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.

 

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.

 

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.