Welcome to Orca

Orca is a free, open source, flexible, and extensible screen reader that provides access to the graphical desktop via speech and refreshable braille.

Orca works with applications and toolkits that support the Assistive Technology Service Provider Interface (AT-SPI), which is the primary assistive technology infrastructure for Linux and Solaris. Applications and toolkits supporting the AT-SPI include the GNOME Gtk+ toolkit, the Java platform's Swing toolkit, LibreOffice, Gecko, and WebKitGtk. AT-SPI support for the KDE Qt toolkit is being pursued.

Launching Orca

To launch Orca:

  • The method for configuring Orca to be launched automatically as your preferred screen reader will depend upon which desktop environment you use. For instance, in GNOME 3.x this option can be found in the Universal Access Control Center panel on the Seeing page.

  • To toggle Orca on and off in GNOME, press Super+Alt+S.

  • Type orca, along with any optional parameters, in a terminal window or within the Run dialog and then press Return.

Load-Time Options

The following options can be specified when launching Orca in a terminal window or within the Run dialog:

  • -h, --help: Show the help message

  • -v, --version: Show the version of Orca

  • -s, --setup: Set up user preferences

  • -u, --user-prefs=dirname: Use dirname as the alternate directory for user preferences

  • -e, --enable=option: Force use of option, where the option can be one of the following:

    • speech

    • braille

    • braille-monitor

  • -d, --disable=option: Prevent the use of an option, where the option can be one of the following:

    • speech

    • braille

    • braille-monitor

  • -p, --profile=filename: Import a profile from a given Orca profile file

  • -r, --replace: Replace a currently-running Orca

  • -l, --list-apps: Print the known running applications

  • --debug: Send debug output to debug-YYYY-MM-DD-HH:MM:SS.out

  • --debug-file=filename: Send debug output to the specified file