New Features in NVDA 2020.4

New Features in NVDA 2020.4


The below list of features is a subset of the full list of new features for NVDA. I am simplifying and explaining the feature set in an attempt to help more nontechnical people appreciate what’s new for NVDA. This list was retrieved from NvAccess and edited here.


This release includes new Chinese Input methods, an update to Liblouis and the elements list  now works in focus mode. Context sensitive help is now available when pressing F1 in NVDA dialogs. Improvements to symbol pronunciation rules, speech dictionary, Braille message and skim reading. Bug fixes and improvements to Mail, Outlook, Teams, Visual Studio, Azure Data Studio, Foobar2000. On the web, there are improvements to Google Docs, and greater support for ARIA. Plus many other important bug fixes and improvements.

New Features

  • Pressing F1 inside NVDA settings dialogs will now open the help file to the most relevant section.
  • Added support for the new chinese Traditional Quick and Pinyin Input methods in Windows 10.
  • Tab headers are now considered form fields with quick navigation f key.
  • Added a command to toggle reporting of marked  text; There is no default associated gesture.
  • Added the –copy-portable-config command line parameter that allows you to automatically copy the provided configuration to the user account when silently installing NVDA.
  • Braille routing is now supported with the Braille Viewer for mouse users, hover to route to a braille cell.
  • NVDA will now automatically detect the Humanware Brailliant BI 40X and 20X devices via both USB and Bluetooth.


  • Updated liblouis braille translator to version 3.16.1:
    • Addresses multiple crashes
    • Adds Bashkir grade 1 Braille table
    • Adds Coptic 8 dot computer braille table
    • Adds Russian literary braille and Russian literary braille  tables
    • Adds Added Afrikaans grade 2 braille table
    • Removes the Russian grade 1 Braille table
  • When reading with say all in browse mode, the find next and find previous commands do not stop reading anymore if Allow skim reading option is enabled; say all rather resumes from after the next or previous found term.
  • For HIMS braille displays F3 has been remapped to Space + dots 148.
  • Improvements to the UX of the “braille message timeout” and “Show messages indefinitely” options.
  • In web browsers and other applications that support browse mode, the Elements List dialog  can now be invoked when in focus mode.
  • Updates to ARIA live regions are now suppressed when reporting of dynamic content changes is disabled.
  • NVDA will now report “Copied to clipboard” before the copied text.
  • Presentation of graphical view table in disk management has been improved.
  • Labels for controls are now disabled  when the control is disabled.
  • Updated CLDR emoji annotation to version 38.
  • The inbuilt “Focus Highlight” feature has been renamed “Vision Highlight”.

Bug Fixes

  • NVDA once again works correctly with edit fields when using the Fast Log Entry application.
  • Report elapsed time in Foobar2000 if no total time is available .
  • NVDA now honors the aria-roledescription attribute on elements in editable content in web pages.
  • ‘list’ is no longer announced on every line of a list in Google Docs or other editable content in Google Chrome.
  • When arrowing by character or word from one list item to another in editable content on the web, entering the new list item is now announced.
  • NVDA now reads the correct line when the caret is placed at the end of a link on the end of a list item in Google Docs or other editable content on the web.
  • On Windows 7, opening and closing the start menu from the desktop now sets focus correctly.
  • When “attempt to cancel expired focus events” is enabled, the title of the tab is now announced again when switching tabs in Firefox.
  • NVDA no longer fails to announce a list item after typing a character in a list when speaking with the SAPI5 Ivona voices.
  • It is again possible to use browse mode when reading emails in Windows 10 Mail 16005.13110 and later.
  • When using the SAPI5 Ivona voices from, NVDA is now able to save configuration, switch synthesizers, and no longer will stay silent after restarting.
  • It is now possible to enter number 6 in computer braille from a braille keyboard on HIMS displays.
  • Major performance improvements in Azure Data Studio.
  • With “Attempt to Cancel speech for expired focus events” enabled the title of the NVDA Find dialog is announced again.
  • NVDA should no longer freeze when waking the computer and focus lands in a Microsoft Edge document.
  • It is no longer necessary to press tab or move focus after closing a context menu in MS Edge for browse mode to be functional again.
  • NVDA no longer fails to read items in list views within a 64-bit application such as Tortoise SVN.
  • ARIA treegrids are now exposed as normal tables in browse mode in both Firefox and Chrome.
  • A reverse search can now be initiated with ‘find previous’ via NVDA+shift+F3
  • An NVDA script is no longer treated as being repeated if an unrelated key press happens in between the two executions of the script.
  • Strong and emphasis tags in Internet Explorer can again be suppressed from being reported by returning off Report Emphasis in NVDA’s Document Formatting settings.
  • A freeze of several seconds experienced by a small amount of users when arrowing between cells in Excel should no longer occur.
  • In Microsoft Teams builds with version numbers like, NVDA no longer fails reading messages in chats or Teams channels due to an incorrectly focused menu.
  • Text marked both as being a spelling and grammar error at the same time in Google Chrome will be appropriately announced as both a spelling and grammar error by NVDA.
  • When using Outlook , the shortcut for ‘Reply all’  works again.
  • In Visual Studio, IntelliSense tool tips that provide additional details about the currently selected IntelliSense item are now only reported once.
  • In Windows 10 Calculator, NVDA will not announce progress of calculations if speak typed characters is disabled.
  • NVDA no longer crashes when using English US grade 2 and expand to computer Braille at the cursor is on, when displaying certain content such as a URL in Braille.
  • It is again possible to report formatting information for the focused Excel cell using NVDA+F.
  • QWERTY input on Papenmeier braille displays that support it again works and no longer causes NVDA to randomly freeze.

Start Your Update

If you’re running NVDA while reading this, perform the following steps to update it right now!

  1. Press NVDA+N.
  2. Press the letter H, or arrow down to Help.
                      1. Press the letter C, or arrow down to Check for update…

Enjoy your new NVDA!


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