Getting started with Sero on Windows

When you are ready to begin using any Serotek product -- System Access, Sero, and/or DocuScan Plus -- you should download and run the Serotek software installer. The procedure is the same regardless of whether you have a paid account or a trial. To download and install the Serotek software for Windows:

  1. Download the software installation package from You can save this file to your hard drive, or you can run it immediately.

  2. Run the software you've downloaded. Please note that you may be prompted by windows to verify that you want to run the software. You may press Alt+R to select the "Run" option. It is not necessary to shut down your currently running screen reader in order to run the software, but if you have done so, the Windows prompt to run the software will not speak.

  3. Once the installer is running, it will speak using your current screen reader, or the System Access screen reader, depending on the option you choose during setup.

  4. Use the checkboxes to select the desired behavior for running System Access on the Windows logon screen and running System Access on the Windows desktop automatically. Note that this behavior is only applicable for System Access and not other Serotek software.

  5. Once your selections have been made, choose the "Install" button. You will hear a repeating tone to indicate that your software is being installed.

  6. If prompted with a "User Account Control" dialog about whether you wish to continue with the installation of the software, press Alt+Y to continue with the installation.

  7. When the installation is complete, your software will start for the first time. At this point, you'll need to either log in with your existing Serotek account, or create a new one to begin a trial of System Access, Sero, and/or DocuScan Plus.

Starting Sero

To start Sero on your PC, choose the "Sero" icon on your desktop. The shortcut key for this icon is Control+Alt+N.

The System Access modifier key

There are some System Access hot keys which can be used to gain access to specific information, such as date and time, a list of links on a Web page, and much more.

Many of these commands are performed by holding down a key that we call the Modifier Key, in conjunction with another key. The Modifier Key can be one of four keys:

  1. The Insert key, often located near the Home key on the keyboard
  2. The Caps Lock key
  3. The 0 key on the numeric keypad
  4. The Scroll Lock key

For your convenience, all these modifier keys are active and you may choose the one which seems most comfortable at any given time. For example, you may find it easiest to use the Caps Lock key in conjunction with the letter F to bring up the System Access menu, but you may prefer using the NumPad 0 key in conjunction with F12 to hear the current time and date.

Common keystrokes

Here are just a few keystrokes and their descriptions to get you started:

Using Sero with other screen readers

If you have a primary screen reader other than System Access, it is still quite easy to use Sero while the other screen reader is running.

If you are using JAWS or Window-Eyes as your primary screen reader, there's nothing in particular that you need to do in order to make Sero work alongside your current screen reader. This is because Sero automatically configures your primary screen reader to silence itself when you are in a Sero window. When you move away from a Sero window and open another application, such as Internet Explorer or Microsoft Word, your primary screen reader will speak as it normally would.

One important thing to keep in mind is that, because your screen reader will be in "sleep mode” or "silent mode" in the Sero windows, you won't be able to use your screen reader's hot keys. Instead, you will need to use the hot keys provided by the restricted version of System Access that is running alongside Sero. For example, the hot key to read from the cursor to the bottom of the window in Sero is Modifier+Down Arrow. If your screen reader has a different hot key for this function, you will need to remember to use Modifier+Down Arrow while in a Sero window.

If you use NVDA as your primary screen reader, the behavior is a bit different than with JAWS or WindowEyes. Sero will use NVDA's voices and navigation commands, while still giving you access to Sero's content. This means that NVDA's conventions for interacting with the Web, as well as all of its other commands, are always available to you, even in Sero windows. This also means that Sero's navigation commands and voices are only available to you if you shut down NVDA before starting Sero.

Changing NVDA’s shortcut key

You may have noticed that NVDA's default shortcut key is the same as Sero's, Control+Alt+N. You will want to change one or the other, as the same key can't launch both applications. Here is how you would change NVDA's shortcut key:

  1. Press Windows+M to go to your desktop, then the letter N until you find the NVDA icon.

  2. Press alt+Enter to open the Properties dialog.

  3. Press the Tab key until you reach the "Shortcut key" field. Here, you can type any key or combination of keys you want. This new key will then be the key that launches NVDA. You may, for instance, press Control+Alt+V. If no other modifiers are pressed with a letter or number, Control+Alt is assumed.

  4. Tab over to the OK button and press the Space bar.

  5. Try it. If it doesn't work, restart your computer and the changes should take effect.

That's it. Now, when you press Control+Alt+V, or whatever keystroke you chose, NVDA will run, while Control+Alt+N will start Sero.

Using ZoomText with Sero

If you use ZoomText as your primary assistive technology, you can simply silence speech by pressing Alt+Shift+S. This will silence speech for all applications. To turn speech back on, just press Alt+Shift+S again. If you wish to turn speech off permanently, please consult the ZoomText documentation for help.

Please note that ZoomText features like App Reader, Doc Reader, and Speakit may not work well in Sero, and are not directly supported at this time. For the best experience within Sero, using Sero’s speech is recommended.

Last modified September 09, 2016

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