Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Windows Logo Key and Search, November 13, 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 Logo Key and Windows Search

The Windows Logo key by itself or in combination with other keys is very useful. You will find the Windows key 2 keys to the left of the spacebar on most keyboards.

  • Windows key by itself will open the Start menu with focus on the Windows search. You can type almost anything in the search box. For example, you can type the names of desktop apps such as Excel, Word, or Outlook. You can type partial filenames and suggested matches will be shown. The results of what you type appear in a list above the search box with focus at the top of the list. The search results list changes dynamically as you type your search text. For example, I have an Excel document named, Books I Have Read.XLSX. To open that file quickly, I press the Windows key then type “Books I” without the quotes and Windows finds it even though its name was only partially typed. It appears at the top of the search results list and I just press Enter to open it. I know it’s at the top of the search results, because JAWS announces it as soon as I pause typing the search text. As soon as I hear the full file name announced, I just press Enter to open it.
  • Even if the result of your search is not at the top of the list, you can press Down Arrow to review the results list and press Enter when you find the result you need. Beside each result is its category such as desktop app, settings, documents, and web page.
  • Instead of pressing Enter to open the item, you may also press the Applications key for any item in the list and a context menu will open. In that menu are other choices such as opening the item’s location or pinning it to the task bar.
  • If you don’t find the desired result ,try typing something else because your typing focus magically remains in the search edit box even as you browse the search results list.
  • If the search text you type is not found on your computer, Windows will offer to search the web for you, meaning you don’t always have to first open your browser to do a web search. You may find it easier to just press the Windows key and type your web search.
  • Finally, instead of typing a search string, you can press TAB multiple times to explore the rest of the Start menu.
  • Here are more Windows key shortcuts:
  • Windows key + 1 will launch the first item of your task bar, Windows key + 2 will launch the second task bar item, and so on.
    Windows+B opens the System Tray menu.
  • Windows+Control+Enter toggles the built-in Windows 10 Narrator screen reader on or off. Note that the tips in this blog series do not require that a screen reader is running.
  • Windows++ (plus sign) turns on the Windows 10 built-in screen Magnifier. While Magnifier is running, Windows++ increases magnification, and Windows+- (minus key) reduces magnification. Windows+Escape will close the Magnifier.
  • Windows + E opens the File Explorer app.
  • Windows+I opens the Settings Centre.
  • Windows+T places you on the task bar.
  • Windows+M minimizes all apps and goes to the desktop.
  • Windows+U opens the Ease of Access centre.
  • Windows+Up Arrow maximizes the current window.
  • There are many more. Here is the complete list of Windows Shortcut keys.

 

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

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Applications Key for Context Menus, November 6, 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 Applications Key for Context Menus

Mouse users frequently right click on items to bring up a context menu of things they can do with the item their mouse is pointing at. Keyboard users can also access the same context menus.

 

While focused on an item, press the Applications key beside the right control key and the same right-click context menu will pop up. Arrow up and down the menu items and press Enter on the item you need. If you can’t find an Applications key on your keyboard, you may also press Shift+F10 to bring up the context menu. It is called a context menu because the menu items will vary depending on what item you are focused on.  Don’t hesitate to press the Applications key anywhere for these handy context menus. For example, you can press the Applications key when focused on a file or folder, an item on the desktop or task bar, an email message, a word in a document, a cell in an Excel spreadsheet, an email message, and many other places. It is extremely important to use the Applications key frequently if you want to be productive using Windows from the keyboard.

 

Windows users often ask, “how do I do that?”. The answer is frequently, press the Applications key and what you need is in the context menu. Keyboard users may complain they can’t find what they need in the Office ribbons because they are difficult to navigate, but likely, what they need in the ribbon may be in the context menu. If you don’t find what you need in the context menu, just press Escape to close the menu. The Applications key will be used many times in upcoming Windows from the Keyboard Tips.

 

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

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Windows General Shortcuts, October 30, 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 from the Keyboard – General Shortcuts

When progressive vision loss makes it increasingly difficult to see the mouse or read the screen you can use Windows without a mouse. You can operate most Windows programs such as Word, Excel, email, and web browsing without using the mouse. Did you know that the TAB key will move from link to link in a web page or from item to item in a web form or from field to field in an email? Once you navigate to an item you can activate it without clicking the mouse. Just press the Enter key.

 

Here are some other handy Windows keyboard shortcuts:

  • Control+Backspace will delete the previous word while typing in an edit field or document.
  • Control+Delete key will delete the next word while typing in an edit field or document.

Control+S will save your document.

  • Control+P will print your document.
  • Control+C will copy selected text, files, or folders to the clipboard.
  • Control+V will paste clipboard text into a document or email. Also, Control+V will paste files or folders that have been copied to the clipboard into another location.
  • Alt+F4 will close a window.
  • Alt+F4 while focused on the desktop will bring up the Windows shutdown menu.
  • Pressing TAB multiple times while on the Desktop will move to the Start button, then to the Task Bar, then to the Notifications area, then back to the Desktop. While in the Notifications area you can press down arrow to cycle through the System Tray icons.
  • Alt+Tab will cycle between open windows.
  • Windows key + M will minimize all open windows and return to the desktop.
  • While on the desktop, press the first letter of any icon to jump to it. Press Enter to activate the icon.
  • The Applications key beside the right control key is very important in Windows so much so that it will be discussed in a separate tip.
  • Here is Microsoft’s Windows 10 Complete List of shortcuts.

 

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

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Windows 10 Accessibility, October 23,2019

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 will 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.

 

Windows10 Accessibility

Many people who are experiencing progressive vision loss find it increasingly difficult to see their computer screen and ask what kind of assistive tech software they should buy. The good news is you can improve the accessibility of your computer without buying anything. Windows 10 has built-in accessibility settings for both screen magnification and screen reading with speech.

 

Just hold down the Windows logo key and press U to open the Ease of Access settings. You will find a list of accessibility features such as screen magnification, contrast, and alternative mouse pointers. Try setting these parameters to improve your screen reading experience.

 

Also, within the Windows 10 Ease of Access Centre is a speech screen reader called Narrator that should be explored if your vision loss is significant and you would benefit more by having the contents of your screen spoken to you.

 

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

 

GTT Edmonton October 17 Meeting Notes, iOS 13, October 18, 2019

            Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting October 17, 2019

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held October17 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

19 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.

 

2020 Membership Dues

Thank you to those who paid their CCB 2020 membership. 5 members renewed and we had 2 new members. Membership of $10 will continue to be collected in the November meeting.

 

October Topic –iOS 13

Apple continues to demonstrate its commitment to inclusive design with many new accessibility features  in iOS version 13. Thanks to the GTT Edmonton Team who discussed and demonstrated many of the new features in the October meeting.

 

AppleVIS iOS 13 Resources

You are encouraged to read the comprehensive summary on the AppleVis web site because we only have space for a brief summary of the iOS features in these notes.

As well, on the AppleVIS Podcast Page, Thomas Domville has posted excellent podcasts in which he discusses and demonstrates the new iOS 13 features. Use your favorite podcast app or the Victor Reader Stream and search for the AppleVIS podcast feed. Then scroll through the iOS 13 episodes. Here are several direct links to relevant episodes.

What’s New in iOS 13 Part 1

What’s New in iOS 13 Part 2

How to Use Voice Control on iOS 13

How to Use the New QuickPath Swipe Keyboard

How to Create and Use New VoiceOver Activity Profiles

How to Customize VoiceOver Haptic Feedback

How to Customize VoiceOver Gestures

How to Check Battery Life and Optimize Battery Charging

 

How to Update Your Phone

To determine your iPhone software version, go to Settings > General > About. To update your phone software, be sure you are connected to the Internet and then  go to Settings > General > Software Update and follow the prompts. The most recent version is 13.1.3.

 

List of iOS New Accessibility Features

If you don’t want to read about the iOS 13 features described on AppleVIS or listen to their podcasts, you can jump right in and try them. Here is a list to get you started.

 

Accessibility Menu

Apple Has moved Accessibility out of the General Settings to the top level of Settings to make it easier to find.

New Siri Voice

iOS 13 introduces a new female voice for Siri that is considered more natural sounding. It is the default Siri voice in iOS 13. It is available only as a female English U.S. voice.

Dark Mode

There  is a new screen appearance called Dark Mode which low vision users may want to investigate at Settings>Display and Brightness. This is a general feature not an accessibility feature. Some say it is a calmer, more unified appearance with less stress on the eyes. It’s also available in the Control Centre.

Voice Control

New Voice Control feature lets you control the phone by voice. To set it up go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control. Before using it, you will need to download 250MB of data so that Voice Control can work even if you are not connected to the internet.

VoiceOver Sounds and Haptics

VoiceOver now provides haptic feedback for many gestures and actions. You can control the haptics feedback and sound feedback by going to

Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Audio > Sounds

& Haptics.  The haptics are on by default so you will likely notice them after you install iOS 13.

No more 3D Touch

Apple has replaced 3D Touch with a Context Menu  available on the rotor wherever 3D Touch was previously used such as the Home Screen.

Vertical Scroll Bar

On screens with lots of data such as Settings,  Messages, web pages, and many other places you can touch the right edge of the screen to find a vertical scroll bar. Flick up or down with your finger to quickly scroll through the data. For example, flicking to the 50% position on the scroll bar will position you halfway down the data.

Help with Photos

IN the camera app, VoiceOver now provides hints to help you better frame a photo such as whether the camera is level, the person or object is centred and even what it thinks the object might be.

More Customization of braille commands, Bluetooth keyboard commands, and gestures

Go to settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Commands to find what you can customize. For example, do you have difficulty with the rotor gesture or using the rotor on a web page to select heading navigation? You may want to create a custom gesture to set up a 2 finger flick to rotate the rotor or navigate web pages by heading.

Improved Braille screen typing

Some users are saying that with iOS 13 they can now type in braille on their iPhone screen faster than they can on an electronic braille hardware keyboard.

Chart Data Comprehension

iOS 13 has a data comprehension feature that attempts to describe and/or render in audio tones the information contained in graphical charts. For example, the Stocks app, Health app, and the battery level section of Settings>Battery have this feature. When you flick to a chart and hear the words, “Data Comprehension “, you can flick up multiple times to hear different interpretations of the chart data in speech and braille as well as an audio tone analog of the data.

QuickPath

There is a new general feature (not accessibility feature) for touch typing called Quick Path slide to type where iOS will announce the word it thinks you are trying to type as you slide and pause over successive keys. Some like it and others do not. It is on by default in iOS 13. If you find it more difficult to touch type in iOS 13, you may want to turn off this feature. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard and toggle off “Slide to Type”. You can also add Slide to Type to the VoiceOver rotor if you think you will want to enable/disable it frequently.

Activities

VoiceOver now has a feature called, Activities. It allows you to set up VoiceOver

profiles that will permit you to automatically switch from one set of VoiceOver settings to another based on launching an app, or on demand through the rotor. For example, in a News app or book reading app you may want a different Voice, language, speaking rate, volume, and different punctuation verbosity. Every time you launch the app, VoiceOver will switch to the customized settings profile and return to your default VoiceOver settings when you close the app. The profile settings also include choice of braille translation tables and choice of Bluetooth keyboard modifier keys. To create a custom Activity profile, go to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Activities and select “Add Activity”. To add Activities to the rotor, go to Settings > Accessibility >VoiceOver > rotor and select activities.

 

Speaking Punctuation

In iOS 13, you have much more control over which punctuation is spoken and how it is spoken.  Check it out in Settings>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Verbosity>Punctuation.

Detect Text

VoiceOver will attempt to detect text on unlabeled buttons. If you wish to disable this feature, go to Settings > Accessibility> Verbosity > Speak Detected Text.

Auto language switching

You can now enable or disable VoiceOver auto language switching. Go to Settings > Accessibility> VoiceOver > Speech.

New Braille Tables

You can download and use many more braille translation tables including Liblouis tables. Go to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Braille > Braille Tables.

 

Next Meeting (Monday November 11 at 7pm)

  • Topic will be computer security and how to stay safe in the modern online world.
  • 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

 

Meeting Location and Logistics

  • Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton.
  • We meet in the basement hall. There is elevator access.
  • Enter the church from the back door. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
  • Meetings are every second Monday of the month at 7pm.
  • If you have someone helping you your assistant is welcome to remain for the meeting.

 

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.

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Windows From the Keyboard Tips, New Weekly Blog, October 16, 2019

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. Starting next Wednesday, we will begin a new weekly blog called, Windows from the Keyboard Tips. These weekly posts will contain useful keyboard shortcuts, tips, and strategies  that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips will still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, most of the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user.

 

There are over 50 weekly tips planned in the next year  that will cover Windows 10 in general, including the desktop, Start menu search, settings, and File Explorer. Office apps such as Word, Excel, and Outlook will also be included.

 

If you know people who might be interested in reading the blog posts, they can read them on the

GTT National blog web site.

If they prefer to receive the posts in their email inbox there is a Follow link at the bottom of that web site where you can submit your email address.

 

Watch your inbox next Wednesday for the first tip in the series.