General Preferences

Keyboard Layout

The Keyboard Layout radio button group allows you to specify if you will be working on a desktop (i.e. with a numeric keypad) or laptop keyboard. Which layout you choose will determine both the Orca Modifier as well as a number of keyboard shortcuts for performing Orca commands.

Default value: Desktop

Present Tooltips

When checked, this option will tell Orca to present information about tooltips when they appear as the result of mouse hovering. Specific actions to force tooltips to appear, such as pressing Ctrl+F1 when an object has focus, will always result in tooltips being presented, regardless of this setting.

Default value: not checked

Speak Object Under Mouse

When checked, this option will tell Orca to present information about the object under the mouse pointer as you move it around the screen using Orca's Mouse Review feature.

Default value: not checked

Time Format and Date Format

The Time Format and Date Format combo boxes allow you to specify how Orca will speak and braille the time and the date.

Default value: use the system locale's format for each

Announce Contextual Information in Say All

Orca can optionally provide more information about the document content being spoken, such as announcing when you are entering and leaving a blockquote, list, table, or other container. Whether or not these announcements are made can be configured independently through the following checkboxes:

  • Announce blockquotes in Say All

  • Announce forms in Say All

  • Announce landmarks in Say All

  • Announce lists in Say All

  • Announce panels in Say All

  • Announce tables in Say All

Default value: checked

Whether or not Orca makes these announcements during navigation is also configurable. You will find similar checkboxes on the Speech page. For more information, see Spoken Context.

Say All By

The Say All By combo box allows you to specify whether Orca speaks a sentence at a time or a line at a time when doing a "Say All" of a document.

Default value: Sentence


The Profiles group of controls, which appear at the bottom of the General page, make it possible for you to maintain and use multiple configurations.

  • The Active Profile combo box displays the current profile and allows you to select a different profile to load.

  • The Load button will cause Orca to load the profile indicated in the Active Profile combo box.

  • The Save As button allows you to save the current set of options from the preferences dialog box to a named profile.

  • The Start-up Profile combo box allows you to select the profile which should be automatically loaded each time you launch Orca.

Progress Bar Updates

Speak updates

If the Speak updates checkbox is checked Orca will periodically speak the status of progress bars.

Default value: checked

Braille updates

If the Braille updates checkbox is checked Orca will periodically display the status of progress bars on your refreshable braille display.

Default value: not checked

Beep updates

If the Beep updates checkbox is checked Orca will periodically emit beeps which increase in pitch as the value of the progress bar increases.

Default value: not checked

Frequency (secs)

This spin button determines how often updates are presented.

Default value: 10

Applies to

This combo box allows you to control which progress bars should be presented, assuming the presentation of progress bar updates has been enabled. The choices are All, Application, and Window.

Choosing All will result in Orca presenting updates for all progress bars, regardless of where the progress bars are located.

Choosing Application will result in Orca presenting updates from progress bars in the active application, even if they are not in the active window.

Choosing Window will result in Orca only presenting updates for progress bars in the active window.

Default value: Application