Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions. The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.
Windows List Views and First Letter Navigation
Whenever you are in a Windows list or tree view, such as when you open a folder in File Explorer, you may arrow up and down the list to find the item of interest. However, you can also type the first letter of an item and Windows will jump your focus to the first item that begins with that letter. If you have several items that start with the same letter, just type that letter multiple times and Windows will move to each successive item that begins with that letter. Or, if you type 2 or 3 letters quickly, Windows will move to the first item that begins with those letters.
First letter navigation also works on the desktop which itself is a list view. While on the desktop you may press the first letter of an icon to jump to that icon which is much more efficient than arrowing around the desktop icons. If you have multiple icons that start with the same letter Windows will jump to each successive icon when you type the letter.
For JAWS screen reader users, note that shortcut keys such as JAWS+F6 to bring up a list of headings on a web page/document, or Jaws key+F7 to bring up a list of links on a web page are also Windows list views so you can use first letter navigation to more quickly find the heading or link of interest within those lists.
That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.