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Learn NVDA: Windows Basics, Part 3

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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 3

Narrator: Most programs have the menu bar that can be activated with the Alt key. In Windows 10, many applications have replaced the menu bar with the more complicated ribbon control. Here in File Explorer, we will take a very brief look at the ribbon. We will cover ribbon functionality in greater detail in our Word and Excel Tutorials. I'll press Alt to go to the ribbon and then I can arrow left and right to navigate through the ribbon tabs.

Screen Reader: Ribbon. property page. File button. Application menu. Dropdown button grid. Submenu button. Open new windows, change advanced folder, and search options and more - Alt plus F. Ribbon tabs - Tab control. Home tab submenu. Alt plus H. Share tabs submenu - Alt plus S. View tab submenu - Alt plus V.

Narrator: Press spacebar to open a tab.

Screen Reader: Documents window. Ribbon property page. Ribbon tabs - Tab control. View tab pressed. selected submenu. View property page. Page toolbar. Navigation pane. dropdown button submenu. Choose what to display in the navigation pane. Alt plus V plus N.

Narrator: And then the tab key to navigate through the elements in the ribbon.

Screen Reader: Details pane button. Show or hide the details pane. Alt plus V plus D. Navigation pane dropdown button submenu. Choose what to display in the navigation pane. Alt plus V plus N.

Narrator: Press Escape to leave the ribbon.

Screen Reader: View tab submenu Alt plus V. Items View list. Test 2.txt checked 3 of 5.

Narrator: In Windows 7, Windows Explorer still has the simpler menu bar, and you will still see the classic menu bars on many applications. Let's open Notepad again. Press the Windows key and then start typing "Notepad". Notepad should appear after the first few characters. Launch it with the Enter key.

Screen Reader: Cortana window. Search box edit blank. N-No-Not-Note. Notepad. Desktop app 1 of 2 level 1. Unknown. Untitled - Notepad. Edit multiline blank.

Narrator: Notepad is using the classic file menu system. I'll press the Alt key to open it. Now arrow left and right to move between the menus and note the Accelerator key that NVDA speaks. These are shortcut keys that will allow me to go straight to a specific option. For example, I can press Alt plus E to go straight to the edit menu.

Screen Reader: File submenu Alt plus F. Edit submenu - Alt plus E. Format submenu - Alt plus O. View submenu - Alt plus V. Format submenu - Alt plus O. Edit submenu - Alt plus E. File submenu - Alt plus F.

Narrator: Use the up and down arrows to move through the options within a menu. If an item says "submenu" it can be expanded by pressing the right arrow key.

Screen Reader: New Control plus N. Open - Control plus O. Save - Control plus S. Save As - A. Page Setup - U. Print - Control plus P. Exit - X. File submenu - Alt plus F.

Narrator: File, edit, and view are very common menus, and it's a good idea to get familiar with where you will typically find certain options. For example, if I want to create a new file, open an existing file, save my work, or print, I should look for the file menu. This is consistent across most applications. Similarly, edit, format, and view generally have the same types of functionality across programs. As we know, it's possible to have multiple programs running at the same time. Additionally, each of these programs can generate multiple windows. One way to switch between windows is to use the Alt plus Tab key combination. I'll press Alt plus Tab to switch back to File Explorer.

Screen Reader: Documents window Items View list. Test 2.txt not checked not selected, 3 of 5.

Narrator: You can hold down Alt and press the Tab key multiple times to cycle between the available open windows.

Screen Reader: Untitled Notepad row 1 column 2. Documents row 1 column 1. Documents window. Items View list. Test 2.txt checked 3 of 5.

Narrator: The taskbar will also let you switch between applications, and it gives you some more options as well. The Windows plus T command will move your focus to the taskbar. I'll press Windows plus T.

Screen Reader: Running applications toolbar. Documents button submenu.

Narrator: Pressing the left and right arrow keys will navigate through the pinned and running applications. I'll press the right arrow to navigate through the taskbar.

Screen Reader: Store button. Mozilla FireFox button. Untitled Notepad button submenu.

Narrator: If an item indicates it's a submenu, we know that the application is running and it has at least one window. We can open the menu with the up arrow and then use the left and right arrows to select the one we want. If the item didn't say submenu, then we know this application isn't running, and it's simply pinned to the taskbar. You can start that application with the Enter key. You can also access a number of options for an item on the taskbar by pressing the Applications key on your keyboard. The Application key is in between the Alt and Control key on the right of the spacebar. Another area on the taskbar is the notification area. Press Tab to get to the notification area, and then use the arrow keys to view what is available.

Screen Reader: Notification Chevron button. User promoted notification area toolbar. Network 2 Internet access button. Speakers 100% button. Notification center button. Touch keyboard button.

Narrator: Some items have menus that can be accessed with the application key. Some programs run in the backround without having an open window. Instead they provide an icon in the notification area to indicate what they are doing. Another common feature in Windows is the dialog or message box. These windows are usually created by another running application, and take the user's focus to complete the task before returning to the previous window. Sometimes message boxes have information and are dismissed with an "Okay" button. Other times, message boxes are used to confirm actions, such as deleting a file. Message boxes are also frequently used to display a page of settings. Let's take a look at NVDA's voice settings. Press NVDA plus Control plus the V key to open the voice settings.

Screen Reader: Voice Settings dialog Voice combobox English collapsed Alt plus V.

Narrator: We will cover these settings and others in detail in a dedicated tutorial later on, but this is an excellent example of a messagebox with a variety of types of controls. Throughout this tutorial, NVDA has been reporting a lot of information about the on screen elements that we have come across, but we haven't broken down specifically what it all means. I'll press the NVDA key plus Tab to have NVDA speak my current focus again.

Screen Reader: Voice ComboBox English collapsed Alt plus V.

Narrator: NVDA speaks the label for the control, which is "Voice." Then it says "Combo Box," which is the type of control that we are on. Next, it reports the value of the current control which is English. Finally it gives us a little more information about the control itself. This is a pattern that NVDA will follow for all controls. It will try to report the name or label of the control, the type of control, what the control's current value is, and any other information about the control that is available, including if that item has a shortcut key. This is a Combo Box. This control allows you to choose one option of multiple choices. Combo Boxes are also known as drop down boxes because if I click on the box a list of options will drop down and I can click one to select it. So this control has an expanded and a collapsed state which is why NVDA tells me that this control is collapsed. Since we are using the keyboard we will change the value of the Combo Box using the up and down arrow keys, without worrying about expanding the control. I'll press up arrow a few times, and then down arrow until I get back to English.

Screen Reader: Default, Greek, German (with accent), Greek, Default, English.

Narrator: You can also type a letter to be taken directly to the first option that starts with that letter. I'll press F to go to the first option starting with F, which is Finnish, and then press E to go back to English.

Screen Reader: Finnish (with accent), English.

Narrator: We move through the other controls in this dialog using the tab key to move forwards and Shift plus Tab to move backwards. I'll tab to the rate slider.

Screen Reader: Variant: Combo Box Max - collapsed Alt plus A. Rate: slider 30 Alt plus R.

Narrator: Note how NVDA reports the name, type, and value of the control as expected. This is a slider which is used to select a value between two boundaries. Press up or down arrow to change the value.

Screen Reader: 31, 32, 33, 32, 31, 30

Narrator: I can also use page up and page down to change the value in bigger increments.

Screen Reader: 40, 50, 40, 30

Narrator: Now let's tab down to the "Automatic Language Switching Checkbox."

Screen Reader: Rate boost checkbox not checked. Alt plus T. Pitch: slider 40 Alt plus P. Inflection: slider 85 Alt plus I. Volume: slider 100 Alt plus O. Automatic language switching (when supported) checkbox checked.

Narrator: Check boxes have a checked and not checked state. I'll press space to toggle its value off and then back on again.

Screen Reader: Space not checked. Space checked.

Narrator: Finally on this page we have an edit control. I'll tab to it now.

Screen Reader: Automatic dialect switching (when supported) checkbox not checked. Punctuation/symbol level: combobox some collapsed Alt plus L. Trust Voice's language when processing characters and symbols checkbox checked. Capital pitch change percentage edit selected 30.

Narrator: This control is asking for a numerical value for how much to change the pitch of the voice for a capital letter. When I tab to it I got the name, type of control, its current value, and it told me that the text was selected. By default, the existing text in an edit control will be selected, so if I begin typing a new value, the existing value will be deleted. To edit this text without deleting it, use the left or right arrow to move the cursor and unselect the text.

Screen Reader: 0 (zero) Unselecting 30 3, 2

Narrator: Message boxes with settings that can be changed will usually have an "Okay" or "Accept" button below accept the changes and close the window, and a "Cancel" button that will discard the changes and close the window. For most dialog boxes, if you press the Enter key at any time it will accept the changes and close the window and if you press the escape key at any time it will discard the changes and close the window. I'll press escape now to close this dialog and discard any changes I made since I'm happy with my voice settings the way they were.

Screen Reader: Documents windows Items view list, Test.txt not checked not selected 5 of 5.

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