In-Process 24th July 2018

Welcome to In-Process for the 24th of July, exactly 216 years since the birth of Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo!


Mick and Reef journeyed to Austria last week. They attended the 16th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs. Sponsored by the University of Linz, Austria, Mick delivered a keynote to a keen audience. Mick was also very humbled to receive the Roland Wagner award on behalf of NV Access. In recognition of the life-changing impact that NVDA has around the world, the award is a great honour.


h2>New Website

Last edition, we shared our new website with you. If you haven’t yet checked it out, head over to to see what’s new. In response to feedback, we’ve removed the “Free download” link (which didn’t go anywhere) from the download page. This should make the page much easier to navigate now. Have you got any other feedback for us? E-Mail us and let us know!

Joseph Lee Tech Support Webinar

Good friend of NV Access and prolific community contributor Joseph Lee has been hard at work again. This time, he ran a series of webinars on providing tech support. The first two webinars are available to listen to from Joseph’s website. No doubt the third will be along in the next few days:

Webinar 1 from Joseph Lee on Tech Support

Webinar 2 from Joseph Lee on Tech Support

You can find all of Joseph’s tutorials on his Tutorials Page.

Input Gestures

We often get asked about customising keystrokes in NVDA. Any of the keystrokes can be changed. You can even have more than one keystroke available for an action. You can also add keystrokes for some functions which do not have a keystroke by default. To edit the keystrokes, use the “Input gestures” function. This dialog is found on the NVDA menu, under “Preferences”.

First a quick note about keyboard layouts. Desktop layout is the default and uses the number pad for things like object navigation. Laptop layout doesn’t rely on a number pad, but reassigns some common keys. So to read the current line is NVDA+up arrow in desktop layout and NVDA+L in laptop layout. Note that keyboard layout is different to whether you have the insert key or caps lock set as the NVDA modifier. I only mention it as you’ll need to pick which layout when you assign a new keystroke in the following steps.

So, to change the keystroke for an action:

  1. Press NVDA+n to open the NVDA menu.

  2. Press P for preferences

  3. Press the up arrow once to “Input gestures” and press ENTER.

  4. The focus starts in a tree view which contains all the functions and keystrokes available. To narrow the focus to something specific, press SHIFT+TAB to move to the “Filter by” edit.

  5. Type the name of the function you want. Functions are “described” so use whatever words you think might be used, like “move to next object” or “report time”, for instance.

  6. Press TAB to move to the tree view again. The tree view now contains only the functions which match what you typed in the filter box, grouped in categories.

  7. Use the left and right arrow keys to expand and collapse groups and the up and down arrows to locate what you want.

  8. Once you get to the object at the lowest level and want to assign a new keystroke, press alt+a. Alternatively, press TAB to the “add” button and ENTER.

  9. Press the keystroke, keys on your braille device, mouse or other input that you want to use for the gesture. Note that there is no warning if you add a keystroke which conflicts with another keystroke.

  10. A context menu opens to choose the keyboard layout. Press the DOWN ARROW to select whether the keystroke applies to the current layout, or all keyboard layouts. Press ENTER to save. Note if you press escape at this point, your keystroke will still be saved. If you need to, press ALT+R to remove the current keystroke.

11: Press ENTER again to save and close the whole dialog.

Some more info can be found in the Input Gestures section of the User Guide.

I’ll leave you today with the thought that on this day in 1487, the citizens of Leeuwarden, Netherlands, rebelled against a ban on foreign beer; now, some 500 (ok 531 to be precise) years later, the historic town of Leeuwarden doesn’t even have a single brewery in Culture Trip’s list of the best Dutch Craft breweries. Coincidence? Hard to say… If anyone has a copy of Culture Trip’s list of the best Dutch breweries from 1487, please let me know so we can settle it once and for all!