• Introduction
  • Make Your Computer Easier to U se (Ease of Access Center) 5
  • Make Your Computer Easier to Use (Ease of Access Center)
  • Quick access to common tools
  • Get recommendations to make your computer easier to use
  • Use the computer without a display
  • Make the computer easier to see
  • Use the computer without the mouse or keyboard
  • Make the mouse easier to use
  • Make the keyboard easier to use
  • Use text or visual alternatives to sounds
  • Make it easier to focus on tasks
  • Accessibility in Windows 7 Published by Microsoft Corporation




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    Accessibility in Windows 7















    Published by Microsoft Corporation


    Trustworthy Computing, Accessibility Group
    One Microsoft Way
    Redmond, Washington 98052-6399

    Copyright  2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the publisher. For permissions, visit www.microsoft.com.

    Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Find further information on Microsoft Trademarks (http://www.microsoft.com/library/toolbar/3.0/trademarks/en-us.mspx).





    Introduction


    Windows 7 includes accessibility options and programs that make it easier to see, hear, and use your computer. Accessibility is the epitome of usability and was a key tenet throughout the engineering of Windows 7.

    Windows 7 gives you more ways to interact with your PC by taking advantage of new strides in speech recognition and touch technology. Windows 7 includes accessibility options and programs that make it easier to see, hear, and use your computer including ways to personalize your computers and use keyboard shortcuts.

    Included in this document, you will discover how to:

    Make Your Computer Easier to Use (Ease of Access Center) 5

    The Ease of Access Center is a central location where you can get quick access to explore and manage accessibility options. Explore how:


    Use the computer without a display 7

    Make the computer easier to see 9

    Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard 11

    Make the mouse easier to use 13

    Make the keyboard easier to use 15

    Use text or visual alternatives to sounds 17

    Make it easier to focus on task 19


    Use Accessibility Tools 21

    Windows 7 introduces significant improvements to the accessibility tools. Magnifier now includes a lens mode and full-screen mode. On-Screen Keyboard can be resized to make it easier to see and includes text prediction. Learn how to:



    Make items on the screen appear bigger (Magnifier) 22

    Type without using a keyboard (On-Screen Keyboard) 26

    Hear text read aloud with Narrator 29

    Use Speech Recognition 34


    Personalize Your Computer 36

    Personalize your computer so it looks just the way you want it. Find out how to change and personalize:



    Themes 36

    Aero 36

    Sounds 37

    Desktop Background 37

    Screen Saver 37

    Font Size 37

    User Account Picture 37

    Desktop Gadgets 38


    Tutorials 39

    These tutorials provide both keyboard and mouse steps to help you set up your computer and start using the accessibility features in Windows 7.


    Keyboard Shortcuts 72

    Get the complete list of keyboard shortcuts for Windows 7. Keyboard shortcuts can make it easier to interact with your computer, saving you time and effort as you work with Windows and other programs.


    Make Your Computer Easier to Use (Ease of Access Center)


    The Ease of Access Center is a central location where you can turn on and set up accessibility settings and programs available in Windows. You can adjust settings that make it easier to see your computer, use the mouse and keyboard, and use other input devices. You can also answer a few questions about your daily computer use and accessibility requirements and have Windows recommend settings and programs for you.



    Figure 1: Ease of Access Center: Make your computer easier to use

    The Ease of Access Center is available through a Control Panel icon, and can be opened by selecting the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Ease of Access Center. You can also press the Windows logo key U and the Ease of Access Center will open. The Ease of Access Center includes:



    • Quick access to common tools

    • Get recommendations to make your computer easier to use, and

    • Explore all settings

    Quick access to common tools


    Start Narrator, Magnifier, On-Screen Keyboard, and High Contrast quickly from Quick access to common tools in the Ease of Access Center. When you start these tools from the Quick Access section, the tools will turn off after you log off or shut down. If you want these tools to start automatically every time you log on, turn them on under the Explore all settings categories.

    Get recommendations to make your computer easier to use


    This optional questionnaire provides a personalized list of recommended settings that can improve your ability to see, hear, and comfortably use your computer. The Ease of Access Center questionnaire takes the guesswork out of selecting settings. Based on your answers to a series of questions about routine tasks, a custom list of recommended settings is provided so you can choose which options you want to try. You can complete the questionnaire and adjust your settings as often as you like. You can find the questionnaire in the Ease of Access Center (in Control Panel) by selecting Get recommendations to make your computer easier to use.

    Explore All Settings

    Instead of looking for accessibility settings in various places on your computer, Windows 7 brings all those settings together and organizes them into categories that you can explore in the Ease of Access Center. You can explore seven different categories of accessibility settings and programs:

    Use the computer without a display 7

    Make the computer easier to see 9

    Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard 11

    Make the mouse easier to use 13

    Make the keyboard easier to use 15

    Use text or visual alternatives to sounds 17

    Make it easier to focus on tasks 19

    Use the computer without a display


    Windows has many features that enable you to use your computer without a display. For example, you can have screen text read aloud by using Narrator or you can have Windows describe screen activity to you.

    You can turn on or adjust settings for these features by clicking Use the computer without a display page in the Ease of Access Center, then select the options that you want to use:



    • Turn on Narrator. This option sets Narrator to run when you log on to Windows. Narrator reads aloud on-screen text and describes some events (such as error messages appearing) that happen while you're using the computer. More on Narrator.

    • Turn on Audio Description. This option sets Audio Description to run when you log on to Windows. Audio descriptions describe what's happening in videos.

    • Turn off all unnecessary animations. This option turns off animation effects, such as fading effects, when windows and other elements are closed.

    • How long should Windows notification dialog boxes stay open? This option sets how long notifications are displayed on the screen before they are closed.



    Figure 2: Ease of Access Center: Use the computer without a display

    Make the computer easier to see


    If you occasionally have trouble seeing items on your screen, you can adjust the settings to make text and images on the screen appear larger, improve the contrast between items on the screen, and hear on-screen text read aloud.

    You can adjust many of these settings on the Make the computer easier to see page in the Ease of Access Center. For information about other settings, see Getting the best display on your monitor.



    Open the Ease of Access Center, then select the options that you want to use:

    • Choose a High Contrast theme. This option allows you to set a high-contrast color scheme that heightens the color contrast of some text and images on your computer screen, making those items more distinct and easier to identify.

    • Turn on or off High Contrast when Left Alt Left Shift Print Screen is pressed. This option allows you to toggle a high-contrast theme on or off by pressing the Left Alt Left Shift Print Screen keys.

    • Turn on Narrator. This option sets Narrator to run when you log on to your computer. Narrator reads aloud on-screen text and describes some events (such as error messages appearing) that happen while you're using the computer. More about Narrator.

    • Turn on Audio Description. This option sets Audio Descriptions to run when you log on to your computer. Audio Descriptions describe what's happening in videos.

    • Change the size of text and icons. This option allows you to make text and other items on your screen appear larger, so they're easier to see. For more information, see Make the text on your screen larger or smaller.

    • Turn on Magnifier. This option sets Magnifier to run when you log on to your computer. Magnifier enlarges the part of the screen where the mouse is pointing and can be especially useful for viewing objects that are difficult to see. For more information about using Magnifier, see Make items on the screen appear bigger (Magnifier).

    • Adjust the color and transparency of the window borders. This option allows you to change the appearance of window borders to make them easier to see.

    • Fine tune display effects. This option allows you to customize how certain items appear on your desktop.

    • Make the focus rectangle thicker. This option makes the rectangle around the currently selected item in dialog boxes thicker, which makes it easier to see.

    • Set the thickness of the blinking cursor. This option allows you to make the blinking cursor in dialog boxes and programs thicker and easier to see.

    • Turn off all unnecessary animations. This option turns off animation effects, such as fading effects, when you close windows and other elements.

    • Remove background images. This option turns off all unimportant, overlapped content and background images to help make the screen easier to see.



    Figure 3: Ease of Access Center: Make the computer easier to see

    Use the computer without the mouse or keyboard


    Windows has two features to help you use the computer without using a mouse or keyboard: Speech Recognition (you can use voice commands to work with Windows) and On-Screen Keyboard (you can enter text by selecting characters on the screen).

    You can turn on or adjust settings for these features on the Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard page in the Ease of Access Center.



    Open the Ease of Access Center, then select the options that you want to use:

    • Use On-Screen Keyboard. This option sets On-Screen Keyboard to run when you log on to Windows. On-Screen Keyboard displays a visual keyboard with all the standard keys. You can select keys using the mouse or another pointing device, or you can use keys on the standard keyboard. For more information about using On-Screen Keyboard, see Type without using the keyboard.

    • Use Speech Recognition. Use this option to control the computer with your voice. With a microphone, you can speak commands that the computer will understand and respond to, as well as dictate text. For more information about setting up Speech Recognition, see Set up Speech Recognition.



    Figure 4: Ease of Access Center: Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard

    Make the mouse easier to use


    You can change how the mouse pointer looks, and turn on other features that can help make it easier to use your mouse.

    You can adjust these settings on the Make the mouse easier to use page in the Ease of Access Center.



    Open the Ease of Access Center, then select the options that you want to use:

    • Change the color and size of mouse pointers. You can use these options to make the mouse pointer larger, or change the color to make it easier to see.

    • Turn on Mouse Keys. You can use this option to control the movement of the mouse pointer by using the numeric keypad.

    • Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse. This option makes it easier to select and activate a window by pointing at it with the mouse rather than by clicking it.

    • Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen. This option prevents windows from automatically resizing and docking along the sides of your screen when you move them there.



    Figure 5: Ease of Access Center: Make the mouse easier to use

    Make the keyboard easier to use


    You can use your keyboard to control the mouse and make it easier to type certain key combinations.

    You can adjust these settings on the Make the keyboard easier to use page in the Ease of Access Center.



    Open the Ease of Access Center, then select the options that you want to use:

    • Turn on Mouse Keys. This option sets Mouse Keys to run when you log on to Windows. Instead of using the mouse, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard or the numeric keypad to move the pointer.

    • Turn on Sticky Keys. This option sets Sticky Keys to run when you log on to Windows. Instead of having to press three keys at once (such as when you must press the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys together to log on to Windows), you can use one key by turning on Sticky Keys and adjusting the settings. This way, you can press a modifier key and have it remain active until another key is pressed.

    • Turn on Toggle Keys. This option sets Toggle Keys to run when you log on to Windows. Toggle Keys can play an alert each time you press the Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock keys. These alerts can help prevent the frustration of inadvertently pressing a key and not realizing it.

    • Turn on Filter Keys. This option sets Filter Keys to run when you log on to Windows. You can set Windows to ignore keystrokes that occur in rapid succession, or keystrokes that are held down for several seconds unintentionally.

    • Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys. This option makes keyboard access in dialog boxes easier by highlighting access keys for the controls in them. For more information about keyboard shortcuts, see Keyboard shortcuts in Windows Help.

    • Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen. This option prevents windows from automatically resizing and docking along the sides of your screen when you move them there.



    Figure 6: Ease of Access Center: Make the keyboard easier to use

    Use text or visual alternatives to sounds


    Windows provides settings for using visual cues to replace sounds in many programs.

    You can adjust these settings on the Use text or visual alternatives for sounds page in the Ease of Access Center.



    Open the Ease of Access Center, then select the options that you want to use:

    Turn on visual notifications for sounds. This option sets sound notifications to run when you log on to Windows. Sound notifications replace system sounds with visual cues, such as a flash on the screen, so that system alerts are noticeable even when they're not heard. You can also choose how you want sound notifications to warn you.

    Turn on text captions for spoken dialog. This option causes Windows to display text captions in place of sounds to indicate that activity is happening on your computer (for example, when a document starts or finishes printing).



    Figure 7: Ease of Access Center: Use text or visual alternatives for sounds

    Make it easier to focus on tasks


    You can reduce the amount of information on your screen so that it's easier to read, and you can set up your keyboard to make typing easier.

    You can adjust these settings on the Make it easier to focus on reading and typing page in the Ease of Access Center.



    Open the Ease of Access Center, then select the options that you want to use:

    • Turn on Narrator. This option sets Narrator to run when you log on to Windows. Narrator reads aloud on-screen text and describes some events (such as error messages appearing) that happen while you're using the computer. For more information about using Narrator, see Hear text read aloud with Narrator.

    • Remove background images. This option turns off all unimportant, overlapped content and background images to help make the screen easier to see.

    • Turn on Sticky Keys. This option sets Sticky Keys to run when you log on to Windows. Instead of having to press three keys at once (such as when you must press the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys together to log on to Windows), you can use one key by turning on Sticky Keys and adjusting the settings. This way, you can press a modifier key and have it remain active until another key is pressed.

    • Turn on Toggle Keys. This option sets Toggle Keys to run when you log on to Windows. Toggle Keys can play an alert each time you press the Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock key. These alerts can help prevent the frustration of inadvertently pressing a key.

    • Turn on Filter Keys. This option sets Filter Keys to run when you log on to Windows. You can set Windows to ignore keystrokes that occur in rapid succession, or keystrokes that are held down for several seconds unintentionally.

    • Turn off all unnecessary animations. This option turns off animation effects, such as fading effects, when windows and other elements are closed.

    • Choose how long Windows notification dialog boxes stay open. With this option, you can choose how long notifications are displayed on the screen before they close.

    • Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen. This option prevents windows from automatically resizing and docking along the sides of your screen when you move them there.



    Figure 8: Ease of Access Center: Make it easier to focus on tasks
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