Re: Jaws Help, Please!
The System Tray is part of the Windows Desktop. It contains programs which are running in the background as opposed to the taskbar where your currently opened programs are listed. This is basic Windows training. It may be to your advantage to have Jaws running in The System Tray. For your convenience I have included a little tutorial which I wrote some time back. It's part of the Mini Blinds series of pamphlets which are listed in the Bookstore on my web site. I'm not sure the Paypal links work, so if you want any more of these, write me and then I'll give you a link to Paypal so you can pay for the pamphlets you want.
Help For Learning Windows in a Small Package
By Ann K. Parsons
The Windows Desktop
"I've got all this stuff! I have manuals! I have books! I have help files! I'm going bonkers here! What do I do? I can't read all this stuff! I don't know where to start!"
Well, then, try our Mini Blinds pamphlets. They are small. They are simple, and you only get one small subject per pamphlet. Want to know something small, something specific, don't want to search through a whole book, then Mini Blinds is what you want. You want to cover Windows with Mini Blinds, not drapes, not curtains, but mini blinds. Here you go, try this on for size and convenience! If you want drapes or curtains or Venetian blinds, there is a list of resources for excellent books and tutorials at the end of this pamphlet. The advantage to ,portal ,tutoring's Mini Blinds is that once you grasp what's going on here, you can read and understand all those books and manuals you've got there. So don't throw them out!
Note, these Mini Blinds are written using keyboard commands. These are commands that can be used by anyone using Windows. If you don't like the mouse, try keyboard commands. If you use a mouse, you can just click on the things I discuss here. Otherwise, use your hands on the keyboard.
The Windows Desktop
The Windows Desktop is the root or center of your computer. It is from here that everything begins. For the Sighted, the main portion of The Desktop appears like a bulletin board with many pictures on it. The pictures are placed in rows and columns. Each picture or icon represents a link to a program or file. The Computer or This PC icon is a picture of a computer. The Recycle Bin is a picture of a waste basket. Each icon has a small printed label on it which identifies it; the labels are used by screen reader software to identify and to speak the names of the icons as the cursor moves over them. In addition, The Desktop has a horizontal Title Bar at the top. and on the bottom of the screen is another horizontal bar which is called the Taskbar.
The Title Bar is a feature common to all screens in Windows. It lists the title of the program which is currently active and whose menus and so on are visible on your screen. You can read the Title Bar on your screen, if you are using a Screen Reader by using the command for this purpose. If you are using Jaws or NVDA, press Insert-T.
At the bottom of the screen is the Taskbar. It is a menu that stretches horizontally across the entire width of the screen. To the far left, is the Start Button. This is used to invoke the Start Menu. This menu is on a separate screen from the Desktop and contains many of the programs a user activates most frequently. You access this button with the Windows-Key.
To the right of the Start Button, is the Taskbar. This part of the menu shares the same name as does the entire menu, but it is the portion of the screen that shows small picture icons of programs which are currently opened on your computer. You might have email, a spreadsheet and Notepad all open at one time. The programs' icons will be on the taskbar, when the Desktop is on the screen. You can access the Taskbar by pressing Windows-Key-Tab. You can move between the various icons by using your right and left arrow keys. Pressing enter on any of these icons will result in that program being placed in the main window of your computer screen.
Further to the right, is the System Tray. This portion of the Taskbar looks very much like the Taskbar, but here you will find icons which represent programs which are running in the background. These might include your virus checker, Skype, and MSN Messenger. You can access the System Tray by using the mouse or by pressing Insert-F11, if you are using Jaws or NVDA.
Finally, there is a clock in the lower right hand corner of this bottom bar. If you use a screen reader, you can access this clock by pressing Insert-F12 in Jaws and NVDA. If you are not using a screen reader, clicking on the items in the Taskbar or System Tray will activate them.
Now we come to the main portion of The Desktop. Each person's computer has a different Desktop because each person uses different programs and files. Some of them will be the same: Computer, This PC, Recycle Bin, Documents and My Network Places. These are the names of the System Icons. Do not change or move these icons at all. Some programs will be the same on all computers: Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word. Others may be different files, folders web sites or programs. This is because The Desktop is a List View. This means that you can add, subtract, move, change the name of, any of the items in The Desktop with the exception of the system icons. You can remove them, but it is not wise to do so. All List Views in Windows are like this.
To use The Desktop to find programs and files which you need, you can use the four arrow keys. Or, you can type the first letter of the name of the thing for which you are looking, and it will be selected. Sometimes, you may have to type that same letter several times to reach what you want, but it will eventually be selected so that you can press "enter` on it to activate your choice. Again, by using the mouse, you can click on these icons to activate them. Should you activate one of the icons on the Desktop by accident and find yourself in a program or a file or a folder where you did not intend to go, simply pressing Alt-F4 will close down the window and take you back to the Desktop.
Because The Desktop is , a List View you are able to rename any of the icons on it. It is recommended that you not rename: Documents, Computer, This PC, Recycle Bin, My Network Places and Internet Explorer. These are the names of the System Icons. Do not change or move these icons at all. Any other icons can be renamed. To rename an icon in a List View:
1. Place the cursor on the icon to be renamed.
2. Press f2.
3. Type in the new name for the icon.
4. Press "Enter".
It is also possible to delete icons from The Desktop. It is recommended strongly that you do not delete: My Documents, Computer, This PC, Recycle Bin, My Network Places and Internet Explorer. These are the names of the System Icons. Do not change or move these icons at all. In order to accomplish this, take the following steps:
1. Select the icon which you want to delete.
2. Press the delete Key.
3. Press the spacebar on the "yes button".
4. Remember that unless you have placed a folder or a file directly in the folder called Desktop, you will be deleting only a shortcut, a link to a program or a folder or a file. The actual programs, folders or files will still be on your computer.
You can add icons to The Desktop too. This is a more complicated project, so will not be described here in this pamphlet. However, we mention it here because it is one of the things which can be done with all List Views. Icons are added automatically when a new program is installed, or they can be added manually by the user.
The following is a list of sources for books and tutorials. These are designed for the blind or visually impaired,
American Printing House for the Blind: http://www.aph.org
Phone: (502) 895-2405
Toll-Free Customer Service: (800) 223-1839 (U.S. and Canada)
Access Technology Institute tutorials: http://www.blind.training/
Phone: (916) 248-4114
Fax: (800) 986-6198
Consult contact link
Freedom Scientific Tutorials: http://www.freedomscientific.com/fs_products/tutorials.asp
Phone: (800) 444-4443
Iowa Department for the Blind's Tutorials: http://www.blind.state.ia.us/assist/
Phone: (515) 281-1357
Mystic Access Tutorials:
National Braille Press: http://www.nbp.org
Phone: (617) 266-6160
Toll-Free: (888) 965-8965
Top Dot Enterprises Tutorials and articles on computers:
Phone: (425) 501-3122
Ann K. Parsons
Author of The Demmies: http://www.dldbooks.com/annparsons/
Portal Tutoring web site: http://www.portaltutoring.info
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost."