Wednesday, 2 March 2016

NVDA: Navigating The Desktop

Hello. In this video, which is just over 5 minutes long, I show you how to navigate the desktop of your PC, using the screen reader NVDA. This video is full of helpful shortcuts!

The video includes a full set of subtitles but if you would prefer to access the video by reading from a transcript. please find it below.

Start of video transcript

Hello and welcome to this video.

In this video I want to demonstrate how to navigate around the desktop using NVDA.

But just in case you are unfamiliar with NVDA and screen readers, let me just introduce them.

NVDA is a free screen reader.

A screen reader is a great piece of software that gives computers, smartphones and tablets a voice in order to help people who have a visual impairment or who are blind access these devices more independently.

I have created other videos about the screen reader NVDA and I have grouped them together in a playlist which I will link to below.

A piece of technical information is that I am recording this video on a laptop running Windows 10 and my version of NVDA is 2016.1.

The process should be the same if you are using Windows 7 or 8 and if you are using a different version of NVDA- as long as it is fairly recent.

Let’s turn NVDA on.

I will press the Windows Key and the D key in order to access my desktop.

Now I will press the N key in order to select NVDA and then I press enter.

If you already have NVDA on, press Windows key and the D key in order to focus on the desktop.

In order to move around the desktop you can either use your arrow keys which will select each icon on the desktop in order, like this.

I am pressing my up, down and right and left arrows as I do this.

Now this is a great option if you are on a PC with an unfamiliar layout. It gives you the chance to take a tour around the desktop to see what it contains.

Or alternatively, you can move around a familiar desktop using the initial letters of the icons or apps, like so.

This is a probably the fastest way of navigating the desktop.

Interestingly, if you are using initial letters to move around the desktop and there is more than one icon or app that has that initial letter, NVDA will rotate through each app that has the initial letter in turn.

Just remember how many times you need to press the letter in order to get to your desired app or icon.

If you want to select apps on the desktop that have the same initial letter, you might want to try typing in the initial letter and the second letter of the app name so that the app will be selected faster.

What is interesting here is that this process of moving around the desktop using your arrow keys or using initial letters, works even when NVDA is turned off.

Which is a great tip for faster ways to work for people who don’t have a visual impairment.

If you have any questions or difficulties after watching this video, or want to join in with the discussion please do so below.

Do you move around your desktop using your arrow keys or initial letters? Let me know.

Thanks for watching.

End of video transcript

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