Resolving SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader hotkey conflicts with apps

Resolving hotkey conflicts with apps


You will find many popular apps provide keyboard commands to enable you to perform tasks quickly and easily. But what happens when the keyboard command in the app is the same as the hotkey used by SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader? Below you will discover the answer and how you can resolve this conflict.

Reading time: 10 minutes approx.


The following video introduces this topic. The video content and more are discussed in detail below.

Keyboard commands

SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader contain a wealth of keyboard commands that are designed to enable you to complete many tasks quickly and easily. This is also true for many popular developers who are aiming to provide good keyboard accessibility to their apps.

In some cases, a SuperNova or Dolphin ScreenReader keyboard command may conflict with the app’s keyboard command. This is referred to as a hotkey conflict.

For example, LEFT CONTROL + SPACEBAR opens the SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader Control Panel, but in Microsoft Word this same keyboard command resets selected text to its default style.

Where such a conflict exists, SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader have priority over the app. In the example above, LEFT CONTROL + SPACEBAR will always open the SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader Control Panel. Word will not be aware of the keypress.

There are several ways to resolve this conflict:

  • Use the "Pass next key to application" command. When you action this command, SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader will ignore the next keypress so that it is passed through to the application. The SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader hotkeys become active again immediately after the keypress.
  • Use the "toggle hotkeys on off " command. When you action this command, SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader hotkeys are disabled until you toggle the hotkeys back on again. This allows you to perform multiple commands within an application without SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader acting upon your keypresses. The only hotkey that stays active is the toggle hotkey command.
  • Use the SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader "Hotkeys" dialog box to re-assign or remove the conflicting hotkey command. You may wish to remove the hotkey if you do not use the SuperNova or Dolphin ScreenReader command or are familiar with changing its setting in the Control Panel.
  • Use alternative ways to perform the same action in your app, for example, use the Ribbon or context menu to apply the change.
  • Use the alternative CONTROL key. Often SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader hotkey assignments are using only one of the two Ctrl keys. In the example above, you can use RIGHT CONTROL + SPACEBAR to reset character style format to defaults.

The following table provides the hotkeys for the commands stated above.

Table showing hotkeys to resolve a hotkey conflict
Command Desktop - Default NumPad Set Laptop - Universal Set
Pass next key to application LEFT CONTROL + 7 CAPS LOCK + 3
Toggle hotkeys on / off LEFT CONTROL + 8 LEFT SHIFT + CAPS LOCK + 3


Identifying commands

In some cases, you may be unaware of the purpose of the keyboard command in SuperNova or Dolphin ScreenReader. This can make it difficult to identify where to locate the keyboard command in the SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader Hotkey dialog box if you decide to remove or re-assign the hotkey.

One simple way to resolve this issue is to turn on "Key describe mode". In this mode, speech will echo the keys you press on the keyboard without passing them through to your application. This enables you to learn the layout of a keyboard, but also the category and name of the keyboard command.

To turn on Key describe mode, press CAPS LOCK + FORWARD SLASH. If you are using the Laptop Universal Hotkey Set, press CAPS LOCK + 2. Repeat The keypress to exit Key describe mode.

As an example, if you turn on "Key describe mode", and press LEFT CONTROL + SPACEBAR, speech says:

“Open control panel. Action. Left control plus spacebar.”

The three elements of this statement are:

  • The command name: Open control panel.
  • The Command set name: Action.
  • The keypress: Left control plus spacebar.

You can use this information to find the hotkey in the "Hotkey" dialog box.

To do this:

  1. Open the SuperNova or Dolphin ScreenReader Control Panel.
  2. Open the "General" menu, open the "Keyboard settings" submenu, and select "Hotkeys" (ALT + G, K, H). The "Hotkeys" dialog box opens.

    Image of "Hotkey" dialog box. Action selected in Hotkey command set, Open control panel in Command list, & Left Control + Spacebar in Assigned keys. 
  3. Select the Command set.
  4. Select the Command.
  5. Select the hotkey and use the "Replace key" or "Remove key" buttons as required.


Here, you learnt about resolving hotkey conflicts. You can apply this knowledge to all applications where hotkey conflicts exist.


Can you answer the following questions?

  1. When an app and SuperNova use the same keyboard command, the app has priority over SuperNova. Is this statement true?
  2. The Pass next key to application command enables you to perform multiple keyboard commands simultaneously without encountering a conflict. Is this statement true?
  3. Apps such as Microsoft Word often provide multiple ways to perform the same task. Is this statement true?

End of section

Before you move on, here are the answers to the quiz questions:

  1. False.
  2. False.
  3. True.

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