Posts Tagged ‘Internet Explorer’

Miscellaneous Assistive Technology tips

April 28, 2011

Welcome to my new blog post after two and a half years. Be warned that my writing abilities might be a bit rustic.

This post is a collection of tips and tricks that I discovered myself or learnt from other assistive technology users. My intension is to keep adding tips to this post as and when I discover them. So, if you have anything useful, please pass it along. I use Jaws 12 as my primary screen reader on an Apple MacBook Pro running Windows 7 natively. Before you ask, yes I do use Mac OS as well but I find that VoiceOver is not mature enough for me to be able to do my job effectively. I hope that this situation changes in the near future but that is a topic for another blog post. On to the tips now…

Outlook 2010: Shortcut for viewing the current message in browser

If you are using Outlook 2007 or above with a screen reader, you may already be frustrated by Microsoft’s decision to use Word for displaying email message content. So, most screen reader users generally open any email message that is in HTML format in the browser. There are number of ways of doing this. In fact, Jaws 12 suggests that I use Alt+H followed by the letter ‘A’ followed by letter ‘V’. But for some strange reason, this doesn’t seem to work for me.

But I discovered that “View in Browser” is one of the icons in the Quick Access toolbar in Outlook 2010. I also found out that Outlook assigns keyboard shortcuts automatically to icons in the Quick Access Toolbar. These shortcuts are usually Alt followed by numbers ‘1’, ‘2’ and so on. Alt followed by ‘1’ activates the first icon or item in the Quick Access Toolbar, Alt followed by ‘2’ activates the second item and so on. Since “View in Browser” is the 6th item in my Quick Access Toolbar, Alt followed by ‘6’ opens the current email message in the browser for me. You have to first press Alt, release it and then press ‘6’.

This may be a faster way of getting to the browser even if Alt+H followed by ‘A’ followed by ‘V’ works for you. This should generally work for most users who haven’t tinkered with their default ribbon and toolbar items. I am not sure if this works with Outlook 2007. If you happen to use it, please try it and let me know.

HTML & PDF: Selecting & copying text

Jaws 12 and some of the older versions don’t seem to be doing a good job of selecting and copying text. When I select a phrase or sentence on a webpage or in a PDF file in Adobe Reader and copy it to another application, only a portion of my selection is being copied. There is a setting in Jaws verbosity setting which fixed the problem for me.

In Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader, press JawsKey+V to open the “Adjust Jaws options” dialog. Press ‘S’ to jump to “Select and copy”. By default this is set to “Full content using onscreen highlight”. Press Spacebar to change it to “From virtual cursor”. Press Enter to dismiss the dialog. Text selection and copying should work better now. Remember to do this for both Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader. I am not sure if this applies to Firefox.

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