Wednesday, 2 March 2016

NVDA: Navigating a Google Results Page

Hello. In this 12 minute video I demonstrate how to navigate around a Google results page when using the screen reader, NVDA.

The video is full of all the different shortcut keys that you will need in order to make this difficult task easier.

The video includes a full set of subtitles but if you would like to access the video from a full transcript of the video, find one below.

Start of video transcript

Hello and welcome to this video.

In this video I want to use NVDA to perform a Google search.

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.

Open up the browser that you use most frequently. I will use Firefox. I open it by pressing the “m” key then the enter key.

If you are not already on Google, Press Control and L in order to focus on the address bar. Type in “”

Google should load and your cursor should be in the search bar. If not just press enter.

Now type in your search query. I will type in “world war 2”

A google Results page like a great many other web pages, contains lots of information and it can be quite intimidating to the novice NVDA user.

A Google results page loads and as it is doing that, NVDA repeats what your search is. It also tells you of other important content on the page. That there is a collapsed link for Google Apps and a link to sign in.

It then tells us “search landmark heading level 1 link graphic Google button Google search edit World War 2”

That is a lot of information, so let us go through it bit by bit.

The collapse link is this icon in the top right hand corner.

The link to sign in is also in the right hand corner.

The graphic and the Google search button and in the top left hand corner of the page and it tells us edit World War 2 because that is our search term and if at this point we press the enter key, the cursor appears in the box and we can change our search term. But I am not going to do that!

Now each Google results page contains 10 results.

To get to the first result, press your “h” key  two or three times.

The h key moves from one heading on the page to the next. The first result is from Wikipedia and so the heading for this result is read out.

Each result is composed of three elements. A heading (which is the description of a webpage in relation to our search), a link to the webpage and a 20- 30 word extract from the page.

If you just want to move quickly between the different results, then you can keep pressing the h key and NVDA will read out the heading for each result.

If however, you want to find out more about the link and the extract for each result then after you get to the result that you want to explore (by pressing the h key) press the down arrow once and the link will be read out and press the down arrow once more to hear the extract.

If you want to visit the webpage of a particular result then press the enter key after you have pressed the h key, like so.

A web page will only load if the heading of the result is the focus upon. It will not load if you are focused on the link or the extract like so.

Also if you have accidentally skipped past a result by pressing the h key too many times, then you can move backwards through each heading by pressing the shift and h key together.

Now sometimes, we need to look at the next results page. For our sighted users, we would go to the bottom of the page where there is the Google logo with lots of letter “o’s” in it and below that are some numbers- page numbers of different results.

To  and so the best way that I have found to do in NVDA is to press the Insert key and the F7 key together which loads the Elements menu and then press the Alt key and the d key in order to get a list of the page landmarks. Now press your down arrow until NVDA says “navigation”. Press the enter key.

Press your right arrow until NVDA says “out of link, link 2” which is page 2 of results.

If at this point you press the control key and the enter key, page 2 of the results for “World War 2” will load in a separate tab.

On the new results page, press the h key three times in order to get to the first result on this page.

You might want to watch or listen to this video a few times in order to grow your confidence as there is a lot of information to absorb!

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

How do you use NVDA to navigate a Google results page? Let me know.

Thanks for watching.

End of video transcript

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