Using NVDA on Mac under VMware Fusion?

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Using NVDA on Mac under VMware Fusion?

Frank Hecker-2
This is a bit off-topic, so I'll beg your pardon in advance. I wanted to
try out NVDA but my system is a MacBook Pro. I'm running Windows XP
under VMware Fusion, and can get NVDA to install and run with Firefox.
However I'm having trouble figuring out what key on the MacBook Pro
keyboard I can use as the NVDA key.

On my external Apple wireless keyboard (the older model, not the current
one) the Help key can be used as the NVDA key; for example, I can invoke
the NVDA menu using the Help+n key combination. However this doesn't
work on the laptop keyboard, because it doesn't have a Help key.
Supposedly for the MacBook Pro keyboard VMware Fusion uses the Fn-M key
combination to simulate pressing the Insert key, but this doesn't work
for NVDA. (Instead pressing Fn-m gives the message "no next frame".)

Note that I tried using the Caps Lock key as the NVDA key, but this
seems to mess other things up. I also tried switching the keyboard type
from "desktop" to "laptop" in the NVDA preferences and vice versa, but
this help.

Has anyone used NVDA in this configuration? If so, can you tell me the
best way to simulate the NVDA key?

Frank

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Re: Using NVDA on Mac under VMware Fusion?

James Teh-2
Hi Frank,

Frank Hecker wrote:
> Note that I tried using the Caps Lock key as the NVDA key, but this
> seems to mess other things up.
What problems does this cause? This is the configuration we were using
on the Mozilla MacBook at CSUN this year and it seemed to work ok.
However, I seem to remember hearing of other people having problems with
the NVDA key on Macs, so I'd love to get this one straightened out.

Jamie

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Re: Using NVDA on Mac under VMware Fusion?

Frank Hecker-2
Jamie,

The major problem I had with using the Caps Lock key as the NVDA key on
my MacBook Pro is that the key sequence Caps Lock + N does not bring up
the NVDA menu; it just says "n" as if you typed the letter normally.
Other NVDA key sequences do appear to work properly, but I haven't yet
tried them all to verify this.

As for messing things up, I think the problem there is that I was using
two keyboards at once, the MacBook Pro keyboard and the external
wireless keyboard, and the problem may actually have to do with how
pressing the Caps Lock key on one keyboard interacts with the other
keyboard, even outside the context of NVDA and Windows. I need to do
some more investigation before I make any definitive statements.

Also, I discovered that pressing the Fn key by itself (the one in the
lower left of the MacBook Pro keyboard) apparently works as the NVDA
modifier key, except that as with Caps Lock key, pressing Fn+n does not
bring up the NVDA menu.

The only way I could get the NVDA menu to be invoked from the keyboard
was to use the Help key on the external keyboard. Help+n works OK both
to bring up the NVDA menu and to dismiss it. However I can't get the
Help key to work with other NVDA key sequences.

As I wrote before, this is a unusual configuration compared to the
typical NVDA user. Some of these problems may be a function of using
Windows XP under VMware Fusion, especially with the VMware tools
installed. I haven't tried any of this using Bootcamp to run Windows XP
as the only operating system. However VMware is the only way I run
Windows right now, so I'll test that out first and see what works and
what doesn't. (I'll just disconnect the external keyboard to remove that
as a possible issue.)

When I have more information I'll send an email to you directly or post
to the NVDA list.

Frank


James Teh wrote:

> Hi Frank,
>
> Frank Hecker wrote:
>> Note that I tried using the Caps Lock key as the NVDA key, but this
>> seems to mess other things up.
> What problems does this cause? This is the configuration we were using
> on the Mozilla MacBook at CSUN this year and it seemed to work ok.
> However, I seem to remember hearing of other people having problems with
> the NVDA key on Macs, so I'd love to get this one straightened out.
>
> Jamie
>


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Re: Using NVDA on Mac under VMware Fusion?

Victor Tsaran
In reply to this post by James Teh-2
I for one can confirm that neither CAPSLOCK nor INSERT do not work for
NVDA when run inside Parallels on the Mac.
We had to modify NVDA's keymap for our needs but this is not an optimal
solution, obviously.
Vic

James Teh wrote:

> Hi Frank,
>
> Frank Hecker wrote:
>> Note that I tried using the Caps Lock key as the NVDA key, but this
>> seems to mess other things up.
> What problems does this cause? This is the configuration we were using
> on the Mozilla MacBook at CSUN this year and it seemed to work ok.
> However, I seem to remember hearing of other people having problems with
> the NVDA key on Macs, so I'd love to get this one straightened out.
>
> Jamie
>
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