Wait a second, has NVDA 2018 been released? I know there may be snapshots, but I mean, is it officially here? When I check for updates, I don't see it.
Few important announcements about Welcome to NVDA tutorial set to follow after this:
The second part of NVDA Preferences (seventh installment overall) is now up, which can be found at josephsl.net/tutorials. Combined with the first part (a few days ago), it’ll take you slightly more than three hours (both parts combined) to traverse through all available preferences options (at least 110 options total across both parts).
Changes from 2015 edition:
- Completely redone.
- Review cursor: demonstration of simple review mode is included.
- Input composition settings: reorganized the content; demonstration first, followed by settings themselves.
- Object presentation: new app examples, including use of StationPlaylist Studio to demonstrate object description reporting and GoldWave for various progress bar output options. Suggestion appearance sounds are also demonstrated along with the checkbox to turn this on or off.
- Browse mode: trap non-command gestures checkbox is demonstrated.
- Document formatting: explained the new user interface and groupings.
- Windows 10 OCR: recognition language option is explained; to be demoed as part of NVDA Tools section.
- Speech dictionaries: covers all three speech dictionary types (default, voice-specific, temporary) in one sitting, complete with examples. For voice-specific dictionary, provided an example where an entry is announced differently based on voice (not synthesizer) in use.
- Punctuation/symbol pronunciation: added coverage of “send symbol to synthesizer” (aka symbol processing) combo box.
- Input gestures: an example for assigning a custom command to open braille settings dialog is demonstrated.
- Restoring to factory defaults: added a note about keeping default settings or restoring personalized settings after factory reset.
There are two more sections to go: NVDA Tools, which will cover log viewer, speech viewer and others, as well as configuration profiles. The last section will be add-ons, and I’m still in the process of which add-ons to demonstrate (two add-ons that’ll definitely appear include DictationBridge and Golden Cursor).
Some important announcements about the tutorial content:
- Due to a major “bug” found in a segment on finding text on webpages, the segment has been pulled from the tutorial set. Specifically, I forgot to cover case sensitive search option, which will be done as soon as possible.
- If you’ve downloaded the segment on keyboard settings, you need to download it again as it was edited to remove leftovers from recording session.
- Due to a last minute change introduced in braille settings dialog for NVDA 2018.1 that requires editing a significant portion of the segment, this segment will be updated in February. As a result, the zip file of all tutorials will be published later. You can still access individual segments.
- Starting this weekend, I’ll publish each tutorial section as one or two mp3 files. For example, instead of hunting for all segments on basics, it’ll be just one download. Certain sections (notably web browsing section) will be divided into multiple mp3 files, with popular apps section divided into three files, with each one covering apps overview and Microsoft Office, universal apps, and other tools, respectively.
- If you believe some parts of the tutorial are fast, please let me know so I can re-record fast portions and make them slower.
An important note about text transcriptions: my initial plan is to not offer a text transcription of this tutorial set, as it is really an audio version of the NVDA user guide with a few extras. For now, people who’d like to follow along via text should consult NVDA user guide; but I’ll leave open the possibility of a text transcription provided that: the whole community is involved in helping out (I can’t do it alone), organized through a GitHub repository, and the community promises to make the entire set (audio and text) available for free.
Tutorial exercises: I received a suggestion from a code contributor that I should add exercises to help folks practice concepts taught in the tutorial set. I like this idea and would like to ask if the whole community is willing to come up with some of them. I myself will contribute some exercises.
Lastly, this is a personal wish: for a while I’ve been thinking about either writing a book about NVDA internals based on various tutorials out there (including mine and NV Access modules), or being consulted (along with some knowledgeable developers) by one or more writers wishing to write such a book. The premise of this idea is to showcase the technical side of NVDA screen reader, with the book aimed at computer science students, programmers, researchers, potential users and organizations willing to adopt NVDA and what not. I do understand that this is a big ambition, but when we look at documentation, we really don’t have a book or two that goes deep into how NVDA really works behind the scenes (currently we have a design overview document, but for some, it isn’t adequate to fully describe what NVDA truly is), and I felt it is time that we write one. There is another reason for embarking on this project, but I’ll save that for a later post.
Thanks, and enjoy the new tutorial installment.