Re: Free JAWS licence that was anounced today



Ah, talking about another brainchild of mine?

This add-on was named “Control Usage Assistant” as it is meant to emulate context-sensitive help functionality found in JAWS. The name is a bit vague, and that was intentional: at one point, I thought about expanding it to cover navigator objects, but decided against it due to complexity involved.

In recent months, Control Usage Assistant added ability to tell you help information for more specialized controls, such as search box in Start menu, table navigation and what not, along with adding a browse mode window to go with it. Perhaps I might as well make it more useful by providing touch-friendly and/or braille user centric messages.

By the way, Control Usage Assistant is part of a growing number of add-ons where a prospective NVDA feature shows up as an add-on first before going to NVDA:

I maintain a private (and publicly visible) branch on my NVDA source code repo where I work on NVDA Core version of Control Usage Assistant i.e. built-in context-sensitive help functionality. Other add-ons that have gone through this route include significant parts of Windows 10 App Essentials, right mouse click gesture and touch typing toggle from Enhanced Touch Gestures, the entirety of Focus Highlight and Screen Curtain (maybe majority of Focus Highlight, I believe), among others (the opposite (i.e. something that was part of NVDA but now an add-on) did occur as well).

For those wishing to learn NVDA add-on development (after learning Python, of course): source code for my add-ons may look similar to NVDA’s own source code because I adhere to coding style guidelines from NV Access. I also include comments throughout the code so folks (including I) can understand what’s up. To keep things on topic, you can take a look at Control Usage Assistant add-on source code at:

P.S. If you want to know how complex an add-on source code can become, take a look at source code for add-ons such as NVDA Remote, Developer Toolkit, StationPlaylist, and Add-on Updater (Add-on Updater is mine).




From: <> On Behalf Of hurrikennyandopo ...
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2020 11:31 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Free JAWS licence that was anounced today


Hi Quentin,

RE: Control usage assistant addon

Is the type of addon they are looking for, like the control usage assistant? In short what it does, is if you press the NVDA key and the letter H it will tell you what the focused element does. For example, if focused on a button, and you press Insert + H then you might hear "press the Enter key or spacebar". If focused on an element it will tell you what to do, and then you can press the Esc key. It works with NVDA 2019.3.1 but I have not tried it on 2020.1 beta yet as I have only just downloaded it.

When you are focused on an element, as you press Insert + H it will say "control usage assistant" every time and then give the relevant details for that focused object.

I think that if he suppresses NVDA from saying "control usage assistant" every time it wouldn't get annoying after a few times.

A general comment that I have is that the name is not necessarily readily identifiable as to what it does. It hints at usage and hints at assistant but I was not sure why the word control was used initially? When looking on the next page to see what it does, it explains it as an assistant for the focused control that you are on. Perhaps it could be called "focused control assistant". Also, should a brief one liner on the main addon page be added underneath each addon so that people have a better idea of what each addon is for before clicking on each one to find out what it does.


RE: Tip of the day addon

Another addon is tip of the day. It will give you little tips on how to use NVDA, but it has not been updated to work with NVDA 2019.3.1 and beyond. 



I used to install it on computers where the person was a new user when nvda was installed onto there computer.

I think Deric was the guy who made it. I can not remember what the last version of nvda it worked on maybe 2019.2.1??? or earlier?

That add on would be worth updating to work with a very new user to nvda.


Gene NZ

On 24/03/2020 1:22 pm, Quentin Christensen wrote:

I'm happy to explore the idea of hints or more help for new users if those with ideas on that want to contact me.


The open source being insecure argument is being disproved even more with every passing week.  Did you know 20% of code created for US government organisations now has to be open source?  Or that if you use a Windows computer, it includes open source code?  I've recently updated our Corporate and Government page to include more info on that:


Re the idea that NVDA is inferior because of the price, perhaps expressing it differently would help?  EG it is not that NVDA costs less to make than other programs, or is made with less care and attention.  Rather, that in creating a product which actually meets the needs of its audience, we have looked at not only the technical requirements of the software itself, but also the fact that the majority of blind people around the world have less access to education, employment and income, therefore, what good is a solution which meets the technical need but is inaccessible due to the prohibitive financial burden unnecessarily placed on end users?  NV Access have pursued a funding model which means we get the majority of our income from corporations like Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, etc, rather than the end user.  Therefore, NVDA is the most ethical screen reader available.





On Tue, Mar 24, 2020 at 9:17 AM Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

On Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 04:57 PM, Devin Prater wrote:

but they understand the iPhone quickly, and JAWS too

I disagree with this statement, particularly with regard to JAWS.  I've been tutoring for years for JAWS, and I have yet to have a client understand it quickly, and that's even for folks who were very sophisticated Windows users prior to losing their site.

I had one client (and, yes, I know that one is not a valid sample) who could use the iPhone very proficiently, including VoiceOver, but who could never master the rotor (and not secondary to any motor issues).

After decades in IT one of the claims, about anything technology-related, that instantly makes me cringe is, "It's intuitive."   There is no such thing as a very highly featured system that is intuitive in any meaningful sense of that word.   Some are easier than others to get the hang of the basics, but all require intensive practice to master even the subset of non-basic commands a given user might use.   Microsoft Word is the perfect example of that.  It's dirt simple to create a dirt simple document, but when you start going beyond that, things get complicated and you can end up "in the weeds" with unbelievable speed if you try to guess what you need to do.

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1909, Build 18363  

Power is being told you're not loved and not being destroyed by it.

       ~ Madonna





Quentin Christensen
Training and Support Manager


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