allowing users to look up words with a built-in dictionary. The dictionary also works offline for English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Moreover, Microsoft has expanded text suggestions, which debuted in the April 2018 update, to over fifty languages. You can view the full list at the bottom of Microsoft’s press release here.

The Windows 10 October update is available now.

Will any of these improvements and updates be of a benefit to you? Let us know in the comments!

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