Re: NVDA and office 2016

Quentin Christensen

Hi Cearbhall,

Re the strange Word template, if the document isn't too sensitive and you can send it to me privately I'd be happy to have a look - it might be something we can work on addressing.

As you've found with other files, NVDA's table commands SHOULD work on tables in Word.  As an intermediate workaround, possibly converting the document to HTML would enable it to be read as a web page.  If you go to File, Save As and from the filename field, press TAB to move to the "save as type" drop down and choose "Web page (*.htm, *.html)".

The HTML Word creates is ugly and bloated, but for reading it on a local machine, it might work.

When you open files from e-mail or the web, by default Word will open them in "reading view" which is possible to read but works very differently  (I wrote a section on it in the Word training material we'll be releasing in the next couple of months).  What I would recommend, is if you go into the Word options (alt+f then t), on that first, general page, tab to an option called "Open e-mail attachments and other uneditable files in reading view", and uncheck that - If you open a file from an email attachment etc then, it will open in the regular print layout so you can navigate as normal.  It will still be protected, so you'll need to press F6 to go to the "Protected view grouping" and press the "enable editing" button if you trust the sender and want to enable editing.

When you open any of the Office 2016 programs, instead of opening to a blank document / spreadsheet etc, it opens to the start screen.  You can either press ENTER to open a blank document, or you can navigate around to recent files or templates.  If you want to go back to the old style of opening directly to a blank file, go into the settings again and on that general page, the option after the one about opening email attachments is "show the start screen when this application starts" which you'll want to uncheck.

These options only apply to the current program so you'll need to uncheck it in Excel and any other Office programs you use too.

Re opening recent documents from the file list - Do you mean when you press alt+f you can press up arrow and find them listed at the bottom near exit?  You actually can do that:  Back in the options, this time control+tab down to "advanced", then tab a heap of times, or press alt+q to jump straight to "Quickly access this number of recent documents".  Once you check that option, you can tab to the next edit field which has a number (4 by default) and set that to whatever you like.

What that does, is visually, it puts the recent files at the bottom of the file menu, although if you press up arrow or shift+tab it actually starts moving around the file info tab, so instead you need to press either a number (1 for the most recent, 2 for the next most recent etc), or down arrow to the list.  Interestingly once you start down arrowing and get to the "new" tab, you could then up arrow twice to get to the last recent file in the list, but I haven't found a more direct way (if anyone does, please let me know!).

Note: most of this will be in the "Microsoft Word with NVDA" material, available in the next couple of months.  It is designed as a follow up to the "Basic Training for NVDA" module which is available now:

Kind regards


On Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 7:26 AM, Cearbhall O'Meadhra <cearbhall.omeadhra@...> wrote:

Further to my earlier message, I have tried this in both browse mode and Focus mode in NVDA with no luck.


It seems that the table in question was generated from a standard template issued by a government department and inserted into the current document. The document author then had to fill in the relevant variable data into the template. To do so, he had to make a left mouse click on the cell in order to open  it in edit mode. This author is sighted by the way. I think it relevant to mention his access method and source of the table since it turned out to be somewhat inaccessible.


I have found NVDA well able to read other tables in Word 2016 files as I studied more documents later today.


The Word problem seems to have been a particular issue relating to a custom made template that did not appear to conform to default Word methods of construction.


I am still puzzled by Excel 2016! When I highlight an excel workbook in my documents and press enter on it, I expect it to open in excel and display its contents. However, in Excel 2016, when I press enter on the file after unblocking it, Excel opens and NVDA can see nothing. A “Say all” command revealed a page of choices of different worksheet types that could be launched but no sign of my worksheet. There was one option which invited me to open  without specifying a particular type of worksheet. I press that but still nothing appeared. On going to the File ribbon, I discovered the name of my would-be worksheet listed in the “Recents” list. When I pressed that item in the Recents list, the worksheet opened! I was then able to read it. I cannot see any way to open the worksheet from a file list as I used to with excel 2010. Has anyone any advice on this?


All the best,




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Quentin Christensen
Training Material Developer

Ph +61 7 3149 3306 
Direct: +61 413 904 383 
Twitter: @NVAccess 

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