Re: The more or less finished tutorial
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Having read through the Window Eyes transition tutorial, I note that you refer to commands as for example, Control Insert s then a little later on as in the section on laptop layout review commands for example, NVDA Shift period, without first explaining the concept of the NVDA modifier key. For the sake of consistency and to indicate when a command is a screen reader command as opposed to a Windows command, the concept should be explained early in the narrative and “NVDA” used in all screen reader command references throughout the document.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: 28 May 2017 18:32
Subject: Re: [nvda] The more or less finished tutorial
I've made some changes and corrected some errors. Unless others make suggestions I adopt, this should be the final version.
Moving from Window-eyes to NVDA
you did before.
First, a word about using the tutorial. I explain concepts in the tutorial but
much of what I do is to give commands that are different in NVDA. As I explain, a
lot of what you do won't change but certain things will require different commands.
To use this tutorial effectively, practicing many commands I give might be very
useful. For example, when I give screen review commands, stopping reading and
practicing in this document might help you remember and learn them. When I
describe input help, turning it on and trying different keys and combinations of
keys might be helpful. You will find, for example, that the screen review commands
I give are announced when you have key describer on and issue the commands. That
will help you review quickly and efficiently if you for get any of them, something
that is far more likely to occur in the laptop layout than the desktop layout.
Now that I've suggested ways to use it effectively, the tutorial begins.
Many people are apprehensive about switching to NVDA or any other screen-reader
from Window-eyes. This tutorial will explain and demonstrate that such
apprehensions are largely based on misunderstandings.
Before I discuss the misunderstanding that causes most of this apprehension, I'll
briefly discuss installing NVDA and changing the synthesizer used and speech
NVDA has a talking installer. run the file as you would any installation file.
you may get a dialog asking if you want to run the file. Use the command alt r
for run. If you get a UAC prompt, answer alt y.
play. Not long after, the talking installer will run. Unload Narrator at that
point. return to the install dialog.
You will get other options but install is the one you want.
of the voice. As soon as you get it set up, I'll tell you how to change the
When NVDA is installed and running, a dialog box comes up with some explanatory
text and the ability to set one or two options. While I know a lot of people very
much dislike the default voice, it's worth listening to the dialog and looking at
the settings by tabbing through them.
I would recommend checking the check box to use caps lock as an NVDA modifier.
You'll see why I recommend this in later discussion.
After you go through the initial parameters dialog, it's time to learn how to
change the synthesizer.
can use either insert unless I state differently.
I know everyone has at least one SAPI 5 voice on their machine. Up and down arrow
through the list and stop on SAPI five. Press enter.
speed and punctuation, press the ok button.
Now, let's continue with what I spoke of at the start of this tutorial. The
misunderstanding that makes the switch to NVDA from Window-eyes or from any other screen-reader seem daunting is that the user doesn't
realize that most of the commands he/she uses are Windows commands and program
commands and they won't change.
Consider the following examples:
programs. It's the same no matter which screen-reader you use.
doesn't change. Tabbing through dialogs doesn't change. Neither does how you move
in a list or a treeview or work with a combo box, and the list goes on.
access to information you can't get or can't get conveniently by using Windows or
program commands. for example, read title bar. In Window-eyes, the command is
control shift t. In NVDA, it's insert t.
The title bar is something a sighted person looks at. You can't move to it with
the pc cursor or application cursor, whatever you wish to call it, because there is
no need. A sighted person can just see it. So the screen-reader has a command,
read title bar. That command is not a Windows nor a program command.
Here are the screen-reader commands you will need to know to allow you to do a lot
of what you did before.
I'm about to discuss screen-review commands. those let you review the screen
without changing the position of the cursor when editing a document, or changing
where you are in a dialog or anywhere else. But first, I'll point out that
Commands such as left arrow, right arrow, control home, control end, control left
arrow, and control right arrow are Windows movement commands for moving in any
standard edit field including word processor edit fields. None of them will
Screen review commands:
commands. You can keep moving and reading until you get to the top or bottom of
4 5 and 6 move by word, etc.
Getting back to the review keys in the laptop layout, There are sort of patterns
in the laptop layout but not the kind of uniform pattern as in the desktop layout.
If I had a laptop computer without a numpad, I'd buy a USB numpad and not fool
around with the laptop layout. But you can decide that for yourself. But aside
from predictable keys such as that period is used for current, and that left and
right arrows are useed with modifiers, you can't generalize more. Such patterns
are not followed in every previous and next item. In one of the previous and next
items, up and down arrow is used.
I shall now explain how to change the layout from the desktop to the laptop layout
and discuss causing the caps lock to be used as an NVDA key. If you add capslock,
you can still use either insert. there are times when caps lock is very
to open the keyboard layout issue the command control insert k.
activate the ok button.
use the caps lock key as an NVDA key often and I use the desktop layout. I find
it much more convenient to use for the read to end command. I hold caps lock and
press down arrow. That is, to me, much more convenient than using insert down
arrow, regardless of which insert I use.
you press it once and hold it, it serves as an NVDA key. If you press it twice
quickly, it toggles caps lock on and off.
Here are two more important commands:
Laptop layout command:
control NVDA key home.
Laptop layout command:
Control NVDA key end.
I've said top and bottom of Window but that's oversimplified. It depends what kind
of review mode you are using. I won't go into that to any extent in this very
If you are reviewing material in a word processor, use the review commands I've
change to screen review mode. to do this, use the command numpad insert numpad 7
in the desktop layout.
repeat it if necessary until you hear screen review.
command numpad insert numpad slash. That is the same command you left click wwith
in Window-eyes. If you want to right click, route the mouse with the same command,
numpad insert numpad slash, then use numpad star, the key immediately to the right
of numpad slash. In other words, you right click with the same key you use in
to object review. Issue the command numpad insert numpad one in the desktop
layout. the laptop layout command is NVDA Key page down. Repeat the command if
necessary until you hear object review. If you don't do this, you will often hear
incorrect information about where you are when you do various things in NVDA.
Screen review, though the commands are different, is similar in concept to using
the mouse pointer in Window-eyes. Object navigation is different from any review
mode in Window-eyes. I won't teach its use here but you will find a discussion of
it in a tutorial I will give an address for later in this tutorial. Depending on
how you use your computer, you may find it very useful.
That is just about all I will teach in this very short tutorial. As I said, its
purpose is to allow you to do much of what you do with Window-eyes quickly and
easily. But I'll tell you a few more things.
you are using NVDA or Window-eyes.
1 on the main keyboard turns it on. When you press a key or combination of keys
that might be a command, you will hear what the keys are and what, if any command
they execute. This varies depending on where you are.
will give you information about what the keys do in browse mode. I already gave
much of that information above but you may want to press a lot of keys using input
mode in a browser.
To turn input mode off use the same command you used to turn it on, insert 1.
to learn more about NVDA, a popular tutorial is available at
different subjects. You can also download the entire tutorial as a zip file.
There is also an e-mail list for NVDA users. To join, send a blank message to this
I hope that this tutorial has removed much of your apprehension about switching to
NVDA. Now, as you wish or need, you may consult the tutorial I gave a link to.
NVDA is a powerful screen-reader and it will meet a lot of users needs as well as
JAWS or Window-eyes does. I hope this very short tutorial gives you a good
foundation on which to build confidence that the transition should be much easier
than you may have thought and that it will help make it much more enjoyable.