Great add-ons! Many thanks.
Just one issue: Can the NVDA+j
key be reassigned by the user, or am I missing it? It
conflicts with another add-on that I am using, NVDA Global
Commands Extension, so I cannot currently use the BrowserNav
add-on. It would be very helpful if you can make it possible
for that key to be reassigned.
Happy new year, everyone!
I present new features and improvements
to my add-ons. This is a pretty long email, so I marked
sections as level 1 and level 2 headings for ease of
navigation. Any feedback and suggestions are welcome!
The most exciting new
feature is support of bookmarks. You can now configure
bookmarks and this simplifies navigation around websites
that you frequently use. Bookmarks can be configured
either for a specific URL or for the entire domain.
Bookmark itself can be configured either as matching text
on the page, or a regular expression. There are many more
options to customize bookmarks, please refer to github
page for a full list of options.
There are four types of bookmarks in
Once they are configured, you can find
and jump to them by pressing either J or Shift+J in browse
mode. BrowserNav comes with default configuration that you
can use as an example of configuring bookmarks, and that
example includes some QuickJump bookmarks for amazon.com:
you can jump to “5 items in cart”, “Your Orders”, “4.5 out
of 5 stars” – these are just examples of information that
I often need to find on Amazon pages while shopping, but
you can of course configure your own bookmarks.
These are not really bookmarks, but
rather you can configure BrowserNav to skip certain text
while navigating either by paragraph (with
Control+Up/Down) or by line (with Up/Down). Most common
example of this is skipping blank lines – and this one is
included in the default configuration. Other examples can
include skipping timestamps or frequently repeated
elements on the webpage (think of repeating buttons on
Facebook website: Reply, React, Like, …). SkipClutter mode
can be turned off temporarily when you do want to access
those elements by pressing / or Control+/.
These are similar to QuickJump
bookmarks, but instead of jumping to bookmark, you can
click buttons or links without moving your cursor. For
example, on youtube.com you might want to have an easy way
to play/pause video. In fact this QuickClick bookmark is
included in the default configuration for reference. So,
you just need to press Alt+J to click all QuickClick
bookmarks on the page. Another example of where I find
QuickClick especially useful is expanding collapsed
elements of the page, e.g. on Facebook you might want to
automatically expand links “See more”, “View 5 more
Many websites (e.g., reddit, hacker
news) show user comments as a tree where each successive
level of reply is indented more and more to the right.
Hierarchical bookmarks is the most convenient way to
browse such comment trees for screenreader users.
BrowserNav can announce the level of current comment, or
alternatively, you can jump to next/previous comment of a
given level, similar to built-in function of jumping to
heading of given level. You just need to capture some
element of a comment in a bookmark (such as upvote or
downvote buttons) and BrowserNav will automatically
compute levels based on horizontal offset of each match. I
have included sample configuration for hacker news and old
reddit. You can try it yourself once you have BrowserNav
Old reddit: https://old.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/rt91z6/exchange_2019_antimalware_bad_update/
Hacker news: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29756714
Alt+` or Alt+Shift+`: jump to
next/previous comment and announce its level.
Alt+1 or Alt+Shift+1: jumpt to
next/previous comment at level 1.
Alt+2 or Alt+Shift+2: jumpt to
next/previous comment at level 2.
Alt+number or Alt+Shift+number:
jumpt to next/previous comment at corresponding level.
Please note that in both
reddit and hacker news the bookmark also matches the
original post. As a result, on reddit original post
corresponds to level 2, so all the comments have levels
1,3,4,5 …. Skipping level 2.
Configuring websites and bookmarks
Press NVDA+J to open
BrowserNav popup menu. Here you can configure websites and
bookmarks. For ease of use I added options to create a new
entry for current website, and create a new bookmark from
All websites and
bookmarks can also be configured via NVDA > Preferences
> Settings dialog.
There are a few options that can be
configured on per website level:
Block focus events: some websites
misuse focus events: e.g. they focus some elements when
trying to scroll, thus making the website hard or
impossible to use for screenreader users. You can disable
handling of focus events for such websites. In this case
focus events will be ignored and your cursor will not jump
Block live region announcements.
Similarly, some websites misuse live regions. BrowserNav
allows to selectively block them.
Auto QuickClick. Once you
configured QuickClick bookmarks on a
website, you can tell BrowserNav to click those bookmarks
automatically when website is fully loaded.
Vertical navigation (via
NVDA+Alt+Up/Down commands) now works much faster in
Chromium-based browsers and Firefox.
Recap of other BrowserNav functions
Vertical navigation: allows to
find objects on a web page that are directly underneath by
Navigation by font size: allows
to find text written in the same font size or font style.
More QuickNav commands: jump to
next menu(Z), tab(Y), dialog(P), etc.
I am aware of Placemarkers add-on
existence. BrowserNav bookmarks is however different in
many ways: more flexible website definition, more flexible
bookmark definition, more functionality around different
types of bookmarks. I know NVDA community is typically
wary of add-ons that are similar in functionality, but I
didn’t have any intention to compete against PlaceMarkers.
The function of regular expression search was in
BrowserNav since many years ago and developing proper
bookmarks was a natural extension of it. It would also be
totally impractical for me to upgrade Placemarkers add-on,
since the changes that I implemented would require
rewriting probably 90% of Placemarkers, so this is not
I can split off bookmarks into a
separate add-on if there is enough interest. As long as
community doesn’t mind given concerns of being too similar
to Placemarks add-on.
Tony’s Enhancements v1.13
This add-on is a
hodgepodge of different NVDA improvements and this time I
added a few interesting ones.
Triggered by pressing NVDA+Alt+S you
can enable sound split: when using stereo headphones this
would make all NVDA sounds to go to right channel, while
all application sounds will go to left channel (or vice
versa). This could be handy if you have to attend long and
boring meetings over VC. Additionally you can adjust NVDA
volume and applications volume separately via
NVDA+Control+PageUp/PageDown and NVDA+Alt+PageUp/PageDown
Many people on NVDA mailing list
complained that there was no good way in NVDA to copy a
table from a webpage. Now there is a way! Press NVDA+Alt+T
while on a table and you’ll be presented with a few
options: you can either copy the whole table, or current
row or column. The table will be copied with preserving
formatting information about its cells, so that you can
paste it into Microsoft Word or any other rich text
editor, and it will still appear as a table.
Experimental mouse click and mouse scroll scripts
I noticed that existing NVDA mouse
click scripts don’t always work. In particular I found
cases when NVDA+NumPadDivide keystroke doesn’t bring mouse
cursor over the link that I would like to click. These
scripts are my attempt to solve this. The feature is
experimental, in the sense that there are still cases
where it doesn’t work as expected. Yet it already can be
very useful in some cases, so I decided to still include
it in the release. Keystrokes:
moves mouse pointer to current object, clicks left/right
mouse button, then moves mouse pointer back to where it
was. Additionally it tries to check if there are any other
windows on the way (e.g. topmost windows) and tries to get
them out of the way.
mouse pointer over current object and scroll up/down. This
can be useful to load more content in infinite scroll
Alt+NumPadDelete: move mouse
pointer to top left corner of the screen. This can be
useful for websites that make excessive use of mouse hover
information to show popup windows.
Recap of other functions of Tony’s enhancements
Enhanced table navigation
commands, such as jump to first/last row/column.
Automatic language switching
based on Unicode character set.
QuickSearch – similar to
BrowserNav QuickJump bookmark, but works in text editors.
Dynamic keystrokes: allows to
configure announcing current line after certain
Showing and hiding any
Detecting insert/overwrite mode
in text editors to prevent accidentally overwriting text.
Adjusting system priority of NVDA
process for better responsiveness.
Bluetooth Audio v1.4
Bluetooth audio fixes
quality of audio by playing either silence or soft white
noise as long as NVDA is active. Many Bluetooth headphones
and speakers enter standby mode after a few seconds of
inactivity. Then when NVDA speaks next utterance, the
first word or two might be lost. Bluetooth Audio prevents
these devices from entering standby mode by keeping audio
stream open and constantly playing some sound. In fact,
Bluetooth audio has been reported to improve audio quality
on other types of audio devices: RF wireless headphones
and even some wired speakers. It can also get rid of
crackling noise on some devices.
The previous version of
Bluetooth Audio could only play silence. As a result, it
was hard to tell whether it is working or not. In fact, it
seems that it wasn’t working, or at least not always
working – one of NVDA updates in 2020 seems to have broken
it, and even I didn’t catch it. To avoid this in the
future I added an option to play soft white noise instead
of silence, so that you can hear when Bluetooth audio is
working. Another feature I added is dynamically changing
output device when NVDA configuration changes – previously
that required a restart.
IndentNav is primarily
designed for software developers, and it allows better
navigation around indented source code files in text
editors. This new version works much faster, especially in
VSCode. Here are some keystrokes to try (please read
github page for a complete list):
NVDA+Alt+Up/Down: jump to
next/previous line with the same indentation level within
NVDA+Alt+Left/Right: jump to
parent/first child line, where parent and child are
defined as line with lesser/greater indentation level.
NVDA+Control+I: select current
block (e.g. function).
NVDA+V: indent-paste, that is
paste with adjusting indentation level of clipboard
content to match current line.
Phonetic punctuation v1.6
Phonetic punctuation allows to replace
punctuation marks with auditory icons (earcons). In
general, it allows to replace any regular expression
configured substring with an auditory icon, which can be
great for getting rid of timestamps and other frequently
repeated fragments. It also allows to change prosody
parameters for parts of speech, but only a few
synthesizers support this. This new version allows to
adjust volume of each individual auditory icon and has
WordNav provides more
advanced scripts to navigate by word. It replaces built in
Control+Left/Right keystrokes with custom scripts. It
makes behavior of these keystrokes consistent across all
applications and adds multiple options on its behavior.
In this last version I
spent quite some time to work around Google Chrome bug in its IAccessible
implementation, but in the end I made it to work
correctly in Chrome.
SentenceNav allows to
navigate by sentence via Alt+Up/Down keystrokes. This new
version includes some bugfixes.
TextNav allows you to
find the beginning of article, that is readable text
written in complete sentences, on any webpage. You can
automatically skip most of the clutter, such as menus,
images, metadata and ads on webpages. Works by pressing
Alt+Shift+Down/Up keys. This latest version only updates
Console toolkit v1.2
This add-on provides
some additional features for console application, such as
Windows command prompt and Windows Terminal. This new
version adds better support for Putty. Here are some
Control+V can now be used for
Speech becomes more real-time in
a console that actively prints new messages.
You can edit current command by
pressing NVDA+e in an accessible window.
Versions have not been updated on
the official NVDA add-ons website yet. I sent a pull
request, and it is subject to approval by NVAccess. Until
then, feel free to download latest versions using links I
All the add-ons were tested with
NVDA alpha build 24399. Some compatibility issues have
been fixed, however, it is still possible that something
will change and compatibility will break again by the time
NVDA 2022 is released. The author however has very limited
time to work on add-ons, in fact the only time of year
when I have time to maintain my add-ons is the winter
break around Christmas and New Year. So, I release my
add-ons as is. I might try to find some time to fix
compatibility mid-year, but I cannot commit to it. Which
brings me to my second point:
Volunteers needed. I currently
have 9 add-ons and they require some maintenance and as my
life gets more and more busy every year, I am struggling
to find time for that, while users ask for compatibility,
translations, etc. I don’t want to let my users down. So,
I’m looking for someone who is familiar with add-on
development process to help me with that. Please contact
me off-list if you’re interested. Typical maintenance
tasks are: dealing with compatibility flags and releases,
dealing with translations, optionally fixing bugs.