Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Document Backstage View, May 27, 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.

Microsoft Office – Document Backstage View

The Backstage view is a useful interface to explore and use for keyboard users.
When you launch Microsoft Office apps such as Excel, Word, or Power Point via a desktop icon or from the Start menu you are placed in the Backstage view. The Backstage view replaces the File menu on older versions of Office. You may also reach the Backstage view by pressing Alt+F. Backstage view has a list of categories that allow you to open or save documents, print documents, export documents to other formats such as PDF or HTML, manipulate the current document’s properties, and more. You select the Backstage category from a list of categories using Up/Down arrows. For each category, there are different controls which you can explore with Tab or Shift+Tab.

For example, the Open category allows you to reopen a document from a list of recent documents or, if you press Down arrow on the Recent tab, you will find other sources for documents such as OneDrive, This PC,and a Browse button. The Browse button will launch the usual Open File Dialogue.

The Info category allows you to protect/unprotect a file, add a security password to a file, or add title or author attributes, add search keywords, and more. Note that adding a document title in the Backstage view is especially useful if you plan to save the document in html format for later inclusion as a web page. The document title will then become the web page title when you save the Word document as an HTML document.

Although the Backstage view is completely Accessible, sometimes it just gets in the way. You may just want to open MS Word and start a new blank document. You can exit the backstage view and return to the document window by pressing Escape. For example, to start a new MS Word document simply launch Word, then press Escape to exit the Backstage view and you will be in a blank document Window. Type your document and then press F12 to save it.

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Ribbons and the Quick Access Tool Bar, May 20, 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.

Microsoft Office – Ribbons and the Quick Access Tool Bar

Navigating the ribbon commands with the keyboard or trying to remember many Key Tip sequences can be frustrating especially for commands that you use frequently. The Quick Access tool bar can mitigate this frustration. You can place frequently used ribbon commands on the Quick Access tool bar where they can be found quickly and easily.

For example, a common command I use in Excel is to auto adjust the column width to fit the cell contents. This command is on the Home ribbon in the cells group and its key tip sequence is:
ALT+H, O, I
This is difficult to remember to say the least. You can add this ribbon command to the Quick Access Tool Bar as follows:
• While in your Excel workbook, press ALT+H, O, I to select the auto adjust column width command or, press Alt+H to open the Home ribbon and then Tab repeatedly to reach the Auto Adjust Column Width command. However, don’t press Enter to activate the command.
• Instead, press the Applications key to open a context menu, and arrow down to find the “Add to Quick Access Tool Bar” and then press Enter.
• This command is now on the Quick Access Tool Bar.
The next time you need to use the command, follow these simpler steps:
• Press Alt to focus on the main ribbon.
• Press up arrow to reach the Quick Access Tool Bar.
• Arrow left or right on the tool bar to find the Auto fit column width function and press Enter. No memorizing of long shortcuts!
• You can add many ribbon commands to the Quick Access Tool Bar in the same manner. You can also find the command using the Alt+Q command search described in the previous tip, and when the command appears in the search results, press the Applications key to find the option to add it to the Quick Access tool bar.
• If you can remember the order of your Quick Access items, then you can activate them more quickly. For example, press ALT+1 to activate the first Quick Access Tool Bar item, press ALT+2 to activate the second item and so on.
• If you decide to remove a command from the Quick Access Tool Bar, just navigate to the command and then press the Applications key to open the context menu. On my computer the Applications key does not open the context menu on the Quick Access Tool Bar but Shift+F10 does. From the context menu select the item, Remove from the Quick Access Tool Bar, and press Enter. You may find it useful to remove some default commands that Microsoft puts on the tool bar, such as Undo, Redo, Save, which already have simple shortcuts namely, Control+Z, Control+Y, and Control+S, so they tend to just clutter the Quick Access tool bar.
Each Office program e.g. Excel, Word, Outlook and Power Point have their own Quick Access Tool bar and the process for adding commands and using the tool bar is the same.

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Search For Ribbon Commands, May 13, 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.

Microsoft Office – Search for Ribbon Commands
Navigating ribbons using the keyboard or trying to remember Key Tip sequences to find a command can be frustrating. There is a way to quickly search for a ribbon command:
• Press Alt+Q which opens the Office “Tell Me What You Want To DO” feature. You will be placed in an edit box.
• Type the name of the command you are searching for. For example, maybe you want to insert a table in a Word document, so you might type, “insert table”. Or maybe you want to Empty the Deleted items folder in Outlook, so you might type, “empty deleted”.
• Press the down arrow to find the list of search results and likely the ribbon command you need will be in the list. Simply press Enter on the command to execute it.
You have just executed the ribbon command you need without having to navigate the ribbon! The Alt+Q search feature works for all the Office programs: Excel. Word, Outlook, and Power Point.

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Navigating Ribbons Using the Keyboard, May 6, 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.

Microsoft Office – Navigating Ribbons Using the Keyboard
In Office apps such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and Power Point as well as certain non-Office apps such as File Explorer and Wordpad the ribbon provides the command functions of the app. Note: If you are a JAWS for Windows user, be sure to disable the JAWS virtual ribbon menu feature. Press JAWS key + V to open quick settings and type “virtual” into the settings search box. Tab once to reach the list of resulting settings and ensure the virtual ribbon menu feature is unchecked. Here is a summary of how to use ribbon commands from the keyboard.
• There is a ribbon bar at the top of the screen containing a list of ribbon tabs. You reach the list of ribbons by pressing the Alt key and then using left/right arrow keys to move across the list to find the ribbon tab you want. As you move across each tab in the list its corresponding ribbon opens below it. If you don’t see the ribbon bar, try pressing Control+F1which is a toggle that expands and collapses the ribbon bar. It is best to leave the ribbon bar expanded so it is visible.
• When you reach the desired ribbon, press Tab to move to the first command in the ribbon. You may need to press Tab 3 times to skip over the Minimize and Help buttons that are attached to the ribbon bar.
• Then press TAB and Shift+Tab to navigate the ribbon commands. IMPORTANT: Do not use arrow keys to navigate ribbon commands because you will miss some commands. Only use Tab and Shift+Tab.
• At any time, you may press Escape to close the ribbon and return to your document.
• Commands are often grouped on the ribbons. You can jump back and forth between the groups with Control+Left or Control+Right arrow keys.
• For commands with a list of radio button choices, use arrow keys to choose the desired button and press Enter to activate it.
• You can navigate grid items with all 4 arrow keys and press Enter when you find the item you need to execute.
• Commands with split buttons have a menu of choices. You can accept the default choice by pressing Enter or you can open the menu of choices with Alt+Down Arrow.
• Commands with a checkbox can be actioned by pressing spacebar.
• Commands may have submenus which can be opened with Enter.
• There are sequences of shortcut keys to reach the ribbon commands, usually 2 to 4 keys in sequence. These key sequences are called Key Tips and are displayed in little boxes beside the ribbon commands. If you use a screen reader, it should announce the key tips as you navigate the ribbon commands. If you can remember the key tip for a given ribbon command, you can repeat the command by pressing that sequence of keys.
• For example, in Word, you may reach the Font dialogue of the Home ribbon by pressing the key tip sequence: Alt+H to open the Home ribbon followed by F and another F.
• Note that ribbons are contextual. For example, in Outlook if you are focused in the body of an email message and press ALT, you will encounter different ribbons than if you pressed ALT while focused in the headers of your email.
• Also, don’t forget to try your Applications key while in your document. It will bring up a context menu that has a subset of ribbon commands so you may not even need to navigate the ribbon if the command you want is on the Applications context menu.
• If you find ribbon navigation somewhat daunting, the next two tips will offer strategies to simplify using the ribbons from the keyboard.

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Web Browsing – Copying Links, April 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.

Web Browsing – Copying Links
Have you ever wanted to paste a link to a web page into an email or document? While you are on the web page press Alt+D to place focus in the address bar of your web browser. The link of your current web page will be highlighted meaning it is auto selected so you can then just press Control+C to copy the link to the clipboard. Now simply go to the text of your email or document and press Control+V to paste the link. Note: If pasting to an email it’s a good idea to press Enter immediately after pasting the link.

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

Windows From The Keyboard Tips, JAWS Specific Web Browsing Shortcuts, April 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.

Web Navigation – Using the Keyboard with JAWS
This blog series is about Windows shortcut keys not specific to screen readers. However, I thought it important to devote this one tip to screen reader navigation on web sites because modern screen readers like JAWS, NVDA, and now Windows Narrator provide so much value added navigation that it is critical that you are aware how you can enhance your web browsing experience if you use a screen reader. the following examples refer to JAWS, but some of the shortcuts will work in NVDA and Windows Narrator screen readers as well.
• While on a web page, regardless of which browser you are using, press the letter H to jump forward from heading to heading at any heading level or Shift+H to jump backwards to the previous heading.
• Press 1 on the number row to jump to a level 1 heading. Press 2 on the number row to jump to a level 2 heading and so on. Many well-organized web pages will use a level 1 heading to begin the main content of the web page. Thus, when the page opens, you can jump directly to the main content simply by pressing 1 on the number row.
• Hold down the JAWS key and press F6 to bring up a list of headings on the web page. Arrow up and down the list of headings or press the first letter of the desired heading. When you find it in the list, just press Enter to position at that heading in the web page.
• Similarly, press the JAWS key + F7 to bring up a list of links on the web page. Arrow up and down the list of links or press the first letter of the desired link. When you find it in the list, just press Enter to activate the link. Note, if you press TAB within the list of links, you will find a “Move to Link” button which will position you on the web page where that link is located rather than activating the link.
• Press Insert+F5 to bring up a list of form fields on a web page. You may then arrow through the fields and press Enter on any field to position to that field on the page. This is a useful way to review all the fields on a form before you fill it out.
• Press B or Shift+B to jump to the next or previous button on the web page.
• Press C or Shift+C to jump to the next or previous combo box drop down on the web page.
• Press E or Shift+E to jump to the next or previous edit box. For example, most web pages have a search edit box to allow you to search the web site and you can reach this edit field by simply pressing the letter e.
• Press L or Shift+L to jump to the next or previous list on the web page.
• Press T or Shift+T to jump forward or backward between tables on the page. Within a table, you may hold down the Control and Alt keys while pressing up, down, left, and right arrows to move among the cells of the table.
• At the top of the table just above the first row, JAWS will announce the number of rows and columns. At this point, you may press F8 to select the entire table and then Control+C to copy the table to the clipboard. You could then paste that table into a Word or Excel document.
Press X or Shift+X to jump to the next or previous check box on the web page.
You may prefix the above shortcuts (B, C, E, L, T, X) with Control+Insert keys to bring up a list of that control. For example, Control+Insert+B will bring up a list of buttons on the page.
• Press Control+F to do a JAWS search but note that this will only search the current page not the entire web site. It is a useful way to position yourself to a location on the page where you know certain text exists.
• Press P or Shift+P to jump to the next or previous paragraph and speak it. P is often more efficient than pressing down arrow to read lines on the page because P will read multiple lines at a time that comprise a paragraph. The equivalent Windows shortcut is Control+Down Arrow.
There are many more JAWS web browsing techniques. Freedom Scientific, the creator of the JAWS screen reader, offers a free self-paced online tutorial called, Surfs Up, to help you effectively surf the web using only the keyboard.

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

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Web Browsing Shortcut Keys, April 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.

 

Web Browsing – General Shortcut Keys

When browsing a web site there are several general keyboard shortcuts that work for all browsers.

  • Arrow up and down to read line by line.
  • Press Control+Up and Control+Down to navigate to the previous or next paragraph.
  • Press Control+Home to jump to the top of the web page and Control+End to jump to the bottom.
  • Press Tab and Shift+TAB to jump forward or backward from element to element such as between links or form fields.
  • Press Enter to expand menus or Alt+Down Arrow to open drop down lists.
  • When focused on a link, press Enter or spacebar to open the link which results to jumping somewhere else on the same web page or opening a new web page.
  • Press Alt+Left/Right Arrow to move backward /forward among the web pages in your browsing session.
  • Press Alt to reach the menu of your browser and then arrow among the menu items.
  • Press Control+Enter to open a link in a new browser Tab. Tabs are useful if you need to have multiple pages open at the same time. You move back and forth between open Tabs by pressing Control+Shift+Tab (previous Tab) or Control+Tab (next Tab). For example, suppose you are on the main table of contents for a web based user manual. You want to follow the link to chapter 3 but not close the main table of contents web page. In that case, press Control+Enter instead of Enter on the Chapter 3 link. Chapter 3 will open in a new browser Tab and you will remain in the main web page. To switch to the Chapter 3 Tab, press Control+Tab, and when you want to return to the main page, press Control+Shift+Tab. You may have many TABS open at the same time.
  • Press Control+F4 or Control+W to close a browser Tab when you no longer need it.
  • Press Alt+D to place focus on the current web page address/search bar. When you do this, the web address will automatically be highlighted so you could then do one of 3 things: 1) press Control+C to copy the address to the clipboard, or 2) type another address followed by Enter to open that new web site, or 3) type a search string followed by Enter to search for a new web site.
  • Pres Control+E to perform a web search. This will also place focus on the address bar but, in this case, the current address bar is cleared so you can type a new web search string.
  • While on the address bar, you can press Tab or Shift+Tab as well as F6 or Shift+F6 to move forward and backward between different browser controls. The behavior depends on which browser you are using but feel free to try these shortcuts to learn what is available. You will find items such as a history of web pages you visited, or your list of bookmarks and other tool bar items. Of note in the Google Chrome browser is the button to view site information. If you press Shift+TAB on the address bar you will be focused on the View Site Information button which you can press spacebar to activate. It describes the security level of your web page so that you can be confident the information exchanged between you and the web site is done in a secure manner.
  • This is a good place to discuss security and safe web browsing. In general, when on the address bar you can tell that a web site is secure if its address begins with https where the ‘s’ denotes a secure site. If you are on a web page whose address begins with only http, then be careful about exchanging information with that site. It is not a secure site and may even be masquerading as a company or organization that it is not.

 

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

Windows From The Keyboard Tips, How to Use the Recycle Bin, April 1, 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 File Explorer – How to Use the Recycle Bin

Have you ever accidentally deleted a file and wanted to get it back? In File Explorer a deleted file is not actually removed from your computer. Rather, the file is moved to the Recycle Bin, so it is possible to restore the file. To restore a deleted file, follow this procedure.

  • Press Windows key + M to go to the desktop.
  • Press R multiple times until you reach the Recycle Bin icon and then press Enter to open the Recycle Bin.
  • You will be placed in a list of deleted files. Likely, your deleted file is in this list unless it was deleted a very long time ago. Also, when you deleted the file, if you pressed Shift+Delete to bypass the Recycle Bin, then the file will have been removed from your computer.
  • You can arrow up and down the list of files to find the file you have deleted. If you know the file name, you may press its first letter multiple times until you reach the desired file. Note that beside each file are details such as the name of the original folder that contained the file and its deletion date. You can read these values with a screen reader by using the right arrow or reading the entire line.
  • When you find the file, press the Applications key.
  • From the resulting context menu, select the Restore item and press Enter. The file will be restored to its original folder on your computer.
  • Press Alt+F4 to close the Recycle Bin.

Sorting the Recycle Bin:

If you have many files in the Recycle Bin, or you cannot remember the name of the file you deleted, it may help to sort the file list as follows.

  • If the current file you are focused on is selected, then unselect it by pressing Control+Spacebar .
  • Press the Applications key.
  • Arrow through the resulting context menu and select the Sort By submenu and press Enter to open it.
  • Arrow through the submenu and choose the sort option you want. For example, you can sort the list of files alphabetically by name, by their original location, by the deletion date, or by the date the file was last modified. You can also choose ascending or descending order.

 

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

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, File Explorer – Delete File Confirmation, March 25, 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 File Explorer – Delete File Confirmation

When you press Delete to delete a file Windows may or may not ask you to confirm. You can ensure there is a confirmation prompt by doing this:

  • Press Windows key + M to focus on the desktop.
  • Press R multiple times until you are focused on the Recycle Bin icon.
  • Press Alt+Enter to open the Properties of the Recycle Bin.
  • TAB to the check box to Display a Delete confirmation prompt and press the spacebar to activate it.
  • TAB to the OK button and press spacebar to activate it and return to your desktop. You will now be prompted to confirm each time you delete a file. The files you delete will be moved to the recycle bin so you can recover them if you need to. You can selectively bypass moving the deleted file to the recycle bin if you press Shift+Delete when deleting a file.

 

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

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, File Explorer Useful Shortcut Keys, March 18, 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 File Explorer – Useful Shortcut Keys

While browsing folders in Windows file Explorer, these shortcut keys are helpful.

  • F2 will allow you to rename a file. Press F2 while focused on the filename. An edit box opens with the current filename highlighted. Only the filename is highlighted not the filetype. Since Windows replaces highlighted text with typed text, all you need to do is type the new filename and press Enter. The filetype will remain as it was. For example, if you have a file named, John.txt, and you want to rename it to Jane.txt just arrow down to the John.txt in your list of files, Press F2, type, “Jane”, without the quotes, and press Enter.
  • Press Alt+Up Arrow to return to the parent of the folder you are currently in.
  • Press Backspace to return to the previous folder.
  • Press Control+Home to move to the top of the folder.
  • Press Control+End to move to the end of the folder.
  • Press Alt+Enter to open the properties of the file or folder you are focused on.
  • Press Delete to delete the file or folder you are focused on. Depending on the properties of your Recycle Bin, you may or may not be asked to confirm the file deletion.
  • Press Control+C to copy the file or folder to the Windows clipboard. You may then move to another folder and press Control+V to paste a copy of the file or folder into the new folder. Note: A quick way to make a copy of a file is to press Control+C on the desired file and then immediately press Control+V to paste it back. Windows will make a copy of your file in the same folder with “copy” appended to the filename.
  • Press Control+X to cut the file or folder to the Windows clipboard. You may then move to another folder and press Control+V to move the file or folder into the new folder thus deleting it from its original location.
  • Press the Applications key (usually just to the left of the right Control key) to open a context menu for the file or folder you are focused on. Arrow up and down the menu to find other actions you may wish to perform on the file or folder such as printing a file or extracting files from a ZIP folder. If you do not have an Applications key, then Shift+F10 is another way to open the applications context menu.

 

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