NVDA reader reads blank after each screen title

Oct 31, 2021

Hi Guys,

I m developing an accessible course in storyline 36o. Using NVDA reader to test the module accessibility. Firstly NVDA is reading the on screen text only on down arrow key and not on tab. On tab it's just reading the player buttons, and the rest of the default things. Secondly, it's reading 'blank' after each screen name.

Can anyone please help me through this?


Sayali S.


15 Replies
Lauren Connelly

Hello sayali!

I'm happy to help! Based on NVDA's keyboard shortcuts, using the down arrow reads the on-screen text and the Tab key navigates to interactive objects like buttons. What you're experiencing is expected when it comes to keyboard shortcuts.

When NVDA announces "blank," that means you've navigated to an empty spot and need to navigate to the next item. 

What you're noticing is expected when using a screen reader.

Maria Costa-Stienstra

Hi, Laurel.

I did a little digging, and it looks like we have a bug reported where NVDA adds "Blank" phrase when reading the Slide title. 

Is this what you're experiencing? 

I've connected this discussion to the bug report, and I'll be sure to come back to update you when I have some news. 

In the meantime, here's more information on how we identify and tackle bugs.

Leslie McKerchie

Hello everyone,

We wanted to share an update after investigating the issue where the word “blank” is being read after the slide title when using an NVDA screen reader. 

We replicated this issue using NVDA, but not with other screen readers. We filed a report with NVDA, and they shared the following regarding the expected behavior:

“This is intentional, it lets the user know that their interaction was successful, even if there is no content to report.”

Here is a link to the report if you want to share why this is not beneficial for users.

Helder Silva

Hi, all. Just wanted to follow up on this thread.

I noticed that this also happens when navigating with the Windows narrator. Specifically, reading blank several times after the screen reader reads the Slide Title.

In this case, I don't think that the issue is with NVDA. Shouldn't the screen reader start reading the contents of the slide (as we have set them in the focus order) right after it reads the Slide Title?

Thank you :)

Jose Tansengco

Hi Helder, 

Happy to chime in!

The behavior described in this thread is expected, and NVDA already has a public report to track this behavior here. If Windows narrator follows the same standards as NVDA then it would make sense that the behavior will be present there as well. 

If you're experiencing a behavior that you don't think is intended, please open a case with our support team here so we can take a closer look at what's happening. 

Marni Levett

I'm finding the same issue, I hear "blank" after the slide name. If I use the tab key or arrow keys it doesn't find any text on the screen, just the button that takes you to the next slide. (I am using NVDA.) I do have styles set as well. I know they say this is intentional for NVDA, but it's misleading if nothing else is being captured by the screen reader in this case. I did submit a support ticket, hoping to find a solution as to why this is happening. 

Steven Benassi

Hi Marni!

Sorry to hear you've run into this setback while using the NVDA screen reader!

Great move on opening a support case! I see that you connected with my colleague, Darwin. It looks like you shared that the behavior was fixed by uninstalling, and then reinstalling NVDA. So glad to hear it!

If you run into any setbacks moving forward, please let us know!