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Re: AT problems after upgrading to Microsoft Office 2010?


From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Oct 27, 2010 7:03PM

Marc, at Accessibility Camp DC, I discussed just this problem with a number of users of screen readers. I did not hear of any problems along the lines of the AT being incompatible. The major problem for them with the transition from Word 2003 to Word 2007 and 2010 has to do with, believe it or not, the shift from the menu-based system to the ribbon. Every one of them complained about the Office keystroke combinations no longer working.

Now, I have always been mouse-oriented, so I don't know from personal experience how alike or different the keystroke combinations might be. Microsoft says they are they same. But the problem is that we sighted folks assumed that people who can't see have all of those combinations memorized -- but they don't. What they had memorized, by and large, was the combination that exposed the Styles menu, the combination that exposed the File menu, and so forth. From the open menu, they were able to detect the keystroke combination they needed for any command on that menu. So by changing to the ribbon, Microsoft removed their way of looking up keystroke combinations. Who would have thought that removing a visual interface would affect people who can't see?

So whatever else you learn about the compatibility of AT and Office 2010, my advice is to create some electronic cheat sheets that help people look up keystroke combinations.

One nice thing about Office 2007 and 2010 is that when you press the "Alt" key, the key that exposes a tab is displayed in a little white box over the respective tab. Hit that key and Word exposes the tab and the key for each command on that tab. Hit "Alt" again to end this behavior. So you can probably figure out the combinations your folks will need most and be sure that at least those are available to them in some way.


Cliff Tyllick
Web development coordinator
Agency Communications Division
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
>>> "Marc Seguin" < <EMAIL REMOVED> > 10/27/10 4:05 PM >>>
Hello All,

The government agency that I work with is now able to upgrade to and begin using Microsoft Office 2010 Professional. This is a big jump since they have been using Office 2003 and will continue using Windows XP. I read, I believe in, the JAWS-users-list that Outlook 2010 may not work well with certain versions of JAWS. This made me want to learn about any potential problems with using the 2010 version of programs such as Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and the already installed AT before my users take the plunge. Has anyone upgraded to Office 2010 and experienced any issues or incompatibility with the AT software that they have been using? I would be interested to learn about any AT problems with Office 2010, but the AT software that I am primarily concerned with is:

Dragon Naturallyspeaking Professional 10+
Duxbury Braille Translator 10.4+
Zoomtext 9+
JAWS 10 and 11
Windows Eyes 7+
Open Book 8 and 9

My users' situation may be a bit unique because this will be Office 2010 Professional rather than Home and Student or Home and Business versions. These are also government computers so some of the normal software functionality is blocked for security reasons and the users usually don't have admin rights to make system adjustments, etc. But, I would appreciate feedback that any type of user experienced with Office 2010 and AT software.