• Windows’ built-in basics

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    #2491483

    ISSUE 19.43 • 2022-10-24 ACCESSIBILITY By Chris Husted When it comes to adaptive and assistive technologies, especially those found under Ease of Acce
    [See the full post at: Windows’ built-in basics]

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    • #2491488

      Some of these features are also super useful when giving software demonstrations. Especially the magnifier and mouse options.

      Microsoft’s Power Toys also has a couple of nice options here such as shaking your mouse to find the cursor.

    • #2491569

      Excellent article, most of which I did not know. Maybe someone can help me with the following problem:

      I use the Chrome browser on Win 10 and 11. I want to change gray font to black. I find it difficult to read gray on white, especially small font sizes. No matter which options I have tested, I can’t seem to have an effect ONLY on text color.  Themes like Dessert, Aquatic and the like change too many elements on the page. I have an add-on that changes the entire page, that I can sometimes use by flipping it on and off to see both the text and graphics, but it’s a pain.

      Is there a way to change only the font color on a page?

      Thank you all.

      • #2491819

        Is there a way to change only the font color on a page?

        Internet Explorer used to have just such an option, but we don’t recommend using IE for security reasons.

        For most browsers, there are themes available for high contrast, usually called “dark themes” of one kind or another. And, as the article states, you can use the High Contrast setting in Windows 10/11 to get a white-on-black rendering, which is a bit shocking but which is more readable. There are also some high-contrast extensions for Chrome and Edge, but I can’t recommend one because I haven’t tried any. Some seem sketchy to me.

        Making text black doesn’t always help. The text you’re reading is a very dark gray (about 85% black) but if it’s changed to 100% black the difference is so slight that it’s hardly noticeable. That’s because screen resolutions are much lower than print. My 24″ display is 1920 by 1200, which works out to 93 dots per inch. At such low resolutions, even pure black seems gray.

        If you want to try Windows’ high contrast mode, make note of all your theme settings in advance. Flipping the high contrast switch changes a lot of things but does not change them all back if you turn high contrast off.

    • #2491582

      Greetings,

      I liked your article “Windows’ built-in basics” but I think it is missing one thing.  That is the ability of Windows to speak selected text for those who have vision problems like myself.  The built in feature is Narrator, but the problem that I have is that it reads everything where ever the cursor is and doesn’t stop.  What I need is for it to only read the selected text on some commend then stop until the command is given again.  Is there a way to do this?  Another problem is that much of Windows settings text is not selectable and therefore not readable by text to speech software.  Is there a way to read it by using Narrator?

      Thanks

      • #2491864

        The built in feature is Narrator, but the problem that I have is that it reads everything where ever the cursor is and doesn’t stop.  What I need is for it to only read the selected text on some commend then stop until the command is given again.  Is there a way to do this?  Another problem is that much of Windows settings text is not selectable and therefore not readable by text to speech software.  Is there a way to read it by using Narrator?

        I suggest you read the complete manual for narrator at the following link to learn how to make Narrator do what you ask (it will). To help: here is how to get Narrator to read selected text.

        Complete guide to Narrator

        To stop and start narrator’s “reading” use the Ctrl key
        Highlight the text you want Narrator and then press the Narrator key + R key. When finished reading press the Ctrl key to stop further reading.

        The Narrator key is either the Caps Lock key or the Insert key and you choose in the settings to have one or the other or either. Thus, the shortcut to read is really Caps lock + R or Insert + R

        Go to Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator. In the settings you can have Narrator follow your Mouse cursor which controls what Narrator reads easier. The settings tell what Narrator “reads” which also includes controls. There is a learning curve in using Narrator, but it is not very hard or very long. End result is you get what you want.

        I might suggest the Windows Magnify for occasional blocks of text that are difficult to read. In the Lens mode works just like a magnifying glass and increases the size of what is on the screen in the square block of the magnifying glass which you can move anywhere on the screen.  The Magnify app is connected to Narrator app.  Use the Magnifying glass to see the text where you want to have Narrator read to you, press Ctrl + Alt + left mouse button click and it will read the text starting where the mouse pointer is at.  It will read only one paragraph at a time.

        HTH, Dana:))

    • #2491871

      I always set the sticky keys on; I don’t need it, but it makes key presses like Alt+F4 or Shift+Y, where the keys are far apart, easier to type (I can type the keys one after the other). I set the mouse cursor to large and inverted, because it is then easier to spot (the screens are becoming larger and larger).

    • #2512784

      We all might need this some day – if we’re lucky.

      Thanks for the summary, Chris. Besides, the cursor trailing feature just looks cool.

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