The big news this time around is the release of NVDA 2020.3. The new version came out last week, so by now many users with NVDA set to “Check for updates” will have already updated. So, let’s dive right into that first up:
NVDA 2020.3 includes several large improvements to stability and performance. These improvements are particularly evident in Microsoft Office applications, and in VS Code. There are new settings to toggle touchscreen support and graphics reporting. The existence of marked (highlighted) content can be reported in browsers now. There are new German braille tables, and fixes for users of various sound drivers.
NVDA 2020.3 is a recommended update for all users. Please read more and download from the NVDA 2020.3 Release Announcement:
If you are an existing NVDA user, you can also update by pressing NVDA+N, then H for help, then C to check for update.
NVDACon is coming up in just over a month. To get in the mood, I thought I would share some snippets from previous years in the lead up. Recordings from previous NVDACon conventions are available at from the NVDACon Past Conferences page.
Here is a recording from 2018, featuring Tony Malykh. Tony is the author of NVDA Add-ons including SentenceNav and IndentNav. Listen to Tony’s NVDACon 2018 Presentation. If you would like to try Tony’s add-ons out yourself, they have been updated since 2018. They both have new features and work with the current NVDA 2020.3. You can find both on the NVDA Add-ons:
If you’re an NVDA user or add-on developer, you might also feel inspired to submit your idea for a talk. We’d love to hear how you use NVDA or what you’ve been working on at this year’s NVDACon. Please get in touch with the NVDACon organisers, as they’d love to fit you in!
Don’t forget: mark December 5 and 6 in your calendar for NVDACon 2020.
Reporting formatting information
Many users know that pressing NVDA+f reports the current formatting information. If you press this twice, it presents the information in a text window. This command has undergone a subtle change in NVDA 2020.3. It now reports the information at the caret or system focus.
If you are scratching your head thinking it always did that, you will not notice any change. In fact, NVDA+f used to report formatting information for the text at the review cursor. The review cursor follows the text caret by default, so is usually at the same place as the caret or system focus. It is possible to move the review cursor on its own, or to set the review cursor to not follow the system focus. To still find out the formatting at the review cursor, rather than system focus, press NVDA+shift+f.
The review cursor works closely with object navigation. These features can access text and objects not available with the regular text carat. Text such as read-only dialogs, or labels which are not attached to their control, so don’t get read.
There is a section in our “Basic Training for NVDA” module which covers the review cursor. There is also a complete section on Object navigation. The module covers everything from the basics to advanced functions like configuration profiles. You can purchase “Basic Training with NVDA” individually in a range of formats from the NV Access Shop. It is also available as part of the “NVDA Productivity Bundle“. The bundle includes the Word, Excel and Outlook modules, and telephone support. You can find both the individual modules and the bundle in the NV Access shop.
That’s all for this week. Have a spooky Halloween, and we’ll be back again in early November.