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Written by Olufemi S. A. Bayode on 07 Aug 2020 @ 23:21:40 with comments


There is no how one can be 100% perfect, alright and self-sufficient; this is the situation with my lovely NVDA screen reader. Its less support for some Microsoft Office Suite products makes JAWS boast like indispensable screen reader. I for one who don’t really like JAWS as such will come acting loyal during these times. Let’s take a look at NVDA behavior in Microsoft PowerPoint.

Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) also supports Microsoft Office PowerPoint. You can read, create, edit; and even do much more with NVDA in Microsoft Office PowerPoint. Interaction with the programme is enhanced by the NVDA hot keys, Microsoft Office keyboard shortcuts for general windows’ navigation and PowerPoint. The PAGE DOWN key or DOWN ARROW key moves to the next slide while PAGE UP or UP ARROW key performs the reverse. However, there’s no verbal feedback for keyboard commands and some keys using the NVDA screen reader by default. This may be adjusted by the press of the keystroke INSERT+4 which is a toggle key for “say command key”.

The vocabulary used by NVDA to refer to any part or anything within PowerPoint is derived from the Microsoft Office PowerPoint documentation. Its description of shapes and text boxes on the screen are explicit for users to know what each represents, when they encounter them. For instance, when you navigate to a placeholder where title is to be entered with the TAB key or combination of SHIFT+TAB key, NVDA says: “Title Placeholder shape”; despite the fact that “title” is not written on the screen. The NVDA screen reader refers to the three panes available in the normal view as slide view, slide thumb mail and note page. F6 or SHIFT+F6 cycles you around this panes and other parts of the presentation screen. Additionally, when you activate a placeholder with the ENTER key after moving to it with the TAB key or SHIFT+TAB key; you switch to the edit mode. Everything you do is restricted to that placeholder (movement is within this placeholder) until you press the ESCAPE key to switch back to the object mode where you move around with the TAB key or SHIFT+TAB key. In the edit mode, you can input your textual ideas and do all sorts of formatting to your slides.

Basically, NVDA provides feedback when object of a slide obscures another object. For example, when an inserted picture covers the content of the title placeholder. Nevertheless, it does not report the embedded objects in a slide except one moves to the placeholder having the object in a slide view with the TAB key or SHIFT+TAB key. Also, NVDA doesn’t announce if a slide has a note, even though, it has a keystroke to read the content of the speaker’s note “CONTROL+SHIFT+S”. So, the author of any presentation must tell the NVDA users of objects available in the presentation in order to prevent skipping important information.

The fun that comes with the awareness of type of slide transition style is dashed by the NVDA screen reader. Individuals with visual impairment mostly rely on instinct when their sighted counterparts is nowhere around to know if the transition style applied to their presentation is functioning as expected. You know you wouldn’t think of copying another presentation wholy for your occasion or programme without calling a sighted to have a look if everything speaks your purpose. But with JAWS, you don’t need people nosing into your work.

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Time Uploaded: 07 Aug 2020 @ 23:21:40

Author: Olufemi S. A. Bayode