In-Process 1st March 2019

Welcome to March!

You’ve likely noticed the increased amount of community feedback we’re asking for lately, particularly on Twitter and in the NVDA user email group. We’re keen to keep improving NVDA as a product not only that WE think is good, but one that YOU, the users, think is great. One thing which has come through loud and clear from you has been the need for improved responsiveness from NVDA, particularly in Microsoft Office. In acknowledgement of that feedback, we’ve put a lot of effort into responsiveness for NVDA 2019.1. While we’ve still got more work to go, we think you’ll be pleased with the results so far. This is one of the reasons that NVDA 2019.1 has been delayed slightly from previous years. We apologise for that, but as you know, we’d rather release a quality product a little later than usual, than an unfinished one early. If you would like to try out the new features now, you can download the latest alpha build from our snapshots page.

NVDA 2019.1

The first beta of NVDA 2019.1 will be out in a few days. Do follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or join the NVDA user email group to be informed as soon as it’s out!

Google Summer of Code

NV Access are very pleased to be able to announce that we have been accepted as a mentor organisation for Google Summer of Code 2019! Google Summer of Code is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Students work with an open source organization on a 3-month programming project during their break from school. See for more details. To see our entry for the Google Summer of Code, go to This is a great opportunity for students to get to work with open source projects like NVDA. For us, it’s a fantastic chance to share our knowledge with young people moving towards the workforce, to build awareness and passion for accessibility in a new generation of software engineers and work together to improve NVDA for everyone.

New General Manager

NV Access are pleased to announce that James Boreham has commenced as General Manager for NV Access. James comes to us with significant experience across the non-profit, social enterprise and commercial sectors. His responsibilities include management of Organisational operations and finances, plus looking for opportunities to ensure the sustainability of NV Access.

James says: “I look forward to working with the NV Access Team, our supporters and partners to drive our continued success and growth, and to maximise our impact and outcomes around the world.”

In the time James has been with us, he has already had a very positive impact, freeing Mick to devote more time to developing and improving NVDA. James has already met a number of stakeholders and partners of NV Access and looks forward to meeting more in the coming weeks and months.

CSUN 2019

The NV Access team is busy preparing to travel to Anaheim, California, for CSUN 2019, one of the largest assistive technology conferences. We will be presenting a session on Wednesday, March 13th at 9am in Grand Ballroom G&H. If you are going to CSUN we’d love to see you at the session. If you’d like to meet James, or catch up with any of the team while we are at CSUN, please do email us. If you haven’t yet registered, there is no on-site registration this year. You need to register online by March 5. Please see the CSUN registration details for details about CSUN registration.

Navigating through text

Last time, we looked at some keystrokes for finding out where you are in various programs. This time, let’s have a look at some of the common navigation keys to move the focus:

Pressing the LEFT or RIGHT ARROWS move backwards or forwards through text by one letter, but did you also know you can press CONTROL+LEFT ARROW or CONTROL+RIGHT ARROW to move by one word?

Where UP and DOWN ARROWS move by one line, in many places, CONTROL+UP ARROW and CONTROL+DOWN ARROW move by one paragraph.

You can press HOME or END to move to the start or end of the current line, and you can press CONTROL+HOME or CONTROL+END to move to the start or end of an entire document.

In many places, such as Microsoft Word, PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN don’t actually move the focus by one page, but rather by one screen worth of information. This can be very useful but be aware that the amount of information which fits on a screen will vary between programs, between computers, and will change if the zoom level changes. In Word at least, CONTROL+PAGE UP and CONTROL+PAGE DOWN move by one actual page, however, to make it a bit more confusing, if you have done a search or used Word’s Go-To feature, those keys will now move to the previous or next instance of whatever you last searched for.

If you would like to select text, hold down SHIFT while pressing any of those keys. SHIFT+CONTROL+RIGHT ARROW selects the word (or part word) to the right of the caret. Press CONTROL+HOME, then SHIFT+CONTROL+DOWN ARROW to move to the top of the document, then select the first paragraph. To select all the document at once, press CONTROL+A.

And as a bonus tip – none of those are NVDA specific commands, so anyone at all can use them.

Next time around, we’ll have a special In-Process edition “Live” from CSUN 2019. As a bonus, I’ll include a photo of the first person who comes up to us and asks!

If this bumper edition hasn’t been enough reading for you, you might consider reading some Sherlock Holmes, to celebrate the publication, on this day in 1890, of the first US edition of Sherlock Holmes (Study in Scarlet).