Difference between revisions of "Audacity for blind users"

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== '''Introduction'''==
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{{Intro|This page contains information for blind or visually impaired users of Audacity. |We strongly recommend the visually impaired to use the [https://web.audacityteam.org/download current release of Audacity] and keep it updated. The latest version will always have the best screen reader and keyboard accessibility.
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{{advice|Unfortunately, for users of VoiceOver the accessibility and usability of current Audacity are limited.<p> However, a more usable version of Audacity is the Screen reader version of Audacity 2.1.1, which is available to download on our [http://audacityteam.org/download/mac Mac downloads page], though unfortunately this version is not compatible with macOS Mojave or later. The name of this version is "2.1.1-screen-reader". It is hoped that future versions of Audacity will be more accessible for users of VoiceOver.</p>}}
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}}
  
This page contains information for blind users of the Audacity sound editor.  For general information about Audacity, see the <span class="plainlinks">[http://audacity.sourceforge.net Audacity web site].</span>
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__TOC__
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A very important feature of Audacity is the ability to fully manipulate the selection using the keyboard.  
  
The current stable Audacity 1.2.x series does not have any special support for blind users. Many tasks are difficult or impossible without a mouse.  But with some cleverness, you can do quite a bit of useful editing using the <span class="plainlinks">[http://audacityteam.org/wiki/index.php?title=Audacity_for_blind_users#Tips_.28mainly_applicable_to_1.2.x_versions_of_Audacity.29 tips below].</span>
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Screen reader access works very well on Windows. Mac screen reader support now requires considerable adjustment following a transition to wxWidgets 3, but a 2.1.1 accessible build is available on our [http://audacityteam.org/download/mac Mac downloads page]. Screen reader support still needs further development on Linux.  
  
However the Audacity developers have been working on significantly better keyboard and screen-reader access in the Beta 1.3.x versions of the program, which will see light in the next stable 1.4.0 version.  A very important feature of the Beta (1.3.2 and later) versions is the ability to fully <span class="plainlinks">[http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/features-1.3-i.php  manipulate the track selection using the keyboard].</span> Visually impaired users are strongly encouraged to use the Beta version in preference to 1.2.x. The improvements for the visually impaired in the Beta are not yet fully documented, but there is useful information in the <span class="plainlinks"> [http://audacityteam.org/wiki/index.php?title=Audacity_for_blind_users#External_links external links]section below.</span>
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Please read the [https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/accessibility.html Accessibility] page in the [https://manual.audacityteam.org/ Manual] for full information about Audacity's keyboard and screen reader accessibility.  
  
=='''Tips''' (mainly applicable to 1.2.x versions of Audacity)==
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Please read the "Free Screen Readers" section [[#screen|below]] for links to free screen readers.  
  
* [[BlindKeyboardShortcuts]] 
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<div id="docs"></div>
* [[BlindSelecting]]
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== Documentation and mailing lists ==
* [[BlindMonoToStereo]]
 
* [[BlindPanning]]
 
* [[BlindPreferences]]
 
* [[BlindTips]]
 
  
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Further help is at hand if you need it.
  
=='''Mailing List'''==
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* There is an [https://www.freelists.org/list/audacity4blind Audacity4blind mailing list] for "blind people helping each other use Audacity".
  
You can join the audacity-users mailing list, where other blind users are helping find ways to use and improve Audacity:
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: To subscribe to the list:
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:# Go to [https://www.freelists.org/list/audacity4blind https://www.freelists.org/list/audacity4blind].
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:# Enter your email address into the "your email address" edit box.
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:# Tab to and check the check box to indicate that you aren't a robot.
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:# Tab to the Next button and press it. You will receive an email to confirm the subscription.
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:# In that email, open the link to confirm your email address. A web page opens in which you have to agree to various terms.
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:# There are three check boxes which have to be checked, and finally a Next button to press.
  
<span class="plainlinks"> [http://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/audacity-users audacity-users mailing list]</span>
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* The list archive is at [http://www.freelists.org/archive/audacity4blind/ http://www.freelists.org/archive/audacity4blind/]
  
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*[https://vip.chowo.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/jaws/Audacity-3.1.0-Guide.html  A Guide to using Audacity 3.1.0 and 3.1.1] for users of Jaws, NVDA, and Narrator, by David Bailes. It includes tips for navigating Audacity without the mouse which should be helpful to users on all operating systems.
  
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==Tips for blind users ==
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* [[BlindKeyboardShortcuts|Keyboard Shortcuts]] 
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* [[BlindSelecting|Selecting]]
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* [https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/navigating_effects_without_using_a_mouse.html Navigating Effects]
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* [https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/navigating_effects_without_using_a_mouse.html#keyboard Running Effects]
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* [[BlindMonoToStereo|Mono to Stereo]]
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* [[BlindPanning|Panning]]
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* [[BlindPreferences|Preferences]]
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* [[BlindTips|Other tips]]
  
=='''External links'''==
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<div id="screen"></div>
  
<span class="plainlinks">[http://vip.chowo.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/jaws/Audacity-1.3.3-Guide.html A Guide to using Audacity 1.3.3 with the JAWS screenreader for Windows] by David Bailes - it includes tips for navigating 1.3.3 without the mouse which should be helpful to users on all operating systems.</span>
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== Free Screen Readers ==  
  
<span class="plainlinks">[http://users.northlc.com/sberry/ Audacity4blind website and mailing list]</span>
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* [https://www.nvaccess.org// NVDA] for '''Windows'''. This works well with Audacity.
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* [https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/22798/windows-10-complete-guide-to-narrator Narrator] for '''Windows 10'''. This works well with Audacity.
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* [https://www.apple.com/accessibility/vision/ VoiceOver] built-in screen reader for '''Mac'''.
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* [https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/Orca Orca] for '''Linux/Unix'''. As of GNOME 2.16, Orca is a part of the GNOME platform, so is already provided by default on a number of operating system distributions, including Open Solaris, Fedora and Ubuntu. It does not work with the KDE environment. Orca works moderately well with Audacity, including reading most of the toolbar controls, but does not read TimeText controls (spinbox digits). Orca does not indicate track focus or selectedness.
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{{CategoryTips}}[[Category:For Blind Users]]

Revision as of 09:49, 11 November 2021

This page contains information for blind or visually impaired users of Audacity.
We strongly recommend the visually impaired to use the current release of Audacity and keep it updated. The latest version will always have the best screen reader and keyboard accessibility.
Warning icon Unfortunately, for users of VoiceOver the accessibility and usability of current Audacity are limited.

However, a more usable version of Audacity is the Screen reader version of Audacity 2.1.1, which is available to download on our Mac downloads page, though unfortunately this version is not compatible with macOS Mojave or later. The name of this version is "2.1.1-screen-reader". It is hoped that future versions of Audacity will be more accessible for users of VoiceOver.

A very important feature of Audacity is the ability to fully manipulate the selection using the keyboard.

Screen reader access works very well on Windows. Mac screen reader support now requires considerable adjustment following a transition to wxWidgets 3, but a 2.1.1 accessible build is available on our Mac downloads page. Screen reader support still needs further development on Linux.

Please read the Accessibility page in the Manual for full information about Audacity's keyboard and screen reader accessibility.

Please read the "Free Screen Readers" section below for links to free screen readers.

Documentation and mailing lists

Further help is at hand if you need it.

To subscribe to the list:
  1. Go to https://www.freelists.org/list/audacity4blind.
  2. Enter your email address into the "your email address" edit box.
  3. Tab to and check the check box to indicate that you aren't a robot.
  4. Tab to the Next button and press it. You will receive an email to confirm the subscription.
  5. In that email, open the link to confirm your email address. A web page opens in which you have to agree to various terms.
  6. There are three check boxes which have to be checked, and finally a Next button to press.
  • A Guide to using Audacity 3.1.0 and 3.1.1 for users of Jaws, NVDA, and Narrator, by David Bailes. It includes tips for navigating Audacity without the mouse which should be helpful to users on all operating systems.

Tips for blind users

Free Screen Readers

  • NVDA for Windows. This works well with Audacity.
  • Narrator for Windows 10. This works well with Audacity.
  • VoiceOver built-in screen reader for Mac.
  • Orca for Linux/Unix. As of GNOME 2.16, Orca is a part of the GNOME platform, so is already provided by default on a number of operating system distributions, including Open Solaris, Fedora and Ubuntu. It does not work with the KDE environment. Orca works moderately well with Audacity, including reading most of the toolbar controls, but does not read TimeText controls (spinbox digits). Orca does not indicate track focus or selectedness.