Scrivener and NVDA

Hello, everyone. I am a blind writer who has participated in NaNoWriMo and won. Many of my fellow Wrimos rave about Scrivener, and it certainly looks awesome from what I read about it on the site. However, when I downloaded the free trial to see if it was compatible with my screen-reader, NVDA, I was dismayed to discover that I couldn’t even install the program on my own! I would really like to purchase and use this program at some point in the future, but if I can’t use it in conjunction with my current screen-reader, there would be no point. I will probably win another discount coupon either at one of the Camp events or the official NaNoWriMo, but until I know the program is compatible with NVDA, I won’t have any use for such discount codes.

NVDA is free, so if anyone wants to test it, you only need to download the software from this site. Help in this area would be sincerely appreciated.

For what it’s worth, I installed NVDA on my PC (Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit (not RT)) and tried it with Scrivener and Word 2010 (32 bit).

NVDA did not work with Scrivener. In a main edit window, it kept saying “pane, pane, pane, …”. In the binder, it caused Scrivener to crash/vanish. Whereas, not unsurprisingly, it did work with Word 2010. I did not attempt to tweak NVDA.

I suspect that this is related, in part, to the Qt cross-platform framework that Scrivener is implemented with.

I listened to the last two podcasts (audio status reports) posted by the NVDA developers on their site. Based on their spending pretty much the entirety of the podcasts discussing tweaks and fixes involved in getting NVDA to work well with just Microsoft products… Word in particular, I’m not surprised that support for and compatibility with other non-Microsoft software is problematic.

It sounds like they are doing a heroic job of thoroughly integrating with and supporting Word and possibly OpenOffice/LibreOffice… but that amount of interest and effort seems unlikely and unaffordable for other non-Microsoft products with significantly less market share.

Judging from forum discussions re speech recognition and text-to-speech, my sense is that the Scrivener folks are aware of the issue in general and hoping to make some progress on it, possibly via the Qt cross-platform framework, but not in a position to commit to details or timeframes. For a sense of that, search the forums for “dragon” or “speech recognition” or “text to speech”. I forgot to try searching for “JAWS”.

The NVDA folks could presumably reach out to the Qt framework folks and the Scrivener folks… I have no idea as to the time/cost/etc. involved or how it would fit in a cross-platform scenario, given that NVDA is apparently available only for Windows.

My naive take is that in this instance it might be best to stay in Word. As much as I love Scrivener, I know many write in other software… many in Word, OpenOffice/LibreOffice, … including George R.R. Martin (still) in WordStar on DOS, Hugh Howey on Pages, …

Hope that is some help.

Thank you for explaining this more thoroughly for me. I asked the NVDA user community about this via the mailing list I am subscribed to, and was told to contact someone over here. I’m a little sad about the time this will take to be resolved, but I’ll contact the NVDA developers directly and quote your post in the email, if you have no objections. At least they’ll be made aware of the issue, and could work towards bridging the gap from their end in future versions. I’ll stick to Word for now, since it has served me so well over the years, but I will not give up hope on one day being able to enjoy Scrivener as much as all the other folks here. The forums have been bookmarked and I’ll keep tabs on things over here in case the situation changes. Thanks again!