Re: edit user guide

Quentin Christensen

Just to throw my own 2c in here on some of the raised points:

- I agree, and I would say it is our official NV Access policy that the User Guide is primarily for NVDA features (and thus generally only lists NVDA shortcut keys).  As noted, there are some instances where referencing the general Windows keystroke helps in explaining how NVDA works in that situation.  The one instance (aside from braille key mappings) where alt+tab is mentioned in the User Guide is a good example of this in Section 5.2, Navigating with the System Focus: "The most common way of navigating around Windows with NVDA is to simply move the system focus using standard Windows keyboard commands, such as pressing tab and shift+tab to move forward and back between controls, pressing alt to get to the menu bar and then using the arrows to navigate menus, and using alt+tab to move between running applications. As you do this, NVDA will report information about the object with focus, such as its name, type, value, state, description, keyboard shortcut and positional information. When Visual Highlight is enabled, the location of the current system focus is also exposed visually."  Similarly, in the Excel section of the User Guide, we mention the Excel shortcut key of shift+f2, as NVDA overrides the default behaviour of that keystroke to display an accessible interface for editing cell notes.

- When looking for the shortcut keys for Excel (or any other specific program), you should first look to either the user guide, manual or training for that program, or in the case of Office programs like Excel, NV Access also have training material.

A web search for "microsoft excel shortcut keys" or similar, readily finds Microsofts own documentation here:

While the point that it can be difficult to know whether there is a program keystroke or an NVDA keystroke to do something, NV Access' philosophy is that where a program (or Windows) provides an accessible way to do something, we generally won't interfere with that or provide a different way, so I would first check, does Excel have a keystroke to get to the last occupied cell in a column of data?  To use Pranav's example from earlier in the thread.  Certainly CONTROL+ARROWS are useful in many situations - to jump to the start and end of data in Excel, to move by word or paragraph in Word, and so on.  But if we mentioned every possible useful keyboard shortcut, it would make the user guide extremely long, probably regularly out of date as such third party keystrokes changed, and a nightmare for translators.  I used to have a document of "500 Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts".  I wouldn't like to see all of those included in the User Guide!

Should you have knowledge of Windows before using NVDA?  It's certainly not mandatory, but it depends on how you are learning to use Windows / NVDA.  The User Guide is not designed as a training manual, that is why we wrote the Basic Training for NVDA module.  It doesn't assume prior knowledge of Windows and walks you through from the basics.  The User Guide really is designed as a reference ONLY to NVDA itself.


On Thu, Apr 8, 2021 at 9:48 AM Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:
On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 07:07 PM, Luke Davis wrote:
Worse, as I understand it, sometimes Jaws, et al have created their own versions of Windows shortcut commands, which just muddies the waters.
Even though this is not a JAWS group, I'm giving myself a personal dispensation to say this:  The "virtual ribbon" is the worst possible crutch ever foist upon those who are screen reader users.

You need to know how to use the ecosystem as it exists, period, end of sentence.  And when the UI changes, you change.  The fact that we have people whining about the ribbon interface in 2021 makes me want to scream.  It's here to stay, it's just a menu with a slightly different access method, and you (the generic you) had darned well ought to know how to use it without any need for something to make it behave differently than it already does, because it's 100% accessible.

I also hate when people remap Windows keyboard shortcuts except in the rarest of circumstances.  I have seen far too many who've done this forget that they have done this, and what they've done it for, placed in front of a stock Windows system with their screen reader of choice and be unable to do lots of basic things because they have no idea of the native keyboard shortcuts.

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Always remember others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them.  And then you destroy yourself.

       ~ Richard M. Nixon


Quentin Christensen
Training and Support Manager

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