Re: Couple questions about portable version of NVDA

Luke Davis


You seem to have two assumptions here with which I disagree:

1. That a new user understands enough about NVDA to know that it is possible to revert to factory settings if he gets himself in a settings related difficulty, and to have memorized *how* that is to be done.

2. That users, especially new users, always know what they are doing, or remember how to un-do the last configuration change they made. (Quoting you: "After reboot you can change them back to whatever you want.") Frankly, I would have thought your time on this list would have shown the fallacy of that one.

While you jumped all over Gene, I was the one who first mockingly called the setting "make all your mistakes permanent" in this thread, although of course Gene has been making this argument for a long time. But here's why I agree with him.

I will sight just one example.

I use speech at a reasonably high rate by default (eSpeak at 80, and speed it up or slow it down depending on what I'm doing). But I know many blind people, who can't understand super fast speech, especially those new to synthetic speech.
NVDA with rate boost enabled, at least in certain synths, can definitely produce such incomprehensible speech.

So let's say you have a new user, playing with NVDA keyboard commands, who stumbles on the rate boost option in the synth ring. He doesn't know what it is, so he enables it. Poof, his speech is now too fast to understand, and he does not have enough of the keystrokes memorized to get back out.
NVDA key describer won't help, because he can't understand the speech. NVDA help menu (quick reference / user guide) won't help, because he can't understand the speech.
What's a newbe to do?
Well, much like he has been trained to expect with any other windows problem, he might assume that a simple computer reboot will get him back to a sane state.
However that won't happen if save configuration on exit is set.
Basically, in that situation, unless he knows how to launch Narrator, he is totally up the creek until he can get sighted help to reinstall NVDA.
Which experience might be bad enough to sour him on NVDA entirely.
And before you say that wouldn't happen: I have just described an actual support case from which I had to save a user.

You call the command NVDA+ctrl+c to save settings, a "absolutely pointless command", and ask why anyone should tell a user to remember it. But doesn't your answer require a user to remember NVDA+ctrl+r? Actually, NVDA+ctrl+r twice fast?
What's worse, your method doesn't give the user in a bind, who can't remember which command he needs, the option of restarting NVDA to recover.

Regarding your reaction to the word "permanent". As Gene said, that is accepted usage when it comes to writing settings to disk, that goes back far longer than NVDA.

As an aside, I will say that I find your lack of courtesy disturbing. I would expect a list member, but most especially the list owner, to find a more respectful way to publicly disagree with a member of the community.


On Thu, 27 Jun 2019, Nimer Jaber wrote:

I am going to comment below on this saving settings thing, but I am shocked that this advice is being given to users. The actual hell?
On Thu, Jun 27, 2019 at 5:26 PM Gene <> wrote:
Unless you save the settings after you tell NVDA to use another voice, you can immediately revert to the voice that is in your saved
configuration.  Just use the command control NvDA key r.  Even if you just change the reading speed of the voice in your saved configuration and
want to set it back, you can use that command. 
Had this message ended here, I wouldn't comment. 
And I would strongly urge you to set NVDA not to automatically save settings when it closes so that any changes you make that are temporary won't
accidentally be saved.  I think that automatic saving of settings on exit is an extremely poor default setting.  If it is off, you can change and
experiment with any number of settings and not worry that they will accidentally be saved.  automatic saving of settings on exit doesn't assure this. 
What is so difficult about settings being inadvertently saved? You can always change them back to their defaults... You can change them again and exit and
restart and they will be applied. In fact, you can change them and never worry about saving them because they will always be saved on exit.  
And what if you do something like reboot or shut down the computer.  NVDA will shut down and all temporary settings will now be permanent. 
Nothing is permanent. Why scare users by saying this crap? Change the setting again, next time NVDA starts your settings will be still applied.  
You can manually save settings with the command control NVDA key c.  So, as I said earlier, its control NVDA key r to return to the saved
configuration and control NVDA key c to save whatever you have changed permanently.
Why remember that absolutely pointless command if your settings can always be saved when NVDA exits? Why have that extra step? Who cares if settings get
inadvertently saved? You can unsave them. Before reboot you can revert them. After reboot you can change them back to whatever you want.  
----- Original Message -----
From: Luke
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2019 6:14 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Couple questions about portable version of NVDA
Hi Luke! Yes, it worked! NVDA+ control + S Then a couple arrow ups brought me to Espeak. And if I wanted to change back to vocalizer same thing but
arrow down a couple. Quite handy. Thanks! The world needs more Luke’s.  a

On Jun 27, 2019, at 5:38 PM, Luke Davis <> wrote:

Hi, supposedly less-good-looking other Luke.

I know little and less about using vocalizer voices with NVDA, but I am reasonably sure that you can always switch back to eSpeak.

It is possible to save configurations from within portable versions, so there is no need to generate a new portable copy just to change
configurations, even synthesizer configurations.

Launch your existing portable version, press NVDA+ctrl+s to open the synth settings dialog, press the up arrow a few times until you hear "eSpeak
NG", and press enter.
If it works to switch you to eSpeak, as it should, and you like the result, press NVDA+ctrl+c to save the current configuration.

Now, if Vocalizer does something to munge up this process, everything I just said may be wrong, but I'm not sure why it would.

In any case, it's worth a try. At worst you'll be left with no speech, and will have to restart with ctrl+alt+n, or whatever it is that you do to
start NVDA.

Well okay, at worstist, if you do end up with no speech, and the "save configuration on exit" setting (or the "Make sure all your mistakes are
permanent ones" setting, as I call it) under general is set, you may end up breaking your portable copy. So maybe it's best to make sure that setting
isn't set first (NVDA+ctrl+g).

Luke (a proud eSpeak British English Max user since 2008)

On Thu, 27 Jun 2019, Luke wrote:

Also, I know Espeek is more responsive and to put Espeek with my current saved settings and add ons on a portable version I would have to disable
my current vocalizer voice first right? Last but not least I noticed there is another Luke on here so please don’t get confused as he is probably
smarter, more informative and better looking than me LOL.

Nimer Jaber
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