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Configuring NVDA

Page updated 6 July 2022

This information is specific to the NVDA screen reader. Note that there are specific instructions if you use SpeakOn with the TouchScreen further down the page.

Configuration when using SpeakOn with the Standard keyboard, NumPad or TouchPad

To mute speech and release the NumPad you have two options; either mute NVDA manually or install the SpeakOn NVDA add-on. Both options are explained further below.

Configuration when using SpeakOn with the TouchScreen

SpeakOn handles its own TouchScreen support; it does not rely on TouchScreen support by the screen reader.

NVDA has some TouchScreen support. This means that NVDA intercepts TouchScreen interactions which need to be disabled when using SpeakOn with the TouchScreen. To do this you need to install the SpeakOn NVDA add-on as explained further below. This add-on also mutes speech and releases the NumPad when SpeakOn has the focus.

Mute NVDA manually

Use the following command to mute NVDA while the focus is on SpeakOn. Note that this setting is active as long as SpeakOn is running. Each time SpeakOn is started, the keystroke below needs to be repeated.

Start SpeakOn and while SpeakOn has the focus, press:
Desktop: [Shift + NVDA + s]
Laptop: [Shift + NVDA + z]
to put NVDA in sleep mode.

Try out this setting by switching between applications by pressing [Alt + Tab]. When the focus is on SpeakOn, NVDA should be muted; when the focus is on another application, NVDA should speak again.

Install the NVDA SpeakOn add-on

The SpeakOn NVDA add-on allows SpeakOn to work automatically while NVDA is running with all types of SpeakOn interactions; Standard keyboard, NumPad, TouchPad and TouchScreen. This add-on mutes NVDA and releases the NumPad when SpeakOn has the focus. It also allows SpeakOn to work with the TouchScreen while SpeakOn is running.

You can find the SpeakOn NVDA add-on for NVDA version 2022.1 and later:
(add-ons for earlier versions of NVDA can be requested from the author)

When NVDA is running you can install this add-on directly from the above URL or you might want to download it first. In either case, just follow the NVDA on-screen instructions and install the add-on in the usual way.

The author found that this add-on usually works very well. Occasionally however, NVDA still speaks when SpeakOn has the focus; usually switching SpeakOn off and then on again solves the problem.

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