Available for beta testing: Improved accessibility of citation dialog

The latest Zotero 7 beta features a major accessibility overhaul of the default citation dialog. It should now be fully usable via VoiceOver, NVDA, and JAWS, and keyboard usage is also now improved.

If you had previously switched to the "classic" citation dialog for screen-reader compatibility, you'll want to disable that from the bottom of the Cite section of the Zotero settings to try out these changes.

If you're able to test the new version, please let us know how it works for you.
  • Not an expert, but my testing with NVDA seemed excellent, this is great!
    Two nits, one question:
    Nit 1: The "Open in My Library" (or equivalent) button does show cursor focus when selected, but does not provide visual feedback when pressed via Space (though it does work).

    Nit 2: The grey subheadings (like "Cited Items", "Selected Items", etc.) are not announced at all. I'm not entirely sure what the convention here is, but they seem important.

    Question: There are two positions for the cursor behind a reference that is selected in the quick format bar: one that "selects" that reference, another one that doesn't. ctrl+down only works to open the details dialog in the former state. I believe that's new? Is that on purpose/necessary? It took me a while to figure out why the shortcut wasn't working anymore.
  • Hi, thank you for your work on accessibility. I'm glad to see that the edit fields to enter books and articles now work with NVDA. I'm also glad to hear that the newer citation dialogue has been improved for accessibility now. I hesitate to try it just now, because I'm still in the midst of a project and rely on Zotero 6 at the moment. I don't want to install the new word plugin, because I'm not sure if I'd be able to remove it again to continue with Zotero 6. I can't use Zotero 7 beta for my current project, because it doesn't let me read my notes. Once I have finished my work in a few weeks, I'll be glad to give the new citation dialogue a try. For now, I just wanted to thank you for your work.
  • Hi, thank you for improving the accessibility of the citation dialog.
    7.0.0-beta.73+398454f85 (64-bit)  Word-Addin does not start. Instead, I use 7.0.0-beta.68+c31a40c74 (64-bit)
    With NVDA the citation dialog works great. You can read and navigate every necessary information.
    With Jaws there are several limitations (see both screenshots):
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/zotero.org/images/forums/u7841656/xtxoo9sv72pvxqmu6aqn.png
    “To chance selection use arrow keys”. The options to select are not spoken (everything in the green rectangle on the first screenshot), accept the list of the citation styles at the top.
    When you have selected citations, you can navigate between them with the arrow keys, but without spoken feedback. So you do not know, which citation has the focus and you are gong to edit. That is especially important when the order changes because of the sorting citation-option. You can easily open the box to enter page, prefix and suffix. You can not force Jaws to read out the information in the blue rectangle on the screenshot and it is not read out automatically. Sometimes you can get to hear it by JawsKey+B, but not in all cases. You can reach the fields page, prefix and suffix with the arrow keys. You do not get a spoken feedback in which field the cursor is. You cannot control entered text with the arrow keys due to missing feedback from Jaws. It is the same thing with the editor.
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/zotero.org/images/forums/u7841656/u9s4cfww712pgzvhzw2m.png
  • Hi,

    I have now had a chance to try the new Citation dialogue using NVDA. It didn't work quite as well for me. I was able to enter a search term and find articles and books containing it and select one of them. However, I don't know how to get into the part of the Citation dialogue Using the keyboard, where I enter the page number or any prefixes or suffixes. I did manage to get there using the mouse, but it should be more obvious if and how I can get there using the keyboard. Maybe it's possible and I just didn't see how to do it.
  • edited 5 days ago
    @SunDial: We're adding clearer navigational guidance for screen readers for the next build, but you can just use the left/right arrow keys to select the citation bubbles and then down-arrow or space bar to open the panel for customizing the citation.

    You can also always just type a page number (or the letter "p" plus the page number) immediately after you choose an item to add it to the citation, without opening the panel.
  • thanks for your help, I now managed to use the new citation dialogue. I find it counterintuitive to what we usually do when exploring a new app using the keyboard, so I'm glad to hear there will be clearer guidance.

    I would second @Bkronhardt1's report, it doesn't work quite as well with JAWS though. I am able to hear the fields page, prefix, suffix when I tab through the dialogue using JAWS, but I can't read what I type there. It works with Narrator though, so I'm not sure if JAWS tries to access the info I type differently than do NVDA and Narrator.
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