Remember RantWoman's rantings about what she is not giving up for Lent? RantWoman has been falling down on the job, but attempts to prepare her soul for Meeting for Business have served up several spectacular opportunities to catch up.
Here, for example, at the bottom of this rant is only one possible unrequested digression and detour to Planet RantWoman, the Help Page inside JAWS for the new "Convenient OCR" function available in JAWS versions 13 and higher. Conveniently for people who send RantWoman texts such as the Draft State of the meeting report in graphics rather than readable text PDF's, RantWoman has access to both JAWS 14 and JAWS 15. RantWoman knows how to party.
Alert readers will note that the help file below refers to the "Convenient" OCR function. Convenient, as opposed to what, the slightly less annoying than a root canal OCR function? RantWoman needs the "Convenient OCR function because a first pre-draft of something sent in a Word document somehow in the conversion to official draft and PDF became one of those graphic documents where Mr. JAWS cannot find the text without the "Convenient OCR."
Here RantWoman will do her readers two favors:
--refrain until a separate post from going on about the other issues of getting the pre-draft.
--acknowledge that the help files excerpted here are in fact a lot bigger a chunk than RantWoman thought she was copying. RantWoman has no idea how that occurred, but has left in the excess partly because she thinks if she reads it again, it will help answer another question from someone else in RantWoman's email streams. Welcome to Planet RantWoman.
What's New in JAWS 13
JAWS 13 offers several new features and improvements as described on this page. To learn more, read the entire What's New or press INSERT+F6 to open a list of headings and then jump directly to a specific item.
Frequently, you will encounter images that contain textual information. These can include a PDF file, the setup screen of an application, or the menu of selections for a DVD movie. While these images contain text that is readable by a sighted person, JAWS is unable to read the text as it is part of the image.
The new Convenient OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature enables you to access any image on the screen that includes text. With just a few simple keystrokes, JAWS will recognize the image in a matter of seconds and activate the JAWS cursor so you can navigate the resulting text. The recognized text will be in the same location as the actual image on the screen. In order to differentiate the recognized text from other text that may be in the window, JAWS will use a different voice when it encounters the recognized text. When you activate the PC cursor, or switch to another application or dialog box, the text is removed and you will need to perform the OCR again.
To use Convenient OCR, the following layered keystrokes have been added:
- INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, W. Recognizes the current application window that has focus.
- INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, S. Recognizes the entire screen.
- INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, C. Recognizes the currently selected control, such as a graphical button.
- INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, Q. Cancels recognition while it is in progress.
- INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, QUESTION MARK. Speaks a brief help message describing the commands in the OCR layer.
The following examples illustrate just some of the uses of this new feature.
- You insert a DVD movie into your computer which brings up a menu allowing you to select from various DVD features. You press INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, W and after a few seconds, JAWS will alert you that OCR is complete. At this point, the JAWS cursor will be active and you can navigate around the screen using the ARROW keys and read the text of the menu. When you hear the option you want, press NUMPAD SLASH to perform a left-mouse-click, or INSERT+NUMPAD PLUS to route PC to JAWS to activate the option. Prior to JAWS 13, this menu would have been completely inaccessible.
Note: Depending on the type of screen the DVD displays and the quality of the text, the Convenient OCR may not always work. Some DVD screens will be recognized better than others.
- You open a PDF in Adobe Reader which turns out to be inaccessible. Press INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, W to have JAWS recognize the text currently visible on the screen which you can then navigate with the JAWS cursor. Before performing OCR in Acrobat Reader, press CTRL+1 to set the zoom level to Actual Size. While this will cause less of the image to be displayed on the screen, this will result in higher accuracy during recognition.
- You try to install or use an application whose interface is not accessible, such as AcronisÂ® True Imageâ„¢ Home 2011 or 2012. If no text is readily available when pressing TAB or when using the JAWS Cursor, you can try Convenient OCR. Start with the PC Cursor and press INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, W to recognize the text of the welcome screen graphic. You can then use the JAWS Cursor and NUMPAD SLASH (left mouse button) to move to and choose what are possible buttons and links.
If you are not getting clear recognition results or you find that text is running together, refer to FAQ 63556 for ways to optimize performance.
Note that to correctly recognize text in other languages, you can configure the primary and secondary OCR language. A new Convenient OCR item has been added to the main tree view in Settings Center. When you expand this item, you have Primary Recognition Language and Secondary Recognition Language settings. Use the SPACEBAR to cycle through the available languages until you hear the one you want, or press F6 to move to the combo box and select a language.
When you install JAWS from the program disc, the OCR components are automatically installed. If you download JAWS from the Web site and have an active Internet connection when you begin the installation, the OCR components will be downloaded during the install. If you do not have an active Internet connection when you install JAWS from the Web download, a message is displayed at the end of the installation stating that some components were not installed. To use the OCR feature, establish an Internet connection and run the installation again so the OCR components are downloaded.
Quick Settings is a replacement for the former Adjust JAWS Options dialog box, and it has been designed to make it easy to change application-specific settings as well as individual document settings. With Quick Settings you now have the ability to easily:
- Change settings for individual documents or applications.
- Determine whether changes will still be in effect after your JAWS session has ended, when the computer is rebooted, or when a new window gains focus. Note that the persistency level cannot be set for individual document settings. Document settings will always be written to disk.
To open Quick Settings, press INSERT+V. This single keystroke eliminates the need for INSERT+CTRL+B (Adjust Braille Settings) since braille settings are conveniently included in Quick Settings.
What is the advantage of using Quick Settings?
When using the Adjust JAWS Options tree view in previous JAWS versions, it was not clear if changes were being applied specifically to an application or document, or globally as JAWS default settings. To get around this issue, Quick Settings offers persistence levels, which are quickly accessed through a context menu by pressing the APPLICATIONS key. The current persistence setting is indicated with an icon in the tree view and a check mark in the context menu. The icons are useful for a sighted trainer since it shows the current level settings at a glance. Persistence levels are labeled as follows:
- Restore settings when JAWS exits. Think of this as session specific. When you close JAWS, the setting returns to its default value. This persistence is represented by the JAWS icon in the tree view.
- Restore settings when focus changes. When you change focus to another application or document, the setting returns to its default value. This persistence is represented by the double window icon in the tree view.
- Save the settings. When selected, the current value becomes the default and is written to disk. This level is represented by the disk drive icon in the tree view.
Note: If you intend to adjust persistence, from the default (save to disk), you must set the persistence level for the setting before changing the setting. Persistence levels for document-specific settings cannot be changed, therefore, the context menu does not display. In this case, any changes made to the setting are immediately saved to disk.
How does it differ from Settings Center?
The Quick Settings window is very similar to that used by Settings Center. It has a search box, settings tree view pane, configuration display pane, and help message pane. The major difference is that you can set how long changes to settings will apply for individual documents or applications. This is known as the persistence level.
Note:Â You cannot switch to the JAWS default file (default.jcf) when using Quick Settings. To make default changes that apply to ALL applications, use Settings Center.
How do I use Quick Settings?
To launch Quick Settings in any application or document,
- Press INSERT+V. This convenient keystroke is the same that
was used to open the Adjust JAWS Options tree view.
For example, with a Word document open, press INSERT+V.
- The cursor moves to the Search box. If you know the setting that you want to
change, type a term for it in the Search box. Next, press DOWN
ARROW to move to the filtered results in the tree view.
For example, type the term â€œtypingâ€ (without the quotes), press DOWN ARROW to move to Typing Echo in the filtered result list, and then press ENTER. Focus now moves to Typing Echo in the tree view. The default setting for Typing Echo is Characters.
- If you want to change the persistence level, press the
APPLICATIONS key, and then select Restore settings when JAWS
exits, or Restore settings when focus changes. (Note that Save the settings is
always the default selection when viewing persistence levels for the first
For example, press the ARROW keys to move to Restore Settings when Focus Changes and then press ENTER.
- Next, press SPACEBAR to change combo box values, or select
check boxes, radio buttons, or other buttons, and then press
ENTER. (You can also press F6 to jump between
the tree view and the Configuration pane to change settings.) The setting now
uses both the selected persistence level and the selected value. The value is
saved permanently, or until you change focus, or close JAWS as set by the
For example, press SPACEBAR to select None as the Typing Echo setting, and then press ENTER. As long as focus remains in the current Word document, typing is not echoed. When you move focus away from the document to another application and then back to the Word document, the value for Typing Echo is restored to Characters.
Which files are affected by Quick Settings?
Changes made using Quick Settings are stored in the current applicationâ€™s JCF file or the current documentâ€™s JSI file. These files, along with other persistence level files, are stored in your user settings folder. It can be found by selecting Start Menu, All Programs, JAWS X (where X is version 13 or later), Explore JAWS, and then Explore My Settings.
JAWS 13 includes a new keystroke layer for navigating tables. While the current keystrokes for navigating tables are still available, using the Table layer eliminates the need to have to hold down several keys at once to perform a table navigation command.
Below are some of the layered keystrokes for table navigation. (For a complete list, see Table Layer Keystrokes.) Press and release INSERT+SPACEBAR, followed by T to get to the table layer. Then press any of the following keystrokes.
- ARROW Key to move by cell.
- CTRL+ARROW Keys move to the beginning or end of a column or row.
- HOME or END to move to the beginning or end of the current row.
- CTRL+HOME to jump to the first cell in a table.
- CTRL+END to jump to the last cell in a table.
- QUESTION MARK to list the keystrokes you can use in this layer.
The Table Layer remains active until you press a key that does not perform a table command, such as ESC, SPACEBAR, TAB, or ENTER.
The Results Viewer is a more feature-rich replacement for Virtual Viewer, used with Research It, Skim Reading, and Custom Summary features. The new Results Viewer allows you to display script or internally generated HTML output in a web control window, which will offer more flexibility with the output format. The Results Viewer will support the following features and actions:
- Able to navigate the web control and exhibit the same behavior experienced when a JAWS or MAGic user navigates a Web page
- Output can be formatted with a wider range of fonts, colors, and sizes, or inserted into tables or various styles of lists.
- Select links now with the mouse in addition to the keyboard open web pages or invoke custom behaviors as defined in JAWS scripts
- The contents of the Results Viewer will persist, even after a focus change, until you choose to close the viewer
- Text selection and copy are now an option with both the keyboard and mouse and includes on screen highlighting
- Navigation Quick Keys are now available for use
- Activate links using the SPACEBAR or ENTER key
- Generate a list of links or headers
- When using MAGic with JAWS, the magnified display shall track the contents during MAGic navigation
- Activate links in the viewer via the mouse
- The JAWS "General Options\Document Automatically Reads" option can be used to specify speech behaviors on Results Viewer startup
- Language switching
Note:Â The legacy Virtual Viewer will continue to be utilized for all other features including JAWS INSERT+F1 Help.
Citrix XenDesktop 4 and later is now supported by JAWS 13. The initial JAWS 13 release (13.0.303) supports desktop virtualization of the Windows 7 32-bit operating system. JAWS 13.0.527 and later adds support for Windows 7 64-bit. Like the Terminal Services and Citrix XenApp support, JAWS uses advanced technology that minimizes the use of available bandwidth, maximizes speed, and provides the full array of synthesizer and braille display configurations.
A solution is available to make it easier to interact with Top Most Windows, often referred to as On Top Windows. These are application windows that pop up, without gaining focus or being in the ALT+TAB order. These are often found with firewall or antivirus programs and are intended to interrupt the user with information they must act on before continuing. You cannot minimize them or press ALT+TAB to move away from them by design. Unfortunately, this presents a problem for keyboard only users since it is difficult to interact with them without mouse clicking in them first. Screen reader users are often troubled by these windows which cover up windows they were working in making it appear as if something is not working correctly when in fact, it is one of these On Top windows blocking the application they are focused on.
Now, in JAWS 13, these On Top windows are included in the JAWS Task List, also known as the Window List dialog box (INSERT+F10), so you can check to see if one of these windows is present and to switch focus to the window from the Task List dialog box using the Switch To button. You will be able to identify such On Top windows if they are in the JAWS Task List because they will include the term "On Top" in the name.
The JAWS Merge Utility has been updated so you can merge settings from a previous version of JAWS installed on your computer, such as JAWS 12, into JAWS 13. Due to the changes made to enhance support for Microsoft Word and Excel, any settings files associated with Microsoft Word and Excel 2007 and 2010 will not be merged. All other settings files will be merged as expected.
JAWS can automatically detect the Focus 40 Blue over Bluetooth at start up without the need to manually select the correct COM port. To configure this option, do the following:
- From the JAWS application window, open the Options menu and choose Braille to open the Braille Basic Settings dialog box.
- In the Default Braille Display combo box, make sure Focus is set as the default braille display, and then select the Modify Settings button.
- In the Select the output port edit combo box, choose Bluetooth then select OK. Select OK again when prompted to restart JAWS for these settings to take effect, then select OK once more to close the Braille Basic Settings dialog box.
- Once you have established a Bluetooth connection between the Focus 40 Blue and computer, close and restart JAWS. JAWS will automatically find the correct Bluetooth serial port and begin using the Focus 40 Blue.
The JAWS Find feature lets you search for words or phrases in documents and Web pages. The terms entered are stored in a global history. Often, these terms are only relevant to the document or domain name on which the search was performed. In JAWS 13, you can now select the Context Specific History check box, which configures the Find feature to only display terms searched for in that document or domain. This drastically reduces the list of items in the search history, and ensures that the most relevant terms are always available for that document or domain.
Note the following about this new option in the JAWS Find dialog box (INSERT+CTRL+F or CTRL+F for Web pages).
- The Context Specific History check box is selected by default.
- The first time you open the JAWS Find dialog box, the option is unavailable. Once you enter a search term, the check box is now available.
- Any search term entered is only stored for that document or domain.
- If the check box is cleared, the search term becomes global and is available for any document or domain.
- The search history maintains a list of the last 25 terms.
Full JAWS Cursor support is available in Internet Explorer 9 and Microsoft Outlook 2010. In addition, Braille Cursor navigation while in Line Mode is also available in these applications.
The interface to the Word Object Model has been rewritten. You will experience a more responsive and accurate interface to Word.