Wow, the year is flying by! Last time In-Process came out, we were in the midst of a flurry of releases. We apologise for the extra updates, but think NVDA 2018.3.2 is our best yet! NVDA 2018.3.2 fixes several crashes which didn’t affect everyone but were severe for those affected.
So, after all the dust clears, what’s new? Firstly, a heap of compatibility improvements! We added support for a couple of new Braille displays, and no less than FIVE new Braille tables. Many Braille displays are now able to be auto-detected when starting NVDA. Not all displays can be auto-detected, but the list will keep growing.
We’ve continued to build on support for new and updated Windows 10 features such as the Emoji panel. You can bring up the Emoji panel in Windows 10 by pressing either WINDOWS+; or WINDOWS+. (that is, WINDOWS and SEMI-COLON or WINDOWS and FULL STOP).
There’s plenty more new features and updates in the latest version. If you haven’t already, be sure to check them out on the NVDA 2018.3 What’s New page.
Predictive text is another Windows 10 feature which has been around for a couple of updates. I only encountered it recently, so I thought I’d share it here. Smartphone keyboards offer to complete the word you are typing based on what you’ve typed so far. You can do the same thing in Windows 10 running the 1803 update (April 2018) or later. To enable the feature:
- Search for “Show text suggestions as I type” in the start menu.
- Press ENTER to open the “Typing” settings screen. The first options on the screen relate to the software keyboard. That on-screen keyboard is used when running Windows 10 on a tablet or in tablet mode.
- Press TAB to move past the software keyboard. TAB past the “AI Grouping, Typing insights” option to “Show text suggestions as I type”.
- Press SPACEBAR to enable this option.
With predictive text enabled, words appear above the caret when you are typing. Type at least one letter of a word and instead of reporting only the letter, NVDA reads a whole suggested word. To access suggestions, press the UP ARROW to move to the first suggestion. From there, use the RIGHT or LEFT Arrows to move between the three suggestions. Press ENTER on any of the words to accept it. or ESCAPE to close the suggestions without accepting any suggestions.
This feature works in many places including Word, Notepad, and Firefox. There are some places it doesn’t work. I found suggestions were not offered in NotePad++, for instance.
White Cane Day support
The 12th of October was White Cane Day. This day promotes awareness of blindness. Advancements in access for blind people all over the world are also celebrated. On the 12th, one of our wonderful supporters ran a charity live stream gaming session on Twitch. It was a great chance to spread the good word about NVDA, and raise some donations for NV Access. We are very grateful to “Glitched Vision” for his initiative and generosity. He moderates a community of disabled streamers. Some of the gamers are blind or vision impaired, and some have other disabilities. If you’re a gamer, check out Glitched Vision on Twitch and Twitter!
Thank-you very much to all those who participated and donated through the live stream event!
Customising NVDA profiles
Someone asked for help changing how fast NVDA reads when you have it read from the current point onwards. We call this command “Say All” and you invoke it by pressing NVDA+down arrow or NVDA+a. Say All uses its own configuration profile. A profile is like a set of NVDA settings. Profiles can be triggered by going into a certain program, or when using Say all, or they can be activated manually. A profile for Firefox, for instance, can be set to read differently when reading web pages, to the way NVDA reads when writing a document in Word. It can even have it use a different synthesizer if you want.
EDIT: My initial instructions here assumed a “Say all” profile already existed, however, I have updated it now to work whether you have an existing say all profile or not
To customise how Say All reads:
- Press NVDA+control+p to open the configuration profiles dialog (or press NVDA+n, then C)
- Press down arrow to look for a profile called “Say All”. If a Say All profile does not already exist, jump down to the heading 3 instructions below to create a new profile first
- Tab once to “Manual activate” and press enter. The profile is loaded, and the dialog closes. NVDA is now using the Say All profile
- Make any changes you like. Adjust the speed, change the synthesizer or the punctuation level. These are done as you would normally via the settings screens or keystrokes. Any changes affect the Say All profile because that is what is loaded currently
- Open the configuration profiles dialog again (NVDA+control+p or NVDA+n then c)
- Press TAB once to the “Manual deactivate” button and press enter to deactivate the profile. NVDA returns to the normal profile and will use the settings you just adjusted when you use Say all
To create a new profile:
- If creating a profile to be triggered by a specific program, first open that program and ensure it is active
- Press NVDA+control+p to open the configuration profiles dialog (or press NVDA+n, then C).
- Press alt+n to create a new profile
- If setting up a profile which will only be activated manually (not triggered by say all or a program), type a name
- Press tab to move to the “Use this profile for” radio button. The focus starts on “Manual activation”
- To choose the current application or say all, press the right arrow
- Press enter to create the profile. Both dialogs close and the profile is active. Make any changes to NVDA’s settings that you want to use for the profile
- If the profile is triggered manually, or by Say All, open the configuration profiles dialog again with NVDA+control+p, then Tab once to “Manual deactivate” and press enter
Some settings, such as those on the “General” page which affect the whole program, can’t be saved in a profile.
You can read more about custom profiles in the NVDA User Guide
For more in-depth information and step-by-step activities, be sure to check out our “Basic Training for NVDA” material, available in electronic text, hardcopy Braille and audio from The NV Access Shop What programs do you have customised profiles setup for?
Finally today, a quick question for anyone who can spare 30 seconds to give us some feedback: Have there been times when NVDA announcing ‘clickable’ on the web has been useful to you? We do not need to hear negative responces to this as we well know a lot of people hate this feature already. For instance, have their been times where ‘clickable’ on an inaccessible website has communicated to you that you should activate some particular text to do an action?
To share your thoughts, please Email us and let us know your experience!
That’s all for this time around. Enjoy setting up your own configuration profiles. Also, let us know if you use predictive text in Windows 10.