Accessibility and Typing Updates

As has been the norm, Microsoft has also added some new accessibility features with the latest update. In Settings, there’s an Ease of Access menu which lets you adjust all of the accessibility features.

In the display settings, you can adjust text size with a slider, and apply without having to log out. This changes the text size of all of the system text, such as the Start Menu, Edge tabs, and settings. It doesn’t affect applications though, since they render their own text, but apps like Edge will allow you to zoom in which helps as well. The advantage here over doing the entire display with DPI scaling is that it doesn’t impact the visual layout, or amount of desktop space you have available. For some, setting the DPI to a larger scaling factor is going to be the preferred method, but this is a great option as well if you do want to keep your desktop space available. You can set it from 100% to 225% in 1% increments. At maximum size, it does impact usability though, since text won’t fit in its windows very well.

This can also be used with the new Magnifier features which also allow you to set the zoom level increments to smaller levels of 5 and 10% for better control of the magnification, and you can set it to keep the mouse centered so you don’t lose it as easily when using magnifier.

Microsoft has also updated the Narrator functionality, starting with a new QuickStart tutorial when Narrator first launches, and they’ve updated the Narrator keyboard as well to improve ergonomics and usability. There’s also a new Narrator Find feature to search for specific text, and the ability to automatically read dialog boxes, and a new Scan Mode which will stop the Narrator on interactive elements so you can interact with them before it moves on. Check out the updated Narrator Guide for more information.

Typing Updates

There’s also new functionality for typing, both with the on-screen touch keyboard, or with a hardware keyboard. First, Microsoft’s SwiftKey predictive keyboard can be used as the touch keyboard in certain languages, and as we’ve all gotten used to on our mobile devices, predictive typing can be very helpful when using a touch keyboard. You can access insights into your predictive typing to see how often you use the predictive typing.

In addition, people using hardware keyboards can also enable the predictive typing so that the system will generate suggestions as you type.

If you love the Emoji picker added in a couple of updates ago, you’ll be happy to see that it now supports Unicode 11, and offers 157 new emojis.

Cloud Clipboard and Screen Sketch Shell Updates and More


View All Comments

  • jordanclock - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    The biggest concern our sysadmins had with WSL is that as they understand it, they cannot restrict what we install under WSL. WSL has many limitations on what programs can do, but it does open up a huge library of software that sysadmins cannot properly vet. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    I was going to comment about the same thing. Video ads are obnoxious, especially when you think you’re pausing it, only to load a new tab for the advertiser. Some sites won’t let you scroll until you stop them. If sites don’t want us using adblockers, they should dump these type of ads right away. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Disabling javascript or selectively blocking it with something like NoScript can also shut down those sorts of videos. Unfortunately, we have to get rather creative to block or otherwise defeat a large quantity of invasive and frustrating advertising content in order to obtain a small amount of useful information from the Internet. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    Disabling Javascript disables too much of the modern web. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    That's why NoScript is nice because you can selectively enable it based on the origin domain and decide for yourself whether to do so on a temporary per session or full-time basis. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    We have been telling that to website and advertisers for years, we blocked your ads because your ads were annoying and malicious. Their response was to make ads WORSE over time. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    Honestly, I would block them either way at this point. Anandtech was one of the last few sites I didn't block, but after the auto-play video mess, it's painfully obvious that Purch or whatever other random company owns the site couldn't care less so now I don't either. Reply
  • leexgx - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    when i have adblock off anandtech site is nearly unrecognizable (scam ads between the article and chat section and them silly anandtech video ads in between the article) Reply
  • mkozakewich - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    I've been using a Windows accessibility theme, High Contrast, for the last year. It's actually been pretty good! Most web pages are still intelligible, even if they haven't directly been designed for this.
    I've customized my colours, obviously, so I have a faded golden text and reddish borders instead of all those high-saturation colours.
  • tommo1982 - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Announced at Build to much fanfare, Microsoft has updated Notepad to support Linux line endings, which means you can use Notepad to open files from Unix/Linux, macOS, or Windows.

    Hell froze. If someone said it 10 years ago I'd think he's insane.

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