Re: NVDA not reading table in MSWord

Quentin Christensen

Hi Cearbhall,

Just replied to your message on the Win10 group.  I'll repost what I wrote there here just as it may be useful to anyone in this group not in that group, but I see it is a confidential document so that answers my question about sharing it with me.

It could be in Protected view if you're opening it from an email attachemnt.  By default Word shows those files in "Read mode" which is really annoying to navigate.  In the reply below I noted how to get around that if it is the issue.  Ok what follows is my original reply:

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 7:06 AM, Cearbhall O'Meadhra <cearbhall.omeadhra@...> wrote:



Yes, I have found that that is the most efficient way to get around the problem. NVDA reads the tables in adobe perfectly with the read cell commands. However, it cannot set row and column headers as that command does not appear to be available in Adobe.


All the best,




m +353 (0)833323487 Ph: _353 (0)1-2864623 e: cearbhall.omeadhra@...




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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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