Audacity for blind users
|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.
Tips for 1.2.x versions
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 . The improvements for the visually impaired are not yet fully documented, but there is useful information in the Documentation and mailing lists section below.
Documentation and mailing lists
- There is an Audacity4blind mailing list to "enable the blind to learn how to use Audacity". The list archive is at http://www.freelists.org/archive/audacity4blind/ and you can subscribe here. The subscription is a somewhat complex three-stage process:
- Enter the e-mail address you want to subscribe with at 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
- 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.
- 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.
Free Screen Readers
NVDA for Windows. This is said to work quite well with Audacity.
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 wxWidgets GUI library which Audacity uses.
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.