In-Process 26th May 2020

This week, the main news from NV Access is that we are launching the 2020 Satisfaction survey. As well as the survey, this week we have a couple of interesting feature walkthroughs to bump up your skills. Do you have a topic you’d like us to cover on In-Process? Email us and let us know!

NVDA Satisfaction Survey 2020

While we’re all spending a lot less time physically with others, it’s important to keep in touch with each other. NV Access is no different and we would love to hear from you, however you use NVDA. To that end, we have released a Very Short Survey and would love your feedback. The survey is anonymous. Your feedback will help us determine what is working well, and what we can improve.

If you’d like to have your say, please Complete the NVDA Satisfaction survey 2020 now.

The survey is open until the 3rd of July.

Playing CDs in Windows 10

You can set Windows 10 to play audio CDs and other media automatically when it is inserted. Alternatively, if this is enabled, and you don’t want it, you can disable it. Either way, here are the steps:

  1. Press the WINDOWS key to open the start menu
  2. Type the following and press ENTER:
    Play CDs
  3. When the autoplay dialog opens, the first option is “Use autoplay for all media and devices”. If this checkbox is not checked, press SPACEBAR to check it
  4. Press TAB to move through the options. The first group are for Removable drives such as memory sticks or portable hard drives. There are also options for camera storage, DVDs, Blu-Ray disks and CDs. TAB down to “Audio CD” (the 10th option on my system, but may be different on others)
  5. Use the UP and DOWN ARROWS to select an option for playing audio CDs
  6. Press TAB to “Enhanced audio CDs” and again select an option for this type of media. Enhanced audio CDs are audio CDs which also contain data which can be used on the PC
  7. Use TAB and the ARROWS to select any other options on this screen (eg to autoplay DVDs), and when done, press ENTER

Now, when you insert an audio CD, it should play automatically.

Audio Ducking

NVDA has an option called “Audio ducking”. This option can make other audio, such as CD music, quieter while NVDA is running. It can be set to lower the volume of other sounds whenever NVDA is running, or only while it is actually speaking. To change this option, use NVDA’s synthesizer dialog. First of all, you’ll need to know your NVDA modifier key – depending on your setup, it will either be INSERT or CAPS LOCK.

  1. Press NVDA+control+s to open the synthesizer dialog
  2. Press TAB twice to “Audio ducking mode”
  3. Use the arrow keys to select the desired option and press ENTER

The three ducking options are:

  • No ducking does not change the volume of other programs. This option is the default but may mean your CD music is as loud as NVDA
  • Duck when outputting speech and sounds will make other sounds quieter only when NVDA is actually speaking
  • Duck always will always make other sounds quieter as long as NVDA is running

You can also change the audio ducking mode at any time with NVDA+shift+d. Note that Audio ducking only works on Windows 8 or later, and only with NVDA installed (not from a portable copy).

NVDA and Languages

NVDA works in many languages. The interface (the settings screens and messages) are translated into over 50 languages. NVDA can work with 50 languages with Windows OneCore Voices. With eSpeak-NG, NVDA can work with 115 languages. Third party synthesizers are available to work with other specific languages.

NVDA can change languages and dialects while reading. These options are in NVDA’s Speech settings. Press NVDA+control+v to open the speech settings. “Automatic Languages Switching” and “Automatic dialect switching” both have the disclaimer “When supported”. NVDA and the synthesizers themselves don’t actually recognise words in other languages. They also don’t translate text from one language or another. Synthesizers know how words or letters are generally pronounced in particular languages. It is up to the document or program to report what language it is using. In web pages, this can be set in the HTML itself with a tag such as:

</p> <p lang="en-au">This text is in Australian English</p> <p lang="fr-fr">Ce texte est en français</p> <p>

In Office 365, this is set from the Language section of the Review Ribbon:

  1. Select the text to change the language for (CONTROL+A) for the whole document)
  2. Press ALT+R to open the Review ribbon
  3. Press Z then L to select “Language”
  4. Press U, then L to set proofing language
  5. In this dialog you can set the language for the selected text
  6. Press the OK button to set the language for this text. Press the “Set as default” button to change your default language
If NVDA’s language switching options are unchecked, NVDA reads everything as if it is in the default system language.

We rely on volunteers to translate the NVDA user interface. If this is something you are interested in and capable of helping with, we’d love to have you on board. Please see our Translating NVDA Wiki page for more information on how to get involved.

NVDA’s default synthesizer is Windows OneCore Voices for Windows 10. To install a new OneCore voice in Windows 10, install the appropriate Language and Speech Pack. If OneCore voices don’t have a language you need, contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk. They help with any matters of accessibility. In this case, explain how you need a specific language to read text with NVDA.

For Windows 8.1 and earlier, eSpeak-NG is the default synthesizer. eSpeak-NG is an open source project, like NVDA. The eSpeak-NG project also have a process for adding new languages. Please see their Add Language to eSpeak-NG page at for how to get involved in adding a new language.

That’s all for this week. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and do stay in touch! Join the NVDA User group, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.