This page is the online user's guide for LSR. It will grow over time. It is currently updated to match the forthcoming 0.6.0 release.


The state of a UIE when it is part of a profile and will load automatically
A single, unicode symbol
A dialog for getting user input
A module defining how to communicate with a piece of hardware or software in order to use it for input and output in LSR
The state of a UIE when LSR knows it exists but it will not load automatically
A widget, line of text, list item, table cell, or portion of hypertext
A dialog for monitoring events within LSR
A script defining a part of the LSR user interface
A set of UIEs forming a complete user interface
User Interface Element (UIE)
An extension to LSR that adds new devices and dialogs or change the way applications are presented to the user. The four kinds of UIEs are Perks, Devices, Choosers, and Monitors.
A chunk of text matching the current user settings for what set of characters constitute a word


Default Profiles

When LSR is run for the first time, it creates a number of default profiles. The following are the ones of interest to a casual user:

Provides speech and Braille services. If one of these methods of output is not available, only the other will be used.
Provides only magnification services.

Provides the same services as user with additional tools to aid debugging of UIEs.

Choosing a Profile

When no profile is specified, LSR runs under the user profile. To choose a particular profile, enter the following in a terminal:

lsr -p NAME

where NAME is the name of the profile.

Managing Profiles

See the [Command Line] section for help managing profiles at the command line.

Core Keyboard Commands


Show the settings dialog.
Show the Perk chooser dialog.


Review the previous visible item.
Review the current visible item.
Review the next visible item.
Review the previous visible word.
Review the current visible word. If speech is enabled, a second press will spell the current word and a third will phonetically spell the word.
Review the next visible word.
Review the previous visible character.
Review the current visible character. If speech is enabled, will phonetically spell the character.
Review the next visible character.
Put the focus, selector, or caret at the last reviewed location, if possible.
Return the point of regard to the application focus.
Move the mouse pointer to the last reviewed location, if possible.


Read the rest of the view.
Report "Where am I" information.
Say the top of the view (e.g. active window title).
Say the foreground and background color names and values. A second press will say all text attributes at the pointer.
Say the accessible description of the item at the pointer.
Increase the speech rate.
Decrease the speech rate.
Stop speech output.


Scroll Left
Move the Braille display one cell to the left.
Scroll Right
Move the Braille display one cell to the right.
Page Left
Move the Braille display a display size number of cells to the left.
Page Right
Move the Braille display a display size number of cells to the right. Touch Cursor: Move the application caret to the position corresponding to that cell.
Move to the first character in a section of text.
Line Begin
Move to the first character in a line of text.
Line End
Move to the last character in a line of text.


Increase magnifier zoom.
Decrease magnifier zoom.


Show the search dialog.
Move pointer to next match.
Move pointer to previous match.


Alt-CapsLock-2 through 9
Add a bookmark in this numbered slot. Press again to confirm an overwrite of an existing bookmark.
CapsLock-2 through 9
Move the pointer to the bookmark in this numbered slot.
Alt-Shift-2 through 9
Report "Where am I" information for this bookmark relative to the root.
Alt-CapsLock-Shift-2 through 9
Report "Where am I" information for this bookmark relative to the current pointer location.
Read all bookmarks.


Announce the names of all loaded Perks in the active Tier.
Reload all loaded Perks in the active Tier.
Show or hide all monitors.
Left and Right Control
Mute or unmute output.

Application Specific Help

The following pages offer assistance using common applications. In some cases, LSR Perks define additional hotkeys and settings for these programs. These extra features are described where available.

Desktop applications

GNOME preferences

Settings dialog

The settings dialog has four tabs that control settings for Perks, devices, the current profile, and the LSR system. The available settings will depends on what profile. All of the settings take effect immediately after activating Apply or OK.

Perk settings

Some LSR Perks define options that a user may customize to change how that Perk behaves. For instance, the Gaim Perk has an option to enable or disable the reading of incoming messages when a Gaim chat window is in the background. Select the Perk you wish to configure from the list. The use Tab to move through the available options.

Device settings

Most output devices define options that change the presentation of information to the user. Select the device you wish to configure from the list. Then use Tab to move through the available options.

System settings

The LSR system settings are global options, primarily to aid developers and debugging. Use Tab to move through the available options.

Profile settings

The profile section allows you to configure which Perks, devices, monitors, and choosers are installed and which are set to load automatically. Under any subtab, browse the table of names and descriptions using the arrow keys. Use Space to toggle whether a selected Perk, device, or monitor will load or not. For devices, you may also choose the preferred order for initializing selected devices by choosing Raise or Lower. The first device of each kind (e.g. speech, system input) to successfully initialize will be the one used.

Command line

The LSR commands line allows you to administer your local user interface elements and profiles as well as the system-wide database of UIEs. UIEs installed locally by your Unix user account are available only to the profiles in that account. UIEs installed globally are available for use by all Unix users and their profiles.

The following sections describe some basic commands. Run man lsr at the command prompt for more details on all supported arguments.

Viewing the current UIE and Profile configuration

To list all the installed UIEs and known profiles:

lsr -s

To list all the UIEs associated with the user profile:

lsr -s -p user

Perks that only apply to a specific application (tier) are listed under the application (tier) name. For example here the GEditPerk only loads when an instance of gedit is running


Creating Profiles

To create a new, empty profile named sandbox:

lsr -c sandbox

Alternatively, you can copy an existing profile into a new one:

lsr --dupe user sandbox

Installing UIEs

To install a UIE named CalcPerk so that it is available for all profiles in your current Unix user account only:

lsr -i ~/my_perks/

To install the same UIE so that it is available for all profiles in all Unix user accounts that can access LSR:

lsr -i ~/my_perks/ --global

Once installed, you must leave the UIE module in its original location. Depending on where LSR is installed, you may need super-user permissions when using the --global flag.

Associating UIEs

To add the CalcPerk UIE to the default user profile:

lsr -a CalcPerk -p user

To add the CalcPerk UIE to all profiles:

lsr -a CalcPerk

Note that it does not matter whether CalcPerk was installed in the local user database or the global system-wide database. As long as it is installed, it may be added to one of your profiles.

Not all UIEs can be associated with a profile, because not all UIEs can load automatically (see Terminology). For instance, chooser dialogs are explicitly loaded by Perks, not automatically when some window appears in the foreground. Likewise, some Perks are designed to be loaded manually by a user rather than automatically loaded when a particular application starts. The output from the command indicates whether the UIE was associated or not.

For reference:

  • Monitors, devices, and Perks keyed to a particular application or all applications can be associated with a profile.
  • Choosers and Perks not keyed to any application cannot be associated with a profile.

Disassociating UIEs

To stop CalcPerk from loading automatically in the user profile:

lsr -d CalcPerk -p user

To stop CalcPerk from loading automatically in all profiles:

lsr -d CalcPerk

Updating Profiles

LSR creates the default profiles when it first runs. It automatically associated certain UIEs with certain profiles at this time. For instance, it populates the user profile with UIEs concerning speech and Braille output.

When a new version of LSR is installed, you may wish to update your local profiles to incorporate UIEs packaged with the new version. To merge these new UIEs into your existing profiles:

lsr --init-profiles

Resetting Profiles

To reset all of your profiles:

cd ~/.lsr/profiles
rm *.profile

Your user profiles will be restored to their factory defaults the next time you run LSR.

Resetting the Local UIE Database

To recreate your local database of installed UIEs:

cd ~/.lsr
rm *.installed

The UIE modules themselves will remain untouched after running this command, but the database making LSR aware of them will be destroyed. You will need to manually reinstall all local UIEs after executing these commands.

Resetting the Global UIE Database

To recreate the global database of installed UIEs:

rm <prefix>/lib/python<version>/site-packages/lsr/global.installed

You will likely need super user privileges to perform this command. To reinitialize the global database with all the UIEs packaged with the installed copy of LSR:

lsr --init-global --global

Attic/LSR/UserGuide (last edited 2013-11-21 22:56:08 by WilliamJonMcCann)