Adding Windows App Shortcuts to the Desktop

In the Free Windows class today, we discovered you can’t create a Desktop shortcut to a Windows app in the Windows Start Menu.

This, of course, intrigued me. I did my due diligence and am happy to explain how to add a Windows App shortcut to the Windows Desktop!

Follow these steps:

Open the Windows Apps folder in the Run dialog

  • Open the Run dialog (Windows Key-R)
  • Type: shell:AppsFolder
  • Press ENTER

The Windows Apps Folder opens with an icon view. You can change the view in the View menu:

  • Open the View menu (ALT-V)
  • Press UP and DOWN ARROW to select an alternative view
  • Press ENTER on a view
    • I suggest “List”

Navigate the icons with Windows list view navigation:

  • ALL FOUR ARROW KEYS
  • PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN
  • HOME and END
  • First letter navigation
  • First several letter navigation

Focus on an application for which you want to create a shortcut.

One note on Mail! If you have Apple iCloud installed, there are two mail apps. One takes you to the Apple Mail online interface. The second is the Windows Mail app.

Copy and paste the shortcut to the Windows Desktop:

  • Focus on the application for which you want to create a Desktop Shortcut
  • Copy the shortcut to the Windows Clipboard (CTRL-C)
  • Close the Windows Apps folder (ALT-F4)
  • Focus on the Windows Desktop (WINDOWS KEY-D)
  • Paste the shortcut to the Windows Desktop (CTRL-V)

The shortcut is available for immediate use!

You can also use the Windows Application Menu to pin the app to the Start Menu or Taskbar:

  • Focus on an app
  • Open the Windows Application Menu (WINDOWS APPLICATION KEY or SHIFT-F10)
  • Activate:
    • Pin to Taskbar
    • Pin to Start Menu

Close the Apps list (ALT-F4).

You’re done!

Thanks to all who attended the Free Windows Training Course, you’re encouraging me to learn new things as well!

How to Learn Windows

Learning Windows is easier than you think. I’m not speaking of memorizing specific steps for specific skills:

  • Press ALT-H, press TAB five times, Press ENTER
  • Press ALT-H, press S and then press A

Blind consumers can only maintain a certain number of keyboard commands and miss out on powerful application features that are easily accessed with concepts and controls.

There are a set number of controls in Windows. Some Windows controls include:

  • Split button
  • Combo box
  • Radio button
  • Edit field
  • Dialog
  • Property Sheet
  • and more

The trick to learning Windows concepts and controls is listening to your screen reader. Blind consumers are quick to silence speech with CTRL.

Once you strike that CTRL key, you’re left to figure out where you are and remember the keystrokes you committed to memory.

If your screen reader is too chatty, adjust the verbosity. Once you become familiar with Windows concepts and controls, you’ll breeze through ribbons, dialogs, property sheets, Office Backstage and more.

Learning Windows basics opens the door to entire applications.

To learn Windows, listen to the screen reader and learn how to access the controls upon which you’re focused. When you hear “Split Button” in one application, you can access it in all applications.

If you’re a keyboard junkie or have learned specific skills by rote and want to expand your Windows knowledge, ATI is offering a free summer Windows 10 training course.

Each Friday at 2:00 PM through August, learn Windows concepts and controls, program layouts, what happens when you take an action in an application, and how to use Windows applications and features.

If you miss a class or two, you can purchase the class for as low as $5.99 per lesson. Lessons average about 30 minutes each.

Invest some time in your Windows skills this summer! We begin with the Start Menu and takes you through advanced Windows features.

To join the fun, review the class schedule and request a log in!

Disable Task View Timeline

When you open the Windows Task View (WINDOWS KEY-TAB), there are three elements.

  • Virtual Desktop Management – Add New Virtual Desktops and Navigate open Desktops (Press SHIFT-TAB to focus in Virtual Desktops)
  • Open Applications – This is the default focus
  • Task View Timeline – Application Windows you’ve opened on previous dates (Press TAB to access the Timeline)

If you don’t want the Task View Timeline, you can disable it in Windows Privacy Settings.

To disable the Task View timeline:

  • Open the Start Menu (WINDOWS KEY or CTRL-ESCAPE)
  • Search for and activate “Privacy Settings” without the quotes

By default, focus is on the first General Privacy setting control.

  • Press SHIFT-TAB once to focus in the settings group list
  • Press UP and DOWN ARROW to navigate the list
  • Press ENTER on “Activity History”

Focus is placed on Activity History settings. Press TAB and SHIFT-TAB to navigate controls.

There are several check boxes that manage how your activity history is shared with Microsoft. Press SPACEBAR to toggle checkboxes.

Configure the following:

  • Store my activity history on this device – Windows saves applications, websites and services you’ve accessed
  • Send my activity history to Microsoft – Your activity history is saved to Microsoft and available on all your Windows devices
  • Show Activities from these accounts – Accounts associated with your computer are listed. You can toggle activity sharing off for one or more accounts
  • Clear – Activate this button to clear activity history from Microsoft’s servers. Your history is removed and isn’t retrievable

If you uncheck all the check boxes, the Timeline is removed.

After configuring these settings, close the settings window (ALT-F4).

The Task View timeline is removed and your activity as tracked according to your specifications.

There are other options in Privacy Settings you may find useful. I encourage exploration!

Open a Web Page Desktop Shortcut in a Specific Browser

When discussing Desktop shortcuts in the Free Windows class, someone asked how to open a web page in a specific browser.

As it turns out, this is easier than it seems.

By default, Desktop shortcuts open the Windows default browser. If you like using a specific browser for some web pages, follow the steps below to create a shortcut that opens in the browser you specify!

What You’ll Need

You’ll need some information before you create your Desktop shortcut. Before moving to the Desktop, gather this information:

  • The path to the browser executable you want to use in the shortcut
  • The web page address

Finding a browser path is easier than it looks. I’ll show you how to find the browser path, find a web page address and create your shortcut.

Find a Browser Path

There are a variety of browsers available on the Internet. Whether you opt to use Edge, Chrome, Firefox or another browser, you’ll find the browser path in the same way.

Just one quick tip… make sure the browser is installed on your computer!

To find a browser path:

  • Open the Start Menu (WINDOWS KEY or CTRL-ESCAPE)
  • Search for the browser you want to use (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, etc.)
  • Focus on the browser name and open the Windows Application Menu (WINDOWS APPLICATION KEY or SHIFT-F10)
  • Press UP and DOWN ARROW to navigate the menu
  • Press ENTER on “Open File Location”

File Explorer opens with focus on the browser shortcut. You can verify the selected shortcut with your screen reader.

To read the selected item:

  • JAWS for Windows
    • Desktop layout SHIFT-JAWS KEY-NUMBER ROW 2
    • Laptop layout SHIFT-JAWS KEY-DOWN ARROW
  • NVDA
    • SHIFT-NVDA-UP ARROW

With focus on the browser shortcut, open the Windows Application Menu with WINDOWS APPLICATION KEY or SHIFT-F10.

Press UP and DOWN ARROW to navigate the menu. Press ENTER on “Properties”

By default, focus is placed in the properties “Target” edit field. This field has the application path.

The path is selected. Press CTRL-C to copy to the Windows Clipboard.

Don’t press any ARROW KEYS to read the path. If you do, selection is removed. If you absolutely must read the path, press CTRL-A to select all field text.

After selecting the text, tap ESCAPE to close the shortcut properties.

Press CTRL-W to close the File Explorer Window.

Open the Shortcut Creation Wizard

Create Desktop a shortcut in the Shortcut Creation Wizard. To open the wizard, follow these steps:

  • Focus on the Windows Desktop (WINDOWS KEY-D or WINDOWS KEY-M)
  • Press ANY ARROW KEY to focus on a Desktop icon
  • Press CTRL-SPACEBAR to remove selection. This places focus on the Desktop rather than the Desktop icon
  • Open the Windows Application Menu (WINDOWS APPLICATION KEY or SHIFT-F10)
  • Press UP and DOWN ARROW to navigate the menu
  • Press ENTER on the “New” submenu
  • Within the “New” submenu, activate “Shortcut”

The Shortcut Creation Wizard opens.

Create the Shortcut

When the Shortcut Creation Wizard opens, focus is placed in an edit field.

This edit field accepts docuemnt and folder paths, website addresses, and more.

Paste the browser path into the edit field (CTRL-V). The path is inserted.

Press SPACEBAR to add a space after the browser path and input the web page you’d like to open in the selected browser.

For example: On my computer, the path to Firefox is: “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe”

I want to create a shortcut to my website using Firefox so, I input the followign:

“C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” www.blind.training

After inputting the browser path and website address (make sure there’s a space between the two), press TAB until focus is on the “Next” button and activate it with SPACEBAR.

Focus is placed in another edit field. Type a name for your new shortcut.

Activate the “Finish” button and your new shortcut is created on the Desktop.

When you activate the shortcut, the designated web page opens in the selected browser.

Disable Cortana in Windows 10 Professional

When discussing the Start Menu and Taskbar, lots of students found Cortana got in the way. Personally, I tend to agree. There are so many devices that fill this role, I don’t use Cortana.

Windows 10 Home requires a registry hack to remove Cortana. I don’t recommend this.

I can help Windows 10 Professional users disable Cortana. To disable Cortana, follow the steps below:

  • Open the Group Policy Editor in the Windows Run Dialog:
    • Open the Run dialog (WINDOWS KEY-R)
    • Input “gpedit.msc” without the quotes
    • Press ENTER

The Group Policy Editor opens. The main display is split into two panes.

  • A tree view with system locations
  • A list view through which you can configure settings

By default, focus is in the list view. Press SHIFT-TAB once to focus in the tree view. Navigate the tree view with Windows tree view navigation commands:

  • UP and DOWN ARROW
  • PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN
  • HOME and END
  • First letter navigation
  • First several letter navigation

As you navigate the tree view, you’ll find that branch are “Open” and “Closed.” Open and close branches with Windows commands:

  • Press RIGHT ARROW to open a branch
  • Press LEFT ARROW to close a branch

Navigate the tree view with the above commands

  • Focus on and open the “Computer Configuration” tree branch
  • Within the Computer Configuration branch, open the “Administrative Templates” branch
  • Within “Administrative Templates,” open the “Windows Components” branch
  • Within “Windows Components,” focus on “Search”
    • Press S to quickly focus on this option

Press TAB to move to the right side of the Window. A list view has Search configurations

Navigate the list view with Windows list view navigation:

  • UP and DOWN ARROW
  • PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN
  • HOME and END
  • First letter navigation
  • First several letter navigation

Focus on “Allow Cortana.” Press ENTER to open the “Alllow Cortana” dialog.

Press TAB and SHIFT-TAB to navigate dialog controls.

Focus on the Radio buttons. Listen to your screen reader. There are three radio buttons. The “Enabled” radio button is selected.

Press UP and DOWN ARROW to select a radio button. When a radio button is selected, the other radio buttons are unselected.

Select the “Disabled” radio button.

Press TAB until focus is on the “OK” button. Press SPACEBAR to save the changes and exit the dialog.

Press ALT-F4 to close the Group Policy Editor.

Cortana is disabled in Windows 10 Professional.

Add a Path to the Windows Path Variable

This topic was brought up during my Free Windows Training Course. Rather than replying to everyone individually, I thought I’d post this information on my Blog for easy reference.

In the class, we discussed the Run dialog. I illustrated how you can add Desktop Shortcuts to the Windows folder and use the Shortcut names to launch documents and applications from the Windows Run dialog.

The topic was raised about creating a Desktop folder into which you can add the shortcuts and add the Desktop folder to the Windows Path.

I thought this was a brilliant idea and researched. To add a folder to the Windows path, follow the steps below:

Create a Folder on the Windows Desktop

You’ll need an administrator account to edit the Windows path variable.

Create a folder on the Windows Desktop to which you’d like to add Run dialog shortcuts.

  • Create a folder on the Windows Desktop
    • Focus on the Windows Desktop (WINDOWS KEY-D or WINDOWS KEY-M)
    • Press CTRL-SHIFT-N
      1. This is the Windows command to create a new shortcut in a list view
    • The new folder is created
    • Type the new name
    • Press ENTER
    • The folder is created
  • Select the folder and open the Enhanced Windows Application Folder (SHIFT-WINDOWS KEY or CTRL-SHIFT-F10)
  • Activate “Copy as Path”

With the folder path copied to the Windows Clipboard, you’re ready to add it to the Windows path variable.

Edit the Windows Path Variable

To add the copied path to the Windows Path Variable, do one of the following:

  • Open System Properties in the Start Menu
    • Open the Windows Start Menu (WINDOWS KEY or CTRL-ESCAPE)
    • Type “Variable” without the quotes
    • The first option is “Edit the System Environment Variables”
    • Press ENTER on this option
    • The System Properties dialog opens
  • Open System Properties in the Control Panel
    • Open the Start Menu (WINDOWS KEY or CTRL-ESCAPE
    • Search for and open the Control Panel
    • Within the Control Panel, activate “System”
    • Within the System applet, activate “Advanced System Settings”
    • The System Properties dialog opens

Within the System Properties dialog, follow these steps:

  • Press TAB and SHIFT-TAB to navigate dialog controls
  • Focus on the “Environment Variables” button
  • Press SPACEBAR to activate the button
  • The Environmental Variables dialog opens

By default, focus is on a list of user variables.

  • Press UP and DOWN ARROW until focus is on “Path”
  • Your screen reader echoes “Path” followed by the Windows path variable
  • With focus on path, navigate to and activate the “Edit” button
  • Another dialog opens with a list of paths on the left and a series of buttons on the right
  • Navigate to and activate the “New” button
    • A new entry is added beneath the existing paths
  • Paste the path from the Windows clipboard (CTRL-V)
  • Navigate to and activate the OK button

Close the System Properties dialog by activating the OK button.

Close the system applet and Control Panel. You’re done!

Any shortcuts you add to your new folder will work in the run dialog. Just remember, don’t add spaces to the shortcut names! Keep it simple.

Have a wonderful day!

Purchase and Download ATI Materials – Tutorial

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://www.blind.training/wp-content/uploads/PurchaseAndDownloadFromATI.mp3″]

Introduction

Access Technology Institute, LLC uses a WordPress Plugin called “Easy Digital Downloads” to sell our training materials.

We upload our training materials to our server and Easy Digital Downloads takes care of the heavy lifting.

Today, I’m going to show you how to add items to your ATI shopping cart, check out via PayPal or Credit Card and download your materials to your personal computer.

I’ll also show you how to unzip the .zip archive file and place your newly purchased training materials on your computer’s Desktop.

For this lesson, I’ve zipped this text file and an audio version of the lesson into a zip file that I’m offering free of charge on the website.

If you want to experiment with PayPal payments live, you can purchase the file for $1.00.

Let’s discuss adding training materials to the shopping cart, purchasing the materials with PayPal, downloading documents, and accessing those documents on your personal computer.

Add Training Materials to the Shopping Cart

Each training course, textbook, and subscription page has a link through which you can add the selected item to your shopping cart.

If, for example, you want to purchase this lesson free or for $1.00, visit www.blind.training/download to select your purchase option.

Select the purchase option you’d like use. When you select a purchase option, an Easy Digital Downloads page opens.

The link to add the lesson to your shopping cart and the Shopping cart checkout link are at the top and in the middle of the page.

The purchase link is preceded by an edit field into which you can insert a number to purchase multiple copies.

To quickly find the purchase link:

  • Use the screen reader command to locate the next edit field
    • JAWS for Windows E
    • NVDA E

There ae two edit fields:

  • A search field
  • An edit-spin box

The edit-spin box is just above the purchase link. If you want to purchase multiple copies, input the number of copies into the edit-spin box.

To add the training materials to the shopping cart:

  • Press TAB once from the edit-spin box
  • Focus is placed on the purchase link
  • Press ENTER

The selected materials are added to the shopping cart.

Repeat these steps on each product page you want to purchase.

After adding the products, navigate to and activate the “Shopping Cart/Checkout” or “Checkout” link.

The Access Technology Institute, LLC shopping cart opens.

The Shopping Cart

The shopping cart page lets you review your purchase and, if applicable, add a discount code.

If ATI is having a sale, activate the “Click to Enter It” link, input the discount code, and press ENTER. The discount is immediately applied.

Read the page thoroughly to insure the products you want to purchase were added and, if applicable, the discount has been applied.

At the bottom of the page are edit fields into which you provide information for PayPal.

  • Email Address
  • First Name
  • Last Name

Activate the “Purchase” button. PayPal takes you to a PayPal log in page.

  • One note on PayPal. If you have one touch payment enabled, PayPal will log in automatically and take you to the payment processing page
  • If you want to pay by credit card, one-touch payment should be disabled for the browser
  • One-touch is browser specific

If you want to continue with PayPal, log in and complete your purchase as usual.

If you want to pay by credit card, ignore the login fields and activate the “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” button.

This button opens the PayPal guest checkout page through which you can pay with a Debit or Credit card, bypassing a PayPal login.

Complete the payment details and complete your purchase.

You’re ready to download the training materials!

Download Your Training Materials

Purchase Confirmation Page

Download your textbooks from the Purchase Confirmation Page or via an email you’ll receive from the website.

The email is automatically generated. If it isn’t in your inbox, please check your spam or junk folder.

To download your training materials from the purchase confirmation page:

  • Activate the “Skip to Main Content” link at the top of the web page
    • This is the first link in your screen reader links list
  • Press TAB once
  • Focus is placed on the first download link

If you’ve purchased multiple products, each product link is listed below. Download each individually.

Press ENTER on a download link. The training material archive file is downloaded to your computer’s Download folder.

If you want to download your documents from within the email, activate a link within the email. The default browser opens through which you can download the document to your computer.

Edge Users

To download the materials using Edge:

The Information bar opens at the bottom of the document Window requesting an action. To access the information bar:

  • Press ALT-N to focus on the information bar
  • Press TAB and SHIFT-TAB to navigate Information bar buttons
  • Choose from among:
    • Open – Open the archive document
    • Save – Save the document (Select this option)
    • Cancel – Cancel the download

Press SPACEBAR on “Save.”

The document is saved to the Windows Downloads folder.

After the file is downloaded, the information bar has additional options:

  • Open
  • Open Folder
  • View downloads

Press SPACEBAR on “Open Folder.”

The Downloads folder opens in File Explorer. Focus is placed on the downloaded document.

Chrome Users

Chrome should automatically download the documents to your Downloads folder.

If the browser opens a Save As dialog, you can easily select the computer’s Downloads folder.

Follow these steps:

  • Focus on the dialog Address Bar (ALT-D)
    • The Address Bar is at the top of the dialog
    • The Address Bar accepts folder paths and Windows folder names
  • Type “Downloads” without the quotes and press ENTER
  • The Downloads folder opens
  • Press TAB until focus is on the Save button
  • Press SPACEBAR to activate the button

The document is saved to the Windows Downloads folder.

Firefox Users

If Firefox doesn’t automatically save the document, it opens a small dialog through which you can select an action.

The dialog has two radio buttons. Press UP and DOWN ARROW to select a radio button.

The radio buttons are:

  • Open With – Select an application with which to open the document
  • Save File – Save the file to the Windows Downloads folder (Select this option)

Press TAB to navigate the remaining controls.

A checkbox beneath the radio buttons tells Firefox to take this action on all future downloads.

To save all future downloads, press SPACEBAR to check the checkbox.

Navigate to and activate the OK button to save the changes and download the training material document.

The Windows Save As dialog opens. Use this dialog to select a folder to which the document is saved. I recommend the Windows Downloads folder.

To select the Downloads folder:

  • Focus on the dialog Address Bar (ALT-D)
    • The Address Bar is at the top of the dialog
    • The Address Bar accepts folder paths and Windows folder names
  • Type “Downloads” without the quotes and press ENTER
  • The Downloads folder opens
  • Press TAB until focus is on the Save button
  • Press SPACEBAR to activate the button

The document is saved to the Windows Downloads folder.

Repeat these steps for all purchased documents.

If you checked the checkbox to always take this action, future documents will automatically download to the Windows Downloads folder.

Browser Download Managers

Now that you’ve downloaded your training materials, you’ll see each is compressed into a .zip archive document.

I’ll show you how to copy these documents to your Windows Desktop.

Once your familiar with folder management, you can move the documents anywhere you’d like.

All Windows Browsers have a Downloads Manager interface. To open the Downloads Manager of any browser, press CTRL-J.

Each browser manager is slightly different. I’ll explore the three most popular browsers – Edge, Chrome, and Firefox.

Edge Download Manager

Open the Edge download manager in the Edge menu or with a keyboard accelerator.

In the Edge menu:

  • Open Edge
  • Open the Edge menu (ALT-X)
  • Press UP and DOWN ARROW to navigate menu options
  • Press ENTER on “Downloads”
  • The Edge Download Manager opens

Keyboard Accelerator

  • Open Edge
  • Press CTRL-J
  • The Edge Download Manager opens

The Edge Download Manager opens with focus on the most recent downloaded document.

Press UP and DOWN ARROW to review downloads.

When you hear a document name, the document is selected.

You can take several actions on a downloaded document:

  • Focus on a document and open the Windows Application Menu (WINDOWS APPLICATION KEY or SHIFT-F10)
  • Press UP and DOWN to navigate menu options
  • Menu options include:
    • Copy link
    • Show in Folder
    • Report this download as unsafe

Activate the “Show in Folder” link. The Downloads folder opens with focus on the selected downloaded document.

Chrome

Open the Chrome download manager in the Chrome menu or with a keyboard accelerator.

In the Chrome menu:

  • Open Chrome
  • Open the Chrome menu (ALT-F)
  • Press UP and DOWN ARROW to navigate menu options
  • Press ENTER on “Downloads”
  • The Chrome Download Manager opens

Keyboard Accelerator

  • Open Chrome
  • Press CTRL-J
  • The Download Manager opens

The Chrome Download Manager in a webpage view with focus in a search-edit field. If you have a lot of downloads, you can use this search-edit field to filter downloads and find the one you want to manage.

Press TAB twice to focus on the most recent downloaded document.

Press UP and DOWN ARROW to review downloads.

When you hear a document name, the document is selected.

You can take several actions on a downloaded document:

Press TAB to navigate the following options:

  • The download link
  • Show in Folder – Activate this button to open the Downloads folder in File Explorer with focus on the downloaded document
  • Remove – Activate this button to remove the Download from the Chrome Download Manager

Activate “Show in Folder.” File Explorer opens with focus on the downloaded document.

Firefox

Open the Firefox download Library in the Tools menu or with a keyboard accelerator.

In the Tools menu:

  • Open Firefox
  • Open the Tools (ALT-T)
  • Press UP and DOWN ARROW to navigate menu options
  • Press ENTER on “Downloads”
  • The Firefox Download Library opens

Keyboard Accelerator

  • Open Firefox
  • Press CTRL-J
  • The Download Library opens

The Firefox Download Library is in the Firefox Library dialog. Focus is on the most recently downloaded document.

Press UP and DOWN ARROW to navigate documents.

You can take several actions on a downloaded document:

Focus on a download and open the Windows Application Menu (WINDOWS APPLICATION KEY or SHIFT-F10)

Press UP and DOWN ARROW to navigate menu options.

Select “Open Containing Folder” and press ENTER.

The Downloads folder opens in File Explorer with focus on the downloaded document.

Copy and Paste Archived Documents to the Desktop

Within the browser’s Download Manager, open the folder in which the download resides.

  • Edge – Activate “Show in Folder” in the Windows Application Menu
  • Chrome – Activate “Show in Folder” beneath the downloaded file name
  • Firefox – Activate “Open Containing Folder” in the Windows Application Menu

The Downloads folder opens in File Explorer. Focus is on the downloaded document.

As you grow comfortable with Windows, you’ll learn how to Extract the document in via the ribbon.

Today, I’m going to show you quick way to copy and paste the documents to your Windows Desktop.

When you open the Downloads folder, focus is on the archive document. Read focus with your screen reader:

JAWS for Windows

  • Desktop layout JAWS KEY-SHIFT-NUMPAD 3
  • Laptop layout JAWS KEY-SHIFT-DOWN ARROW

NVDA

  • NVDA-SHIFT-UP ARROW

After insuring you’re on the right document, press ENTER. The archive document opens and displays the contents.

Review the archive contents:

  • Press UP and DOWN ARROW

Are there multiple files and folders? If there’s only one item, you can paste it directly to the Windows Desktop.

If there is only one document or folder, note it’s name. You’ll need the name to quickly access it on the Windows Desktop.

If there are multiple items, we’ll create a Desktop folder into which to paste the items.

To copy the archive documents to the Windows clipboard:

  • Select all archive documents (CTRL-A)
  • Copy the documents to the Windows clipboard CTRL-C

With the documents copied to the Windows clipboard, you’re ready to paste them to the Windows Desktop.

To paste the documents to the Windows Desktop:

  • If there is one document:
    • Focus on the Windows Desktop WINDOWS KEY-D
    • Paste the document CTRL-V
  • If there are multiple documents and/or folders, create a Desktop folder:
    • Focus on the Windows Desktop WINDOWS KEY-D
    • Press CTRL-SHIFT-N
    • A new folder is created on the Desktop
    • The name is selected
    • Type a new name
    • Press ENTER
    • The folder is renamed and added to the Desktop
    • Focus is on the new folder
    • Press ENTER to open the folder
    • Paste the archived documents into the new folder (CTRL-V)

You’re done!

Access Your Documents

To access your documents, use Windows Desktop navigation.

  • Focus on the Desktop WINDOWS KEY-D
  • Navigate the Desktop with Windows Desktop navigation:
    • ALL FOUR ARROW KEYS
    • PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN
    • HOME and END
    • First letter navigation
    • First Several letter navigation

If your document is on the Desktop, press ENTER to open the document in the associated application.

If you created a new folder – open the new folder and select a document. Press ENTER to open the document in the associated application.

For all ATI textbooks:

  • Audio files are in the mp3 folder
  • All textbook documents are in the folder and include:
    • An html version
    • A Microsoft Word version
    • A plain text version
  • Some textbooks have sample documents, review the folder names and explore the folders for more documentation

The purchase instructions I’ve described work with any WordPress website using Easy Digital Downloads.

The download instructions work on all websites.

Sabotage Your Students! It’s Fun!

I normally have a hands-off policy when it comes to a student’s computer. I guide students through the skills necessary to configure and use applications.

When I show them initial application configuration, they follow instructions. Later in the course, they realize complicated steps are easy after learning application basics, concepts, and controls.

I have one exception to my “hands-off” rule – sabotage. Sabotage is a powerful tool in our training toolbox. Through sabotage, I insure students learn proper display configuration, shortcut creation and more.

When I sabotage a student’s computer, it’s encourages skill review. It’s easy to recite skills by rote. It’s harder to demonstrate the skill. Sabotage is repetitive and encourages skill review. Some areas I use sabotage include:

  • Delete the Desktop shortcut for an application a student uses daily
  • Change the File Explorer view to large icons
  • Close the folder list in Outlook
  • Close the ribbon in Microsoft Word
  • Switch Microsoft Word to Reading view
  • Enable paragraph markers in Word
  • Change a word pronunciation in the screen reader dictionary
  • And more

If a student is learning a skill, there’s probably a way to sabotage the computer so the skill is reinforced and practiced.

When sabotaging a student’s computer, keep it simple. Don’t make too many changes. Sabotage is designed to be repetitive and fun. Make one change and repeat liberally. After re-creating their Desktop shortcut several times, they’ll know how to make Desktop shortcuts.

After fixing the File Explorer view or restoring the Outlook folder list several times, they’ll have confidence in the skills and never flounder when something changes.

Sabotage is fun. Initially, a student is confused and may struggle with the skill. With your guidance, they’ll gain more confidence. Eventually, they’ll enjoy finding the error and quickly repairing it.

Don’t worry about overkill. You’ll know you’ve succeeded when the student laughs and quickly undoes your carefully planned sabotage.

When one sabotage becomes fun, introduce different sabotage. Keep students on their toes and exploring by tweaking their settings or pressing a keystroke.

Sabotage reinforces skills, encourages students to experiment and is fun for both student and teacher. If you’ve never sabotaged your students, I recommend giving it a try!

Through sabotage, you can gauge your student’s progress and force those who don’t enjoy studying to learn skills despite themselves!

Be creative, have fun and sabotage those computers! Need sabotage suggestions? Drop me a note. I’m a skilled saboteur who loves sharing ideas!

Hire Access Technology Trainers who Teach Concepts and Controls

Over time, applications evolve. The Office 2003 interface is completely different from that of Office 2019. Students who learn Windows concepts and controls can transition more easily to new application interfaces. Edit field, combo boxes, rich-edit fields and menus are the same controls used in Windows 98 and Windows 10.

Most Access Technology Trainers teach keyboard access. They don’t understand what’s happening on the display. They know one route to achieve an end-goal. They can paste text into Word 2019 but don’t understand how to access “Paste Special” via the ribbon without looking up the specific keyboard commands.

Access Technology Trainers should know how to quickly accomplish tasks, but they should also understand what’s happening when they execute the commands.

When hiring Access Technology Trainers, most employers blindfold a trainer and seat them in front of a computer with a screen reader. Once they can complete a specified number of tasks, they’re considered for the position.

There are some fundamental skills trainers should know and nearly all can execute by rote:

  • Text attributes
  • Indentation
  • Document format and font styles
  • Heading style text

These are all easily executed with keyboard commands. Once the trainer completes the tasks, they are checked off as successful and continue the interview process.

Blindfolding is a parlor trick that doesn’t illustrate a trainers’ computer skill. When someone is visually-impaired, they learn a lot of keystrokes and can execute a basic document in a matter of seconds. Executing keystrokes isn’t training. Teaching requires excellent communication skills.

Rather than blindfolding a prospective trainer, have them teach you a lesson and listen carefully from the perspective of a student. Communication isn’t affected by a blindfold. Sighted and low-vision computer users can teach screen readers as well as totally blind individuals.

Access Technology Trainers should be able to clearly and concisely explain:

  • Application layout
  • How to access elements of the display via the keyboard
  • What happens when they execute a keyboard accelerator
  • The screen reader commands necessary to access display elements
  • How to complete tasks via ribbons, menus, and dialogs

If a trainer doesn’t understand what’s happening when they execute commands, they teach by rote.

Blind and visually-impaired computer users are entering law school, seeking PPh.D. degrees, and venturing into fields we couldn’t imagine a decade ago. Keystroke instruction frustrates and annoys these students. Concepts and controls set them free and give them the skills needed to venture into advanced application features.

The next time you hire an Access Technology Trainer, throw away the blindfold and listen to their communication skills. Access technology trainers should:

  • Teach concepts and controls with keyboard commands in context
  • Rely on concepts and controls rather than keystrokes
  • Have an outline from which they will teach the material rather than winging each lesson. Continuity is important
  • Understand and explain the application and document layout
  • A pleasant presentation style free of too many fillers (Um, ah, er.)

Teaching blind and visually-impaired computer users requires strong communication skills and a solid understanding of the Operating System and application.

Hire trainers that inspire success and independence. When teaching computers to blind and visually-impaired consumers, communication is everything.