NVDA tutorials for Windows 10

The following tutorials will cover some Windows 10 basics (to help get you up and running with Windows 10).

After upgrading to Windows 10, you may wish to make some changes. The following tutorials contain some of the things you might like to do.

Training material and phone support for NVDA from the NV Access online shop

Are you aware that NV Access have put together an online Shop where you can buy training material for the NVDA screen reader?
You can also get phone support.


Please stay tuned for more training material as it becomes available.
For more information please visit the NV Access Online Shop at the following link https://www.nvaccess.org/shop/

NVDA expert certification

To find an NVDA certified expert near you, please visit the following link https://certification.nvaccess.org/. The certification page contains the official list of NVDA certified individuals from around the world, who have sat and successfully passed the NVDA expert exam.

Have you got a good grasp on the NVDA screen reader? Have you got what it takes to sit the NVDA expert exam? You can test your knowledge for free. If you pass the exam in the required time frame, then you can purchase an official certificate and be acknowledged on the above webpage under the list of worldwide NVDA experts.

Find out about NVDA progress via the nvaccess In Process blog

To find out what is happening within the NVDA project, visit “In-Process” - the new NV Access blog, where you can be informed of happenings within the organisation, staff and of course, NVDA.
http://www.nvaccess.org/category/in-process/

NVDA related webpages


NVDA tutorials

NVDA screen
reader



NVDA road tested
programs


NVDA tutorials
learning the basics


How to install additional
NVDA components


NVDA
Frequently
Asked Questions



NVDA addons


Accessible email client
Mozilla Thunderbird



How to make Open Office
and Libre Office accessible


NVDA audio tutorials

nvaccess home of the
NVDA screen reader

NVDA user statistics

NVDA community
website


Migrating to NVDA from
another screen reader


nvaccess facebook page

nvaccess on twitter

Connect with the
NVDA Community


NVDA tutorials
for other programs

NVDA promotional video

To listen to an NVDA promotional video online, please click on the following link http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qOQ7zELFmLE Please also feel free to pass this link onto others who may wish to know more about the project.

Before listening to / or looking at the following tutorials, please make sure you have downloaded a copy of the NVDA screen reader. To get the latest copy, please visit http://www.nvaccess.org/ and go to the downloads link. Download the programme and set it up. Down the track, if you feel you have benefited from NVDA, then donations (no matter how big or small) are always welcome to keep the project free for everyone!

Announcement email list

If you would like to know when there is a release of NVDA (or just to keep up to date with what is happening with the project from time to time), you can join the NVDA announcement email list. It can be found on the NVaccess website at http://www.nvaccess.org/news/ When you are there, jump down by headings (by pressing the letter H) to a heading called News by email, and sign your self up to keep up to date with what is happening.

Commonly used key combinations to start, exit and alter NVDA settings

The following commands are essential to know in order to be able to start, exit and alter NVDA settings.
Ctrl + Alt + N will start NVDA (installer version only).
Insert + N will get you into your preferences menu (where you can make changes or access the user manual).
Ins + Q will exit NVDA (this is for both the installer and portable versions).
Please note: Where it refers to the NVDA key in the user manual, this can be the Insert key, the extended Insert key, or the Caps Lock key.key. It is also known as a modifier key. (For example, if the Insert key is used as the modifier key, then you press Insert + the letter Q to quit NVDA. If however you chose your Caps Lock key to be your modifier key, then it would be Caps Lock + the letter Q to quit).

Is upgrading to Windows 10 something that's been on your mind?

For a limited time (until the free Windows 10 upgrade offer ends on July 29th, 2016) you can upgrade from either a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 computer to Windows 10. Your computer will have to meet the specifications first that Windows 10 requires. You will need NVDA 2015.3 and above to go up to Windows 10.

Upgrading to Windows 10 Using NVDA (courtesy of Shaun Preece and Cool Blind Tech)

If you are considering upgrading from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 to Windows 10, Shaun Preece (from Cool Blind Tech) has released a podcast on how to update your version of Windows. The podcast is done using Windows 8.1 and is a step by step audio guide as to what you can expect when using NVDA to upgrade to Windows 10.

To listen to Shaun's podcast, please go to the following link https://www.coolblindtech.com/upgrading-to-windows-10-using-nvda/

A glance at Windows 10 with NVDA

The following tutorial takes a glance at Windows 10 with NVDA. If you are considering upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, the tutorial takes a brief look at Windows 10 so that you know what to expect when (or if) you do finally upgrade.  To listen to the audio tutorial please visit the following link
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ll73f1obde6qgk9/A%20glance%20at%20Windows%2010%20with%20NVDA.MP3?dl=0

Useful shortcuts for Windows

One of the things you will find very useful in Windows is knowing the shortcuts for various programs. Knowing a shortcut or two will save you a lot of time looking for the menu that you use frequently. There is a list of shortcuts (including Windows 10) linked to a drop box account that you can download at https://www.dropbox.com/s/r0hc0ejv9whgsgs/Useful%20shortcuts.zip?dl=0

Starting the Ease of access centre, Narrator or Magnifier in Windows 10

There might be times when you need to use the Windows magnifier, Narrator or even the ease of access centre to setup your accessibility preferences in Windows. This might be in the case that the text is too small and you need magnification to see what is on the screen. Narrator (Windows basic screen reader) can help you to get another screen reader going from off a USB drive. There are other options in this section you can also choose from.

Ease of access centre

If you would like to bring up the Ease of Access centre (where you can choose your accessibility preferences), you can use the Windows key + the letter U. 

Under this section there are different accessibility options you can choose from such as narrator, magnifier, high contrast, close captions, settings keyboard, mouse, and other options.  Press the Enter key on the option you want, then, tab through that section for other options. If you miss a setting, you can also Shift + Tab back to it.

Please note: If you are using a screen reader in these sections, you might have to use the Enter key to go into a section; use the Tab and Shift Tab keys to go between sections of that application; the Spacebar or Enter key on buttons; the Alt key + down arrow key for a combo box; and the Spacebar to check a check box. Please note: sometimes you may need to press Alt + Tab to bring the application into focus (for example when using Windows Magnifier or Narrator).

Magnifier

If you would like to use the Windows magnifier (without going through the ease of access centre) you could use the Windows key + the +(plus) key on the numeric keypad.

This could be used if you need your screen magnified. The Windows magnifier will do from 1 to 4 times magnification.

When the magnifier comes up, you will be given some options such as: zoom out, zoom in, view, options and help.  You can Tab and Shift Tab with a screen reader in this section. Under the view button, when pressed, it will give you the following options: full screen, lens, docked tab, preview full screen tab. Press the Enter key on the option you want to use.

Under the Options button, you will be given the following options: Set how much the view changes when zooming in or out: 100%; Turn on colour inversion; Tracking follow the mouse pointer; Follow the keyboard focus; Have Magnifier follow the text insertion point; Fine tune what my screen fonts look like link; and Control whether Magnifier starts when I sign in link.

You can set the magnifier to load when Windows starts.

Narrator

If you would like to use Narrator without going through the ease of access centre you can use the Windows key + the Enter key.

This may be in a case where you need to get another screen reader up and running on that computer, or trying to sort out what has happened if your screen reader has stopped talking.

When this key combination is used, Narrator will come up speaking. You will also be given other options to change to your preference. For example General, change how Narrator starts and other standard settings; Navigation, change how you interact with your PC using Narrator; Voice, change the speed, pitch or volume of the current voice or choose a new voice; Commands, create your own keyboard commands; Minimize this window and return to your app; Exit Narrator; get help link.

To close out of any of these sections if running you can use the Alt key + the F4 key.

Adding a Windows OneCore TTS voice to your PC in Windows 10

In the current master snapshot (that will be incorporated into the upcoming NVDA 2017.3 release) or later, you will be able to use the Microsoft OneCore voices with NVDA.

The Windows 10 creators update version of Windows 1703 was used to see some of the voices available.

Steps

Press the Windows Start button. In the search box type reg and from the results select Region & language settings, System settings then press the Enter key.

Next, tab until you locate Add a language, then press the Enter key. Search for the language you wish to add. You can use the right and left arrow keys to do this. Choose the language you would like to add from the list of search results (for example English) then press the Enter key on it. If you choose English, press the Enter key and it will come up with some more results. You can use the right and left arrow keys to pick a language (for example Irish under the English section). Press the Enter key on this. When you choose a language, you’ll be taken back to the Region & Language settings page. You may have to tab down a couple of times to get to the list of languages. These can be arrowed through. Select the language you would like to use (for example Irish) and press the Enter key.

Select the language you just added, and then press the Enter key. Next, tab until you select Options, then press the Enter key again.

Under Download language pack, select the Download button. This is the first option if it is there. NVDA will only say download, so you might have to use object navigation to confirm it is the speech one. Use the NVDA key + 4 on the numeric keypad to do this, then go back to the download button then press the Enter key.

After the download is complete

You will then need to bring up the synth settings in NVDA with the Ctrl key + NVDA key + the letter S. When it appears, arrow down to the Windows OneCore voice synth, then press the Enter key.

After this has been done, you will need to go to the voice settings section in NVDA with the Ctrl key + NVDA key + the letter V.  It should automatically land on variant. Select your new voice using the down or up arrow keys. You can then save your settings if you are happy with the voice.

Please note

Not all language packs will have a download button to get a Windows OneCore voice. They might only have language packs etcetera.

Removing it from your computer

Locate where the list of languages have been downloaded to, select the one you want to remove (with the down or up arrow keys), then press the Enter key. You will need to tab a couple of times until you get to the remove button, then press the Enter key. Now when you go back to the list it has been removed. This will only remove the language pack not the OneCore voice.

To sign in to User Account automatically

In this tutorial you will learn how to control the sign in of user directly into Local or Microsoft account at startup in Windows 10.

Are you logging into your computer each time you start Windows (for example entering in a username and password)? If you would like to, you can have Windows bypass this screen and go straight into Windows.

1. Press Windows + R keys and type netplwiz, click Ok to open User Accounts.

2. Select the User Name of the Microsoft account (email address) or local account that you want to have Windows automatically sign in to at startup.

3. Uncheck the “Users must enter a username and password to use this computer" box by pressing the spacebar, and then tab to Ok and press Enter.

4. Enter the password of the selected local account (or Microsoft password) and confirm password text box, and click on Ok.

The Windows Start menu

Tabbing around the Start menu

When the Windows key is pushed and NVDA lands in the search box, you can also tab around to see what is there. (For example you may hear account picture for your computer, places list, file explorer, show jump list, power button, all apps button and so on). You can also use the arrow keys.

Searching for a program or an app

When you push the Windows key the start menu will come up. NVDA will default to the search box. If you decide to type something into the search box, Windows will come up with a list of things that match that criteria. Then it is a matter of arrowing down the matches to find what you are looking for, then pressing the Enter key on it to select it. (For example in the search box after typing the letter W it may come up with matches like Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Writer and so on).

To find out what programs or apps are on your computer

When the Windows key is pushed, locate the all apps button, then press the Enter key. The following menu that comes up will have a list of all the apps on your machine. This will include both metro tiled apps as well as desktop apps. They will be categorised from numbers 0 to 9 to the letter A through to the letter Z. If you arrow up and down this section, you will hear them read out in letter categories. (For example all programs that start with the letter A, then B and so on).

Instead of arrowing through the list to the one you want after the list of apps has come up, you can push the Tab key. NVDA will say zero to nine. As you arrow down, you will hear NVDA say A grouping, B grouping and so on. Locate the letter you want, then press the Enter key twice. A list of all programs starting with that letter will come up, then it is a matter of arrowing down the list to the one you want. If you don’t hear NVDA say folder collapsed, NVDA will take you straight into that program. If you do hear NVDA say collapsed press the enter key and the folder will be expanded.  Then, it is a matter of arrowing down the menus given. Locate the menu you want then press the Enter key. You will be taken into whatever section it points to.

The other way you can do it (when the list of programs comes up) is after you press the Tab key and locate the letter you want - like the letter M - is to Shift/Tab once, and it will give you a list of all programs starting with the letter M. Tab once and you will be put back into the list going from zero to nine A to Z. NVDA will go back to the letter it was pointing to.

To close a program after you have gone into it, use the Alt key + the F4 key.

Tabbing around the desktop in Windows 10

Depending where NVDA lands on the screen after Windows loads, you can tab around the Desktop to hear the different sections spoken out. For example start button, search Windows button, taskview button, running applications notification chevron button, show desktop button and desktop list.

If you press the Shift/Tab key a few times, NVDA will take you in a clockwise direction around the desktop. Tabbing (without using the Shift key) will take you in an anti clockwise direction around the desktop.

From where the Start menu is on the far left (down the bottom) to the far right (down the bottom) where the clock is - this is called the Taskbar.

When you push the Windows key the start menu will come up. Here you can arrow up, down, left or right, or even tab in this section. To see what programs are on your computer, you will need to arrow to the all apps button, then press the Enter key. See above for more information.

Where you hear NVDA say running applications and it says the name of a program (like Microsoft edge), you can arrow left and right to pick the one you want, then press the Enter key to start that application. The Windows key + the letter T will quickly get you to this section.

The next time you tab it should land you on the notification area. This can be accessed quickly with the Windows key + the letter B. Then it is a matter of arrowing left or right to pick the application you want. In some cases the context menu key might be needed to open it. If you don’t have a context key on your keyboard, the shift key + the F10 key will do the same thing then pressing the Enter key.

If you hear a notification read out by NVDA, you can jump down to it quickly by using the Windows key + the letter A. NVDA will land on the Windows action centre. You can use your up and down arrow keys to see what is there.

Pin to start from the Desktop

Locate the program on the desktop you would like to pin to either the start menu or taskbar (for example Mozilla Firefox).

Next either use your context menu key or the shift + F10 key to bring up the context menu. Arrow down the menus until you hear NVDA say pin to start (p)  or pin to taskbar (k), then press the Enter key. Now the program is in the location you chose.

If you chose to do it from the all apps section where it gives you a whole list of programs on your computer, it may give you some other options. This may depend on the type of program it is (for example metro title app or desktop).

If you wanted to put Mozilla Thunderbird somewhere (which is a desktop program), locate it first under the all apps section. You could use the context menu on your keyboard to give you some options when pressed. If this key is not on your keyboard you can use the shift +F10 key to do the same. It may give you some options like pin to start, more, or uninstall. There may be more options under the more section (for example pin to taskbar).

Putting a new folder on your desktop

There are times you may want to put a new folder on your desktop.  This might be in the case of keeping all of your music, photos, books and so on, so they are kept tidy in one area.

To create a new folder on your desktop (if you are not already on it) use the Windows key + the letter D. Next, press the Ctrl key + the spacebar while on the desktop. You should hear NVDA say space not selected. Next press the context key on the keyboard and when the menus appear arrow down to the new menu, then right to the new folder menu, then press the Enter key. This will create a new folder on the desktop called New Folder. While it is highlighted, press the backspace key until there is no text to be read and type in the name of the folder. Press the Enter key, and now your folder has its new name (for example photos).

Creating a new folder on your C:\ drive or another drive

To create a new folder on your C:\ drive press the Windows key + the letter E to bring up the file explorer. Next, locate your C:\ drive, then press the Enter key. Press the Alt key until the file menu comes up. Make sure if you are going to create a new folder on the C:\ drive it is pointing to it first.

Press the Alt key until you hear NVDA say ribbon property page file. Now, tab until you hear NVDA say new folder button Alt 2. This is the shortcut to create a new folder. Press the Enter key then a new folder will be created. The folder will be called new folder and will be highlighted. Press the back space key until the text is gone, then give it a name (for example work photos). Now you have a new folder called what ever you called it. If you would like to make any more folders within this folder you created, you must go inside of the folder then make a new one inside of it. Just repeat the process for making a folder.

Restoring your Desktop icons

You may be used to having various shortcut icons on your Desktop such as this PC, Recycle Bin, Control Panel etcetera, but did you know that some of the shortcuts can be added if they are not there?

If you are back on the desktop and have noticed a particular icon is not there and you want it back on the desktop, this can easily be done.

Press the Windows key + the letter I. This will bring up the Windows settings section in Windows. You will be given some options. Locate the Personalization icon then press the Enter key. Arrow until you hear NVDA say themes then press the Enter key. Next, tab until you hear NVDA say Desktop icon settings then press the Enter key. You will now be given some options (such as Computer, User's Files, Network, Recycle Bin, Control Panel). You can arrow up or down this section if there are shortcuts/icons you want to put back on the desktop from this location. Press the spacebar on the ones you want. This will check the check box, so they can be added. After you have made your selection/s, tab to the apply button, then press the Enter key. Tab again until you hear NVDA say ok button, then press the Enter key. Now these shortcuts/icons will be on your desktop.

To listen to an audio tutorial on how to restore your previous desktop icons in Windows 10 (if they are missing after the upgrade) please click on the following link https://www.dropbox.com/s/v7yb1ordoih6rpd/How%20to%20restore%20previous%20desktop%20icons%20in%20Windows%2010%20.MP3?dl=0

Changing your sound settings under the Windows settings section

In Windows 10, there may be some sounds that you are missing that you are used to. If these are not enabled when using the computer, they might be able to be re-enabled again through the Windows setting section.

Press the Windows key + the letter I. Arrow to the Personalization icon, then press the Enter key. Next, arrow down until you hear NVDA say sound themes, then press the Enter key. Next, tab until you hear NVDA say Advanced sound settings, then press the Enter key. You will hear NVDA read out a message saying A sound theme is a set of sounds applied to events in Windows and programs.  You can select an existing scheme or save one that you have modified. You will also hear NVDA say Sound Scheme combo box: Windows Default (modified).   You can tab around this section to see what is here (for example save as, delete button, program events expanded, tree view expanded, play windows startup sound, ok button and so on). Tab around until you hear NVDA say program events tree view. You should be able to arrow up and down the section to make the choices you want in that scheme. When you have found a program event that you wish to modify the sound for, start tabbing and you will be given some options (for example maximize). Under sounds it will announce the name of the currently assigned sound, or say none if none are assigned.

You will hear NVDA say play windows startup sound checked, sounds combo box none. The second one is a combo box which can be changed from none to another sound under this section, or one can be chosen from the browse button (after pressing the Enter key on it). Make sure any changes you make are applied and saved. You can also save the sounds (with all of your modifications) as a new theme and call it something you like. At a later date the same scheme can also be deleted out.

Customizing your mouse settings

While you are in the Personalization/Themes section you might want to check out the Mouse pointer section. Here, you can (if you still have a bit of useful vision) have it so that when the mouse is moved, the Enable pointer shadow is enabled, or your mouse is enlarged or changed to another colour so it is easier to see. Make sure you check out some of the other sections under the mouse settings section in Windows. These will be buttons tab, pointers tab, pointer options tab, wheel tab and hardware. It is a matter of tabbing around under each section and customizing the mouse to your preferences (for example using mouse trails, enlarging your cursor and so on). Make sure you save your settings after your changes have been made.

Telling the difference between a desktop app and a metro tile app

You will notice when you go into some programs, you will not be able to access the menu that goes along the top from left to right in a desktop program. These are metro tiled menus that you would see on a Windows mobile phone. These will vary as to whether they are accessible or not until work is done on them.

Desktop programs will have a menu across the top from left to right and can be accessed by pressing the Alt key to get to the file menu. It is a matter of using the left or right arrow keys to go across the menus, and the down arrow keys to get to the sub menus. This will also depend on whether or not they are the old style menus or the ribbon menus as to how you access them.

Adding apps to your start menu, taskbar and uninstalling them

If there is a program on your desktop (or under the all apps section), this can be pinned to the start menu or taskbar section so they can be accessed quickly.

Uninstalling a metro tile app from Windows 10

Locate your metro tile you want to uninstall. These are the programs without the menu up the top that are found on desktop programs (for example the camera metro tile). Please note not all metro tile apps can be uninstalled. The camera app is one of these.

It may be a matter of going through the metro tiled apps to see which ones can be uninstalled. For example the 3D builder app can be uninstalled. To do this locate that app under the all apps section. Use the shift key + the F10 key to give you some options. A pop up Window will come up and you will be given some options (for example pin to start, more and uninstall). Locate the uninstall menu, then press the Enter key and now it will be gone from the start apps list. The start apps list is where all your metro tiled apps are.

The Task Bar

Have you ever wondered where the taskbar is in Windows?

If you are unaware of where the taskbar is in Windows 10, it is the bar usually down the bottom of the screen starting from the start button on the left going across to the clock on the right. When you start tabbing from the start button you may hear some of the following spoken by NVDA as you tab through the sections (for example start button, search windows button, task view button, running applications toolbar, notification chevron button). Depending on which section you are in, in the taskbar, you should be able to use the arrow keys (for example running applications, chevron button).

Some sections you might have to use the context button to navigate them.

Pressing your context button on the start menu will give you various options to choose from (for example desktop, program and features, power options, event viewer, system, device manager and so on). Press the Enter key to go into any of these sections.

If you press the context key again on the search windows button you will be given other options (for example toolbars sub menu, search, show task, view and so on. If you navigate down to the properties section, then press the Enter key, you will be given other options to do with the taskbar. Some examples are Lock the taskbar, Auto-hide the taskbar, Use small taskbar b, Taskbar location on screen: B this can be changed to top, left or right, Taskbar buttons: Always combine, hide and so on.

As you go through the different sections, you will notice you will be given different options each time.

While you are there, check out the other sections as well. (For example running applications). You will be given the option if Microsoft edge is chosen. You will hear NVDA say unpin from task bar.

As you navigate through the task menu bar and its different sections, you will notice that what you can do will change for each section.

How to Configure File Explorer (previously known as Windows Explorer) to Open With This PC

When you go to open File Explorer with the Windows key + the letter E you will be presented with the following called quick access view.

If you do not like the Quick Access view, you can configure File Explorer to open with This PC view.

In the search box when the Windows key is pushed, type control panel. You will end up in the control panel and be given a whole heap of options. Next, on your keyboard, press the letter F (so NVDA finds the File manager icon). Next, press the Enter key to be given more options. Under the general tab (which will be the first place NVDA lands on), you will hear NVDA say open file explorer to quick access. Next, arrow down until you hear NVDA say this PC. Next, tab until you hear NVDA say apply button; press the Enter key on this, then tab to the ok button, and press the Enter key. Now when you want to go into file manager with the Windows key + the letter E, you will have this PC view. Then, it is a matter of just finding your drives and so on. For example C:\ drive,  D:\ drive E:\  drive and removable drives.

Windows settings

There is a quick way to get into your Windows settings. Press the Windows key + the letter I and your Windows settings will appear below.

These settings are broken up into 9 areas. These are: system, devices, network and internet, personalisation, accounts, time and language, ease of access, privacy, and update and security.

They are then broken up into subsections. To go into any of the main settings, press the Enter key. You can then use the down and up arrow keys to pick a subsection.

To go into any of the subsections, press the Enter key, then press the Tab key to go through the different settings for that section. If you keep on tabbing it will take you back to where you started. The home key will take you back to the main 9 sections.

To customize which default apps you want to use

There may be certain apps you want to make default. These might be for playing music, which browser to use and so on. Press the Windows key + the letter I. When you hear the settings menu come up, locate the System icon. Press the Enter key to go into the subsections of this system section. Arrow down to default apps, then press the Enter key. You can now tab through the different sections. As you tab you will hear NVDA say button. You might hear NVDA say email Thunderbird button, maps button, music player button, and so on. If one of these sections does not have anything chosen, you will hear NVDA say photo viewer choose a default. Press the spacebar, then you will be given some options (for example movie maker, paint photo gallery and so on). Locate the one you want, then press the Enter key, and that will become the default program for that section.

After you have made all of your choices, tab to the home button, then press the Enter key. You can now use the Alt key + the F4 key to close the Windows settings section.

If you use the backspace button, you can go back to the settings home page.

Type on any page with search box to search for settings.

The defaults for each program can also be adjusted under the control panel section…set default program section.

Using Cortana

If you would like to use Cortana with Windows and would like to speak to your assistant audibly you will need a mic.

Windows logo key + S Open search

Windows logo key + C Open Cortana in listening mode

Please note: Cortana is only available in certain countries/regions, and some Cortana features might not be available everywhere. If Cortana isn't available or is turned off, you can still use search.

Creating a virtual desktop in Windows 10

In some cases you may want to work with more than one desktop. This might be used in the case of copying two lots of files at the same time or running different application in a separate desktop.

Instead of keeping everything open on the same desktop, you can move some of your windows to a virtual desktop to get them out of the way.

Windows logo key + Tab Open Task view

Windows logo key + Ctrl + D Add a virtual desktop

Windows logo key + Ctrl + Right arrow Switch between virtual desktops you’ve created on the right

Windows logo key + Ctrl + Left arrow Switch between virtual desktops you’ve created on the left

Windows logo key + Ctrl + F4 Close the virtual desktop you’re using

Exercise: Try creating a new desktop, then try and move between the two of them. So, you know the difference between the two of them? Open a couple of applications in the first desktop, then create the second one. Can you hear the difference?

Print your document to a PDF document

Have there ever been times when you have been on a web page or in a document and wished it could be made into a PDF document, (so that it can be used on a phone or a PDF viewer for later reference)?

If you have typed up a document and brought it up in your word processor while it is in view press the Ctrl key + the letter P. This will bring up the print dialogue for that program.

NVDA should default to the section where your printer is. You will need to locate printer grouping. This is where it will give you different options for printing. You can arrow down or up the list. If you are in the right area you should hear your printer name and so on. Locate the Microsoft print to PDF option. Make sure you choose it then tab to the ok button, then press the Enter key. A save print output as dialogue will come up. NVDA will default to the file name edit box. Here, you can give it a name. Tab around until you hear NVDA say address. This will be where the PDF document will go (for example Desktop). This can be redirected to any part on your computer if you choose to. Shift tab back until you hear NVDA say save button, then press the Enter key. Now your PDF document will be saved to that location (for example to the desktop).

You will need a program like Adobe reader DC to open the PDF document. When it is open it can be read by NVDA.

Putting Windows Defender on your Desktop

Are you aware that Windows has its own anti virus program built in? Most times when you buy a new computer, there is a trial anti virus program on it. There are some exceptions like AVG.

If you would like to put Windows Defender on to your desktop, in the search box on the Start menu type in control panel. When the control panel loads, locate the Windows Defender icon. Use either the Windows context key (which is found on most keyboards to open the context menu). If your keyboard does not have one of these you can use the Shift key + the F10 key to do the same thing. When the context menu comes up with some options, arrow to create shortcut, then press the Enter key. NVDA will tell you when the message comes up saying Windows can not create a shortcut here, do you want the shortcut to be put on the desktop? Just say yes and the shortcut will now be on the Desktop.

It is a matter of locating the program after that and opening it to use it. It might have to be turned on as well as it is usually turned off if another antivirus program is on the computer. When you do go to use Windows Defender, in most cases you will be tabbing around the screen. You will also have to use the arrow keys to get to other parts of it as well. Experiment with both the arrow keys and tab keys to see where it takes you. You will build up a picture pretty quickly of the layout of the program.

In order to get best performance out of your computer, you should always keep it fine tuned. One such app which helps maintain your computer is Disk Cleanup.  Disk Cleanup will clear unwanted files like temporary files, recycle bin files, system files, Windows old files etcetera and help you run your system faster.

Apart from cleaning up your hard drive of unwanted files, Disk Cleanup can also be used to compress files and free up additional space on your hard drive.

Using the compression feature, Disk Cleanup will compress old files which have not been accessed for a long time (hence freeing up additional space on the hard drive).

Note: It takes longer to access a compressed file when compared to an uncompressed file.

How to use Disk clean up

Every now and again you need to clean up your hard drive on your computer.

In the Windows search box on the Start menu type in the first two letters cl. Windows will come up with some search results (for example disk clean up and so on). Locate the disk clean up result then press the Enter key. When the disk cleanup application appears, it will ask you to select a drive.You can use the down or up arrow keys to select a drive (for example c:\ drive).

Tab to the Ok button, then press the Enter key. 

After you have chosen your drive, it will come up with another screen and give you a message that NVDA will read out. For example Disk Cleanup You can use Disk Cleanup to free up to 1.98 GB of disk space on  (C:). Total amount of disk space you gain: 206 MB

How does Disk Cleanup work?

Windows will come up with a list of stuff (in check boxes) and will tell you how much space can be saved if those items are deleted from those sections.

When you hear the above message come up telling you how much space you can save, you can arrow down or up the list presented. It is a matter of either checking the boxes if they are unchecked with the spacebar or if they are checked and you don’t want them done use the spacebar to uncheck them. Once done, tab to the Ok button and press the Enter key. Windows will come up with another message saying Disk Cleanup Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files?. NVDA will default to the delete button then it is just a matter of pressing the Enter key so it can start the process of cleaning up the computer.

How to Uninstall Apps Using Windows Settings App in Windows 10

To open the settings app, press the Windows key + the letter I. When the settings app appears, locate the system icon then press the Enter key.

Next, locate the App & features icon, then press the Enter key.

Browse for the app you want to. Next Tab until you hear NVDA say the name of a program on your computer (for example 3D builder).

Next, press the Enter key then tab once. You will hear NVDA say uninstall button. Press the Enter key, while focused on it then follow the directions to uninstall that program.

Programs can also be uninstalled under the Control Panel section, under a section called program and features icon.

How to adjust your user account settings in Windows 10

You will have noticed just about every time you have gone to install a new program you will get a message asking you if you really want to install it to your computer. NVDA will speak out this screen when it pops up. It is a matter of tabbing through it and pressing Enter on the yes button so the program can be installed. If no is chosen, the program will not be installed.

The default setting is set to 67 percent. If you would like to turn this off altogether in the search box on the start menu type inuac. Windows will come up with some results and pick the one that says Change User Account Control settings, Control panel then press the Enter key.

NVDA will land on the tell me more about user account settings link. Press the Enter key on this to find out more about this setting.

Tab once and then you will hear NVDA say notification level slider 67. You can use the arrow keys to adjust this to a new level. Depending on which arrow keys you use, the up arrow key increases the level, and the down arrow key lowers the level. While the left arrow key increases the level, and the right arrow key lowers the level.

When you increase or lower the level of notification, you will have to Tab, then Shift Tab back to the slider to see what it has been adjusted to. You will have to do this each time if you want to know the new level it has gone to.

The top level is 100 percent which means the UAC screen would come up all the time while if it is set to 0, it will not come up at all.

Next Tab down to the Ok button then press the Enter key.

The next thing that will happen is the UAC screen will come up about changing the setting. Tab to the Yes button then press the Enter key. Your new setting will now take effect.

Experiment to see which settings are best for you.

The Auto play menu

To change any of your auto play settings (from what they have been set to) you can do it either one of two ways. The first way is doing it through the Windows settings app. To do it this way press the Windows key + the letter I. When the Windows setting app appears, locate the device icon, then press the Enter key. The next screen that comes up, arrow until you hear NVDA say autoplay, then press the Enter key. Next, tab once and you will hear NVDA say Use AutoPlay for all media and devices. Make sure this key is pressed. If it is not it can be done by pressing the spacebar.  If this button is unpressed, none of your autoplay menus will work. Next use the Tab key until you hear NVDA say removable drive. There is a combo box there where you can change your settings. Use the Alt key + the down arrow key to open the combo box, then arrow to the option you want (for example open folder to view files). Make your selection then tab once and that item will be selected for you. NVDA will automatically default to the next combo box and read out the section it is in.   

For a more comprehensive section where you have more options, go to the Control Panel in Windows. Locate the auto play menu then press the Enter key. The next screen that will come up will give you far more options to play around with.

The first option you will hear is NVDA say Use AutoPlay for all media and devices. If you want the auto play menu to work make sure the checkbox is checked.

As you tab through the different sections and adjust them you can set different programs to play that media (if it is present on your computer). For example DVD movie Play DVD movie (VideoLAN VLC media player).

There may be other programs that you could use under each section like Windows Media player. Each section will be different as to what it may offer. When you tab through these sections, they are in combo boxes. Use the Alt + down arrow key to open them. Arrow to what you want and then tab. NVDA will then go to the next combo box.

If you would like NVDA to run from a CD in the following section called Software and games the setting will have to be changed to Install or run program from your media. Make sure you save your settings by pressing the Enter key on the save button. Any of the options can be changed at a later date, or you can reset the whole section back to defaults.

Are you missing the "are you sure you really want to delete" message in Windows 10?

Are you missing the message that says when you go to delete a file Are you sure you want to move this file to the Recycle Bin? and then you have a choice of either yes to delete it or no to leave it where it is.  If you would like this message to come back when you go to delete a file locate the Recycle Bin on the Desktop, then press the Enter key. In the Recycle Bin you will notice now there are ribbons. Press the Alt key until the File menu comes up. Next, arrow right until you hear NVDA say Recycle bin tools. Next press the space bar. A drop down menu will appear, then Tab, you will hear NVDA say for the first option Empty Recycle Bin. Tab until you hear NVDA say Recycle Bin properties. Change the available space for the Recycle Bin and turn confirmations on or off. Press the Enter key. When the dialogue box comes up locate the General Tab. NVDA should default to it. Next tab until you hear NVDA say Display delete confirmation dialogue. Make sure this dialogue box is checked. You can use the spacebar for this. Next tab to the Ok button then press the Enter key. Now whenever you go to delete a file, you will now get the deletion dialogue box coming up and not having it go straight to the Recycle bin as before.

How to show the file extensions on the end of a file or hide them

Have there been times (while using your computer) that you would like to know what the extension is at the end of a file. (For example if it is a doc file, pdf file or a music track).
Each file on your computer will have a file extension which is hidden by default. If you would like these file extensions to be shown so you know what they are and what type of file it is while on the Desktop, press the Windows key + the letter E. The next screen that comes up will be the quick access screen. This might be different if it has been changed to my PC. Next, press the Alt key until the file menu comes up. Next, arrow right until you get to the View tab, then press the space bar. Start tabbing down the list of options until you hear NVDA say File name extensions, Show or hide the set of characters added to the end of files that identifies the file type or format. Make sure you check the checkbox with the spacebar. After the checkbox has been checked, you can now close the screen. You can use the Alt key + the F4 key to do this. Now whenever you look at any of your files on your computer, it will show the file extensions (for example If I could turn back time.mp3 or electricity bill.pdf).

To quickly get to the View tab you can use the Alt key + the letter V. Then, it is a matter of tabbing down to that section. You can always use the Shift Tab key to go back up the list if you tabbed too quickly and missed it.

Getting your head around Ribbons in Windows 10

One of the things you would’ve noticed since upgrading to Windows 10 is that it seems as though there are more ribbons in Windows10. If you were used to the old style menus, you would most probably be scratching your head and wondering how to navigate the ribbons in a program.

The example we will use will be for File explorer in Windows, but will also help in other programs that have them.

Press the Windows key + the letter E to bring up file explorer. When it comes up, press the Alt key until you hear NVDA say File tab, Open new windows, change advanced folder and search options, and more. You should now be on the File tab. You can use the right arrow key to navigate through the ribbons. As you do, you will hear NVDA say computer tab, view tab, Minimize the Ribbon, Show the Ribbon (so that it is always expanded even after you click a command), Help button, (then it will go back to the File tab). You can use the left arrow key to go back through them as well.  

Having the tab set to Minimize the Ribbon/ Show the Ribbon so that it is always expanded (even after you click a command), it is then just a matter of finding the tab you want to explore. For example: locate the View tab, and press the spacebar. You can now start tabbing down the list of options given under this tab. If you tab too quickly, you can always use the Shift/Tab key to go back a step or two. If you keep on tabbing it will take you around in a circular motion and take you back to where you started.

Now, if we change this on the Ribbon (so you hear Minimize the Ribbon / Show the ribbon) show only the tab names on the Ribbon. You will notice when you open up file explorer, that you will hear NVDA say (when you push the Alt key)  Ribbon property page, Computer tab. You can use the arrow keys to go through the other tabs such as view tab, Minimize the Ribbon, Show only the tab names on the Ribbon, Help button, then back to File.  This time, if you try pressing the space bar on the View tab it will go back to the file explorer screen. The same thing will happen if the Enter key is pushed as well. This time while on the View tab, start tabbing and you will hear the following said before you get to your options under the view tab. (For example Minimize the Ribbon, Show only the tab names on the Ribbon, help button, Navigation pane).  Choose what to display in the navigation pane, so in this case you would have had to tab 3 times to get to the same section. Then it is just a matter of tabbing through the different options.   

The first option that you will find is, “Pane toolbar, navigation pane dropdown menu”.

If you would like to change the layout, press Tab until you find, “layout tool bar, view’s grouping, change your view, view’s dropdown submenu”.  Then, you can press spacebar or Enter to open a list of view options for you to choose from.  A view list will open up, and you can press the arrow keys to go through all available view options. Simply press the Enter key to make your choice.

In other sections you may come across check boxes (for example to Show or hide the set of characters added to the end of files that identifies the file type or format). If it is unchecked, use the space bar to check it.

In some cases you may need to press the Enter key.


Accessing ribbons under the quick access or my PC view

This is for accessing ribbons in File Explorer (previously known as Windows Explorer).

First, press Alt to access the ribbon, and the focus should land on the file tab. Here, you have Home tab, Share tab and View tab.
Now, press the left arrow key until you can hear, "Minimize the Ribbon, Show the Ribbon so that it is always expanded even after you
click a command". At my end, this is the default setting.

If you hear that, it means you have to press the space bar to open up any tab in the ribbon.  For example, press Alt to go to the ribbon,
press left or right arrow to find your desired tab, then you will have to press space bar once to expand that particular tab.
Then, you can press tab to explore the content of the tab. You can press Enter to make your selection.

You can change this behaviour by pressing Alt to go to the ribbon menu, Press left or right arrow until you hear, "Minimize the Ribbon, Show the Ribbon so that it is always expanded even after you click a command". You can press the spacebar to change this. If you press the spacebar, it will become “Minimize the Ribbon, Show only the tab names on the Ribbon”. Now, if you go back to the ribbon menu by pressing Alt, and then press left or right arrow to choose your desired tab, you can simply press tab to explore the content of that particular tab without you having to press the Spacebar. Note that you have to press Tab three times to reach the content of the particular tab.

For example, to change the layout of items in the file explorer, press Alt to access the ribbon menu. The focus will land on file tab. Press left or right arrow to go to the View tab. If you already changed the behaviour of the ribbon menu, from here you can press tab three times. The first option that you will find is, “Pane toolbar, navigation pane dropdown menu”. Since you want to change the layout, press Tab until you find “layout tool bar, view’s grouping, change your view, view’s dropdown submenu”. Then, you can press the Spacebar or Enter key to open a list of view options for you to choose from. Then, a view list will open up and you can press the arrow keys to go through all available view options. Simply press Enter to make your choice.



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