In-Process 26th April 2018

Welcome to this last edition of In-Process for April. Can you believe we are almost a third of the way through 2018 already?

Tek Talk

A special welcome this time around to all the listeners of Tek Talk. Quentin was invited to speak to the program this week about all things NVDA and NV Access. Thank you to Robert Acosta from Accessible World for the opportunity to join you this week. The presentation was very popular, with some very insightful questions at the end. Be sure to visit the Tek Talk page to listen to the episode or to find out more about Tek Talk.

Robert Acosta sent the links mentioned in the presentation to subscribers. For anyone else interested, here are the links to everything mentioned:

NV Access & NVDA:

Ways to contact us:

Contribute to the community:

Sight City

Mick is busy over in Frankfurt at Sight City. Mick and Babbage are presenting again at 2pm and 3pm on Thursday and Friday. Any individuals or organisations in Germany this week are most welcome to attend. It is a great opportunity to learn more about the great work both Babbage and NV Access are doing at the moment!

New features in snapshot builds

Meanwhile, back in the office, there has been lots happening. Particularly, there are plenty of exciting new additions in recent Snapshot builds. Last time on In-Process we covered the new settings dialog. Here are some other recent changes worth checking out:


  • Notifications from Windows 10 apps such as Calculator and the Windows Store

  • New Braille Translation tables for Lithuanian 8 dot, Ukrainian and Mongolian grade 2

  • Formatting information for the text under a specific Braille cell

  • It is possible to postpone installing detected NVDA updates

  • You can now toggle control, shift, alt, windows and NVDA from your braille keyboard. These modifiers can be combined with braille input (e.g. press control+s)

  • Restored support for Handy Tech Braillino and Modular (with old firmware) displays

To try these features out now, you will want to download one of our Snapshot builds. The “Next” builds have the very latest cutting-edge code. As a result, occasionally some things may not work exactly as planned. New features “incubate” in Next for at least a fortnight. All going well, these features then graduate to “Master” builds. As a result of this extra testing, “Master” builds should be more robust. Everything in “Master” is intended for the next stable release of NVDA, so should be a little more robust.

Excel problem


One issue we have encountered recently is with Editing text in Excel. This has generated some helpful discussion and testing by users of GitHub, and the NVDA e-mail group. For some Excel users, when pressing F2 to edit a cell, NVDA announces “Unknown”. It then won’t read any text in that cell. This seems to have started after a recent update from Microsoft. The workaround that seems to fix the issue for most users, is to uncheck “Allow editing directly in cells”. Not everyone is experiencing this, but if you are, you can change this setting by doing the following:


  1. Have Excel open.

  2. Press “alt+f” to open the file menu then press “t” for the options.

  3. Press “control+tab” until the focus is on the “Advanced” options page.

  4. Press “alt+e” to toggle the “Allow editing directly in cells” option. Ensure that this is unchecked.

  5. Press “enter” to save the changes. Editing cell contents should now work again.


Note that in turning this setting off, does change things slightly for visual users:

  • With editing directly in cells enabled, when F2 is pressed, the caret appears in the cell itself. Text which would flow out of the cell flows to the right, then to lines below. Cells covered by this text are hidden while this happens. Text in the edited cell is coloured to highlight cell references and parenthesis.

  • With editing directly in cells disabled, when F2 is pressed, the caret appears in the formula bar above the worksheet. Colouring of formula elements is also done in the formula bar rather than the cell while editing. Only text which fits in the cell is visible in the cell while the formula is being edited.

That’s all for this time. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with more information about the upcoming NVDACon, as well as all the happenings between now and then!