Re: appending to clipboard instead of just copying to clipboard?


Hi all,

For those new to what Brian wrote below: information blackout, at least for me, is inability to obtain crucial information for the right medium at the right moment.

As for quirks with clipboard history and system focus, one way I worked around it is looking for UIA window open event – in some cases, when a new window opens, controls send appropriate events. Thankfully emoji panel, clipboard history, and such does raise UIA window open event, and depending on what’s showing, NVDA will announce appropriate item – first selected emoji, top clipboard item, etc. Making matters complicated is that modern keyboard interface will raise UIA property change event to communicate name changes to NVDA and other screen readers, and announcing it is the strategy employed by Narrator, and to some extent, JAWS. NVDA does not follow this strategy much (and this is intentional) for consistent experience with similar controls – emoji panel is a grid, while clipboard history is a list (this is why when you use modern keyboard with NVDA, you’ll hear position information). Close to half of modern keyboard app module source code is devoted to this task.

For sake of completeness, here’s what actually happens when you press Windows+period or Windows+V:

  1. File Explorer will raise a window open event (this is the case in Version 1903 and later). NVDA will notice this and queue a “window open” event on the top-level modern keyboard window.
  2. NVDA will look at which part of modern keyboard is showing (each component ships with a specific Automation Id, a string that uniquely identifies a screen element).
  3. Depending on what is showing, NVDA will locate the first item to be announced by doing automatic object navigation.
  4. Because modern keyboard is an overlay window, NVDA will not steal system focus. Instead, the item found will become a navigator object.
  5. NVDA will then announce the appropriate item according to how it is supposed to announce it.


I think we should devote a separate future thread on modern keyboard mechanics.





From: <> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Tuesday, November 3, 2020 8:20 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] appending to clipboard instead of just copying to clipboard?


On Tue, Nov 3, 2020 at 05:11 AM, Joseph Lee wrote:

Unlike things such as Action Center, clipboard history is really an overlay window, so it will try its best to not steal system focus and caret.

And from a design perspective, that puts up a situation where, as I've said earlier in other contexts, it's impossible for a screen reader to "be looking at two things at once."  One of my Gmail tutorials gets into this with a control that appears at the same time as something else, and that something else is what ends up getting initial focus and you'd never know the new control is there unless you can see it or are willing to traverse the entire page by brute force.

Trying to decide how to shift focus "without losing your place" has got to be more than a bit of a challenge.  It seems to me that mouse-over blurbs and this situation with Clipboard History have at least a little in common.

I don't envy trying to make the decisions necessary to solve some of these "where should I focus" and where is the system focusing conundrums.  That is one of the inherent problems when trying to access a medium designed for one sensory modality, sight, via a substitute.  You've put it best, Joseph, with your coinage of the term "information blackout" secondary to the fact that a screen reader can't deal with multiple changes presented simultaneously with any kind of ease.  And you are the one who made me realize just how much those of us with sight take in the entire visual field of "the screen" as a whole, picking up on changes that occur because they are state changes from "the normal."  It's not that this information cannot be accessed at all, but no matter what one chooses to do as far as "who goes first" that means everything else is in a black box, and the timing of dealing with it is broken up into some arbitrary way.

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

It’s hard waking up and realizing it’s not always black and white.

     ~ Kelley Boorn


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