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dcbahr

evernote note rendering when opening in new window

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Hi there. I am trying to figure out what format Evernote notes open in when they open in a new window on the Desktop client. This is because I am totally blind and every screen reader I use cannot read a note opened from the Evernote desktop client. It just has a blank screen. However, when I do a Select All and then copy the text to the clipboard and paste into a plaintext app like notepad, I can read the note. The problem is that all the formatting is gone. So, I understand that Evernote uses the ENML for notes, but I wonder if there would be a way to have a note rendered in the desktop client as if it were a webpage, so that I could sue my screen reader's web viewing mode to read the note and its contents? it's as if the note is just an image of the actual note itself.

 

i'm just trying to figure out how to make this desktop client usable because the web clients (beta and regular) are becoming less so as time goes on. But when I open up a new note in the desktop client and look at the window class, it says something like WebhostView. I don't know what that signifies but it seems like there would be a way to get the text of the note in some sort of navigable format. The problem, too, is that I can't read what I've written in a note once i"ve typed it. Because whatever it is being rendered in isn't recognized by the screen reader to read it back. So, my main question is, how is the info in a note encoded in the desktop client and how hard would it be to modify that encoding so that it looks like, say, an email in MS Outlook, which is fully accessible with my reader.

 

Does anyone have any advice on this? Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to get my ideas out there.

Thanks, Dave

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Hi.  Historically Evernote has been consistently and conspicuously bad with accessibility issues.  I'm sure that any screen reader problems weren't planned,  but equally I don't see Evernote changing the coding of their display now they're aware of the position.  There's always development work going on,  and longer term they may decide to redesign the screen payout of either the installed desktop r the web versions;  but to get anything meaningful to happen short term,  I'd suggest you either need to find a developer who can use Evernote's accessibility for add-ons to design something specific,  or maybe interest the screen reader software developers in extending their own products. 

 

If anyone has found a screen-reading option that works I'm sure you'll get a response here,  or maybe someone else can come up with better suggestions.  Please do update this thread with any progress you make - if the community here can help I'm sure you'll hear about it soon.

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Hi, Dave.  Are you aware that there is a separate web interface for Evernote?  Perhaps your screen-reader can read the notes there.  It seems that the notes are rendered as HTML when using the web interface..

 

There are two versions of the web interface -- the classic one, which you get by default, and a newer one, which is in open beta and anyone can switch to; one or the other might solve your problem. 

 

Or, if you want to keep using the Windows desktop client, the Evernote hotkey control plus forward-slash will copy a URL for the current note to the clipboard; that URL can be opened in any browser to see an HTML version of the note as stored on Evernote's servers.  Here's a sample URL (one of my own notes, but one you should be able to read); it still has formatting (bold, italics, etc.); perhaps check to see if your screen reader can read it:

http://www.evernote.com/l/ACOHvt6cXiNAkq4GkXg0aFZXcKFzWSYiWe0/

 

All best wishes.

 

Rob in Toronto

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I am working both avenues of asking Evernote about their accessibility aspirations (or, sadly, lack thereof) and trying to work with some screen reader scripting developers on making Evernote more accessible. I'd do it myself, I just don't know any code and have no idea what to look for when it comes to making it accessible. I just know what works and what doesn't. Hence, my reason for starting this particular thread. I think that if I can get the answer to how a note is rendered (if that's even close to the popular term) in a new window, how it is portrayed and what sort of background language, I can start asking developers how to go about making it somehow accessible. I've looked at the API documentation for the windows cloud api, but I have no idea what I'm reading, it's way over my head. So, yes, any insight is greatly appreciated. What I wish to impart to the Evernote developers is that they are missing out on a pretty large market of people who are blind who could use their service if they would redesign it to make it more accessible. It would probably also allow for more bugs to be worked out in the long run. Just my thoughts.

Thanks, Dave

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Hi.  Historically Evernote has been consistently and conspicuously bad with accessibility issues.  I'm sure that any screen reader problems weren't planned,  but equally I don't see Evernote changing the coding of their display now they're aware of the position.  There's always development work going on,  and longer term they may decide to redesign the screen payout of either the installed desktop r the web versions;  but to get anything meaningful to happen short term,  I'd suggest you either need to find a developer who can use Evernote's accessibility for add-ons to design something specific,  or maybe interest the screen reader software developers in extending their own products. 

 

If anyone has found a screen-reading option that works I'm sure you'll get a response here,  or maybe someone else can come up with better suggestions.  Please do update this thread with any progress you make - if the community here can help I'm sure you'll hear about it soon.

 

Hi, Dave.  Are you aware that there is a separate web interface for Evernote?  Perhaps your screen-reader can read the notes there.  It seems that the notes are rendered as HTML when using the web interface..

 

There are two versions of the web interface -- the classic one, which you get by default, and a newer one, which is in open beta and anyone can switch to; one or the other might solve your problem. 

 

Or, if you want to keep using the Windows desktop client, the Evernote hotkey control plus forward-slash will copy a URL for the current note to the clipboard; that URL can be opened in any browser to see an HTML version of the note as stored on Evernote's servers.  Here's a sample URL (one of my own notes, but one you should be able to read); it still has formatting (bold, italics, etc.); perhaps check to see if your screen reader can read it:

http://www.evernote.com/l/ACOHvt6cXiNAkq4GkXg0aFZXcKFzWSYiWe0/

 

All best wishes.

 

Rob in Toronto

 

Hey Rob, just saw your reply to this. I had forgotten about the copy note link option from the desktop client. However, the web clients (both beta and classic) are not very accessible in any browser. Internet Explorer shows me a bunch of script that my reader just spits out pointlessly. Firefox is just...a mess with the clients, that's about all I can say. If they would implement keyboard shortcuts in the new beta, then it Might, just might, get better. But as of now, that seems to be on the back burner for some strange reason.

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From a lateral thinking point of view,  there are a few apps that show your notes in different ways via a web interface.  One or another of those might be compatible with your screen reader - suggestions from the floor would be welcome to compile a full list. 

 

Off the top of my head I can think of Card Desk - http://www.carddesk.net/ - which shows notes in post-it format but does give you a list of all notebooks and note titles when connected to your account.  There's also Mohiomaps which is too graphics oriented to be screen-reader friendly.  And there's KanBanNote - http://www.kanbanote.com/ - which is GTD software,  but again lists notes from your account and might be adaptable to your needs...

 

I'm not sure if there is a definitive list of text-based apps that interface with Evernote,  but if anyone is aware of more,  please post!

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Great! I will definitely look at these. Yes, please, if anyone has suggestions either to the suggestion of a new web interface or the original post about rendering of notes, that would be much appreciated.

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