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.

 

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.

 

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 National Conference Call Summary Notes, LV and Blindness Features of Windows 10, 2019Jul10

GTT National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

July 10, 2019

 

Find the CCB Podcast of this event at the link below:

05 GTT National Conference Call, Low Vision Features of Windows 10, July 10, 2019

 

Windows 10 Accessibility Primer

 

Following is a summary of the Windows10 accessibility primer Carrie Anton and Lyle Rollaman presented to GTT National Conference Call meeting attendees on July 10, 2019. Although the presentation was focused on low vision Windows access there is information that is also relevant to blind users. There are links to other resources so you can research more commands and tools. The commands provided are for Windows 10. The resource links provided take you to the Microsoft pages where you can choose the version of Windows you are using.  Also find at the bottom of this document links to three Microsoft Accessibility Learning Webinar Series episodes hosted by Microsoft staff related to low vision and blind access to Narrator and Magnification features built into Windows 10.

 

Windows Shortcut Keys

Learning Windows Shortcut Keys is important to be Efficient and to be able to perform functions when you cannot use a mouse.

 

Windows Ease of Access Center

This is where all Accessibility related settings can be adjusted.

. TO DO THIS PRESS THIS
Open the Ease of Access Center Windows logo key + U

Scaling

This is a setting that adjusts the size and clarity of most items on your screen. The default is 125% but you can also customize it to what you want. Adjusting this to higher settings does require more scrolling of windows. Icons are larger, and text is larger without the stepping pixelating that often happens with magnifying things.

 

Right click anywhere on the desktop

Go to display settings

Scaling and Layout appear in the middle of the screen.

 

Magnifier

Magnifier allows you to enlarge the entire screen or sections of it. There are 3 viewing modes including full, lens, and docked. Magnifier’s application toolbar appears in the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen. It may also hover a magnifying glass on your screen. Click it and see the tools like plus, minus, zoom percentage, View, and a gear for settings.

TO DO THIS PRESS THIS
Turn Magnifier on Windows logo key + Plus (+)  
Turn Magnifier off Windows logo key  + Esc  
When Magnifier is on, zoom in or out Windows logo key  + Plus (+) or Minus (-)  
Zoom in and out using the mouse scroll wheel Ctrl + Alt + mouse scroll wheel  
Open Magnifier settings Windows logo key  + Ctrl + M  
Pan in the direction of the arrow keys Ctrl + Alt + arrow keys  
Invert colors Ctrl + Alt + I  
Switch to full screen view Ctrl + Alt + F  
Switch to lens view Ctrl + Alt + L  
Switch to docked view Ctrl + Alt + D  
Cycle through views Ctrl + Alt + M  
Resize the lens with the mouse Ctrl + Alt + R  
Resize the lens with the keyboard Shift + Alt + arrow keys  
Quickly see the entire desktop when using full screen view Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar  

More About Magnifier   https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/11542/windows-use-magnifier

 

Mouse Enhancements

As one of the hardest things to find as a visually impaired person, the Pointer’s Size and Color often makes the difference in its visibility.

Also, if you can find your Mouse Settings in Control panel, you can adjust more mouse shapes and effects like pointer trails.

Press WindowsKey+U to open Ease of Access centre.

IN the Search box type, Mouse

Then the mouse panel appears and you can choose to change the look of the mouse, how it looks when moving, and more.

More on adjusting your

mouse settings

 

Cursor Thickness

In the Ease of Access Center, “Other Options” you can change the thickness of the typing cursor by using a horizontal left/right slider from a blinking vertical line to a thick blinking box. This makes finding where your cursor is much easier.

Color & High Contrast

There are many ways to change color of THE screens in Windows.

Magnifier’s invert color

Windows color filters – especially useful if someone has color blindness

Windows Themes – is a quick way to adjust all colors in every application for text, hyperlinks, buttons and active or inactive items.

I find that using a Windows Theme presents the best diversity of color especially high contrast. However, the possibility of losing information that is only represented by color is there. Take for example, a web page that is not coded for accessibility may eliminate colored items if a theme is enforced. You will need to be the judge of your own experience. For working with text and email Themes work great. For someone who is always on the web and uses cues from images and color, themes won’t work well.

Use invert colors of Magnifier or similarly the Color & High Contrast Invert setting. Keep in mind certain colors have hard to read inversions like organize and green. Yellow’s invert is blue. White is black.

TO DO THIS PRESS THIS
Turn your High Contrast Theme on or off press Left Alt + left Shift + Print Screen
Turn your color filter on or off press Windows logo key  + Ctrl + C

Text to Speech to Read What is Magnified

There is a built-in screen reader called Narrator which I’ll mention later. For those of us who just want reading in MS Office documents there is a Speech feature you can activate. It reads aloud any text you select in the document. It can be activated by keyboard shortcut or a button in the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of the application. This feature is available in Microsoft Office 2013, 2016 and of course Office365.

Narrator

Narrator is a full-blown screen reading application that does just that, it reads the screen. Again, keyboard shortcuts are handy in controlling and navigating documents.

Narrator has a setting panel that allows you to customize the way narrator acts such as voice, cursor and pointer following. Narrator also lets you “highlight the cursor” which is where it is reading, a red box appears around where Narrator is reading. This is useful when I am trying to hover my mouse over text I want read.

On many keyboards, the Windows logo key is located on the bottom row of keys, to the left or right of the Alt key.

TO DO THIS PRESS THIS
Open Narrator settings Windows logo key  + Ctrl + N
Turn Narrator On or Off Windows logo key + Ctrl + Enter for Windows 10

Windows Logo Key  + Enter for Windows 7/8

 

More on Getting Started with Narrator

There are several ways to read text using Narrator. The first and simplest way is to use the arrow keys to navigate text if you’re interacting with a document in a word processor, such as Microsoft Word.

If an app doesn’t support text reading commands, Narrator will say “not on explorable text.” In this case, use Scan Mode to navigate and read text. While in scan mode you need to listen for Narrator saying scan on or scan off, otherwise, the letters or arrow keys you use are actually moving in your document.

Move to the next or previous word

TO DO THIS PRESS THIS
Turn Scan Mode On or Off Caps lock + Spacebar.
Read by paragraph in scan mode Up and Down arrow keys
Read by character Left and Right arrow keys
To activate an item that you want to use, such as a button in an app, a link in a webpage, or a text box Press the spacebar
Move to the start or end of a line of text in an app or webpage Home and End
Move to the beginning or end of text Ctrl + Home and Ctrl + End
Move to the next or previous word Ctrl + Left arrow and Ctrl + Right arrow
Move to the next or previous line Ctrl + Up arrow and Ctrl + Down arrow

 

To learn more about Scan Mode. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/22809/windows-10-narrator-using-scan-mode

Speech Recognition

A great feature for dictating to the computer as well as in documents. The trick to anyone using speech recognition software is to recognize when mistakes are made. You can open programs, control menus, click buttons and dictate text.  First be in a quiet environment with a microphone connected to your computer.  At the start menu type Speech Recognition or just speech and it will appear in the Start Menu.

More about Speech Recognition

 

Microsoft Accessibility Learning Webinar Series

 

Microsoft Accessibility Learning Webinar Series for low vision and blindness on YouTube

 

Accessibility Learning Webinar Series: Magnifier and Low Vision Features in Windows 10, Feb 27, 2019

 

Accessibility Learning Webinar Series: Narrator 101, Jan 30, 2019

 

Accessibility Learning Webinar Series: Narrator 101 for the May 2019 Update to Windows 10, Jul 2, 2019

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                             Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                                    1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                   GTTProgram@Gmail.com

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.net

 

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.

 

GTT New Westminster Summary Notes, Web Browsing with PC Screen Readers, June 26, 2019

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

New Westminster Meeting

 

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

in partnership with

Blind Beginnings

And

Vancouver Community College

 

Summary Notes

June 26, 2019

 

Find the CCB Podcast of this event at the link below:

04 GTT New Westminster, Web Browsing with PC Screen Readers, June 26, 2019:

 

Windows 10 Shortcut Keys:

 

JAWS Keyboard Commands:

 

NVDA Keyboard Commands:

 

Narrator Keyboard Commands:

 

Google Chrome Shortcut Keys:

 

Firefox Shortcut Keys:

 

General Windows, Mac, MS Office Shortcut Keys:

 

On June 26, 2019 Ryan Fleury and Albert Ruel presented some favourite shortcut keys to the GTT New Westminster group based on the below list.

Ryan’s frequently used Windows keyboard commands:

Insert W application hot keys

Insert h jaws hot key info for application

Windows x works like a mini start menu

Windows I quickly jump to windows settings

Windows r opens the run dialogue

Insert spacebar h brings up jaws speech history

Windows E opens windows/file explorer

Windows D to go to desktop

 

 

Albert’s frequently used Windows keyboard commands:

Insert T, Task Bar

Insert F, Font attributes in JAWS

Insert B, read the pop up window

Control Z, undo

Insert number row 1, keyboard help toggle

Control X, C and V, Cut, copy and paste

Control B, U and I, bold, underline and italic

Windows B, System Tray

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                       Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                               1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                GTTProgram@Gmail.com

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.net