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Empowering lives through non-visual access to technology
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In-Process 25th June 2020

Gio, 25/06/2020 - 10:56

The release of NVDA 2020.2 is edging ever closer. Let’s start with all the details on the new NVDA 2020.2 Beta:

NVDA 2020.2 Beta 2

Text “BETA 2” in turquoise over a dark background on top of the white on purple NVDA logo.

One of the first big public steps in the lead up to a new NVDA version is the Beta release. This version contains most of the code destined for the final release. The main point of the beta release is to get more people using updated features before the final version. This helps us pick up on any issues before the official, stable build comes out. As well as helping test new code, it’s also a great chance to get a “sneak peek’ at what is coming up in NVDA! Although the beta is a pre-release version, it behaves the same as a regular version of NVDA. The launcher is the same when you run it. So, you can install the beta, create a portable version or continue running the temporary copy).

We often release several beta versions while bugs are fixed, translations updated and so on. As this post is published we are at NVDA 2020.2 Beta 2.

The Release Announcement For The Beta has all the key information and download links. Highlights of this release include support for a new braille display from Nattiq, better support for ESET antivirus GUI and Windows Terminal, performance improvements in 1Password, and with Windows OneCore synthesizer.

Big Beta Bug Bash

In recent versions, we haven’t had as many people using the beta builds as we would hope. This is reflected in the number of times we have had to release a “.1” build after a “stable” release.

A small ugly purple and orange bug

So, let’s have a Big Beta Bug Bash! Anyone who documents a new bug from the beta, gets a voucher for 10% off a training module from the shop. That includes for the soon to be released PowerPoint training module! The rules are simple:

  • You have to file a GitHub issue, with a new (not duplicate of a previous) issue
  • The issue has to include a log, at debug level, from the current (at the time) beta version
  • The issue has to be correctly filled out, with steps to reproduce, system info, etc
  • Limit one voucher per person (No limit on number of bugs you can submit though)

One difference between Beta and RC builds is beeping for errors. When NVDA encounters an error, as well as being recorded in the log, the Beta version will play an error sound to alert you. The Release Candidate (and final stable version) do not beep. Often, when encountering an error, NVDA will try something else to achieve what it was trying to do. In this case, if the fall back plan works, an end-user may not notice any problem. That is why, when using a beta version, you may hear an error sound, even though nothing seems amiss. Whether participating in the Big Beta Bug Bash or not, please do let us know of any errors you encounter. We are especially keen to hear when things don’t work as expected. That will give us a chance to investigate before the final version comes out.

Once we are confident the beta is working well and ready for prime time, the next step is a “Release Candidate”. The Beta version will prompt to update to any further beta builds, and to the RC build when it comes out. The Beta and RC builds will also prompt to update to the final version when it is released.

Once again, please do go to the NVDA 2020.2 Beta 2 Release Announcement to download the beta, then do let us know how you find it.

Password managers

One of the highlights coming up in 2020.2 is performance improvements in 1Password. 1Password is a popular password manager. For those who aren’t familiar with them, I thought it was worth covering a bit about password managers.

Almost every site or service we use requires a password. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to have strong, secure passwords. It is also important to avoid using the same password on many services. One of the best ways of doing that is with a password manager. A password manager is a program which keeps track of all the passwords for all your services. Many password managers can automatically fill in your login details when you go to a site they know. A lot of these apps are “cross-platform”, so they can sync your passwords between say your PC and your phone.

1Password is one such password manager. If you decide to try it out, you can find out more information at https://1password.com/

Because of the recent improvements, we recommend using 1Password with NVDA 2020.2 Beta 2. There are many other accessible password managers out there. This question comes up regularly in the NVDA Users Email Group. Previously, as well as 1password, other suggestions included Bitwarden, KeePass and Last Pass. If you are happy keeping your data in your browser without a third-party program, that is possible too. Both Chrome (and most Chromium-based browsers) and Firefox have built-in password managers. Which works best for you will depend on your personal preferences and what features you want. Do join in the conversation on Twitter and let us know what your favourite is!

Kickstarter for an accessible digital card game

I saw this posted on Facebook, and I know games are always popular. I don’t know anything more on this one but thought I’d share it so anyone interested can express interest:

“There’s a digital card game being worked on, we’re looking at having a fully open demo in roughly a week. There’s a Kickstarter For Cards Of Yore. If anyone is interested in checking it out, showing interest so investors know just how many people would want to play such a game if funded and produced. The game is accessible for certain with NVDA”.

Kickstarter is a platform where people put forward a project they would like to create. If others like the idea, they can pledge money. The money then goes towards bringing the project to life. When ready, creators send the backers whatever was promised for the amount pledged. So it’s not a store as such, but for successful projects, can be a way of being one of the first to get something new. Kickstarter is an all or nothing setup. The creator states up front how much they need for the project and what they will do with the funds. If people pledge enough to reach that goal, the project gets funded. Otherwise, it doesn’t cost anything.

NV Access is not affiliated with either Kickstarter, or Cards Of Yore (this particular project). I just saw it on Facebook and thought I’d share it.

Lastly for this week, a quick mention that the NVDA Satisfaction Survey 2020 is still open. As a key tool we use to gauge user sentiment, we’d love as many responses as possible. If you haven’t already, please do complete the survey. We addressed some early issues, so if you had any issues previously, please do try again. Also, please try NVDA 2020.2 Beta 2 and remember to join in the Big Beta Bug Bash.

NVDA 2020.2beta2 Available for Testing

Mar, 23/06/2020 - 16:13

Beta2 of NVDA 2020.2 is now available for download and testing. For anyone who is interested in trying out what the next version of NVDA has to offer before it is officially released, we welcome you to download the beta and provide feedback.

Changes from Beta1:

  • Updated translations for many languages
  • Small corrections to the changes file.
  • No longer speak “object replacement character”
  • Adds Ukrainian computer Braille table

Highlights of this release include support for a new braille display from Nattiq, better support for ESET antivirus GUI and Windows Terminal, performance improvements in 1Password, and with Windows OneCore synthesizer. Plus many other important bug fixes and improvements.

NVDA 2020.2beta1 Available for Testing

Gio, 18/06/2020 - 00:59

Beta1 of NVDA 2020.2 is now available for download and testing. For anyone who is interested in trying out what the next version of NVDA has to offer before it is officially released, we welcome you to download the beta and provide feedback.

Highlights of this release include support for a new braille display from Nattiq, better support for ESET antivirus GUI and Windows Terminal, performance improvements in 1Password, and with Windows OneCore synthesizer. Plus many other important bug fixes and improvements.

In-Process 11th June 2020

Gio, 11/06/2020 - 04:03

This week we have a community demonstration of NVDA’s Screen curtain, a guide to browse and focus modes, and lots more. Let’s get into it!

NVDA Satisfaction Survey 2020 Last time around we launched the NVDA Satisfaction Survey 2020. We’ve had some great feedback from users who have already completed the survey on how they feel about NVDA. We’d love to capture even more of your thoughts. Please do continue to Fill In The Survey.

We’ve also addressed a small issue a couple of users encountered. If you had problems earlier, please do try again.

NVDA Satisfaction Survey 2020

Screen Curtain

In NVDA 2019.3, we debuted a new Screen Curtain Feature. The feature had existed in an add-on but it was something many users were happy to see built-in to NVDA itself. If you still have the add-on, you can remove it in NVDA 2019.3 or later.

If you’re wondering what screen curtain does, one of our users has you covered there too. Greg Keefe has made a Video Demonstrating Screen Curtain.

Greg runs a YouTube channel called “The Blind Guy Show”. Greg’s demo of screen curtain is just one of the videos on that channel. One of his other videos which is well worth watching, demonstrates how he uses the audio editor Audacity with NVDA.

In The Media

We try to include articles, blogs, and other media about NVDA, such as Greg’s channel, here in In-Process. We also have a page dedicated to such links. We call the page “In The Media”.

The most recent links are also included under the featured NVDA Story on our News Page.

If you’ve seen an article, blog, video or other media about NVDA, do please Get In Touch And Let Us Know.

Focus and Browse modes

We often get asked about NVDAs “Modes”, so let’s take a look at the main ones. The two main modes NVDA use are Focus mode and Browse mode. Focus mode is used when editing text, such as in Word or Notepad, or when typing into a text edit field in your browser. Browse mode is used when reading text. It is automatically used on the web when not in an edit field. Browse mode lets you use single letter navigation, such as H for heading, T for table or D for landmark. You can find a list of single letter navigation keys in the NVDA User Guide.

On the web, NVDA can automatically switch between focus and browse mode when moving between read-only content and form fields. To set when NVDA switches between browse and focus mode, open NVDA’s Browse Mode Settings. Press NVDA+control+b to open this dialog directly. As well as the “Automatic Focus Mode for…” options, there are some others worth pointing out. “Automatic say all on page load” controls whether NVDA reads out the page as soon as it loads. “Audio indication of focus and browse modes” sets whether NVDA plays a sound (an ‘earcon’) when changing modes. If this option is disabled, NVDA speaks “Browse mode” or “Focus mode” as it switches.

On a form field, you can switch back to browse mode by pressing escape. You can switch back to focus mode with enter. To also force NVDA to switch between Browse mode and Focus mode press NVDA+spacebar. When changing modes with NVDA+spacebar, NVDA will no longer automatically change again while on that page. NVDA+spacebar is useful on forms which have passages of text between form fields. Forcing focus mode on such a page stops the page switching back and forth and can be less distracting. It is also useful in Microsoft Word to use browse mode single letter navigation commands or the elements list.

All of these commands and keystrokes are in the User Guide. If you aren’t already familiar with how they work, we’d recommend “Basic Training for NVDA” which is available in The NV Access Shop in a range of formats.

That’s all for this week. Do please Complete The NVDA Satisfaction Survey 2020, stay safe and we’ll be back again soon.

In-Process 26th May 2020

Mar, 26/05/2020 - 14:48

This week, the main news from NV Access is that we are launching the 2020 Satisfaction survey. As well as the survey, this week we have a couple of interesting feature walkthroughs to bump up your skills. Do you have a topic you’d like us to cover on In-Process? Email us and let us know!

NVDA Satisfaction Survey 2020

While we’re all spending a lot less time physically with others, it’s important to keep in touch with each other. NV Access is no different and we would love to hear from you, however you use NVDA. To that end, we have released a Very Short Survey and would love your feedback. The survey is anonymous. Your feedback will help us determine what is working well, and what we can improve.

If you’d like to have your say, please Complete the NVDA Satisfaction survey 2020 now.

The survey is open until the 3rd of July.

Playing CDs in Windows 10

You can set Windows 10 to play audio CDs and other media automatically when it is inserted. Alternatively, if this is enabled, and you don’t want it, you can disable it. Either way, here are the steps:

  1. Press the WINDOWS key to open the start menu
  2. Type the following and press ENTER:
    Play CDs
  3. When the autoplay dialog opens, the first option is “Use autoplay for all media and devices”. If this checkbox is not checked, press SPACEBAR to check it
  4. Press TAB to move through the options. The first group are for Removable drives such as memory sticks or portable hard drives. There are also options for camera storage, DVDs, Blu-Ray disks and CDs. TAB down to “Audio CD” (the 10th option on my system, but may be different on others)
  5. Use the UP and DOWN ARROWS to select an option for playing audio CDs
  6. Press TAB to “Enhanced audio CDs” and again select an option for this type of media. Enhanced audio CDs are audio CDs which also contain data which can be used on the PC
  7. Use TAB and the ARROWS to select any other options on this screen (eg to autoplay DVDs), and when done, press ENTER

Now, when you insert an audio CD, it should play automatically.

Audio Ducking

NVDA has an option called “Audio ducking”. This option can make other audio, such as CD music, quieter while NVDA is running. It can be set to lower the volume of other sounds whenever NVDA is running, or only while it is actually speaking. To change this option, use NVDA’s synthesizer dialog. First of all, you’ll need to know your NVDA modifier key – depending on your setup, it will either be INSERT or CAPS LOCK.

  1. Press NVDA+control+s to open the synthesizer dialog
  2. Press TAB twice to “Audio ducking mode”
  3. Use the arrow keys to select the desired option and press ENTER

The three ducking options are:

  • No ducking does not change the volume of other programs. This option is the default but may mean your CD music is as loud as NVDA
  • Duck when outputting speech and sounds will make other sounds quieter only when NVDA is actually speaking
  • Duck always will always make other sounds quieter as long as NVDA is running

You can also change the audio ducking mode at any time with NVDA+shift+d. Note that Audio ducking only works on Windows 8 or later, and only with NVDA installed (not from a portable copy).

NVDA and Languages

NVDA works in many languages. The interface (the settings screens and messages) are translated into over 50 languages. NVDA can work with 50 languages with Windows OneCore Voices. With eSpeak-NG, NVDA can work with 115 languages. Third party synthesizers are available to work with other specific languages.

NVDA can change languages and dialects while reading. These options are in NVDA’s Speech settings. Press NVDA+control+v to open the speech settings. “Automatic Languages Switching” and “Automatic dialect switching” both have the disclaimer “When supported”. NVDA and the synthesizers themselves don’t actually recognise words in other languages. They also don’t translate text from one language or another. Synthesizers know how words or letters are generally pronounced in particular languages. It is up to the document or program to report what language it is using. In web pages, this can be set in the HTML itself with a tag such as:

This text is in Australian English

Ce texte est en français

In Office 365, this is set from the Language section of the Review Ribbon:

  1. Select the text to change the language for (CONTROL+A) for the whole document)
  2. Press ALT+R to open the Review ribbon
  3. Press Z then L to select “Language”
  4. Press U, then L to set proofing language
  5. In this dialog you can set the language for the selected text
  6. Press the OK button to set the language for this text. Press the “Set as default” button to change your default language
If NVDA’s language switching options are unchecked, NVDA reads everything as if it is in the default system language.

We rely on volunteers to translate the NVDA user interface. If this is something you are interested in and capable of helping with, we’d love to have you on board. Please see our Translating NVDA Wiki page for more information on how to get involved.

NVDA’s default synthesizer is Windows OneCore Voices for Windows 10. To install a new OneCore voice in Windows 10, install the appropriate Language and Speech Pack. If OneCore voices don’t have a language you need, contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk. They help with any matters of accessibility. In this case, explain how you need a specific language to read text with NVDA.

For Windows 8.1 and earlier, eSpeak-NG is the default synthesizer. eSpeak-NG is an open source project, like NVDA. The eSpeak-NG project also have a process for adding new languages. Please see their Add Language to eSpeak-NG page at for how to get involved in adding a new language.

That’s all for this week. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and do stay in touch! Join the NVDA User group, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

In-Process 14th May 2020

Gio, 14/05/2020 - 07:42

Welcome to another In-Process, and to May! The big news this time around (aside from having survived April) is the release of NVDA 2020.1. Let’s start there:

NVDA 2020.1

NVDA 2020.1 is now available. Highlights of this release include support for several new braille displays from HumanWare and APH. Plus many other important bug fixes such as the ability to again read math in Microsoft Word using MathPlayer / MathType.

While a much smaller update than 2019.3, this does bring fixes and features which should make life a bit easier. Staying awake during say all and better checkbox state reporting are two such fixes. For those using Mastadon, there is better timeline rendering in Firefox. For some users, being able to do a right mouse click on a touch screen with a one finger tap and hold will be really useful. For others, new bugs cause errors never seen before. No, wait, that last one isn’t supposed to be there! If you DO find any bugs, do please either Report Issues on GitHub, or Let Us Know. You can also ask on the NVDA Users Mailing List if you’re unsure.

To find out more, read the full release notes and Download NVDA 2020.1 from the Release Announcement

A quick reminder, when you update, it’s a good idea to restart the computer from the shut down menu. This ensures that everything gets initialised properly. It can cut down on random issues which crop up between updating something and restarting the PC. If you do encounter a weird bug, try restarting the PC to see if that fixes it. Also, press NVDA+Q then down arrow to “Restart with add-ons disabled” and press ENTER. This narrows down whether an issue is likely to be in NVDA or in an add-on.

Also a reminder that if you are in a position to help, now is a great time to consider becoming a Monthly NV Access Donor. It helps us continue to ensure we can provide the world’s favourite screen-reader to all who need it free of charge. It is also tax-deductible in some jurisdictions (Australia at least – see your local tax agency for local rules).

Google Summer of Code

As Reported in March NV Access is a Google Summer of Code (GSOC) 2020 Mentor Organisation.

After considering all the excellent applications, we are pleased to introduce our mentoree. On behalf of NV Access I would like to officially welcome Shubham Jain to the NVDA project. Shubham joins us as our Google Summer of Code 2020 student.

Between now and the end of August, Shubham will be working on “Image captioning and Object recognition modules for NVDA”. Read Shubham’s Project Abstract on GSOC

Please join me in making Shubham welcome!

NVDA contributor honoured

Congratulations today also to Joseph Lee. As well as being a prolific NVDA Contributor, Joseph Lee is a graduating college debate and speech champion. Joseph was recently named American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) All-American. Only fifteen people receive this prestigious honour across the whole United States of America for the year. The award recognizes graduating and would-be graduating college speech and debate competitors who have shown excellence in speech competitions, college studies, and community service. As far as we can find out, Joseph appears to be the first blind recipient of this honour, in the history of this award. If you’ve ever participated in any of the NVDA Forums, then you’ll have read Joseph’s insightful knowledge. If you’ve ever been to one of Joseph’s speeches or debates, you have likely heard him champion NV Access and the NVDA screen reader in competitions.

Touch Gestures

Hand reaching for laptop touch screen showing NVDA download

One of the new features in NVDA 2020.1 is the ability to perform right mouse clicks on touch devices by doing a one finger tap and hold. I thought I’d take this opportunity to explore how you can use NVDA with a touch screen.

Section 4.3 of the NVDA User Guide covers the different touch gestures available:

To use touch gestures, you must have a device with a touch screen, running Windows 8 or higher. You also need to have NVDA installed, it won’t work with a portable version.

The most basic action you can perform with the touch screen is to announce the control or text at any point on the screen. To do this, place one finger anywhere on the screen. You can also keep your finger on the screen and move it around to read other controls and text that your finger moves over.

Touch gestures can involve several different actions:

  • You can tap the screen quickly with one or more fingers.
  • You can repeat this several times quickly to form a “multi-tap” gestures.
  • You can “flick” one or more fingers across the screen either up, down, left or right.

NVDA has two different touch modes:

  • Text mode, is used to interact with text, eg flicking right moves from one letter to the next in a document.
  • Object mode, which interacts with objects. Flicking right here might move from the ribbon, to the text field in a document to the status bar.

Perform a three finger tap to change between these two touch modes.

You can also access a touch keyboard. This can be used to enter text and commands from a touchscreen. When focused on an edit field, you can bring up the touch keyboard by double-tapping the touch keyboard icon on the bottom of the screen.

So, let’s look at some other touch commands available within NVDA out of the box:

  • 1 finger tap: Move the review cursor to the location of the tap. You can also drag your finger around the screen to have NVDA report items as your finger moves over them. When you let go, the review cursor will be at the last item reported.
  • 1 finger double-tap: Activate the current item.
  • 2 finger tap: Stops speech (the same as pressing control).
  • 2 finger double tap: Open the NVDA menu (the same as pressing NVDA+n)
  • Flick right: Move to the next letter (text mode) or next object (object mode)
  • Flick left: Move to the previous letter (text mode) or previous object (object mode)

There are also gestures setup to use object navigation, and the review cursor, as well as changing review modes.

To find a program shortcut on the desktop, swipe left or right to move between the icons. Alternatively, swipe left or right to move between the items. Once the desired item is found, double tap quickly anywhere on the screen. To move around features in the newly opened program, explore or swipe in the same way.

To move around text in a document, use the following commands:

    First, three finger tap to use text mode. After that:
  • Swipe right to move forward one character
  • Swipe left to move back one character
  • Swipe up to move up one line
  • Swipe down to move down one line
  • 2 finger flick right to move forward one word (like control+right arrow)
  • 2 finger flick left to move back one word (like control+left arrow)
  • 3 finger flick down to read from the current point onward.

NVDA hasn’t defined as many touch gestures as keyboard gestures. You can define more gestures using NVDA’s input gesture dialog. Press NVDA+n (or two finger double tap) to open NVDA’s menu. From the Preferences menu, select “Input Gestures”. Select the gesture to modify, then “add”, and then perform the gesture to associate with the command. There is more information on the Input Gestures Dialog, in the User Guide.

That’s all for this week. If you haven’t already downloaded NVDA 2020.1, Do Check It Out! Or, have you tried NVDA’s touch screen support? Share your thoughts in the NVDA Users Email List. Until next time, stay safe and healthy!

NVDA 2020.1 Released

Gio, 07/05/2020 - 13:31

NV Access is pleased to announce that version 2020.1 of NVDA, the free screen reader for Microsoft Windows, is now available for download. We encourage all users to upgrade to this version.

Highlights of this release include support for several new braille displays from HumanWare and APH, plus many other important bug fixes such as the ability to again read math in Microsoft Word using MathPlayer / MathType.

Please note, after updating any software, it is a good idea to restart the computer. Restart by going to the Shutdown dialog, selecting “restart” and pressing ENTER. Updating software can change files which are in use. This can lead to instability and strange behaviour which is resolved by rebooting. This is the first thing to try if you do notice anything odd after updating.

While downloading NVDA, please consider becoming a monthly donor. Contributions like yours help NV Access continue our important work.

We also have a range of training material in the NV Access Shop to help you increase your skills with NVDA. Start with the popular Basic Training for NVDA in electronic text, audio and braille. Save with the NVDA Productivity Bundle. This includes Basic Training, all our Microsoft Office training, and telephone support.

Download NVDA 2020.1

To find out what’s new in this release, please visit What’s new in NVDA 2020.1

Close-up photograph of NVDA logo in notification area.

In-Process 30th April 2020

Gio, 30/04/2020 - 07:55

We hope you are all staying safe and well during this time. This week’s In-Process has news on the 2020.1 Release Candidate, plus some #a11y events for developers. There is also a section of tips on navigating that will boost your efficiency.

NVDA 2020.1 Release Candidate 1

NVDA 2020.1 Release Candidate 1 is now available. This is the final chance to test features before the next version of NVDA comes out. If problems are found now, they can be fixed before the final version comes out. If problems are found after the final release, it is more work to fix, and more interruption for all users.

In Alpha and Beta builds, a sound is played whenever an error is written to the log. This happens even if NVDA tries something else and there is no interruption for the user. Some end-users interested in trying new features, find this distracting. Please note that the Release Candidate build behaves just like the stable release. There is no sound played just because something is written to the log. All users are encouraged to test the release candidate and report any issues. Note that the release candidate will automatically update to the stable build once released.

Read more and download the Release Candidate from https://www.nvaccess.org/post/nvda-2020-1rc1-now-available-for-testing/

NVDA 2020.1 RC1 desktop icon

Free Web A11y course

The World Wide Web Consortium, W3C are promoting an online “Introduction to Web Accessibility” course. This course is currently offered for free by EdX. For anyone involved in web development, this is a great opportunity to brush up on your skills.

#ID24

Inclusive Design 24 has been running for a few years now. In 2020 it will be run across the whole of the 17th September, online, free for everyone. In their words, it: “Celebrates inclusive design and shares knowledge and ideas from analogue to digital, from design to development, from planners to practitioners, and everything and everyone in between.”

Submissions for talks for this year’s event are currently being accepted. To find out more, or to submit a talk yourself, head to: https://inclusivedesign24.org/2020/

Navigating text

Moving around text an integral part of working with a screen reader. It’s easy to assume we know all the shortcuts. Every now and then, it’s worth revisiting some of the essentials to brush up, so let’s do that now:

Except for a couple (as noted) these are all standard Windows commands. These Windows commands will work for anyone regardless of whether they are using NVDA or not:

  • LEFT or RIGHT ARROW – move back or forward by one character
  • UP or DOWN ARROW – move up or down by one line
  • HOME – move to the start of the current line
  • END – move to the end of the current line
  • CONTROL+LEFT ARROW or CONTROL+RIGHT ARROW – move back or forward by one word
  • CONTROL+UP ARROW or CONTROL+DOWN ARROW – Move up or down by paragraph. This command doesn’t work everywhere. Also note that many programs treat any time you press ENTER as a paragraph.
  • PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN – move up or down by one screen worth of information
  • CONTROL+PAGE UP or CONTROL+PAGE DOWN move up or down by one page (in programs like Word which define a page)
  • CONTROL+HOME – move to the top or start of a document
  • CONTROL+END – move to the bottom or end of a document
One handy thing is you can hold SHIFT while pressing any of those and it will select text as well while it moves.

One last one which is an NVDA command (even though it doesn’t use the NVDA key). ALT+UP ARROW and ALT+DOWN ARROW move back or forward by sentence. This only works in a few programs which support it, like Word and Outlook.

NVDA will read by the amount of text moved. If you press the right arrow, NVDA will read the next letter. If you press CONTROL+RIGHT ARROW, NVDA will read the next word. If you move by paragraph, NVDA will read the paragraph. If you move by one screen or page, or to the top or bottom of a document, NVDA only reads the current line.

That’s all for this week, we hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Do try NVDA 2020.1 Release Candidate 1 and let us know what you think.

NVDA 2020.1rc1 now available for testing

Mer, 29/04/2020 - 17:41

The Release Candidate (RC) of NVDA 2020.1 is now available for download and testing. We encourage all users to download this RC and provide feedback. Unless any critical bugs are found, this will be identical to the final 2020.1 release.

Highlights of this release include support for several new braille displays from HumanWare and APH, plus many other important bug fixes such as the ability to again read math in Microsoft Word using MathPlayer / MathType.

In-Process 3rd April 2020

Ven, 03/04/2020 - 08:58

Everyone is staying safe at home at the moment. There’s still plenty going on as we prepare for the next release of NVDA. Plus an uplifting new video about the work of one of our users! Let’s get into it:

2020.1 beta 1

Beta1 of NVDA 2020.1 is now available for download and testing. For anyone who is interested in trying out what the next version of NVDA has to offer before it is officially released, we welcome you to download the beta and provide feedback.

NVDA 2020.1 is a much smaller release in comparison to NVDA 2019.3, however it still contains several important bug fixes plus support for some new braille displays from both APH and HumanWare. Read about all the features and download the beta from the NVDA 2020.1 Beta 1 announcement page..

Using Zoom with NVDA

At the moment, there is a lot of interest in communication and online meeting tools. One popular option is Zoom, which facilitates voice and video conferencing. Individuals can setup a free account and have up to a hundred participants for 40 minutes at a time. Purchased plans offer more participants and no time restriction.

The University of Melbourne has a page of tips and keystrokes for Using Zoom with NVDA.

Zoom themselves also have a page of Zoom Hot Keys and Keyboard Shortcuts.

Preparing for work with Accessible Technology Solutions

Preparing for Work with Accessible Technology Solutions

Sadam Ahmed is totally blind and CEO of Accessible Technology Solutions. He gave us an insight into the company he founded, and the training he does with clients using NVDA and Microsoft Office. Preparing for Work with Accessible Technology Solutions contains a video and article about the fantastic results they are achieving. It is well worth a read or listen.

We love hearing Stories like Sadam’s. If you’re doing amazing things with NVDA (and we know you are!) or working with others doing things the world should know about, feel free to drop us a line and let us know! Time permitting, we might be able to feature your story.

Productivity Bundle Sale

Last edition we launched the NVDA Productivity Bundle sale. This has been popular and I wanted to mention it again this week. It’s an extra 10% off its usual price. The NVDA Productivity Bundle includes all our popular training material, and telephone support.

Acapela Extended Trial

We’re not the only ones offering things at the moment, Acapela are offering 90-days Free Access for their Acapela TTS voices for NVDA. Normally, the trial period for Acapela is 15 days. This offer gives you a lot longer to evaluate and decide whether you would like to purchase. To take advantage of this offer, you will need to contact Acapela. Read all about the Acapela 90-days Access Offer from their website.

GitHub Sponsorship

Our GitHub Sponsorship Page has been live for a couple of weeks and we’ve already had quite a bit of interest in it. To see more about this opportunity to contribute to NVDA, please visit https://github.com/sponsors/nvaccess

Have some YOU time

It’s perhaps more important now than ever before, to take some time for yourself. Turn off the current affairs TV, log off the news website, and do something you enjoy. So here’s a couple of ideas you might consider:

  • Buy a book on Amazon and read it. NVDA works with the Kindle App for PC to read all your favourite books.
  • Listen to music. Foobar2000 remains a popular choice. Sites like YouTube Music and Spotify are also well supported
  • Create music. Reaper is a popular audio editor. Jamie Teh, one of our own founders, improved extended Reaper with the OSARA add-on.
  • Play games. If you haven’t checked it out recently, AudioGames.net is regularly updated. It lists over 500 games which will keep you entertained for months.
  • Write. Whether it’s your autobiography, recipes, or a fantasy land of dragons, writing doesn’t need many tools. It’s a pastime anyone can engage in with nothing more than Windows NotePad. If you prefer the features of a word processor, Microsoft Word, or Jarte might be for you. For more in-depth checking of text than Microsoft’s spelling and grammar checker, ProWritingAid has an accessible interface.
  • Yoga and exercise. There are many options for working out at home. One of these is the Eyes Free Fitness YouTube Channel.

How do you like to relax? Join in the conversation on the NVDA Chat email group and share your tips for relaxing at home. We’ll feature some of the best ideas next time on In-Process!

Preparing for work with Accessible Technology Solutions

Ven, 03/04/2020 - 08:28

Sadam Ahmed left war-torn Somalia for a new life in Australia. Not only did he make a new life for himself, Sadam made a business as well. In 2019, Sadam founded Accessible Technology Solutions Enterprises. From the Accessible Technology Solutions website:

“We are a boutique technology company specialising in high quality technical support. From screen reader configurations to helping you to get the most from your Windows PC or assisting you with braille display set-up. We can help.”

Blind himself, Sadam is a keen ambassador for NVDA. The world’s most popular free screenreader is a great fit for many of his clients. He shared his thoughts with us on how they teach clients with NVDA and some of the great outcomes they’ve had. You can listen to him in his own words, or read the transcript below:

Hello, my name is Sadam Ahmed.

I am the CEO of Accessible Technology Solutions Enterprises, a company that teaches and trains clients, students and teachers for the visually impaired on different types of assistive technology. We have been using NVDA for a number of years now. I use NVDA almost exclusively on my Windows PCs and I think NVDA is a very good screen reader which has come a long way. Traditional Assistive technology is very expensive and is not usually affordable for people. NVDA is a very lightweight application that runs beautifully on Windows 10. It really is a fantastic solution for those who cannot afford traditional screen readers which are very cost prohibitive, particularly for people in different countries. When I went to Somalia where I originally come from, a lot of people were using NVDA and I’ve actually recommended NVDA to my friends who were doing computer science and engineering courses, as NVDA supports the applications like Python and SQL very well. I teach NVDA to my clients and a lot of them have gone on to actually get employed, which is really good, because the unemployment rate in the blind community is very high, so anything that helps someone to become a digital citizen is fantastic. I have been using NVDA for a number of years and NVDA continues to grow in feature set and really supports Windows 10 very well.

Sadam Ahmed (Standing against a cream wall)

I’d like to talk about Microsoft Word, or the Microsoft Suite. We teach Microsoft Office, PowerPoint and Excel to our clients, particularly when using NVDA, and it works really, really well. We also teach the Outlook Suite as well as Office 365 from a keyboard point of view. NVDA has always had really robust support for outlook, excel, word and PowerPoint. these apps work particularly well whether using a keyboard or using touch input on a windows device with a touch screen. We have seen a significant rise in the usage of NVDA amongst our clients. Many of them are using a computer for the first time and NVDA gives them great independence and freedom when it comes to both work and play. In particular, it has enabled some of our clients to not only be more confident with the keyboard and the computer in general, but actually hold down and obtain full time employment. We’re very proud of this at Accessible Technology Solutions, because 70% of blind people are unemployed, which was the last stat that I saw. So, anything we can do to break down the barrier of either unemployment or underemployment is fantastic and NV Access with NVDA and Microsoft Office are certainly are doing that. Microsoft’s mission statement is to empower everybody to do the best work possible and certainly that is borne of the Microsoft Office suite.

Thank you Sadam! Do visit Accessible Technology Solutions for personal service in Melbourne. NV Access also provides Training Material for Office. To help NV Access to continue to enable blind and vision impaired people to access education, employment and independence, please consider Supporting Us with a Regular or One-off Contribution Today.

NVDA 2020.1beta1 Available for Testing

Lun, 23/03/2020 - 08:11

Beta1 of NVDA 2020.1 is now available for download and testing. For anyone who is interested in trying out what the next version of NVDA has to offer before it is officially released, we welcome you to download the beta and provide feedback.

NVDA 2020.1 is a much smaller release in comparison to NVDA 2019.3, however it still contains several important bug fixes plus support for some new braille displays from both APH and HumanWare.

In-Process 20th March

Ven, 20/03/2020 - 12:48

In these uncertain times, we’re pleased to be able to be able to give you this week’s In-Process, right on time, two weeks after the previous edition! Lots to cover this week, so let’s jump in right away with the topic which is affecting everyone:

COVID-19: Business as usual at NV Access

Firstly, we want to reassure everyone that despite the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, it’s business as usual for NV Access. The NV Access team all work remotely already. So, in that regard we aren’t impacted by office building closures or restrictions on travel.

“We are open!” text with sunburst background

We are continuing to improve NVDA, Fix Bugs and add new features. If you have Telephone Support, either on its own, or as part of the NVDA Productivity Bundle, rest assured that help, as always, is not far away!

NVDA Productivity Bundle Sale!

Speaking of the NVDA Productivity Bundle, here’s some exciting news! We know a lot of people are home and needing to stay occupied. Keeping busy by learning new skills is one of the most productive and useful things you can do. We’d like to offer an incentive to encourage you that now is the time to take your NVDA skills to the next level. So, the NVDA Productivity Bundle is now 10% off it’s usual price. What do you get in the NVDA Productivity Bundle? Well, heaps! As well as a direct download of NVDA itself (which also includes the User Guide), there is:

The bundle is already a huge saving off the cost of all these items individually. An extra 10% off makes it even greater value. The Australian dollar has dropped, making it cheaper again for users outside Australia. Head to the NVDA Productivity Bundle to find out more, and purchase!

NVDA Certified Expert exam

Some users have honed their skills with the NVDA Productivity Bundle. Others have bought Basic Training for NVDA on its own (Maybe the Audio or Braille versions). Or do you feel you already have great skills from years of experience? Well, now is a great time put your knowledge to the test by sitting the NVDA Certified Expert Exam. The exam itself is free for anyone to sit. Once you pass, you may choose to purchase the certification. Being an NVDA Certified Expert gets you listed on the Certification Page. You also get a neat logo you can include in your email signature or website. That is a great way to advertise your skills.

Become a GitHub Sponsor

NV Access are pleased to announce a new way you can support your favourite screen reader. GitHub Sponsors is a way for you to support open source projects you love. NV Access has been accepted to the GitHub Sponsor program. Sponsorship tiers start at $5 a month and you get a cool badge on your GitHub profile which shows your support. Check out our GitHub Sponsor Page Here.

While we’re talking about Open Source, did you know that at least 20% of US government code has to be open source? Long gone are the days when management was wary of open source. Both government and the private sector embrace the movement. A movement we are proud to have been a part of since 2006. Find out more from the Open Source section of our Corporate and Government page.

Keeping in touch

We are all spending less time physically with other people at the moment. Especially now, it is critical that we still maintain social contact with others. NVDA works with all popular communications apps and websites. We encourage you to pick your favourite form of communication and reach out to some of your neighbours, relatives or friends.

If you’d like to keep in touch with the NVDA community, the NVDA Email List is a great place to start.

The NVDA group itself is primarily for NVDA-related conversation. For a less formal conversation, the NVDA group also has a “Chat” Sub-Group. Now is a great opportunity to visit the “Chat” Sub-Group for conversation with others!

For instant messaging, NVDA has dedicated commands to work with Miranda IM and Skype. NVDA works well with sites like Twitter and Facebook, and you can keep in touch with us on those. You might also use TeamTalk, Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams. There are also newer alternative social networks like Mastodon. Accessibility geek Marco Zehe wrote a post on Mastodon’s Accessibility.

That’s all for this week. Do take care, stay safe and keep in touch with each other, and With Us if needed. Most of all, don’t forget to look after your own needs during this time as well.