Basic Training for NVDA
Release Date: 28 September 2016
Thank you for your interest in the official NVDA training materials.
This free sample is an extract from the full "Basic Training for NVDA" module. As well as the introduction, this sample includes the following chapter:
Chapter 11: Review Cursor
Note that the Review Cursor section does assume some previous knowledge covered in the earlier sections in the full module. It should be useful, however, in providing an understanding of the way the book is structured and the depth of information provided.
If you find this sample useful, you are encouraged to purchase the full version from NV Access
The Basic Training for NVDA eBook is the first module in the official set of training materials for learning to use the free NVDA screen reader.
The purchase price of the full version supports the work of NV Access and our ability to provide the NVDA screen reading software free of charge.
Copyright © 2016 by NV Access Limited.
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of NV Access Limited.
Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this book was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
First publication: April 2016
This edition: September 2016
Microsoft, Word, WordPad and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
"Basic Training for NVDA" is an independent publication and is not affiliated with, nor has it been authorised, sponsored or otherwise approved by, Microsoft Corporation.
This "Basic Training for NVDA" module covers the essentials of using Windows with NVDA. It is designed as the first in a series of modules covering various aspects of using NVDA and Windows.
NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free "screen reader" which reads the text on the screen in a computerised voice. You can control what information is read aloud and also convert the text into braille if a "braille display" is connected to the PC.
This module consists of the following sections:
Goals are presented at the beginning of each section with related review activities at the end of each section.
It is expected that you are comfortable typing and locating keys on your computer's keyboard.
It is assumed that you will either have NVDA (and a braille display if required) already installed or will obtain assistance with installation and initial setup. Please refer to the "NVDA Setup Guide" section at the end of this module for how to download and install NVDA if needed.
You will need to have access to a computer which meets the following minimum requirements:
The aim of this section is to explore the NVDA review cursor. The review cursor allows you to read backward or forward through a document without moving the focus or the caret. You can also find out spelling and formatting information.
Goals for this section:
So far, when moving around a document in WordPad or a web page in Internet Explorer, we have moved the caret or focus. Using a mode called the "Review cursor", it is possible to read ahead or back through a document without moving the focus. This can be useful for checking calculations, an address, or the spelling of a word, for instance, without losing the current place in the text.
First, let's move by line. Press numpad 7 (laptop: NVDA+up arrow) to move the review cursor up one line. Press numpad 8 (laptop: NVDA+shift+.) to read the current line the review cursor is on. Press numpad 9 (laptop: NVDA+down arrow) to move the review cursor down one line.
When moving by line, the review cursor always moves to the start of the line. This is slightly different to using the up and down arrows which often move to the current point in the previous or next line.
If using a braille display, by default the display will be "tethered" to the focus. As the review cursor is moved, although NVDA will read where the review cursor is, the output from the braille display will not change.
Let's use the review cursor now:
Meadow all quiet
Eagle swoops down catching lunch
Daisies bask in sun
As well as moving by line, the review cursor can be moved by word. Press numpad 4 (laptop: NVDA+control+left arrow) to move the review cursor to the start of the previous word. Press numpad 5 (laptop: NVDA+control+.) to read the current word at the review cursor. Press numpad 6 (laptop: NVDA+control+right arrow) to move to the start of the next word.
As covered previously, press NVDA+f to read the formatting of the current text. This command gives information about the text at the review cursor, rather than the caret.
If using a Braille display, it is possible to set the braille display to follow the review cursor, in order to more closely follow in Braille, what is being read aloud. Press NVDA+control+t to toggle whether the braille display is tethered to the focus (the default) or to the review cursor.
Let's move the review cursor by word now:
As well as moving by word and line, the review cursor can also be moved by character.
Press numpad 1 (laptop: NVDA+left arrow) to read by character with the review cursor. Press numpad 2 (laptop: NVDA+.) to read the current character. Press numpad 3 (laptop: NVDA+right arrow) to read the next character with the review cursor.
In desktop layout, remembering the 3x3 grid on the number pad may help to remember the review cursor commands. Top to bottom the commands are for line, word and character. Left to right the commands are for previous, current and next.
In laptop layout, the review cursor navigation commands are similar to the commands for moving the caret with the addition of the NVDA modifier key.
Moving the review cursor by character is one way to read the spelling of text. Another way to spell the current word is to press numpad 5 (laptop: NVDA+control+.) twice quickly. Press NVDA+numpad 8 (laptop: NVDA+shift+.) twice quickly to spell the current line. Press either command three times quickly to spell using character descriptions.
Let's write a letter and use the review cursor to spell some text now:
Dear Mr Kent,
Offence was not meant!
We spelt your name badly,
Now we all feel sadly!
Forgive us please now Mr Brown.
The review cursor stays with the caret until it is moved separately. This means that reading formatting with NVDA+f or spelling the current word with NVDA+numpad 5 (laptop: NVDA+control+.) can be used when reading regular text or web pages normally.
It is possible to toggle whether the review cursor stays with the caret or moves independently by pressing NVDA+6. NVDA will announce "Caret moves review cursor off" or "Caret moves review cursor on" as the setting is toggled.
Let's correct the second name in the "names" document while practising tethering and untethering the review cursor:
There are a number of other commands which can be used to control the location of the review cursor.
All the commands to move the review cursor may seem slightly redundant in WordPad where there are already simpler commands available. The real power of the review cursor will be more apparent in the next Section on Object Navigation. Using the review cursor in combination with object navigation will allow accessing text which is not otherwise available using the regular text navigation keystrokes.
The last commands to be covered in moving the review cursor are:
Let's practise some more review cursor navigation:
This line has five words,
This line has four.
Gliders and birds,
all love to soar.
As well as moving the review cursor to read a different part of a web page or document to where the focus is, you can also copy text from the review cursor. In both desktop and laptop layout, use NVDA+f9 to mark the start of the text to copy. Next, use the review cursor navigation keys to move to the end of the text to copy. Press NVDA+f10 to finish and select the text, and then NVDA+f10 again to copy the text to the clipboard.
Note that when copying in this mode, the selection includes the character to the right of the review cursor. That is, the character read out when moving by character, or the first character of the next word or line when moving by word or line.
This section covered using the Review cursor. There are quite a lot of keystrokes in this section, more than were covered in the activities, so feel free to come back and review this section again. Some of the key concepts included:
Some of my favourite animals:
Two cats, Meg and Mog,
four birds and a dog.
Plus a sheep is a total of: