Difference between revisions of "Audacity for blind users"

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{{Intro|This page contains information for blind or visually impaired users of Audacity. It includes tips that make it easier to use the current stable Audacity 1.2.x version without a mouse.|However we strongly recommend the visually impaired to use instead the current 1.3.x Beta series of Audacity until its much improved screen reader and other accessibility features are incorporated into the next stable release (2.0)}}
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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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}}
  
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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.
  
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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.
  
==Tips for 1.2.x versions==
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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.  
  
* [[BlindKeyboardShortcuts|Keyboard Shortcuts]] 
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Please read the "Free Screen Readers" section [[#screen|below]] for links to free screen readers.  
* [[BlindSelecting|Selecting]]
 
* [[Navigating Effects#keyboard|Running Effects]]
 
* [[BlindMonoToStereo|Mono to Stereo]]
 
* [[BlindPanning|Panning]]
 
* [[BlindPreferences|Preferences]]
 
* [[BlindTips|Other tips]]
 
 
 
 
 
==Beta 1.3.x series==
 
 
 
The Audacity developers have been working on better keyboard and screen-reader access in the Beta 1.3.x versions of the program. A very important feature of the Beta (1.3.2 and later) versions is the ability to fully {{external|[http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/features-1.3-i.php  manipulate the track selection using the keyboard]}}. The improvements for the visually impaired are not yet fully documented, but there is useful information in the [[#Documentation and mailing lists|Documentation and mailing lists]] section below.
 
  
 
<div id="docs"></div>
 
<div id="docs"></div>
 
== Documentation and mailing lists ==
 
== Documentation and mailing lists ==
  
*There is an [http://www.freelists.org/list/audacity4blind Audacity4blind mailing list] to "enable the blind to learn how to use Audacity". The list archive is at [http://www.freelists.org/archive/audacity4blind/ http://www.freelists.org/archive/audacity4blind/] and you can subscribe [http://www.freelists.org/cgi-bin/lsg2.cgi/l=audacity4blind here]. The subscription is a somewhat complex three-stage process:
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Further help is at hand if you need it.
** Enter the e-mail address you want to subscribe with at [http://www.freelists.org/cgi-bin/lsg2.cgi/l=audacity4blind http://www.freelists.org/cgi-bin/lsg2.cgi/l=audacity4blind], leaving the password field blank
 
** Wait for an e-mail that contains an activation link, then click that link
 
** In the web page that you come to, click the "'''Subscribe'''" button under the "Available Commands" list on the right
 
<ul style="list-style-image: none; list-style-type: none">'''Note:''' This list is active, though confusingly the footers of messages sent to the list and many search results point to an old http://users.northlc.com/sberry/ address which is not in use.</ul> 
 
  
*[http://vip.chowo.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/jaws/Audacity-1.3.11-Guide.html A Guide to using Audacity 1.3.11] with the commercial JAWS screen reader for Windows, by David Bailes. It includes tips for navigating 1.3.11 without the mouse which should be helpful to users on all operating systems.
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* There is an [https://www.freelists.org/list/audacity4blind Audacity4blind mailing list] for "blind people helping each other use 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.
  
== Free Screen Readers == 
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* The list archive is at [http://www.freelists.org/archive/audacity4blind/ http://www.freelists.org/archive/audacity4blind/]
  
[http://www.nvda-project.org/ NVDA] for '''Windows'''. This is said to work quite well with Audacity.
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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 to 3.1.3] 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.
  
[http://www.apple.com/accessibility/voiceover/ VoiceOver] built-in screen reader for '''OS X'''. Audacity does not work especially well at the moment with VoiceOver. This is because there is no current support for it in the [http://www.wxwidgets.org/ wxWidgets] GUI library which Audacity uses.
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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]]
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<div id="screen"></div>
  
[http://live.gnome.org/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 quite well with Audacity Beta, including reading most of the toolbar controls.
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== Free Screen Readers == 
  
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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.
  
  
 
{{CategoryTips}}[[Category:For Blind Users]]
 
{{CategoryTips}}[[Category:For Blind Users]]

Latest revision as of 10:08, 28 December 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 to 3.1.3 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.