Screen Readers with L4

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Dean Masters | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Sep 25 2011 3:09 PM

According to other posts it seems as if when reading a screen aloud the cursor will move with it and that we might be able just to read a small segment rather than having to read large segments of text. How about making it possible to move forwrad or backward by verse? How about moving forward and backward by word since we who use a screen reader have no cursor we can use on the screen? then we would be able to use the context menu to choose what we wanted to do with the word we were on. could you add into the context menu an item if there is a link for a footnote so that it could either be read or exported? since we have no cursor we can't click on the subtext or supertext as we can in Libronix.


to use the exegetical guide or passage guide we have to export it and use Word or Wordpad and then we can enter on the links and have it open the program or our internet browser. Could you add headings to the topic of each section so it would be easier for us to jump from one section to another? Sometimes sections can be large and we may not be interested in that section and it takes a long time to find the next section without headings.


I heard that the search had been worked on to make it accessible but more needs to be done or I just don't know how to do a search in L4. I thought there would be a search button on the screen to tab to when I had chosen all the fields but I could not find one. As I tabbed around I heard my screen reader say "panel" and didn't know what this was so hit enter. then the screen reader said "submenu" So I arrowed up and down and don't remember what I found but it was not helpful.


You have video tutorials where someone says click here, click there. How about audio tutorials for the screen users among us who can't click and have been waiting for two years for a program we can use to do more than just have it read to us. All this power for a book reader?

Posts 67
Bryan Albert | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 30 2011 1:35 PM


Thank you for your ideas on the Resource display. We're currently working on that area and are interested this kind of feedback. It is clear that there needs to be some sort of word-by-word navigation so that you can interact with the text on a word level--just reading it isn't quite enough. Currently you actually can navigate by verse, which should help a little. Suppose that you had the ESV open (Alt + D to focus the Command Box, then "open ESV" to open the English Standard Version). First, you need to make sure that the Locator Bar is displayed. You can verify this by opening the panel menu (which is the menu that you discovered--each panel has one, with menu items relevant to the kind of panel) with Alt + -. Scroll down to the "Show locator bar," which is a check-able menu. It should be checked (Space Bar to check it if not.) You can also activate it at any time with Ctrl + Shift + L, by the way.  With the Locator bar visible, Tab should move through its controls in sequence with the other controls on the panel's toolbar, after the panel menu. Note that some of the controls aren't announced properly, we have cases for that. But when you get to the end, it says, "Navigation combo box with items." If you hit F4 to open the combo box, you can arrow through the control's items, Article, Book, Chapter, and Verse. If you hit the Down Arrow key four times you should be on Verse. The next two controls in the Locator bar are the Previous button and Next button. Pushing those navigate the resource page up and down by one verse, so if you were to start the Read Aloud (Ctrl + R), it would read the verse at the top of the window. You could stop it, navigate to the next or previous verse, then start it again, to hear what you want. Note that you can navigate with the keyboard, too, with Alt + Up, Alt + Down. 

As for the search panel, I'm sorry you're having trouble with it. I have written sort of a tutorial which I'll include here. It sounds like the problem that you're having is that there's not actually a search button, you just hit Enter when you're finished entering your search text and the searching begins. This is complicated a bit by the fact that the only feedback that a search has finished is visual. Please let me know if you have problems with these instructions, which should hopefully help you get a feel for the Logos 4 interface. 


For anyone who doesn't yet have accessibility turned on in Logos 4 (it sounds like you do have it on), I'll address that problem first. We built Logos 4 using a Microsoft framework called WPF. It has some built-in accessibility support we use for adding accessibility information to the program for screen readers to read. The problem is that when we first released Logos 4, we discovered that a problem  in Microsoft’s code caused major parts of Logos 4 to run so slowly on tablet PCs that it was unusable. For that reason, we had to turn the accessibility support off. For those who need the accessibility features, it’s easy to turn accessibility back on. Here’s how:


  1. Launch Logos 4
  2. Type Alt  + D to put the focus on the Command Box, where you can type commands for Logos 4 to execute
  3. Type the command (without the quotes): “Set accessibility to yes” and hit Enter
  4. Type Alt + F4 to close Logos 4
  5. Restart Logos 4

Now accessibility should be activated and your screen reader should be able to tell you which control currently has the focus and so on. Some areas have pretty good support and some don’t have much. So far I’ve worked on the toolbar and its controls, though some of the controls that the toolbar activates, such as the File menu, still need some work. I’ve also worked on the Search panel and I think that the Search panel and the Search Results displays are working pretty well. 

Here are basic instructions for how you might perform a search. Some of the search results views aren’t yet fully accessible, but the Basic search’s By Title view works pretty well. Depending on what Logos 4 product you have, you may have slightly different options and controls, but the basic idea should be the same. Note that you’ll need to have the latest shipping version of Logos 4, 4.3, since most of this support was added when 4.3 was in beta. We’re adding automation support all the time, so if  you want the latest, you should join the beta program. The 4.5 beta should be starting next week, hopefully on October 4th. I generated this tutorial using Microsoft’s Narrator application, figuring that any commercial screen reader would have significantly better support, so Narrator should be a good baseline.  

  1. Type Alt + S to open the Search panel
  2. Tab twice to the Search Mode control. This control can have up to four items in it: Basic, Bible, Morph and Syntax, arranged horizontally, in that order. You use the left and right arrow keys to switch from one mode to the next. When you switch modes, the focus returns to the Find field where you type the search query, so if you need to switch from Morph to Basic, for example, you’d tab to Morph, then left-arrow to Bible, then tab twice again back to Bible, then left-arrow to Basic. Set the search mode to Basic; Narrator should say “Basic, list with four items.”
  3. Tab four or so times to get to the search parameter controls. The first is a control named “Fields to search.” Hit Enter to expand the control, then tab to the tree view control, then the up and down arrow keys to move through the fields to search. The list of fields depends on what fields your selected resources contain; when you get to the Bible Text field, hit Space Bar to check the field. Hit the Escape key to collapse the control. 
  4. Tab again to the “Resources to search” control, hit Enter to expand it, then type “All Bible Text.” This control still needs a little work. It contains a search field to filter a list of resources and the up and down arrow keys move between the resources in the list. The problem is that it doesn’t actually read the titles as you scroll through them. You can type the name of a resource (or its abbreviation, such as ESV for English Standard Version) and hit Enter, or the name of a collection of resources, such as “All Open Resources” or “Entire Library.” The first match in the list when you hit Enter is the resource or collection that will be searched. When you tab to the “Resources to Search” control again, it will read the title, such as, “Resources to search, all open resources, button.” 
  5. Now you’re ready to search. With the focus on “Find: Editable text,” type your search query, such as the word Adam followed by Enter. 
  6. With search results displayed, you can now tab to the search results view. The first stop (after the “Previous searches button” is the “Library Results” expander, which contains the number of search hits. It is expanded by default.
  7. The next control is a horizontal list of buttons like the Search Mode list above. It contains three display types, “Ranked,” “By Title” and “By Count.” The “By Title” has the best automation support, so if it’s not selected, use the left or right arrow keys to select it.
  8. Tab to the first resource expander, you should hear something like, “English Standard Version, 21 hits in 12 articles.” The Space Bar expands and collapses the resource, tab moves to the next resource and the down-arrow key moves into the resource’s list of search hits. 
  9. Down-arrow into the list of search hits. In this example, the first hit is read as “Chapter 2, guh two twenty.” We still need to figure out the abbreviation for Genesis. 
  10. Hit Enter, the focus moves to the English Standard Version resource, scrolled to Genesis 2:20. 
  11. Hit Ctrl + R to activate Read Aloud, which will read the resource. Note that there is a problem where the screen reader reads something associated with the next verse starting, right on top of the read aloud reading. 

Hopefully this demonstration can get you started with Logos 4 searching. We have a large number of cases related to accessibility which we’re working through, though I believe that many more cases need to be written and solved. I’m currently working on the Resource panel, which would be used to display a Bible. Other than those three areas, the automation support is not very refined. 

Thanks again for your help! Bryan


Posts 47

I am installing the latest version of Logos 4 to see what is new with accessibility... I share Dean's frustration with lack of support for screen readers. I am accustumed to using L3 with a braille display--I am an advanced language user and it is vital for me to "see" what I am studying, not simply hear it. I don't simply use Logos for Bible study. I use it to access grammar study resources, exegetical helps, etc. I do this very differently from the way that sighted people do it; and it is important for me to be able to see a word in context, see what a link is, etc. I experience high anxiety when thinking about having to learn a whole new system of accessing the program (turn reading off here, turn it back on there, this doesn't read so I have to remember how many tabs it takes to get to this menu, etc.) I have kept L3 on my PC for this reason; but I ma now finding there are resources I want and sometimes need that do not work on L3. Eventually we will reach a point when we need, not simply want, access to L4 in a meaningful way. The contents of controls need to be read by the screen reader so that it doesn't just say "menu" but actually tells us what is active as we move through the menu. This would allow us to change sections or chapters so that we could export something for study if nothing else. That is something I could not do at the last test I tried.

Sarah Blake LaRose


Lenovo Thinkpad, 8GB RAM, 1.50GB quad core processor, Win 7, Logos 6


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