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.

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, How to Create a Desktop Shortcut, November 27, 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

If you use a folder or web site often, you may wish to create an icon for it on your desktop.

  • Press the Windows key plus M to focus on the desktop.
  • Press Control+Space to unselect the icon you are focused on.
  • Press the Applications key or Shift+F10 to bring up the context menu for the Desktop.
  • Arrow down the menu and press Enter on the New submenu.
  • Arrow down the New submenu and press Enter on Shortcut.
  • A wizard opens asking you to type the target location for the new icon. This can be a folder or document or a web site. For folders or filenames there is a Browse button to allow you to find the exact path to that document or folder. If the shortcut is for a web site, you need to type the exact HTTP address. If it is a long address it may be best to first go to that web site and then press Alt+D to focus on the address bar and then press Control+C to copy that web page address to the clipboard. Then you can simply press Control+V to paste the web address from the clipboard into this location field of the wizard.
  • After filling in the target location, TAB to the Next button and press Space bar.
  • Then type the name of the icon as you wish it to appear on your desktop .
  • TAB to the Finish button and press space bar. The new icon will now be on your desktop.

Anytime you are on your desktop, you can select the icon and press Enter to activate it. To select the icon, arrow to it or type the first letter of its name.

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

 

GTT Edmonton Meeting Notes, Stay Safe Online, November 11, 2019

            Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting November 11, 2019

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held November11 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.

 

2020 Membership Dues

Thank you to those who paid their CCB 2020 membership. We have a total of 32 paid up members for 2020.

 

November Topic –Stay Safe Online

Lisa Boone from the Athabasca University informed us of many perils we need to be aware of in the online world and she provided recommendations for dealing with those security concerns.

Disclaimer: The opinions and recommendations of Lisa’s are her own and not endorsed by the Canadian Council of the Blind. However, Lisa is an IT  professional and her comments and recommendations are worthy of your consideration as you evaluate how to stay safe online. Following is a summary of her presentation.

 

Internet Browser Address Bar Secure Indications:

For browsers such as Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox – consistent across all of them the address bar says httpsfor secure connection, the https means you are communicating with a legitimate web site and the data you send to that site is encrypted. Don’t communicate with sites that show only http instead of https in their address.

Visually, secure sites also show a padlock icon and screen readers will announce that the site is secure. You may need to press Shift+Tab at the address bar to have your screen reader read the secure designation.

 

When it comes to online banking there is an EV certificate, a third party that confirms a safe site (I.e., digicertt). In a browser address bar these EV certificates show a banks name (e.g. TD Bank, then the https and the text are green. Red colour means it is not secure. Chrome now does not indicate this way when an EV certificate is confirmed. Other browsers currently show the EV certificate. Safari shows the certificate by using green text in the address bar

 

Stop using Internet Explorer. Microsoft does not support it if it gets hacked.

 

Using apps or browsers?

Is it more secure to use the web site or app? (e.g. Amazon, eBay, Kijiji, etc.). Safer to use an app on mobile devices then a browser. On a computer, there is no real best way app or browser.

 

Apps leak information. App developers never tell us they leak. Info can be username, password, email address. Apps can send packets of data and malicious people grab those packets.

Android is wide open, and you are not sure an app is encrypting your data you may want to look at the Check out the recon site and download the app to see what network traffic is going out without you knowing.

http://Recon.meddle.mobi   tracks what kind of traffic is going out from your phone so it blocks info going out from phone (android, iOS, windows).

Also, ask the app vendor if the app data they send out from your phone is being encrypted. Less risk with apple developers then other operating systems.

 

Passwords:

Do not use birthdates, names, mother’s maiden name or addresses

Try to make a password at minimum 8 characters

Use sentences, phrases, symbols and numbers in place of letters.

 

Online shopping:

Use a separate credit card with a lower limit or debit visa that is separate from our normal account. That way hackers are not accessing your major credit cards and accounts. Vanilla or prepaid credit cards can be safer because they are not linked to you.

 

Sign up to Take Advantage of a deal:

Anytime you need to create an account just to get a promotion like Spotify, Recipes, etc. use a junk email you’ve created for just such instances and let it receive all the resulting spam that typically follows. Remember the email and password because you may have to verify it from an authentication email.

 

Often email providers require 2 factor authentication. This is encouraged so that the person trying to access your email account, needs to also have your phone number or fingerprint.

 

Email Accounts:

Don’t install Gmail or Outlook on a computer. Use a browser to access emails if accessible. When you open an email that has malware, the browser server gets to deal with it, not your local hard drive. Never open attachments that end in the extension .exe or .bat. Be suspicious of any link that says click here.

 

Phishing Emails:

Most phishing activity is about banking. They want you to click their website and log in to your account. The result is they now have your username and password.

These are scammers trying to get access. Their fishing emails are usually shocking and look accurate. No government, bank or large corporation is going to ask you for private information or money. Check the email address. Big companies will not use outlook, Gmail or Hotmail. Apple or your IT department.

This is the email version of the fake phone calls from Revenue Canada, Microsoft, the bank.

 

Contests:

Scammers do this all day every day. Always be aware. One of the first things to ask them is “what is my name?”. There are social media scams such as if you pay $ you will get a gift card from Costco.

In Canada, the only thing required of someone if you win something is to answer a skill testing question.

Your email may be actually sending the email. Never click on a link in an email when they claim you’ve won something. You can phone your bank or CRA to confirm. Don’t respond. Delete it forever.

 

Fraud Reporting Departments:

Big companies like Amazon often have a fraud reporting department.

 

Snopes.com does investigation of rumors and hoaxes like costco or walmart card. They will tell you if its true or not

 

The Anti Fraud Center, RCMP, and Consumer Affairs Canada  are all good reliable sources to check for information about fraud and scams. Please report fraud.

 

Other Safety Tips:

  • Don’t willingly give codes or personal information. Ensure they confirm your info rather than you divulging it.
  • Debit machines have red tape on them to show the debit machine has not been tampered with.
  • Place daily limits and weekly limits on withdrawals of bank accounts.
  • Use tap as it is safer or Apple Pay on your smart phone with fingerprint confirmation because you are not giving away your pin.
  • Check your statement often. Call the bank.
  • Clear out your internet browser cookies or cache. Be advised you will then need to re-enter passwords on web sites.

 

Privacy Settings:

All computers, smart phones, social media accounts have privacy settings. Turn off location tracking and decide which apps you will allow to use your microphone or web cam. If you have gone away, don’t post your pictures on social media until you get back home.

 

Spoofing Phone Numbers:

In Canada, spoofing phone numbers is legal and the scammer computer grabs any phone number in Canada which then appears on our call displays even though the scammer is likely calling from abroad. The spoofed number may even be an actual number such as CRA or Microsoft. The government is relying on the phone provider to protect us from spoofing and bogus numbers. Again, be smarter than them and let them tell you about yourself rather than the other way around. Even better, don’t answer the phone at all if you are not expecting the organization to call you. They can leave a message.

 

Private Browsing:

Chrome has incognito mode (a private browsing mode) presumably to prevent websites that want to know when you visit their site (airlines, google,) but browsers are smart, and you never really hide from those sites. They still track you.

 

DuckDuckGo.com instead of google search claims to be a private browser that does not store/track search or location info. Set it as your default search engine or use it’s extensions.

Google and Bing try to catch your search data

 

Ad Blockers:

Ad blockers are good to have. But Youtube is rewriting their core and if you have an ad blocker you won’t be able to use YouTube

Unblock is one ad blocker

 

Antivirus Software:

In Windows 10, windows defender is sufficient if you are reasonably cautious. The huge downside of Defender is that it is really slow to scan your system. If you turn your system off every night, you are not giving it enough time to do its job. Let Windows 10 go to sleep and log off your computer rather than completely shutting it down. This allows Defender to do its scan. Keep your Windows 10 up to date to ensure you are closing any loopholes that Microsoft has patched.

 

Legacy Windows7, 8.1,2000

Download windows defender separately. You will also have to download SHA2 algorithm that ensures it is from Microsoft. Those older Windows systems will prompt you to download SHA2 before it will install windows defender.

 

Upgrade to Windows 10?

Likely older hardware will have trouble running on new operating systems. Take your system to a computer store or Geek Squad

 

A special tool – Microsoft Safety Scanner is another double check virus scanner that may be up to date if windows defender virus definitions are not up to date yet. It’s an applet, download it, launch it and it automatically installs. It’s only valid for 10 days.

 

Next Meeting (Monday December 9 at 7pm)

  • Topic will be our annual presentation and tech demo by Steve Barclay, CEO of Canadian Assistive Technology. Steve has over 30 years’ experience consulting and selling assistive technology across Canada and always has interesting tech to show us. He is also glad to answer questions about your needs. We recommend you come and see what is new and exciting in tech and take advantage of Steve’s vast experience. It’s the Christmas season so if anyone wants to bring any Christmas baking or treats that would help make the evening more festive.

 

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, Touch Typing Tutor App, November 20,2019

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 Touch Typing Tutor App

If you are experiencing progressive vision loss, the old hunt and peck typing skills you developed over the years will not serve you very well if you can’t see the keyboard. It’s time to take the plunge and learn to touch type. Check out Typio, a Windows touch typing tutorial program from Canadian Assistive Technology that runs on Windows and has complete audio feedback.

 

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

 

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.