Searching the NVDA Group Archive


Believe it or not, has made searching the group archive easier than it once was as far as plowing through search results go, so I have updated the document, Searching the NVDA Group Archive (MS-Word format), the text of which follows.

My problem is that I really cannot know what "table traversal method" any given individual might use and prefer, so I don't get really specific on that aspect.  I have never received any feedback (which I'd appreciate either on this topic or by using the Reply to Sender link at the bottom of this message to reply to me privately) from anyone, so if you use them and find something that you found difficult to follow or have other suggestions for improvement please share them.

Searching the Group Archive

Option 1 – Using the Archive Search Page

1.        Navigate to the archive search page:

2.      Enter your search terms in the Search edit box:  [term1 term2 term3] without the square brackets, as an example.  Remember that if you want a specific phrase, you must enclose the words of that phrase inside quotation marks.  Searching for [bash terminal] will get you topics containing bash, or terminal, or bash terminal, while searching for [“bash terminal”] with the quotes will only get topics with the exact phrase “bash terminal” in them.

3.       Activate the Search button.

4.      Results list will be returned in the form of a web table of messages by default.  If you prefer to have it presented as a web table of topics, which will be significantly shorter to plow through, then:

a.      Activate the Tools button.

b.      Check the Collapse Topics checkbox.  You’re probably done, but for additional options see step 4c, otherwise, go to step 5.

c.       If you so desire there are additional options, a dropdown that allows you to limit the date range for the messages, which defaults to Any Time, a checkbox for Exclude signatures, which will omit signature text from the search, and a Clear button, which will set all of the previously mentioned additional options back to their defaults:  Any time and both checkboxes unchecked.

5.      Use your screen reader’s option for traversing a web table (T in both NVDA and JAWS will throw focus to the table).  Once you have focus on the web table, use your screen reader’s options for navigating a table (for NVDA users, you should consider getting the Easy Table Navigator add-on, which makes table traversal easier using the arrow keys).  Note:  the first column in each row of the table is an empty place holder, it’s what you jump to right afterward that’s the meat of the matter.  Each message (or topic, if you collapsed to topic view) is presented as a link, so if you want to quickly jump from result to result, use your screen reader’s link commands.  Immediately after the link for the message is another column with a brief snippet of the actual message, followed by the link to the member profile of the member who posted the message or started the topic.  Depending on what you’re trying to find the most quickly will determine what table traversal strategy you use.  I personally find either tabbing through the table or using the unvisited link command jumps you through all the search results most rapidly for initial review.  Once you’ve landed on an item of interest, you can look at the additional columns related to that entry more closely.

6.      Activating the link for a specific message (or topic) will open that message (or topic) for reading.  If you’re opening a topic, you’ll have a web table presented again that is a list of all the existing messages in a topic, you’d navigate that via table navigation.  If you’re opening a single message, it’s still presented in web table format, but there’s only one row, so using the table quick navigation shortcut, tabbing into the message, then reading as you wish to is the fastest way to get through a single message.  It requires some practice with the search results to find out what is the best way for you to review them.  There are multiple paths one might take through the search results.


Option 2 – Using the web search engine of your choosing

1.        Navigate to the page of the search engine of your choosing, e.g., Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, etc.

2.      In the edit box for your search terms, put in the keywords (or quote enclosed phrases) you’re looking for first.  Immediately follow those with exactly this,    That tells the search engine to limit itself to searching the site that immediately follows the site: operator (no space after that colon).  Run the search.   If you prefer, you can put the site: operator at the beginning of your search terms rather than at the end.  It’s just got to be in there somewhere.

3.       Use your screen reader’s option for showing a list of headings, as all web search engines I have used return the individual web pages returned as a list of headings.  Review those headings to review what’s been returned.  You can also use the single letter navigation command for headings (typically H) to jump from heading to heading [result to result].


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

If you think that you can think about a thing, inextricably attached to something else, without thinking of the thing it is attached to, then you have a legal mind.

        ~ Thomas Reed Powell


Join to automatically receive all group messages.