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Silhouette of Dr. Jacob Bolotin, text reads National Federation of the Blind Bolotin Award Winner

MathCAT Navigation Commands and their Key Bindings

There are two modes, each of which can set:

See the Navigation Modes section after the table for explanations of these modes.

Note: while navigating an expression, “control+c” copies the MathML for the current node in NVDA.

Key Unmodified + Ctrl + Shift +Cntrl+Shift
Left Move to previous In table: move to previous cell
In columnar math: move to previous digit
Note: Ctrl+Alt+Left can also be used
Read previous Describe previous
Right Move to next In table: move to next cell
In columnar math: move to next digit
Note: Ctrl+Alt+Right can also be used
Read next Describe next
Up Zoom out In table: move to cell above
In columnar math: move to digit above
Note: Ctrl+Alt+Up can also be used
Change Navigation Mode (Enhanced/Simple/Character) to larger Zoom out all the way
Down Zoom in In table: move to cell below
In columnar math: move to digit below
Note: Ctrl+Alt+Down can also be used
Change Navigation Mode (Enhanced/Simple/Character) to smaller Zoom in all the way
Enter Where am I Global Where am I    
1-10 (0 is 10)
Jump to Place Marker Set placemarker Read Placemarker Describe Placemarker
Space Read current Read Current cell Toggle “speech mode” to read or describe Describe current
Home Move to start of expression Move to start of line Move to start of column Move to digit at top NYI: Read from start of expression</span>
End Move to end of expression Move to end of line Move to end of column Move to digit at bottom NYI: Read to end of expression</span>
Backspace Move back to last position    


NYI = Not Yet Implemented

Enhanced mode:  navigation is by mathematically meaningful pieces (operators, delimiters, and operands)

Simple mode: this moves by words except when you get to a 2D notation (fractions, roots, …), then it speaks the entire notation. Zooming in lets you explore the 2D notation in the same mode. Zooming out or moving out of the 2D notation brings you back to the outer/higher level of navigation.

Character mode:  this is actually two useful modes – word mode and character mode (zoom in to get "real" character mode).  Moves by words/characters.  This differs for numbers of more than one digit and function names such as "sin" that are multiple characters. Otherwise, word and character navigation is the same.

Typical Use

Typically, you will start at the first term of an expression and move right as needed. You might move up and down levels if needed. This done with the arrow keys. alt+ctrl+arrow is used to move around tabular entries.

Backspace will take you back to where you were, which is not always the same as moving to the left. For example, if right arrow moved you out of a fraction, backspace will take you back to where you were in the denominator and left arrow will land on the entire fraction.

You will likely find one mode of navigation the most natural for you most of the time. This can be set in the MathCAT settings. However, at any time during navigation, you can switch the navigation modes using shift+up/down arrow. This is useful because each mode of navigation has its strengths and weaknesses.


A version of this document was produced as part of the ClearSpeak project. ClearSpeak was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R324A110355 to the Educational Testing Service.