In-Process 2/2/22

I hope this year has started well for you, whether it’s a month old, or whether it started yesterday. Hello February, Happy Lunar New Year, and Welcome to the Year of the water Tiger! 2 is a lucky number in Chinese Numerology (so Google tells me) so hopefully today with all those 2s is a good start to the new Lunar year.

Here at NV Access, everyone is busy preparing the next version of NVDA – there will be more to say on that in upcoming editions of In-Process. This week, we’ve got a couple of handy tips for you, and some thoughtful words from a grateful user:

Selecting a table

Someone asked whether there was an easy way to select a table on a web page. While we don’t have a “single keystroke” to do this, it is certainly possible. I’ll share Julien’s answer from when this was asked on GitHub awhile ago:

In browse mode, NVDA offers single letter quick navigation such as “t” to go to the next table or “l” to go to the next list. Pressing shift + the same letter goes to the previous same element type.

Comma (“,”) goes to the first character past the end of a container, such as a table or a list. Shift+comma goes to the start of the current container.

To select the whole container, be it a table or a list, you can thus follow the steps:

  1. Navigate to the very beginning of table or list, by any means you like
  2. Press NVDA+F9 to mark the start of the selection
  3. Press comma (“,”] for quick navigation to first character after the container
  4. Press left arrow to be at the very last character of the container
  5. Press NVDA+F10 twice quickly to copy the whole container into the clipboard
Thanks Julien! We hope this tip is useful for you as well.

Giving to Freely Given Software

We often mention the lovely and inspiring messages we get from users and supporters. Today I’d like to share a message we got from Michael, a web developer. Michael chooses the software he uses with care, and is keen to support wortwhile projects. Michael writes:

“Thank you very much for NVDA! As part of re-architecting my personal site/blog, I wanted to make it accessible and verify that with accessibility testing. Without NVDA, I don’t know how I would have done it, or at least nearly as well. But, thanks to NVDA, I was able to make my site/blog fully accessible, for which I am very proud.

I’ve been making an effort to properly appreciate, recognize, and support the efforts of the authors of my software development and computing dependencies. While I’ve already put money toward sponsoring you, I still wanted to take the step of writing a note of thanks. I intend to make this exercise a regular part of my development/IT lifecycle.

I’m sure that NVDA is a very complex piece of software and that developing/maintaining it can sometimes be a slog. I hope that this note of thanks helps to motivate all concerned to continue on.

What you have provided the world is a gift – a thoughtful gift. Thank you for the gift.

If you’re curious about my “thanking” effort, I’ve got a couple write-ups that explain –

Thanks Michael! Those explainers at the links are a great resource for those considering donating. Not only to NVDA, but contributing to any open source project!

Spell check in PowerPoint and Excel

Many people use spell check in Word and Outlook regularly. See the “Microsoft Word with NVDA” module for an in-depth walkthrough of those features.

Excel and PowerPoint also have spell check functions. The spell check feature in Excel 365 is like the old-style Word 2010 and older dialog. The spell check in PowerPoint is more like the Word 2013 and newer task pane style spell check.

For the spell check feature in Excel:

  1. Press F7. It opens what will be familiar to users of Office 2010 and earlier as the spell check dialog. The focus starts on the dictionary language.
  2. Press alt+d to jump to “Not in dictionary”. This will show the first item found. The text is selected, but NVDA reads “Blank”.
  3. To have NVDA able to read the text, press an arrow key. We are aware of this and have an open issue on GitHub.
  4. Press TAB once or alt+n to jump to the suggestions.
  5. Use the arrow keys to move around the suggestions.
  6. You can press either:

    • alt+i to ignore once
    • alt+g to ignore all instances of this error
    • alt+d to add the word to the dictionary
    • alt+c to change this instance to the currently selected suggestion
    • alt+l to change all instances of this error to the currently selected suggestion

For PowerPoint:

  1. Press F7, the task pane opens. The focus starts on the language selection.
  2. Press tab once. This moves the focus to the “”Ignore once”” button, which is the first button on the task pane.
  3. Press the “”Move to previous object”” keystroke. NVDA+numpad 4 (desktop) or NVDA+shift+left arrow (laptop). This reads the error.
  4. Press enter to activate this button, or press TAB three times to move to the first suggestion.
  5. Use the arrows to move through the suggestions.
  6. The options from here are identical to listed for Excel, except adding the word to the dictionary is alt+a rather than alt+d. You can press either:

    • alt+i to ignore once
    • alt+g to ignore all instances of this error
    • alt+a to add the word to the dictionary
    • alt+c to change this instance to the currently selected suggestion
    • alt+l to change all instances of this error to the currently selected suggestion”

That’s all for this first week of Solm?naþ or “month of the hearthcakes” – yes, February is cake month! Thanks to the Anglo-Saxons for that, which I am taking as an excuse to eat cake, possibly all month!