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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Ease of Access

Windows offers all kinds of tools to make computing easier if you have trouble seeing or hearing. Most of the settings here duplicate what’s in the real Control Panel, which is described in Chapter 12. For example:

Narrator, Magnifier

Narrator is a screen reader: a digitized voice that reads everything on the screen, which is essential if you’re blind. See Narrator.

Magnifier enlarges what’s on the screen in a special movable window; see File Explorer.

High Contrast

This feature reverses the screen’s colors black for white, like a film negative. It creates a higher-contrast effect that some people find is easier on the eyes. (The other colors reverse, too—red for green, and so on.) Here you can choose a canned color scheme, and even edit it (tap a color swatch to change it).

Keyboard

These clever features are designed to help people who have trouble using the keyboard.

  • On-Screen Keyboard is just another way to make the keyboard appear (The New Task Switcher (TileWorld Apps Only)).

  • Sticky Keys lets you press multiple-key shortcuts (involving keys like Shift, Ctrl, and ) one at a time instead of all together.

  • Toggle Keys plays a sound when you hit the Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock key. It has little to do with disabilities; it’s to save anyone from the frustration of hitting one of those keys accidentally and looking up to discover 10 minutes’ worth of gibberish typing.

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