View Full Version : I want the default dialog box for Alt+Tab for blind computer user.

04-12-2007, 04:40 PM
OS: Windows XP Pro

Where I work we have a volunteer who is totally blind and uses a text-to-speech software package. He uses the Alt+Tab key combination to toggle between programs rather than the mouse. On computer #1 when he presses Alt+Tab, his text-to-speech software will say the name of the files as he scrolls through them using the Tab key. This is very helpful for him because he can then simply leave his thumb on the Alt key and move through the open applications with the Tab key listening to the names of the programs and even the name of the open file. Then when he hears the name of the program and file that he wants to work on, he lets up on the Alt key and that window is open.

On computer #2, Alt+Tab doesn't say the names of the open programs and this limits him to working with one application at at time. The only difference that I can tell is that with computer #2 Alt+Tab shows a different dialog box than the normal Windows Alt+Tab box. Instead of just showing the icons, there is also a thumbnail of the currently open window. This is not the default Alt+Tab dialog box, as far as I can tell, so there must be a setting in Windows to show a thumbnail in addition to the icons when pressing Alt+Tab and I want to disable this feature because that's what's messing up his text-to-speech software.

Both machines run Windows XP Pro. I looked through everything in the Control Panel under Display and didn't see anything that fixed this. There is not a setting in his text-to-speech software that controls this because like I say, it works fine on computer #1. It has to be something in computer #2.

Any suggestions?


Paul Komski
04-12-2007, 10:14 PM
There is a native narrator program in the Accessibility options - but perhaps that is not the same thing.

04-12-2007, 10:50 PM
Actually the native narrator is far inferior to his program called JAWS. I'm not sure what that acronym stands for, but he told me that it is much better than using the built-in narrator that comes with Windows.

Paul Komski
04-13-2007, 02:52 AM
Apparently Power Toys can interfere (http://www.freedomscientific.com/fs_support/BulletinView.cfm?QC=295) with the speech side.

I don't understand about the thumbnail - its not something I've ever seen - perhaps a screenshot?

Another thought would be to minimize all open windows first using the FlyingWindows Key + M

04-13-2007, 01:02 PM
You're absolutely right, Paul. The owner of computer #2 had downloaded Power Toys for XP and the Alt-Tab Replacement feature was messing with JAWS. Thanks for the tip.