Basic Training for NVDA
Release Date: 13 April 2016
This free sample is an extract from the full "Basic Training for NVDA" module and includes the following chapters:
Chapter 1: Introduction and Chapter 11: Review Cursor
If you find this sample useful, you are encouraged to purchase the full version from NV Access
The Basic Training for NVDA eBook is the first module in the official set of training materials for learning to use the free NVDA screen reader.
The purchase price of the product supports the work of NV Access and our ability to provide the NVDA screen reading software free of charge.
Copyright © 2016 by NV Access Limited.
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of NV Access Limited.
Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this book was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
First publication: April 2016
ISBN (of full book): 978-0-9945838-0-2
Microsoft, Word, WordPad and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
"Basic Training for NVDA" is an independent publication and is not affiliated with, nor has it been authorised, sponsored or otherwise approved by, Microsoft Corporation.
This "Basic Training for NVDA" module covers the essentials of using Windows with NVDA. It is designed as the first in a series of modules covering various aspects of using NVDA and Windows.
NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free "screen reader" which reads the text on the screen in a computerised voice. You can control what information is read aloud and also convert the text into braille if a "braille display" is connected to the PC.
This module consists of the following sections:
Goals are presented at the beginning of each section with related review activities at the end of each section.
It is expected that you are comfortable typing and locating keys on your computer's keyboard.
It is assumed that you will either have NVDA (and a braille display if required) already installed or will obtain assistance with installation and initial setup. Please refer to the "NVDA Setup Guide" section at the end of this material for how to download and install NVDA if needed.
You will need to have access to a computer which meets the following minimum requirements:
The aim of this section is to explore the NVDA review cursor. The review cursor allows you to read backward or forward through a document without moving the focus or the caret. You can also find out spelling and formatting information.
Goals for this section:
So far, when we have moved around a document in WordPad or a web page in Internet Explorer, we have moved the caret or focus as we moved. Using a mode called the "Review cursor", it is possible to read ahead or back through a document without moving the focus. This can be useful if you want to check a calculation, an address or the spelling of a word for instance.
First, let's practice moving by line and word. There are several ways of doing this:
With NVDA in desktop layout:
With NVDA in laptop layout:
If you are using a braille display, by default the display will be "tethered" to the focus. As you move the review cursor, although NVDA will read where the review cursor is, the output from the braille display will not change. This can be used to read the line with focus in braille and the review cursor in audio. You can toggle whether the braille display is tethered to the focus (the default) or to the review cursor by pressing NVDA+control+t.
Let's practice using the review cursor now:
To dear, Mr Kent,
Offence was not meant!
We spelt your name badly,
Now we all feel sadly!
Forgive us please now Mr Brown!
Last activity, we moved and read whole lines with the review cursor. Let's now look at some of the other movement commands we can use to control the review cursor. Again this differs between desktop and laptop layout.
So far we know we can use num pad 7 to move the review cursor to the previous line, num pad 8 to read the current line the review cursor is on and num pad 9 to move the review cursor to the next line.
To read by word is num pad 4 for the previous word, num pad 5 for the current word and num pad 6 for the next word.
To read by character is num pad 1 for the previous character, num pad 2 for the current character and num pad 3 for the next character.
You can also use:
A good way to remember the review cursor commands is to think of them as being in a grid of three by three on the number pad, with top to bottom being line, word and character and left to right being previous, current and next.
With num pad 8 to read the current line and num pad 5 to read the current word, if you press the key twice quickly, it will spell the current line or word.
So far we know we can use NVDA+up arrow to move the review cursor to the previous line, NVDA+shift+. to read the current line the review cursor is on and NVDA+down arrow to move the review cursor to the next line.
To read by word is NVDA+control+left arrow for the previous word, NVDA+control+. for the current word and NVDA+control+right arrow for the next word.
To read by character is NVDA+left arrow for the previous character, NVDA+. for the current character and NVDA+right arrow for the next character.
You can also use:
A good way to remember the review cursor navigation commands is that they are similar to the commands for moving the caret with the addition of the NVDA modifier key.
With NVDA+shift+. to read the current line and NVDA+control+. to read the current word, if you press the key twice quickly, it will spell the current line or word.
Finally, in either mode you can press NVDA+f to report text formatting. We've used this before, but it is worth noting that this command actually reports formatting information at the review cursor rather than the caret.
Remember the review cursor stays with the caret position until you move it manually. You can toggle whether the review cursor stays with the caret or moves independently of the caret by pressing NVDA+6.
Let's practice moving the review cursor now:
As well as moving the review cursor to read a different part of a web page or document to where the focus is, you can also copy text from the review cursor. In both desktop and laptop layout, use NVDA+f9 to mark the start of the text to copy and NVDA+f10 to finish and copy the text.
Note that when copying in this mode, the selection includes the character to the right of the review cursor (the character read out when moving by character or the first character of the next word or line when moving by word or line).
This section, we have covered using the Review cursor. There are quite a lot of keystrokes in this section, more than we could cover in the activities, so you may want to come back and review this section again. Some of the key concepts included:
Some of my favourite animals:
Two cats, Meg and Mog,
four birds and a dog.
Plus a sheep is a total of: