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Learn NVDA: Windows Basics, Part 1

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Intro: The American Foundation for the Blind in Association with NVAccess presents: Learn NVDA: An Introduction to using your computer and getting online.

Windows Basics - Part 1

Narrator: In this tutorial, we'll be discussing how to navigate some of the interfaces in Windows and some useful Windows keyboard shortcuts. Before we begin working with NVDA, let's discuss some general features of the Windows operating system. We will start with the desktop. The desktop is a grid of shortcuts to programs files, folders, and websites. The desktop is the default view you are presented with when Windows starts. Application windows are views that appear in front of the desktop. The desktop is always available behind other running applications. The taskbar is situated across the bottom of the desktop and contains the Start button on the left notifications on the far right and running and pinned applications in the center. The taskbar is always visible unless you are running a full screen application, which we won't be doing in this tutorial. Pressing the Start button in the task bar or the Windows key on the keyboard will open or close the Start Menu when pressed. The Start Menu lists recently used applications; the File Explorer, Settings, and the Power Menu. The Start Menu contains all of the installed applications in an alphabetized list under the All Apps Button. New to Windows 10, is a grid of pinned apps that appear to the right of the Start Menu list. Microsoft dropped the Start Menu for Windows 8. So if you're running Windows 8 the Windows key opens a full screen start page with a grid layout of icons. Applications that are pinned to the taskbar will always appear in the taskbar whether they are currently running or not. As mentioned before, applications run in Windows that sit on top of the desktop. These applications can be minimized, that is, hidden from view so that they are still running but no longer visible. Minimized applications can be restored by activating the application in the taskbar or by switching to the application using the Alt plus Tab key combination. In Windows 10, there are two types of applications Legacy Windows Desktop applications and Windows 10 apps that are downloaded from the Windows Store. In this tutorial, we will only be covering the Legacy Desktop applications because most applications have not yet been converted to the new Windows 10 format. Most of the principles that we cover will apply to both types of applications however. Many applications have a menu bar that appears the top of its window and contains most of the options for the application. The bar is a series of tabs with drop down menus generally with file, edit, view and other options. Below the menu bar is the body of the application and some applications have a status bar across the very bottom. So let's get started with NVDA. I'm currently on my desktop, which has icons arranged in a grid. The desktop is a conventient place to store files and shortcuts, but we recommend you avoid over using it. We recommend maintaining a clean desktop and learn to use the Start Menu for launching programs and the appropiate folders on your computer for storing files. We will cover this in detail in an moment. Since the Desktop is the first thing you will encounter when you start your computer however, we will talk about it first. I'll press the Home key to get to the first icon then the down arrow key to move through the column of shortcuts.

Screen Reader: Recycle Bin 1 of 5. Notepad 5 of 5. NVDA 3 of 5. Internet Explorer 4 of 5.

Narrator: When I reach the end of a column or row, NVDA won't say anything if I keep trying to move in the same direction. Let's go right by one column by pressing the right arrow key.

Screen Reader: Mozilla FireFox 2 of 5

Narrator: You can also type the first few letters of a shortcut and you'll be moved directly to it. I have a shortcut to the Notepad program on my desktop. I'll start typing Notepad to move directly to it.

Screen Reader: N O Notepad 5 of 5

Narrator: I can now press Enter to launch Notepad, but instead I want to demonstrate the preferred method of quickly launching programs. I'll press the Windows key to open the Start Menu. By default, my focus is in the search field, so I can immediately begin typing in Notepad. Listen as Windows searches through my computer in real time and presents me with the results.

Screen Reader: Cortana Window Search Box edit blank. N O, Notepad Desktop app 1 of 10 level 1

Narrator: After a few letters it has narrowed the search down to Notepad and I can press enter to launch the program. This is a better way to launch programs than using desktop shortcuts because the Start Menu is always immediately accessible by pressing the Windows key. It will also search all of your programs and files and there's no need to ensure that there is a shortcut on your desktop or not. You can launch any program on your computer using this method. And in Windows 10 Search has been enhanced with several new advanced features that you can check out on your own. I'll go ahead and launch Notepad by pressing Enter.

Screen Reader: Untitled Notepad Edit multiline blank

Narrator: To minimize all applications and return to the desktop press Windows plus D. I'll press the Windows plus D combination to return to the desktop. You can press Windows plus D again to restore your open windows.

Screen Reader: Folder view list, Notepad 5 of 5. Untitled Notepad

Narrator: I’ll go ahead and close Notepad by using Alt plus F4.

Screen Reader: Desktop list Notepad 5 of 5

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