Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Windows List View and First Letter Navigation, January 22, 2020

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.

 

GTT Edmonton Meeting Notes, Independent Living Skills, January 13, 2020

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting January 13, 2020

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held January13 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

17 people attended.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading. Read the Additional Resources section following the meeting notes to learn about our one on one telephone support, the National monthly teleconference, and the support email list.

 

January Topic –Independent Living Skills

We had a robust round table open discussion on independent living skills. People talked about their strategies and tech they use to perform everyday tasks. The topic turned out to be one of our more interesting ones. The discussion lasted nearly two hours with lots of enthusiasm and lots of ideas shared about how to do everyday tasks. Many of the tasks relied on common sense approaches as well as using tech. Following is a brief summary of the discussion.

 

 how to get the bus:

  • Google the destination to be aware of its surroundings.
  • Use the ETS app or Transit app.
  • Don’t be shy. Ask someone at the bus stop.
  • You can use the AIRA app which provides trained sighted agents to help you get to the stop by using the video camera on your phone. It was pointed out that AIRA now provides the first 5 minutes of each sighted assistance session for free.

 

How to shop:

  • Many people remember the location in the store of products they use regularly.
  • Customer service can be a great help.
  • Seeing AI app can be useful for reading product labels and info.
  • Place an order online and pickup (Superstore) or get delivery for about $9 (from Save On Foods. Save On has a code that allows you to use 2500 Save On points for free delivery. This code saves you a lot more than using your points for anything else.
  • Use Be My Eyes app to have a volunteer guide you and describe your item by looking through the video camera of your phone. It was mentioned that, unlike AIRA which uses paid trained agents, Be My Eyes uses volunteers so there may be a wait for a volunteer to engage you.

 

How to Cook:

  • Use an Instant Pot. Put everything in it at once. Seasoning is everything! Use less liquid so it is thicker. If you get the Bluetooth InstaPot, then you can control all the settings from an app.
  • Label stove with dots for “Start”, “Medium”, “High” etc.
  • Label microwave critical buttons such as #5, Power, Start, and Clear.
  • Modern induction burners are appealing because they only heat the steel pot, the burner does not get hot.
  • Use smaller knives so less likely to cut yourself.
  • When grilling on the BBQ, get a 2-sided spatula with attached tong (you can slide the spatula under the food, and then squeeze the food with the tong, so you can easily flip the food.
  • Use a boiling water probe to tell the level of hot water in a cup.
  • To avoid messy bacon frying, cook bacon at 350 degrees in the oven (on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  • Add milk to eggs and scramble them in a frying pan. When you press on them and they don’t make a squishy sound, they are done.
  • When browning meat such as ground beef, it will feel dry to the touch when it is fully browned. More frying is safer than less.
  • Organize spices in baggies and /or in same size containers using braille labels if you know braille.
  • Put braille labels on spice containers and refill the same labelled container when it is used up.
  • Sometimes can tell the difference with texture or smell
  • Use braille recipe card labels and secure them to tin cans with rubber bands. Put the card aside when you open the can and it becomes your shopping list.

 

How to do Laundry:

  • Use the “Seeing AI app to help sort colors of clothes.
  • Buy clothing in similar colors, so they will match, and can be washed together.
  • Avoid white clothes, which might absorb other colors.
  • Use “Color Catchers” or “Dye Magnets” which absorb colors that run from clothes. They are like dryer sheets, but you put them in the washing machine. London Drugs carries them.
  • Use sock pairing devices (CNIB has them), or buy same color socks, or socks with different textures so you can tell the difference.

 

Travel:

  • Hotels have more services and help available.
  • The Travel Eyes organization pairs sighted and non-sighted  individuals to travel together on trips.
  • Use headphones that do not cover your ears such as the popular bone conducting headphones from Aftershokz.
  • Use an app for GPS navigation and orientation such as Blind Square or Microsoft Soundscape.
  • Can do both touring and mountain biking with a tandem bicycle and an experienced captain.
  • Be aware of what insurance covers.
  • Wear good boots, jacket, all weather gear, be sure clothing is reflective.

 

House Cleaning:

  • Feel with your hands what needs cleaning.
  • Clean once a week because it probably needs it.
  • Use an app like AIRA or Be My Eyes to get help to tell you if an area is clean.

General

  • Smart apps can be used to control lights, thermostats etc.
  • If you are going into college or university, be sure to clearly identify your needs for accessible course materials (audio, e-text, braille, tactile, tutor) to your contact at the disability student office. These materials and/or services take time and special grant funding needs to be organized so be sure you are leading the process and not the other way around.

 

Next Meeting (Monday February 10 at 7pm)

  • Topic is to be announced.
  • As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

 

Additional Resources

Telephone Support

Contact our GTT coordinators, Kim Kilpatrick in the East or Albert Ruel in the West to book one on one telephone support.

Kim: 877-304-0968 Ext. 513

Email: GTTProgram@Gmail.com

Albert: 877-304-0968 Ext. 550

Email: albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

GTT Blog and Monthly Teleconference

CCB sponsors a national GTT monthly teleconference. You may subscribe to the GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences, meeting notes from GTT chapters, and other information. To subscribe, activate the Follow link at the bottom of the blog web page to enter your email.

GTT Email Support List

CCB also sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

GTT Edmonton Overview

  • GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each 2 hour meeting consists of a feature technology topic in the first hour and a general tech discussion in the second hour.

[End]

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Quick Key for Changing Case, January 15, 2020

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 Quick Key for Changing Case

Shift+F3 is a great way to quickly change from lowercase to uppercase or vice versa. Have you ever forgotten to capitalize the first word in a sentence? Just position  to the start of the word and press Shift+F3. Windows will capitalize the first letter or if it’s already capitalized it will change it to lowercase. Press Shift+F3 twice to capitalize

the entire word or if the word is already all caps it will change back to lowercase. Shift+F3 is a Windows

shortcut key available when editing documents such as in Microsoft Word or when typing emails.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Windows From The Keyboard Tips, Windows Run Dialogue, January 8, 2020

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 Run Dialogue

A quick way to run some programs or access specific resources is to use the Windows Run dialogue. Hold down the Windows logo key and press R. This opens the Windows Run dialogue with focus in an edit box. The      edit box will show the command that was last typed into the Windows Run dialog. You may repeat this previous command by just pressing Enter or, since the command is highlighted, you may just type a new command which will replace it. After typing a new command, press Enter to execute it.

 

In this command edit box you may type the name of some programs such as Notepad. Or, you can type the path to a device drive such as c: to open the root of your main hard drive, or F: to open the SD or USB in drive slot F. Or, you can type a folder path name such as C:\Users\Gerry\Documents to open your main documents folder. Or, you can type a web address such as www.cnib.ca to open that specific web page. In all cases, end your typing by pressing Enter.

 

The Windows Run dialogue remembers  the previous commands you have typed so, instead of typing a command, you may simply arrow down to choose from the list of previous commands. When you find the desired previous command, just press Enter to execute it.

 

Unlike the Windows search, which is invoked by pressing the Windows logo key, the Windows Run command will not perform a search. It requires that you type exactly the name of the resource you wish to run. It is useful if the resource name is fairly short and you know it precisely.  Otherwise; the more general Windows key search discussed in a previous tip is more efficient because it will search for matches to what you type including desktop apps, documents, or web sites and bring them up in a search results list simultaneously as you type.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Task Bar – A Productivity Tool, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year! All the best for 2020. 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 Task Bar – A Productivity Tool

We have devoted several tips to using the desktop to make it easy to open folders, apps, and web sites. However, the Windows Task Bar is also very useful for quickly launching and switching to frequently used apps. You can easily reach the Task Bar in 2 ways:

From the Desktop press TAB multiple times until you reach the task bar, or from anywhere, press Windows Key + T.

While on the Task Bar you can arrow across and find apps that have been pinned to it or apps that are currently running. If you press the Applications key on any Task Bar item, a context menu opens that allows you to do various things such as closing the app, pin the item to the Task bar if it is not already pinned or unpin it if it is pinned. Pinning an item makes it available to launch quickly from the Task Bar by just pressing Enter on it. Or, from anywhere, you can press Windows Key +1, Windows key + 2, Windows key + 3 etc. to launch the first, second, third etc. item in the Task Bar.

 

Office apps such as Word or Excel may be useful to pin to the Task Bar. For example, to pin the Word app:

  • Launch Word so it is running.
  • Pres Windows + T to focus on the Task Bar.
  • Arrow across to find the running task for Word.
  • Press the Applications key to open its context menu.
  • From the menu, select Pin to Task Bar, and press Enter. Word will now be on the Task Bar permanently even after you shut down and restart your computer.

 

This does not mean Word will always be running when you start your computer. Rather, a shortcut to launch it will always be on the Task Bar. If it is positioned as the 4th item on the Task Bar, then simply pressing Windows key + 4 from anywhere will launch it. If you focus on the Word icon on the Task Bar and press the Applications key, you will find recently accessed Word documents listed on the resulting context menu also referred to as a jump list. Simply press Enter on any of those documents to open them in Word. If you later decide to remove Word from the Task Bar, the unpin option is also available in its context menu. IF you unpin it, any remaining pinned items after it will be renumbered. Any time you pin a new item it is always added as the last item on the Task Bar.

 

By default, File Explorer is pinned to the task bar which is very handy. You may also press the Applications key on it to open a jump list of recently visited folders as well as choices to open your Documents and Downloads folders.

 

Pinning a browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox to the Task Bar may also be useful because their jump list will remember recently visited web sites so you can quickly return to them.

You can access the jump list for your task bar icons directly without focusing on the task bar itself by inserting the Alt key. For example, Windows+Alt+1 will open the jump list for the first task bar item, Windows+Alt+2 will open the jump list for the second task bar item and so on. Thus, if Word was pinned as your third task bar item, you could bring up the jump list of recently used Word documents by simply pressing Windows+Alt+3 from anywhere.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Create a Desktop Shortcut to the Documents Folder, December 25, 2019

Season’s Greetings!. 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– How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to the Documents Folder

In a previous tip, a general method was provided for creating desktop icons, but Windows also provides a way to create shortcuts through the Applications menu on certain items. For example, it is very helpful to have a desktop shortcut to open your Documents folder. To accomplish this:

  • Press Windows key + E to open File Explorer.
  • Arrow down to your Documents folder but don’t open it. Instead, press the Applications key or Shift+F10. A context menu opens for the Documents folder.
  • Arrow down to the context menu’s Create Shortcut item and press Enter.
  • You will be informed that a shortcut to the Documents folder cannot be created here, and you will be asked if you want to place it on the desktop. This is precisely what we want, so TAB to the Yes button and press spacebar to activate it. Your Desktop will now have a shortcut icon to the Documents folder.
  • Press Alt+F4 to close the File Explorer program.
  • Return to the Desktop by pressing Windows+M. You may want to add the Control+Alt+D keyboard hot key to activate your new desktop Documents shortcut.
  • Press D multiple times until you reach the new Documents shortcut icon.
  • Press Alt+Enter to open the properties dialogue for the Documents shortcut.
  • TAB to the shortcut field and type the letter, D. Just type the single letter D because Windows will automatically add the Control+Alt keys.
  • TAB to the OK button and press spacebar to activate.

The Control+Alt+D hot key sequence has been attached to the desktop Documents icon. Now, to reach your Documents folder from anywhere, just press Control+Alt+D.

 

That’s it for this tip. Next tip is next year. See you in 2020!

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Create a Shortcut Key for a Desktop Icon, December 18, 2019

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 Desktop Icon – How to Create a Shortcut key

It’s possible to launch desktop icons by holding down Control+Alt while pressing another shortcut letter. To set up a Control+Alt hot key sequence, select the desktop icon by arrowing to it or pressing its first letter. Then press Alt+Enter. Tab to the edit box that is labelled, Shortcut Key. Press the single key that you wish to use as the shortcut key. Just type the single key as Windows will add the Control+Alt keys. For example, if you have an icon to go to the CELA Library web site, you might type the letter C. It must be unique as you can’t use the same letter for multiple icons. After typing the single letter TAB to the OK button and press spacebar. You are done. Now, to launch the icon , simply hold down the Control+Alt keys while pressing the shortcut letter even if you are not on the desktop.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Rename a Desktop Icon, December 11, 2019

 

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 Desktop Icon – How to Rename

If you have a desktop icon that you wish to rename simply highlight (place focus on) the icon and press F2. An edit box will open where you can type the new name over the existing name. Press Enter when done and your icon will be renamed. Note that F2 can also be used to rename folder or filenames while browsing in File Explorer.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

GTT Edmonton Meeting Summary Notes, Canadian Assistive Technologies Exhibit, December 9, 2019

            Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Chapter Meeting December 9, 2019

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

27 people attended.

IMPORTANT: Read the Additional Resources section following the meeting notes to learn about our one on one telephone support, the National monthly teleconference, and the support email list.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading.

 

Thank You for Treats

A big thank you to all those members who brought treats to make this a festive meeting to celebrate the Christmas season.

 

December Topic – Technology Exhibit

We were treated to a technology exhibit from Canadian Assistive Technologies, a company with over 30 years’ experience providing assistive technology to blind and low vision Canadians. Company owner, Steve Barclay, exhibited some of the latest tech available. Following is a list of what Steve showed us with links to the product description and pricing.

 

Steve also has some good deals at the Canadian Assistive Technologies gently used marketplace which is worth checking out.

For more information on these or any other Canadian Assistive Technologies products, you may contact Steve at:

(844) 795-8324

Or  sales@canasstech.com

 

Steve’s team also produces a weekly assistive technology podcast which is called AT Banter.

Next Meeting (Monday January 13, 2020 at 7pm)

First hour topic is to be announced.

  • The second hour is for you. For help with technology bring your devices and/or questions.

 

Additional Resources

Telephone Support

Contact our GTT coordinators, Kim Kilpatrick in the East or Albert Ruel in the West to book one on one telephone support.

Kim: 877-304-0968 Ext. 513

Email: GTTProgram@Gmail.com

Albert: 877-304-0968 Ext. 550

Email: albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

GTT Blog and Monthly Teleconference

CCB sponsors a national GTT monthly teleconference. You may subscribe to the GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences, meeting notes from GTT chapters, and other information. To subscribe, activate the Follow link at the bottom of the blog web page to enter your email.

GTT Email Support List

CCB also sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

GTT Edmonton Overview

  • GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each 2 hour meeting consists of a feature technology topic in the first hour and a general tech discussion in the second hour.

[End]

 

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Create a Desktop Shortcut for a Desktop App, December 4, 2019

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 Desktop – Create a shortcut for a desktop app

Perhaps you want a shortcut on your desktop to launch a frequently used app like Excel, Word, or any other app on your Start menu.

  • Press Windows key to open the Start menu.
    • Tab to the all apps list and arrow through the list of apps to highlight the app you want and press the Applications key to open the context menu for the app.
  • Choose Open file location, or if that isn’t present on the menu, open the More sub menu, and then choose Open file location.
  • File Explorer opens at the location where the shortcut for the app is stored, and the shortcut to the app will be selected.
  • Press the Applications key to open the shortcut’s context menu.
  • From the context menu, choose the Send to sub menu, and choose Desktop (create shortcut).
  • Press Alt + F4 to close File Explorer. A shortcut to the app is now present on your desktop.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.