[libreoffice-accessibility] More Inconsistent Accessibility Issues with LibreOffice Calc 4.3 RC1 and Screen readers
I have some additional findings to report regarding screen reader accessibility of Calc 4.3 and
As I indicated in an early message, I receive little or no feedback when navigating through
spreadsheets using the latest Calc RC along with NVDA 2014.2, although accessibility is not broken
in OpenOffice 4.1 and I assumed that both LibreOffice and OpenOffice were using the same code for
For kicks, I wanted to see how Calc would interact with the latest build of JAWS 15.
When I tried navigating through a Calc spreadsheet using JAWS, the behavior was different and, on
the whole, more positive.
When I first opened Calc with JAWS running, JAWS treated the spreadsheet as though it was a Web
page or HTML document and I had to turn off the virtual cursor.
Once I did this, audible feedback while using arrow keys to navigate the spreadsheet also yielded
However, when I pressed the alt key to open the menu bar followed by a second press of the alt key
to close it, JAWS read the spreadsheet data and cell information perfectly, as it would with
programs such as Excel.
I was intrigued and closed Calc.
After reopening Calc, JAWS did not go into its Web page browse mode but still did not produce
feedback while navigating through the spreadsheet.
Once again, I pressed the alt key twice, to move focus to and then away from Calc's menu bar.
As I expected, audible navigation worked perfectly, allowing me to hear cell coordinates and any
data contained within the cell.
Even more curious, I wanted to see if I could get NVDA and Calc to cooperate by moving focus away
from and then back to the spreadsheet.
I closed JAWS and started NVDA.
I opened Calc and pressed the alt key twice, once to access the menu bar and a second time to move
focus away from the menu bar back to the workbook. Unfortunately, NVDA would still not read any
data or cell coordinates in the workbook. I don't know if this information is of any use to any of
the developers who may be reading this but I thought I should pass this along.
While I don't have JAWS on my home computer, I do have NVDA and would be happy to run specific
tests if I can be of any assistance.
I've also gone into the view menu to try and turn off unnecessary or at least unneeded toolbars, as
this can sometimes make a difference. As an example, I vaguely remember that the formula bar might
have been responsible for producing too much audible feedback in one of the earlier versions of
Calc. Again, if there are specific settings any of you would like me to try please let me know.
As a user and trainer for other users of this technology, I am quite excited at seeing more
accessibility being implemented in these suites and I'd like to do anything I can to assist in
making this happen. I'm not a programmer but I'm happy to test and report findings.
Computer Technology Instructor
919 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-627-0600 ext 3277
Serving Philadelphia's and the nation's blind and visually impaired population since 1874.
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- [libreoffice-accessibility] More Inconsistent Accessibility Issues with LibreOffice Calc 4.3 RC1 and Screen readers · David Goldfield
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