How to install additional NVDA components

Sooner or later while using NVDA, you may want to install new voices, plugins and other modules.  Depending on what it is that you are going to install, this will determine where these will be placed within NVDA.  Please see the user manual for  Supported Speech Synthesizers that NVDA can use.

Click on any of the links in the table below, to visit other NVDA related webpages that may be of interest to you.

NVDA related webpages


NVDA tutorials

NVDA screen
reader



NVDA road tested
programs



NVDA tutorials learning
the basics


How to install additional
NVDA components


NVDA
Frequently
Asked Questions



NVDA addons


Accessible email client
Mozilla Thunderbird



How to make Open Office
and Libre Office accessible

NVDA audio tutorials

nvaccess home of the
NVDA screen reader

NVDA user statistics

NVDA community
website


nvaccess podcasts

nvaccess facebook page

nvaccess on twitter

accessibility central
homepage

Before listening to/or reading the following tutorials, please make sure you get your copy of NVDA

Before looking at the following tutorials, make sure you have downloaded a copy of the NVDA screen reader. To get the latest copy, please visit http://www.nvaccess.org/ and go to the downloads link. Download the programme and set it up. Down the track, if you feel you have benefited from NVDA, then donations (no matter how big or small) are always welcome to keep the project free for everyone!

Announcement email list

If you would like to know when there is a release of NVDA (or just to keep up to date with what is happening with the project from time to time), you can join the NVDA announcement email list. It can be found on the NVaccess website at http://www.nvaccess.org/news/ When you are there, jump down by headings (by pressing the letter H) to a heading called News by email, and sign your self up to keep up to date with what is happening.

Promotional video on the NVDA screen reader

Please click on the following link to listen to a promotional video on the NVDA screen reader http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qOQ7zELFmLE Please feel free to pass this onto others that you think may be interested or who may want to find out more.

Voices

Step 1 # Installing Sapi 4 and Sapi 5 voices

Usually with Sapi 4 and 5 voices, once all components have been downloaded and installed, the voices will go to the correct locations once clicked on.  To find out if they were installed correctly in NVDA, press the Insert and letter N to bring up the preferences menu. Arrow right to general settings, then down to synthesiser settings, then press enter.  A synthesiser combo box will come up. Next, change it to either Microsoft speech sapi version 4 or version 5 (depending on which version of sapi voices you have downloaded).  Once picked, tab down to ok to save your settings. This will only change your synthesiser from whatever you had been using before that (for example from E speak to your newly installed Sapi 4 or Sapi 5 synthesiser).

Next, you will have to pretty much repeat the process to get into the NVDA menus; only this time, you will arrow down to voice settings, then press enter. You will need to tab down to voices.  Here, you will be able to arrow up and down the list and pick your new voice to use (for example, Microsoft Mary).  Make sure you tab down to ok to save your settings.

Step 2 # How to install other voices

NVDA can use other voices as well, such as the Pico and Festival voices.  These will need to be installed into a different directory within NVDA. These voices can also go portable, unlike the Microsoft speech sapi 4 or 5 voices.  Once you have downloaded these voices, they will need to be unzipped.  They will make their own directory.  The directory/files will need to be copied to the NVDA user configuration directory and pasted into the correct location.  For example - synth drivers. Depending on which operating system you are using, the path may be slightly different to paste them into the correct folder.  The easiest way to do it is: Press the windows key, (this will bring up the start menu), arrow to programmes, then down to the menu that says NVDA. A submenu will come up, then arrow down to explore user configuration directory; then press the enter key.  There will be different directories/files in there.  You will need to find a directory called synth drivers, and paste them into that directory.  This method is only for the installer version of NVDA.

Step 3 # How to install voices in a portable version

Depending on whether your portable version is on your computer or on a usb stick, to paste those same voices into those directories, you will need to do the following:
When your portable version was made, there should be a directory called NVDA. If there has not been an NVDA directory created, you will need to make one. Within the folder will be other files and folders as well.  You will need to find a directory called user config.  Press the enter key, then find the directory called synth drivers and paste the contents into that folder. Please note, the first time you do this, you may not have an NVDA user configuration directory, but when you click on nvda.exe one should come up.

Repeat the process mentioned in Step 1 to change your synthesiser to your newly installed synthesiser, and repeat the process to change your voices as well under the voice settings.

Step 4 # How to install new E speak voices from other people

From time to time people will make new e speak voices.  These are the voices that NVDA uses at present.  If you would like to have a go at making your own e speak voice at a later date, look for a file called tweeky.  It will be found in the same place where you go to install new e speak voices that may have been made.  To install a new e speak voice into NVDA, please follow the path provided.  It may be different for a 64 bit machine. Using a 32 bit machine, the path is: programme files...nvda...synth drivers...e speak data...voices...!v (Paste your new voice there).  The tweeky voice can be found here too. Make sure also your punctuation is set to all, so the whole path can be heard.  The insert key and the letter P will let you cycle through various punctuation levels until you get there. Then, you will need to repeat steps 1 and 2 until you find your new voice.

Step 5 # To install new E speak voices to a portable version

To install your new e speak voice to a portable drive, the path is slightly different depending on where you put it. I will use an example.  If it was on a usb stick it may be: J:\nvda...synth drivers...e speak data...voices....!v (Paste your new voice there).

Step 6 # Installing new E speak voices to a 64 bit machine

To install new e speak voices to a 64 bit machine, the path will be slightly different. The path will be: Programme Files  (x86)...nvda...synthDrivers...espeak-data...voices...!v (Paste them into this directory).  You will see other e speak voices there such as Andy.

If you would like to try two of the voices I have made for E Speak, please do the following.

You will need to copy and paste the Gene voice into notepad.  Next, you will need to save the text as Gene. Don't save it as Gene.txt.  The .txt extension will have to be removed.  Once done, copy the file to the !v folder in NVDA and paste it there.  Then, you will need to make sure your synthesiser is set to E speak, and under the voice settings (under variants) change it to Gene. (Please review Step 1# above if you are unsure of what to do).

Both the Gene and the Gene2 voice, are now part of the NVDA 2012.3 package.

Use the Insert and the F9 key to start marking the file below (starting before "language variant" and ending after "consonants 50 100"), and then use the Insert and F10 keys to copy the text to notepad.

Gene voice

language variant
name Gene

pitch  80 110

formant 0 120 120 120
formant 1 90 100 110
formant 2 100 100 95
formant 3 90 100 100
formant 4 90 100 110
formant 5 90 110 110
formant 6 100 70 100
formant 7 100 70 100
formant 8 100 80 100
voicing 120
consonants 50 110


Gene 2 voice

language variant
name Gene2

pitch  100 130

formant 0 120 120 120
formant 1 90 100 110
formant 2 100 100 95
formant 3 90 100 100
formant 4 90 100 110
formant 5 90 110 110
formant 6 100 70 100
formant 7 100 70 100
formant 8 100 80 100
voicing 120
consonants 50 110

If you would like to have a go at making your own voice for E speak, please check out the tweeky file for directions on how to do this.  For more information, please see the website within the tweeky file if you would like to get adventurous. Once you have made the appropriate voice changes, restart NVDA and you should hear your new voice! If you are not happy with what you hear, repeat the process by changing the numbers until you hear a voice you are happy with. This exercise may also give you a new appreciation for those who create voices for screen readers!

Making your own E Speak Voices

If you have a bit of time to waste and would like to try and make one of your own E Speak voices, the following website will assist you in making a voice and give you a better understanding of what to do when making one. The link is http://espeak.sourceforge.net/voices.html

You could find a voice - also known as a variant - that you like (found under the !v folder) and have a go at modifying it to another voice or variant. Pick a voice you like the sound of, and either use the tweeky voice as a basic guide to making one, or go up to the website for much more detailed information on how to make one. It is a lot easier to leave your file in the !v folder and do your modifications there. Just make sure you have named it something different from the rest (so you can identify it easily). The variants can be opened up with notepad (and modified quite easily once you know which relevant values to change within the file). Then, it is a matter of selecting your voice and seeing what the difference is soundwise. Each time you alter a value in the voice you have created, you will need to save the changes.

More free speech synthesisers for NVDA

NVDA comes with the E-speak voices by default, but you can also download some other voices to test them out if you would like to do so. The advantage to using the E-speak, Pico and Festival voices, is that they can go portable! Not all voice synthesisers can go portable on a USB stick. Please click on the links below should you wish to try some of them out.
•SVox Pico, Festival, Newfon, RHVOice, Sapi4, Microsoft and L&H voices http://community.nvda-project.org/wiki/ExtraVoices
•Lernout & Hauspie, Microsoft, Realspeak and UkrVox voices http://www.cross-plus-a.com/balabolka.htm (This is also the website where you can download the free text to speech program called Balabolka. You can convert your text into mp3 and have it read back to you).
•E-Speak Sapi5 for Windows http://espeak.sourceforge.net/download.html

How to install Microsoft Speech Platform and voices for NVDA

There are Microsoft voices that you can use with NVDA. These are called Microsoft Speech Platform Runtime Languages. Firstly, you will need the Microsoft Speech Platform to be able to run them.

If you have not downloaded the Microsoft Speech Platform, it is available from the following link
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=27225
You will need the x86 version of the file.

If you have downloaded the Microsoft Speech Platform, you can get version 11 voices for it (called Runtime Languages) from the following link
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=27224


The heading on the page should be: Microsoft Speech Platform - Runtime Languages (Version 11). If for example I wanted an English voice called Helen, I would click on one called MSSpeech_TTS_en-US_Helen.msi  Please be aware that TTS stands for text to speech, and SR stands for speech recognition. You are looking for the TTS ones. Once downloaded, double click on the file and it will automatically set up to the correct location. Go back into NVDA settings Insert + N... Preferences... Synthesizer... (In the dropdown list of synthesizers select) Microsoft Speech Platform... Tab to OK and press Enter. Go back into your settings Insert + N... Preferences... Voice settings... (under the Voice combo box) arrow down to select the voice you wish to use. Tab to OK and press Enter.  You can of course alter the rate, pitch and volume to suit your own needs.  You will need to make sure that if you have version 10.2 that you use 10.2 voices, and if you get version 11 then you will need to get the version 11 voices. For version 10.2 please refer to the NVDA user manual for more information under supported synthesizers.

I have found ZiraPro and Helen to be very clear.  The voices speak English, but you have a choice of different dialects. For example en-US will be English with a USA accent, en-AU will be English with an Australian accent and en-IN will be English with an Indian accent.

Vocalizer voices available for purchase

NV Access is very happy to announce the availability of the Nuance Vocalizer range of voices for NVDA. These voices, which have proven to be popular on iPhones and the Mac, can now all be purchased for one affordable price for use with NVDA. Whether you use NVDA installed on one computer, or carry it around with you for access at anytime on a USB flash drive, these performant and high-quality voices will be there when you need them. Purchasing Vocalizer today for 75 EUR gives you access to over 50 different voices covering more than 30 major languages.

Vocalizer can be purchased world-wide from  Tiflotecnia Lda. For each purchase 15 EUR will be donated to NV Access to help the NVDA project continue. Purchases can also be made through a range of local distributors, of which 10 EUR will be donated to the project. For more information about Vocalizer with NVDA, trial downloads and a list of distributors, please visit https://vocalizer-nvda.com/?

To use Vocalizer, NVDA 2012.2 or higher is required. Please visit http://www.nvaccess.org/download/ to grab the latest version if you have not done so already.

Please see the main download page for supported synthesisers, or alternatively, you can also look in the user manual for supported synthesisers.

The new SpeechHub synthesiser package

Isaac and Bill have been working on a new SpeechHub synthesiser package for NVDA. SpeechHub is a collection of synths and voices combined into one package. You will need NVDA 2012.2 or later to use this package of synths and voices.  Once the package has been downloaded and installed, you will need to also locate the SpeechHub add-on, and install that before the package will work.  To obtain a copy of SpeechHub, you will need to go to the following link, which can be found at http://www.speechhub.org . Once there, go to the Download and Installation - Windows link, and press Enter to go to the Download and Installation - Windows page. Please read the sections on how to either install or upgrade SpeechHub and especially how to install the add-on required to make the package work.

The location to find the add-on will be different for a 32 bit and 64 bit machine, so please read the relevant directions on that page to locate it for your operating system.

You can listen to an audio demonstration on how to install SpeechHub, and also how to locate the add-on required to make it run. This can be found on my NVDA audio tutorials page at the following link NVDA audio tutorials. This audio tutorial was done using a Windows 7 (64bit) machine.

Plugins and app modules

Depending on whether it is an app module, braille display driver, global plugin or a synth driver etcetera - these will need to go into the appropriate user configuration part of NVDA. Global plugins will only go in the global plugins directory; whereas app modules will only go into the app modules directory and so on. You will need to check where they need to go in your specific version of NVDA, as these will differ slightly depending on whether you are using an installer version or a portable version.

How to install older plugins or app modules the old manual way (prior to 2012.2 release)

The process will pretty much be the same for installing plugins and app modules. They will pretty much go to the same areas, except that they will go into different folders within the user configuration directory.  For example, the new ocr plugin will have to be pasted within the global plugin directory (user config...global plugins).  Then, you will need to bring up the NVDA menu, (Insert N)...arrow down to tools, then a submenu will come up. Arrow down to reload plugins and press enter.  This should reload your new plugin so it is ready to be used.

Looking for additional information about plugins or app modules etcetera
In some cases when you install plugins into NVDA and check out the about section about the plugin, it may not have all of the instructions there on how to use the plugin. In most cases, the instructions will be there, but if not, please see the sections on how to install plugins the old manual way, so that you can have a look inside the plugin folder for more instructions. (For example the bookmark and search plugin). You may need to look for a readme file to give you more information. Please refer to the sections on how to install them in the installer version (as well as the portable version)  the old way depending on which version of NVDA you are using. Although most people will be using the new add-on manager, you may still need to refer back to the old manual way to find the extra information about that particular plugin or app module etcetera.

Links to plugins and app modules for NVDA

NVDA works well without plugins. In some programmes however, you may want extra functionality. Plugins allow a user to be able to access extra features (such as weather reports and so on). The following website has just been put together for plugins (so they can be kept in the one place) making them easier to locate. The link for the website (with the plugins and app modules for the NVDA screen reader) can be found at http://stormdragon.us/nvda/ If you also have the know how (on how to make a plugin for NVDA), please feel free to pass it on - so that the rest of the community can use it as well.

Introduction to creating global plugins, app modules and scripting in general

If you would like an overview (and some examples) on the basics of making a plugin - or app module - for the NVDA screen reader, please visit http://www.nvda-project.org/documentation/developerGuide.html#toc9

The following may also be another site of interest. It is for scripting plugins for the NVDA screen reader. Here you may be able to find notes and resources on scripting plugins for the NVDA screen reader. The website can be found at http://www.webbie.org.uk/nvda/index.htm

How to install, view and remove the new repackaged add-ons (in the 2012.2 and onwards releases)

You will need to locate the add-on you wish to install.

To install an add-on (while NVDA is running), press the Insert key and the letter N to bring up the preferences menu. Next, arrow down to the tools menu; then arrow down to manage add-ons, and press enter. The next screen that will come up will be the add-ons manager. Tab around to the install button, then press enter.  Once you have located the add-on, press enter again. A message will come up asking you if you want to install the add-on. Just click on yes and the add-on will be installed. This will put the add-on into the correct location depending on what type of add-on it is. For example, if it is a plugin it will go to the plugin directory (and so on). Tab around to close. It will ask you to restart NVDA. Restart, and the add-on should be installed.

To find out about an add-on or to check to see if one was installed correctly, press the Insert key and the letter N to bring up the preferences menu. Next, arrow down to the tools menu; then arrow down to manage add-ons, and press enter. The first screen that NVDA will default to, will be the installed add-ons list. Here, you can arrow up and down to see what add-ons are available (if any). If there are no add-ons available, there will be nothing showing in the list. The next time you tab, it will land on the about add-on button.  Here (once you press enter) you will be able to see the name of the add-on, the author, version number, and any other additional information about it (for example what keys to use to perform a particular task). There will be three buttons after this box. They will be: install, remove and close. Tab to the close button.

NVDA must be restarted for add-ons to take effect, for both the install process and the removal of add-ons.

To remove an add-on, press the Insert key and the letter N (to bring up the preferences menu). Arrow down to tools, (a sub menu will come up), then arrow down to manage add-ons, and press enter. The add-on manager will come up with a list of installed add-ons. Locate the one you want to remove, then tab around to the remove button, and press enter to remove it. You will be asked if you want to remove it; just click on yes. Once done, tab around to the close button, and it will ask you to restart NVDA. Restart, and the add-on should be removed. If you check back in the add-ons manager list now, you will notice that it has been removed.

In the 2012.2 and onwards releases, after you have downloaded your new add-on, you can simply click on the add-on and it will be automatically installed into NVDA. Follow the prompts on-screen.

The new add-on website

In the next release of NVDA 2012.2 (and beyond), there will be a new add-on manager integrated. This will make it a lot simpler to install the new repackaged add-ons that NVDA can use. This will replace the older way of installing the same add-ons (which was done manually). The new add-on site can be found at http://addons.nvda-project.org/

Automatically opening the add-on manager by clicking on the add-on to be installed

When you get new add-ons for NVDA, (once they have been downloaded using the download manager) clicking on the new add-on will automatically open the new add-on manager in NVDA for you. Just follow the steps to install the new add-on when they are presented. This can also be done within Windows Explorer. Locate your file, click on it, and it will automatically open the add-on manager. This is available in NVDA 2012.3 and beyond. Just follow the steps to install the new add-on. In some cases, (when you download an add-on using Internet Explorer), the file may be renamed to a zip file. If this happens, the file willl have to be renamed using the proper extension, so NVDA's add-on manager can recognize it to install the file. For example, from word count.zip into word count.nvda-addon.

How to install and use the OCR plugin for NVDA

To give the new experimental OCR plugin (that Jamie created) a whirl, you will need to download the plugin from http://addons.nvda-project.org/addons/ocr.en.html and unzip the file.  It will make a directory called OCR.  This will need to be copied and pasted into the global plugin directory.

The easiest way to find out where to put the OCR plugin for the installer version, (and once you have copied the OCR directory), is to press the Windows key. Your start menu will come up. Go to programmes, then another set of menus will come up with all of the programmes on your PC. Once this comes up, find a menu called NVDA. Once there, a submenu will come up and you will need to find one called explore user configuration directory. Next, press enter. There will be some folders in there and you will need to find one called global plugins. Paste the OCR plugin into that directory. This is where other plugins will go for the installer version.

For the portable version, the OCR plugin will have to be put into the following directory: nvda...user configuration...global plugins. Make sure that you paste the plugin for the portable version into that directory.

You will need to reload the plugins, by going to reload plugins under the tools section in NVDA. (Insert N...tools...reload plugins). You will also need to reload NVDA to update your settings. The object you are going to scan must be in focus otherwise it will not work.  If you are unsure, go to running locations and locate the item and press enter to put you into focus.  To OCR the item (for example a pdf that has not been done), use the Insert key and the letter r to start it.  It will say performing OCR,  then say done.  To read what has been written there, you will need to change over to the review cursor to read the contents of that document.  Please read the section called reviewing text in the user manual if you are unsure.  The information given back to you will vary from scanned image to image, depending on the quality of the things you have scanned. Please refer to step 4 above if needed. Currently, the OCR only works with the snapshots.

Reviewing the text within your OCR'd document

NVDA allows you to read the contents of the current navigator object (including flat review) by character, word or line using the numeric keypad. This is mostly useful in places (including Windows command consoles) where there is no system caret. For example, you might use it to review the text of a long information message in a dialogue.

Reviewing text by character, word or line

To help you remember these commands, note that the basic text review commands are organized in a grid of three by three, with top to bottom being line, word and character and left to right being previous, current and next. Using the numpad keys requires the NumLock key to be turned off to work properly. Using your numeric keypad, the following are reported by pressing the appropriate numbers:
Previous line 7
Current line 8
Next line 9
Previous word 4
Current word 5
Next word 6
Previous character 1
Current character 2
Next character 3
For a full list of other text review related commands (for example report text formatting or copy from review cursor etcetera), please refer to the Reviewing Text section in the user manual.





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