Windows 7 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Exploring accessibility options


Windows 7 Essential Training

with David Rivers

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Video: Exploring accessibility options

Over the years, Microsoft has made some nice improvements in the area of accessibility. So we are going to explore the ease of Ease of Access Center in this lesson and we'll start by opening up a document from the 06_06 folder of the Chapter 06 folder in the Exercise Files if you've got them, or any other document for that matter, if you want to follow along. So with the document opened on our screen, we may have difficulty reading this document because of accessibility issues. So we are going to explore the Ease of Access Center, which we can access from the Control panel.
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  1. 16m 28s
    1. Welcome
      1m 54s
    2. Windows basics for first-time users
      13m 47s
    3. Using the exercise files
  2. 29m 18s
    1. Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions
      6m 57s
    2. Upgrading from other Windows versions
      2m 56s
    3. Transferring old files with Windows Easy Transfer
      7m 2s
    4. Dealing with device drivers
      6m 42s
    5. Running a Windows XP program in Windows 7
      5m 41s
  3. 33m 12s
    1. Getting familiar with the desktop
      8m 55s
    2. Handling tasks with the improved task bar
      8m 50s
    3. Accessing your favorites quickly with jump lists
      3m 59s
    4. Finding files and programs with Windows Search
      2m 18s
    5. Using the Action Center
      3m 48s
    6. Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets
      5m 22s
  4. 34m 24s
    1. Navigating folders and their contents
      6m 59s
    2. Staying organized with your own folders
      4m 44s
    3. Choosing how your folders and user interface behave
      7m 30s
    4. Sharing and protecting folders and files
      5m 27s
    5. Simplifying organization with libraries
      3m 48s
    6. Backing up by burning to CD or DVD
      5m 56s
  5. 24m 44s
    1. Windows Media Center
      7m 22s
    2. Playing media files with Windows Media Player
      3m 59s
    3. Organizing and sharing photos in Windows Explorer
      7m 22s
    4. Taking screenshots with the Snipping tool
      6m 1s
  6. 24m 35s
    1. Taking notes with sticky notes, Notepad, and WordPad
      11m 33s
    2. Creating graphics with Paint
      4m 58s
    3. Performing simple and advanced calculations with the calculator
      5m 20s
    4. Playing Windows games
      2m 44s
  7. 33m 5s
    1. Getting under your computer's hood with the Control Panel
      5m 28s
    2. Controlling system settings
      6m 38s
    3. Controlling sound device volume settings
      6m 38s
    4. Uninstalling programs that are no longer used
      2m 42s
    5. Setting default programs
      5m 10s
    6. Exploring accessibility options
      6m 29s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Connecting hardware with Device Stage
      2m 56s
    2. Create a home network using HomeGroup
      4m 49s
    3. Controlling what is shared on a network
      3m 26s
    4. Troubleshooting a network and HomeGroup
      3m 58s
    5. Reconnecting quickly with jump lists
      2m 18s
    6. Boosting your computer's memory with ReadyBoost
      3m 34s
  9. 31m 53s
    1. Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
      3m 44s
    2. Battling spyware with Windows Defender
      7m 41s
    3. Controlling access with user accounts
      4m 32s
    4. Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager
      4m 38s
    5. Using parental controls to block unwanted content
      4m 49s
    6. Securing drives with BitLocker Drive Encryption
      6m 29s
  10. 15m 11s
    1. Printing files directly from Windows
      2m 48s
    2. Troubleshooting printer problems
      5m 15s
    3. Printing power tips
      3m 56s
    4. Printing to and viewing the XPS file format
      3m 12s
  11. 25m 4s
    1. Finding issues in the Troubleshooting control panel
      3m 53s
    2. Sharing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
      3m 56s
    3. Backing up folders and drives
      6m 36s
    4. Restoring files and drives
      4m 39s
    5. Handling an entire system crash
      6m 0s
  12. 28m 23s
    1. Exploring changes to the UI
      4m 46s
    2. Access sites quickly using Favorites and History
      5m 17s
    3. Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices
      6m 1s
    4. Displaying similar sites with Suggested Sites
      2m 16s
    5. Browsing without navigating using accelerators
      6m 36s
    6. Keeping your browsing private using InPrivate Browsing and filtering
      3m 27s
  13. 1h 14m
    1. Setting up your Windows Live profile
      4m 37s
    2. Downloading Windows Live Essentials
      2m 23s
    3. Tracking dates and events with the Windows Live calendar
      7m 22s
    4. Free email with Windows Live Mail
      6m 14s
    5. Texting live with Windows Live Messenger
      7m 13s
    6. Organizing and sharing photos in Photo Gallery
      9m 46s
    7. Synchronizing photos on two computers with Live Sync
      4m 0s
    8. Controlling content and communications with Family Safety
      6m 26s
    9. Keeping a blog with Windows Live Writer
      6m 50s
    10. Accessing free online storage with SkyDrive
      4m 44s
    11. Creating a movie with Windows Live Movie Maker
      14m 46s
  14. 18s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Windows 7 Essential Training
6h 31m Beginner Oct 22, 2009

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In Windows 7 Essential Training, David Rivers helps users of any level feel comfortable with the improvements and enhancements found in Microsoft's operating system. From simple navigation through the updated graphic user interface, David shows how to install or upgrade and get the most out of Windows 7. He covers using the new Internet Explorer 8 and boosting a computer's memory with the ReadyBoost tool. He also highlights hardware configuration options and explores the advances made connecting a home or work system with Windows Live, the cloud-computing environment made available for Windows 7 users. Exercise files accompany this course.

Topics include:
  • Running Windows XP programs within a Windows 7 installation Accessing favorites quickly through jump lists Establishing user settings through Windows Explorer Setting up a home network with Homegroup Displaying similar sites with suggestions in Internet Explorer 8 Syncing photos on two computers with Live Sync
Business Education + Elearning
David Rivers

Exploring accessibility options

Over the years, Microsoft has made some nice improvements in the area of accessibility. So we are going to explore the ease of Ease of Access Center in this lesson and we'll start by opening up a document from the 06_06 folder of the Chapter 06 folder in the Exercise Files if you've got them, or any other document for that matter, if you want to follow along. So with the document opened on our screen, we may have difficulty reading this document because of accessibility issues. So we are going to explore the Ease of Access Center, which we can access from the Control panel.

We'll click the Windows Orb and choose Control panel and now for the Ease of Access Center, we go to the bottom right-hand corner. We've some options here, we can access Ease of Access by clicking the category heading or go directly to letting Windows suggest settings or optimize your visual display. Well, let's go to Ease of Access and click there to see all of the different options. Under the Ease of Access Center, you'll notice that we can let Windows suggest our settings from here. Optimize our visual display from here as well, but there is also replacing sounds with visual cues.

So if you're not going to hear the sounds, you might want visual cues instead. Let's start there with a click, I will turn that on and then down below, we can choose what visual warning we want. So, in this case, it's going to flash the active caption bar, if you'd rather have the entire window flash, you can choose that radio button. We can also turn on text captions for spoken dialog when it's available. So we'll click Apply and let's go back with the Back button. All right. We can also change how the mouse works, select that link and down below you'll notice for most pointers we can change the color and size.

So if you're having difficulty seeing it, we can increase it from our regular white pointer and I Beam to something larger. You can also change to black, even to an inverted color. Another option is to turn on mouse keys. As we scroll down, you can see you can use the Numeric Keypad on your keyboard to move the mouse around the screen, as opposed to grabbing the mouse. Let's click OK here. (automated voice) And you may hear some voices in the background. Notice that from the Ease of Access Center here, there is two check boxes.

Always read this section aloud. That's what's happening and Always scan this section. So you might see each of these items get selected and you'll hear a narrator reading out what's actually been highlighted there. (automated voice: start magnifier.) The magnifier for example. And that's where we're going to go next, the Magnifier is a brand-new feature here in Windows 7, so let's give it a click, and now there are different views to choose from. So let's go back to our document. Let me just move down to the Taskbar and you can notice as we move down everything is kind of magnified for us.

So I am going to switch to the Word document. And this particular view is actually kind of like taking a magnifying glass and moving it across our document, making a little bit easier to read. But this may not be comfortable for you, so you can go to a Magnifying Glass that appears in the top-left corner, click those double arrows and the Magnifier Window opens up. So here we can adjust the zoom level. Right now it's set to 300% for me. Yours might be at 200, but we can knock it down or up. I am going to go down to 200, we can change the views, this is called Lens view, but if you wanted a full screen view, choose Full screen and now everything is magnified.

So you just move your mouse to the right and you are going to see the right-hand side of your screen, move it up. It's as if you've just magnified your entire monitor. Let's go back to the Magnifying Glass and click. Again, we can change the level for that view. Let's go back to Views and choose Docked. This is another option where you've got a little window that can be floated around or docked to a portion of your screen such as at the top. Now as we move our mouse down across the document, we see it zoomed in at the top, if that's where you have docked it and you can click and start working in any of those areas.

Let's go back to our Magnifying Glass and change our view back to Full screen. Magnifier itself is a little tiny window that when we're done with, we can just simply close it up by clicking the Close button and everything returns back to normal. So that's all from the Control panel in the Ease of Access Center, we'll go back there. I am going to deselect these check boxes, so nobody is talking while I am and we'll just examine some of the other options here as well. Notice down below we do have a number of different settings that relate to accessibility.

We can actually use our computer without a display, optimizing it for blindness or Make the computer easier to see, something we just did with the magnifier. We can optimize our visual display from here as well. Use the computer without the mouse or a keyboard, vice-versa, Make the mouse easier to use, the keyboard easier to use. Let's check out making the keyboard easier to use. There's something here called Mouse Keys that we talked about already, allows us to control the mouse, using the Numeric Keypad, but down below we also have things called Sticky Keys.

So for example, keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+Alt+Delete is one key at a time. You have to hold down all three. And so when you press the first one, it's as if you are holding it down. Its sticky if you turn this on. We can turn on Filter Keys as well, so you would ignore or slow down at least brief or repeated keystrokes and adjust the keyboard repeat rates. So if people have trouble pressing a key and letting go fast enough, so they don't see repeated characters, we can adjust the speed of those keystrokes.

So lots of options to explore under Ease of Access. Let's just go back using the Back button here and scroll down and we'll just look at one more option, which is to use text or visual alternatives for sound. We've already changed this one, so we are able to access it directly from the Control panel. I am just going to turn that back off and click OK. Now we'll close up Control panel, this returns this to our documents in Normal mode. You can close that up as well.

If accessibility is important to you, it's good to know, Microsoft is on the ball with some nice improvements here to the Ease of Access Center in Windows 7.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Windows 7 Essential Training .

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Q: Is there a way to share files and printers between computers on network running Windows XP and Windows 7 without using the HomeGroup share method of Windows 7, since XP does not have this feature?
A: While Windows XP does not support the new HomeGroup found in Windows 7, there is another way to share files and printers between the two operating systems.  There are a number of steps to follow, but they are all listed here:
Q: Is it possible for a computer running Windows XP to join a Windows 7 HomeGroup?
A: Unfortunately, only Windows 7 supports HomeGroup.  If the Windows XP computer must connect with the Windows 7 computer, there are have two options:

1.  Upgrade the XP machine to Windows 7 and joining will be no problem.
2.  Change the Windows 7 HomeGroup to a regular Workgroup and the XP machine will be able to connect to it.  

Here are the steps to changing a HomeGroup to a Workgroup:
  1. On the Windows 7 computer, click the Start button at the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Go to the Control Panel and choose Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Click the link for "View your active networks.” 
  4. In the next window choose "Work network." That will switch the group from a HomeGroup to a Workgroup so the two computers can talk to each other. However, the same workgroup name and share folders in Explorer must be assigned to both computers before they can be networked.
For ease of use, if there is already an existing HomeGroup on the Windows 7 computer, upgrading the XP machine to Windows 7 would be the recommended course of action. There is a course in the Online Training Library, Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7, that explains the steps for transitioning to Windows 7.
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