Dolphin SuperNova logo

SuperNova for Trainers Course

2. Control Panel


Welcome to the second lesson in the Trainer's Course.

This lesson will introduce you to the SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader Control Panel. The lesson will review the Control Panel elements, navigation methods and the key options that enable you to alter the Control Panel appearance.

Lesson Objectives

After studying this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Accurately name the four major elements of the SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader Control Panel and briefly explain their purpose.
  • Correctly state the keyboard commands that open the SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader Control Panel and the keystrokes that allow you to navigate the user interface.
  • Clearly explain the different ways you can change the Control Panel appearance and describe the type of user that may benefit from each view.

This lesson should take no more than twenty minutes to complete.

This lesson applies to:

  • SuperNova Magnifier.
  • SuperNova Magnifier & Speech.
  • SuperNova Magnifier & Screen Reader.
  • Dolphin ScreenReader.

Control Panel definition

The Control Panel is the SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader window that gives you access to all the product's settings and features. You can access these options using the mouse pointer, using keyboard commands and with touchscreen gestures.

Control Panel elements

Image of the SuperNova Magnifier & Screen Reader Control Panel.

The Control Panel contains four main elements. The options within these elements do differ between editions, but the elements themselves and the ways you can access them remains the same. This means if you need to transfer from one edition to another due to a change in your vision, you can do so with the knowledge that you will be continuing to use a familiar user interface.

The main elements of the Control Panel are:

  • Title Bar.
    Positioned at the top of the window, this bar shows the name of the product window and the minimise, maximise, and close options.
  • Menu Bar.
    The Menu Bar is positioned below the Title Bar. The Menu Bar is a horizontal bar with items that open drop-down menus, which provides access to all the product's features and settings.
  • Button Bar.
    The Button Bar is positioned below the Menu Bar. The Button Bar contains large easy-to-access buttons that focus on the most popular features. The features are split into sets, separated by tabs.
  • Status Bar.
    The Status Bar appears at the bottom of the window and displays information that you may find helpful when using advanced settings, for example, the current Profile in use.

Opening the Control Panel

You can bring the Control Panel into focus in the following ways:

  • If you are using the keyboard, press LEFT CONTROL + SPACEBAR.
  • If you are using the mouse, perform a LEFT CLICK on the product icon in the Windows Notification Area.
  • If you are using a touchscreen, perform a 3-finger single-tap to show the SuperNova Touch Bar and then tap the Control Panel icon.

When the Control Panel has focus, you can click items with the mouse pointer, tap items using a touchscreen monitor and navigate the Control Panel with the following keyboard commands.

Keyboard Commands for the Menu Bar.

Function Hot key
Move focus to the Menu Bar ALT
Move focus across the Menu Bar LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW
Open the Menu Bar item that has focus DOWN ARROW or ENTER
Move to and open a Menu Bar item ALT + Underlined letter
Move through an open menu DOWN ARROW or UP ARROW
Open a submenu RIGHT ARROW or ENTER
Close a submenu LEFT ARROW or ESCAPE
Select a menu item ENTER


Keyboard Commands for dialog boxes.

Function Hot key
Move to the next control TAB
Move to the previous control SHIFT + TAB
Press a button, toggle a check box, or select an option SPACEBAR
Move directly to a control ALT + Underlined letter
Open the next tab in a multi tab dialog box CONTROL + TAB
Open the previous tab in a multi tab dialog box CONTROL + SHIFT + TAB


Tip: These keyboard commands are also standard Windows keyboard commands and can be used with all applications that support a standard keyboard interface.

You can also view the Control Panel as a pop-up menu by pressing CAPS LOCK + SPACEBAR or by performing a RIGHT CLICK on the product icon in the Windows Notification Area.

Image of the SuperNova Magnifier and Screen Reader Pop up menu.

You may find this alternative menu style approach easier to navigate if you are finding it difficult to use the main Control Panel interface, for example, this simplified structure can be navigated using just the Arrow Keys.

Control Panel appearance

You can make many changes to the appearance and behaviour of the Control Panel including hiding parts of the Control Panel such as the Button Bar or Status Bar, changing the Control Panel Theme so that it appears in assorted colours and even removing it from the Windows Switch To list.

Image of the SuperNova Control Panel with the Button Bar hidden.

You can make all these changes and more through the "Control Panel Settings" dialog box. You can open this dialog box by doing the following:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Open the "General" menu and select "Control Panel" (ALT + G, P).

Image of the Control Panel Settings dialog box within the SuperNova Magnifier & ScreenReader edition.

You can also switch between viewing the Control Panel in Compact View and Full View by using the Restore Down and the Maximise options in the Control Panel Title Bar.

Image showing the SuperNova Control Panel compact view.

You may find the Compact View ideal if you use higher levels of magnification or if you do not need to see as much of the Control Panel displayed. When the Control Panel has focus, you can also switch to compact view by pressing WINDOWS KEY + DOWN ARROW and switching to full view by pressing WINDOWS KEY + UP ARROW.

Closing Control Panel

You can close the Control Panel by pressing ESCAPE or by clicking the Minimise icon in the Title Bar. When you do this, the Control Panel and the focus goes back to the application you were previously running.

If you want to quit the program while you are in the Control Panel, then do one of the following:

  • Press ALT + F4.
  • Open the "File" menu and choose "Quit".
  • Click the close button in the Title Bar.

After doing this, a message window will appear asking you to confirm the command and, on choosing "Yes", your SuperNova or Dolphin ScreenReader edition will close and exit.

If you wish to quit SuperNova or Dolphin ScreenReader outside of the Control Panel, press CAPS LOCK + F4.


Please complete Exercise 2 in the SuperNova for Trainers Workbook.

If you have not downloaded this supplementary document, please click here to download the SuperNova for Trainers Workbook. 


This concludes this lesson. In this lesson you learnt that the SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader Control Panel gives you access to all the main features within the product. You learnt about the elements that make up the Control Panel and that these elements remain the same between editions, ensuring transition from one edition to another is seamless.

In this lesson you also learnt the keyboard commands that will enable you to open and navigate the Control Panel, that these keyboard commands are standard Windows commands which can be used within other applications. Finally, you learnt where you can go in the Control Panel to alter its appearance.

In the next lesson you will be looking at how you can adjust magnification and the diverse ways you can display the magnified window.


Below are three sample quiz questions based on this lesson. Please spend no more than five minutes considering the answers to these questions.

  1. The SuperNova Control Panel comprises four main elements: a Title Bar, a Menu Bar, a Button Bar, and a Status Bar. Is this statement true?
  2. You can bring the Control Panel into focus by using the keyboard command, ALT + SPACEBAR. Is this statement true?
  3. You can hide the Button Bar element of the SuperNova Control Panel. Is this statement true?

End of lesson

Thank you for completing this lesson. Please select 'Next Lesson' below to continue to the next part of this course.

To revisit a previous lesson, please scroll to the top of this page and choose the lesson from the Course Outline menu.

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

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

Next Lesson