The big news this week is that we are very close to the stable 2019.3 release! NVDA 2019.3 RC 3 is now out, so let’s start there:
NVDA 2019.3 RC3
We encourage all users to download this Release Candidate (RC) and provide feedback. This is a release candidate for NVDA 2019.3. Unless any critical bugs are found, this will be identical to the final 2019.3 release.
Read the Release Announcement and Download the RC.
If you are using NVDA 2019.2.1, and want to try the release candidate, you will need to Download NVDA 2019.3rc3 manually. If you are using one of the 2019.3 beta or RC releases, they will prompt to update to the current release candidate shortly. From the beta, you can also find the RC build by choosing “Check for updates” from the help menu.
NVDA 2019.3 is a very significant release containing many under-the-hood changes including the upgrade of Python 2 to Python 3, and a major re-write of NVDA’s speech subsystem. Although these changes do break compatibility with older NVDA add-ons, the upgrade to Python 3 is necessary for security, and the changes to speech allow for some exciting innovations in the near future. Other highlights in this release include 64 bit support for Java VMs, Screen Curtain and Focus Highlight functionality, support for more braille displays and a new Braille viewer, and many many other bug fixes.
If you’re wondering how we jumped from a beta to RC3 so quickly, it was through being alerted to a couple of issues that we were able to fix in relatively short time. This highlights the importance of as many people as possible testing the RC release. If these issues had not been picked up until the “stable” 2019.3 release, it would have been more work to update.
Add-ons and 2019.3
Most NVDA Add-ons have required an update to be compatible with NVDA 2019.3. That is part of the reason we have waited so long before releasing the final version. We didn’t want anyone to be inconvenienced when they updated.
Most add-ons have now been updated. Some need a “beta” version of the add-on to be downloaded specifically. You can check the status of add-ons you use on the NVDA Add-ons and Python 3 page.
The list of updated add-ons was last updated on the 30th January. If your favourite add-on hasn’t been updated, be sure to write to the add-on developer to encourage them to update. Given that NVDA 2019.3 will be out very shortly. It can also be worth asking for alternate options in the NVDA User Email Group.
Add-on highlight: Clipspeak
We often talk about add-ons, but what are they? Add-ons serve various functions. Some add extra features to NVDA. Some change existing features. Others provide access to functions in programs that don’t work quite so well out of the box.
We often get asked how to make NVDA report editing operations such as when you copy text with control+c. Clipspeak is an add-on which does exactly that. From its description: “Clipspeak is an addon that allows NVDA to automatically announce clipboard operations (such as cut, copy and paste), along with other common editing operations such as select all, undo and redo”. ClipSpeak installs like any other NVDA addon. You can get the Clipspeak add-on from the NVDA Add-ons Site.
When you run the downloaded file, NVDA will install it, then restart. From then, clipspeak will report editing actions. Clipspeak announces actions when the default keystrokes for English are pressed. For instance, control+a for select all, control+x for copy and control+v for paste. These can be updated from NVDA’s Input Gestures dialog if needed.
Find the author’s full description of the add-on and instructions on The ClipSpeak Add-on page. I’m also happy to confirm that like most add-ons, ClipSpeak has been updated and works with NVDA 2019.3.
NVDACon was a couple of months ago in November 2019. I realised I never followed up to let you know that the Recordings from the 2019 Conference were online. For those not familiar, NVDACon is a yearly online conference all about NVDA. One of the most exciting things about the conference is that it’s not even organised by NV Access! NV Access definitely support and promote the conference. It is passionate volunteers from the NVDA community though, who run the conference. We are very grateful for all their hard work. For anyone who didn’t get to join the conference in November, all the recordings are online. The recordings are on the NVDACon Site, in “Past Conferences”.
That’s all for this week. Stay tuned for NVDA 2019.3 final which should come out by the next In-Process. In the meantime, do please download the NVDA 2019.3 Release Candidate and Let Us Know any issues you encounter!