Can I have the accessible menu bar if I run Windows 7?


I’m not sure whom I should ask so I hope it’s okay if I ask here. And I’ll appreciate any suggestions in case another place were more appropriate for this kind of question.

The Sonic Pi Releases webpages say the following about version 3.2.0:
“Previously the code editor was
invisible to the main screen readers on both macOS and Windows and this
is now fixed. There is also an accessible menu bar and a new high
contrast colour theme which is WCAG 2 level AAA compliant.”

However, the release notes for version 3.2.0 say “Windows 10”.

My question is:
Does this mean that if I only have Windows 7, then there’s no way I could possibly run any version that has this accessible menu bar?

The reason why I’m asking is that I’m reading everything with speech synthesizers, which means that I need to do everything via the PC keyboard, without clicking the mouse.

Alternatively, if I downloaded all the needed dependencies and made my own build of Sonic Pi, would it then be possible for me to use the accessible menu bar even though I only have Windows 7?

Thank you in advance.


Hi @sweetji,

Sonic Pi is only officially supported on Windows 10. Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to maintain and continuously test for backwards compatibility with older versions of Windows.

However, this being said, it’s possible it does work and also, in the extreme case it’s possible you could compile it under Windows 7. I haven’t explicitly coded it not to work on versions prior to Windows 10.

I’d start with v4.3 and work your way back to see when things work. It would be really useful to know if you found a version that worked on Windows 7.

Hello Sam,
thank you for your suggestion.

I can confirm that 4.0.1 does not run on Windows 7 and I get a message that the system could not run the application.
On the website, I was unable to find a Windows build of version 4.0.0 so I could not test that one (I currently have too little hard drive space to compile it myself).
So the next lower Windows version that I found on the website was 3.3.1 and after a brief skim, I think it does work.

Thanks again,


That’s great news, thanks for trying different versions out, and glad you could get a version with the menubar running.

Could I ask what’s keeping you on Windows 7?

To be honest with you, at the time I bought my laptop a few years ago, I heard several claims talking about how many differences there were from Windows 7 to Windows 10 in terms of screen reader interaction and in terms of locating even some basic stuff in the OS.
I have had many experiences of having to learn to work with a new interface and I remember I sometimes spent over a year with it and still wasn’t sure how I would do this or that (because there was noone to guide me and the suggestions in most internet discussions were not easy for a screen reader user).
Back then, Windows 7 was still available even though Windows 10 was already out. So I bought a laptop that had Windows 7 installed. And only now am I thinking about buying a new one, just because this one is getting old, not just in terms of software but even in terms of hardware.
So I’m aware that I will finally have to switch to Windows 10 but I’ve deliberately waited so long because I know that it’ll again take me very long to learn even the basics with Windows 10. And I want to be productive, not to keep relearning things just because the interface gets changed. And to be really honest, I know about a guy who has decided to dedicate one specific PC for music production, a PC which would never ever connect to the internet and which still has Windows XP on it!

Thanks so much for letting me know. I completely understand the pain and hassle of having to constantly relearn an interface and appreciate that this pain is magnified with specific accessibility needs.

I hope that you can use Sonic Pi effectively as a screen reader user. Please do let me know if there are any enhancements/improvements I should make.

Happy live coding!