Skip to Content

AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Learn NVDA: Windows Basics, Part 2

Skip to the transcript for this video.

Download this tutorial as an MP3 audio file

Transcript

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 2

Narrator: Now let's look at the start menu. You can press the Windows key at any time to open the start menu. I'll press the Windows key now.

Screen Reader: Cortana window, Search box edit blank

Narrator: When the start menu opens, your focus is placed in the search field. Windows 7 has a simpler start menu that can be navigated fully with the arrow keys. The Windows 10 start menu has two panes. The left pane contains the All Apps button, the power menu, settings and recently used apps. The right pane has smart tiles that Windows 10 apps can use to present snippets of information such as news headlines or stock prices. You can use the arrow keys to move within a pane and the Tab key to move between sections. In Windows 10 the power button is located above the All Apps button. In Windows 7 the power menu is located to the right of the search field. You can activate this button with the Enter key or Spacebar key. This will open a dialog containing Shut Down, Restart, and Sleep. We'll go ahead and activate this button with the Enter key and press the up arrow to navigate through the options. If you want to shut down your computer, activate the Shutdown button with the Enter key. Instead, I'll press the Escape key to dismiss the shut down dialog.

Screen Reader: Start window. All Apps button. Power button. Pop up window. Power options menu. Restart. Shut Down. Sleep. Power button. Power button.

Narrator: Now I'll navigate to the All Apps button using my arrow keys. In Windows 7, this is called All Programs. Press Enter or Space to expand this menu and arrow up and down to navigate through the list.

Screen Reader: All Apps button, All apps list, 0 – 9, Grouping 3 of 12. Level 2 3D builder, not selected, 1 of 1. A Grouping 4 of 12, Alarms and Clock not selected, 1 of 2 level 2. AutoHotkey Folder Collapsed, Collapsed not selected, 2 of 2 level 2.

Narrator: This is a list of all the applications currently installed on your computer. As I navigate over the items in this list, some indicate that there collapsed. These are folders that can be expanded with the Spacebar or Enter key. I'll expand a folder and then arrow down to view the contents.

Screen Reader: Expanded AutoHotkey folder Expanded. AutoHotkey not selected. 3 of 8 level 2. AutoHotkey Help File not selected, 4 of 8 level 2. AutoHotkey not selected 3 of 8 level 2. AutoHotkey folder Expanded Expanded not selected. 2 of 8 level 2. Collapsed. AutoHotkey Folder Collapsed.

Narrator: Note how NVDA indicates that I'm now on level two. This type of control is sometimes called a tree view since subfolders branch out from the top level or root folder. It's possible to have nested folders resulting in multiple levels. To launch an app that you’ve selected, press the Enter key or Spacebar. The all apps list is a great way to review what programs you have installed. It's also good for finding the names of programs that you don't use frequently. I don't recommend always using this menu however, because it's much more efficient to use the search features to directly find an app to launch. I'll go ahead and dismiss the start menu with the Escape key so we can move on.

Screen Reader: Desktop List Notepad, checkbox checked selected

Narrator: Now let's take a look at how to browse and manage files stored on your computer. The built in program that we will use for this is called File Explorer. In Windows 7 this was called Windows Explorer. There are a number of ways to find File Explorer, but I'll use the start menu. I'll reopen the start menu by pressing the Windows key and then arrow up to File Explorer. If you're using Windows 7, go back the start menu and find the Computer button, or find Windows Explorer on the taskbar. Of course you can also use the search bar to launch File Explorer too.

Screen Reader: Cortana window Search box edit blank. Start window, All apps button, Power button, Places list, Settings not selected 2 of 2. File Explorer not selected, 1 of 2. Unknown This PC window, Items View list, Folders Grouping expanded. Desktop not checked not, selected 1 of 9, row 1 column 1. Tree View Level 1. This PC expanded 2 of 3 Items View list, Folders Grouping expanded. Desktop not checked not selected 1 of 9 row 1 column 1.

Narrator: File Explorer is laid out with the menu bar across the top with an address field. By default, the main content of the program has a left and right pane. The left pane contains a tree view of the files in your system, including frequently used folders that are pinned to the top the list. The right pane displays the contents of the folder you are currently viewing. The contents of the right pane can appear either as a grid of icons or a vertical list with details for each item in columns. This one is a grid. Use the arrow keys to navigate the grid. You can be sure to visit every item in this grid if you use the left and right arrow keys, because your focus will wrap to the next row of items when you get to the last column. I'll use the right arrow to move through a few items.

Screen Reader: Documents checked 2 of 9, row 1 column 2. Downloads checked 3 of 9 row 2 column 1. Music checked 4 of 9 row 2 column 2.

Narrator: I'm going into the Documents folder by pressing the Enter key once I have it focused.

Screen Reader: Downloads checked 3 of 9 row 2 column 1. Documents checked 2 of 9 row 1 column 2. Tree View Documents collapsed 2 of 7. level 2 Items View list Test not checked not selected 1 of 5.

Narrator: The Documents folder is in the details view by default. The details view is a table with each item on a new row. Other details about the item can be found in the columns to the right. These columns have information, such as the file type or date that the file was last modified. I'll navigate through some files using the down arrow. I can use the right arrow key to move to a different column to access other information about the file as well.

Screen Reader: SpeechOutput.txt checked 2 of 5. Test 2.txt checked 3 of 5. Test 3.txt checked 4 of 5. Date modified edit 10/19/2015 11:07 am. read only row 4. Date modified column 2, Type edit Text Document read only. row 4 Type column 3

Narrator: To back out of this folder, I can press the Backspace key.

Screen Reader: Items View list Folders Grouping expanded Documents checked 2 of 9, row 1 column 2

Narrator: Let's take a brief look at the left pane in File Explorer. As in other programs I can use the Tab and Shift plus Tab keys to move between areas of the window. I'll use Shift plus Tab to move left to the left pane.

Screen Reader: Tree view This PC expanded 2 of 3 level 1

Narrator: Here we have an expandable tree view that we can use drill down through the folders on my computer. Pressing Enter on one of these folders will load it into the right pane. If the folder indicates that it is collapsed, I can press the right arrow to expand it.

Screen Reader: Level 2 Desktop collapsed 1 of 7. Documents collapsed 2 of 7. level 2 Expanded 1 items. level 3 Test 1 of 1.

Narrator: Once I find the folder I'm looking for, I can press tab to move back to the right pane.

Screen Reader: Items View list Test not checked not selected 1 of 5. SpeechOutput.txt checked 2 of 5. Test 2.txt checked 3 of 5

services icon Directory of Services

book icon Featured Book

O & M for Independent LivingO&M for Independent Living

O&M for Independent Living

Support Our Work

Your support fuels AFB's work to make technology—from everyday electronics to life-saving devices—accessible for everyone.