Freedom Scientific JAWS
The following review written by one of the Software Informer contributors applies to version 9.0
Jaws is a program designed for people who have difficulties for reading or seeing.
When you install the application, there is a voice that guides you and tells you what to press on the keyboard to proceed. A beeping sound indicates that the instalation is taking place.
After installing the program, it speaks up the name of any folder or icon where the mouse arrow clicks on. It also gives information about it's location and how to proceed to use it or move it.
If it is a folder, it will indicate the fyles in it and the first file that will be selected if the folder is opened.
All the alerts and messages on the computer will be spoken up. The buttoms available on the alerts will be mentioned as well.
It has ten laguage available. There are two varieties of english, french and spanish. There is also german, italian, brazilian and finnish.
There are also 4 different posibilities to synthesize the voice that will be heard and the speech rate can be modified to be fastened or slowed down. The punctuation may be mentioned or only taken into account as a normal part of the speech.
Jaws come with some applications to operate the entire computer without having to use the mouse.
- Many languages available. Speech rate can be modified. Lots of utilities.
- only 2 voices available. Only works for 40 minutes. Should have a mute buttom.
What's new in version 15.0
- Object Navigation Using the Touch Cursor
- Touch Cursor Navigation Quick Keys
- Advanced Object Navigation
- Improved Windows 8 Start Screen Navigation Using the Touch Cursor
- Windows 8 Touch Screen Support
- Vocalizer Expressive Synthesizer
- Speech History for Speech-only Users
- Third-party Braille Display Drivers now Included in JAWS Installation
- Auto Detection of Braille Displays
- Instant Switching Between Braille Tables
- Braille Structured Mode Improvements
- Changed Braille Symbols for Structured Mode
- Enhanced Table Reading in Braille
- Settings for Controlling How Web Page Links are Activated
What's new in version 14.0
- Flexible Web: Frequently, you will encounter Web pages that contain a lot of excess content which can make it difficult to locate the actual content you want, or interrupts the flow when reading. For instance, many sites contain Google ad frames. These can be troublesome for JAWS users as they disrupt the reading order of surrounding content.
Flexible Web enables you to take more control of Web pages by allowing you to quickly find the content you are looking for, as well as hide content that interrupts the reading experience. You can hide sections of content, such as Google ad frames or other types of unnecessary content, for a smoother reading experience. In addition, you could have JAWS begin reading at a level one heading, or ARIA main region, as these may contain the most interesting content.
To use Flexible Web, open a Web page you want to customize in Internet Explorer or Firefox. Then, move the Virtual PC Cursor to the page element you want to hide, or from where you want to start reading when the page first loads. Activate the Flexible Web wizard by pressing the layered keystroke INSERT SPACEBAR, X. Alternatively, press INSERT F2 to open the Run JAWS Manager dialog box, then choose Flexible Web.
Through several easy-to-follow steps, The Flexible Web wizard that opens provides you with two options: hide or start reading at the selected element. The wizard then guides you through the process of creating a temporary customization by giving you various choices about the selected element and how you want to hide it or from where exactly to start reading. Once the customization has been made, it is immediately applied to the page. For instance, if you choose to hide all frames containing advertisements, you will not see any advertisements when navigating the page after making this temporary customization.
If you are not happy with how a customization is working, you can open the Flexible Web wizard to undo the last customization you made. When you return to the page, you can choose a different element or the same one, then reactivate the Flexible Web wizard to retry the customization again perhaps with different criteria. For example, in the case of hiding those advertisement frames mentioned earlier, you probably want to hide all of them, not just the first one on the page. The wizard will provide you with choices about whether to hide just the first one or all of them.
You can create as many customizations for a page as you want. Once you have created one or more customizations, you can save them as a rule, which is applied every time you load the particular page or site. To indicate that a rule has been applied to a page, JAWS plays a sound after the page loads. Rules can be applied to the current Web page, entire Web site, or globally for all Web sites. Otherwise, customizations are only temporary and are lost as soon as you attempt to go to a different Web page in the current browser window, or completely close the browser. If you have made temporary customizations and you attempt to navigate to another page or close the browser, a dialog box opens asking if you want to save your customizations as a rule.
- Microsoft Outlook 2010 and 2007 Virtual Buffer Message Support: Microsoft Outlook uses Microsoft Word for viewing all read-only messages. However, due to the way Word supports table navigation, and since tables are frequently used for message layout, messages opened in Outlook 2010 and 2007 tend to be very difficult, if not impossible, to read fluently. While there is an option to view a message in the default Web browser, it is cumbersome and slow to have to activate for every message.
This new feature enables you to open a read-only message and read it using the Virtual PC Cursor just like reading a Web page in Internet Explorer or Firefox. You can navigate messages by character, word, line, sentence, paragraph, page, heading, table, link, and graphic. By default, tables are presented in a simple layout with one cell per line and provide a much more efficient means of reading complex messages.
- Vocalizer Direct Synthesizer: JAWS 14 supports Vocalizer Direct voices from Nuance Communications. These new voices work exclusively with Freedom Scientific products. Vocalizer Direct offers many benefits including improved performance, especially in the areas of latency and speech quality, as well as support for more languages and dialects, including Hungarian, Thai, Irish English, and South African English.
- Windows 8 Support.
- JAWS Cursor Navigation: Reviewing the screen with the JAWS Cursor works somewhat differently in Windows 8 than it does in earlier operating systems. This is due to Microsoft eliminating the use of Mirror Display drivers and instead switching to Accessibility Display drivers.
- View Clipboard Text: JAWS now combines the power of Results Viewer with the Clipboard.
What's new in version 13.0
- Resolved an issue encountered on some systems when updating authorization to JAWS 13. After updating authorization, you may need to restart JAWS in order for it to take affect.
- Resolved a long-standing issue where it was sometimes necessary to reboot the computer in order to use JAWS if the application unexpectedly closed.
- Resolved an issue where the braille cursor was not positioned as expected in edit fields when using Structured Mode.
- The Primary and Secondary language for Convenient OCR can now be changed through Quick Settings (INSERT V).
- Documentation is now available describing the latest improvements in the JAWS scripting language. For more information, visit the Enhancements in Scripting Web page.
- If more than one command prompt window is open, addressed an issue where JAWS would continue reading text from one command prompt window even after changing focus to the other.
- Resolved an issue with Contracted English Braille translation where the number sign was not appearing directly before the number if the number was proceeded by a quote and a comma.
- If the Results Viewer and Virtual Viewer are open at the same time, resolved an issue where pressing ESC would close both viewers.
- Addressed an issue where JAWS was not playing a sound to identify checked items in some dialog boxes even if the current speech and sounds scheme was configured to do so.
- Resolved an issue turning off the "read only" announcement in a speech and sounds scheme.
- If you are using a braille display, JAWS no longer goes into Line Mode when renaming a file or folder.
- In applications where JAWS can announce indented text, resolved an issue where JAWS was not speaking indentation information when using the Say Line command (INSERT UP ARROW).
- Pressing ALT UP ARROW in the help text in Settings Center and Quick Settings now reads the prior sentence.
- Resolved an issue with PAC Mate Desktop not starting correctly.
- The Study Mode option is now only available if you are using a braille display that has a double row of cursor router and navrow buttons, such as the PAC Mate Portable Braille Display, or the Focus 40, Focus 80, and Focus 40 Blue braille displays. Study Mode is located under Braille Options in Quick Settings.
- The Current Word Expand option is now only available in Quick Settings when contracted braille translation is set to Output only.
- In the Startup Wizard, the Enable Flash Messages check box and Contracted Braille Translation combo box now have INSERT F1 help.
- Addressed issues that could occur when installing JAWS 13 while JAWS 12 and MAGic 11 are currently running.
- Resolved an issue where nothing is heard when navigating to a visited link and the current speech and sounds scheme is configured to play a sound.
- Resolved an issue where the Results Viewer was blank if Research It did not find any results for a search. A message is now displayed if no results are found.
- The NCAA lookup source now returns all division 1-A scores and schedules. Previously, only the top 25 was displayed. In addition, if you search for a particular team, both division 1-A and 1-AA are searched.
- Addressed issues with the Weather lookup source when checking the weather for international locations.
- Resolved an issue with JAWS not announcing edit combo boxes in certain PDF documents while navigating with the ARROW keys.
- Addressed an issue where Eclipse would unexpectedly close when opening and closing the menu.
- When you press an access key in the spell checker to move to the next error, JAWS no longer speaks the access key you just pressed while reading the current error.
- Addressed a reported issue in Excel 2003 and Windows XP where the Undo option was not working as expected.
- Addressed an issue in Excel 2010 where JAWS would speak the tutor message each time an option in the Fill tab of the Format Cells dialog box was changed. This would occur even if Tutor Message was set to only announce custom messages.
- Resolved an issue in Excel 2003 where the content of text boxes was not being displayed in the Virtual Viewer. There were only blank lines where the text in the box should have appeared.
- Improved how JAWS reads cell information when pressing ESC after adding a comment.
- Resolved an issue where the current cell was not read after pressing ESC to close the custom summary.
- When navigating the color controls in the Fill page of the Format Cells dialog box, resolved an issue where JAWS was not properly reading the selected color.
- Resolved an issue setting column and row titles in Quick Settings.
- Addressed an issue where JAWS would not indicate combo boxes on certain Web pages when navigating with the Virtual Cursor.
- When selecting a same page link to move to a different location on the current page, pressing ALT LEFT ARROW to go back now returns you to the link.
- Resolved an issue with using TAB to navigate buttons contained inside Flash content.
- When you press ENTER on a link in the custom page summary, JAWS now moves you to the correct location on the Web page.
- Resolved an issue where JAWS would get stuck on words containing a left quote when navigating by word.
- Resolved issues navigating in Microsoft Office applications with Tutor Messages set to Custom.
- is now much more responsive when navigating in the Inbox in Outlook 2010.
- Navigation in the File menu in Outlook 2010 has been improved.
- Resolved a customer reported issue in Outlook 2003 where pressing NUMPAD 5 twice quickly to speak the current character phonetically was not working in the subject field of an appointment.
- When pressing ALT GRAVE to move to the message body and the first line of the message contains a link, JAWS no longer activates the link.
- Addressed an issue in Outlook 2007 and 2010 using TAB to navigate to links in a read-only message.
- Resolved an issue of hearing a system ding while navigating through messages in the Inbox. This occurred if you had several consecutive messages from the same address.
- Resolved an issue of hearing indentation information while navigating through links in a read-only message in Outlook 2007 and 2010.
- If the edit combo box in the Find and Replace combo box contains text from a previous search, addressed an issue where the contents of this field were not being announced by JAWS when the dialog box opens.
- When navigating by paragraph in an Outlook 2007 or 2010 message, JAWS no longer speaks the paragraph twice.
- Addressed a reported issue in the Outlook 2010 calendar where the backstage view options were not being announced while navigating.
- When deleting consecutive messages from the same sender, or that have the same subject, resolved an intermittent issue where JAWS would sometimes not automatically read the next message in the list.
- Resolved an issue in the non-English version of Outlook where JAWS would unexpectedly close while navigating the calendar after setting an appointment after 23:00.
- Updated the INSERT F1 help message for the Quick Access tool bar in Word 2007 and 2010.
- Resolved an issue where JAWS was not correctly reporting the indentation level of the last line in a Word document.
- Resolved an issue where after clearing the Word check box in the Manage Application Settings dialog box, JAWS would continue using any setting changes made in Quick Settings instead of reverting to default settings.
- Resolved an issue where margin information was being reported differently depending on whether or not the cursor was in a table.
- The Include Dimensions option in Quick Settings has been renamed to Include Graphical Dimensions to make it easier to find when doing a search. This option only appears when Quick Settings is opened from Word or Outlook.
- Addressed an issue where page changes were not announced during a Say All until you pressed ALT TAB to move away and back to the document. This only occurred in Word 2007.
- JAWS no longer incorrectly announces indentation information when encountering outdated text, such as in an outline.
- Resolved a customer reported issue with the New Lines and Paragraphs Indication option in Quick Settings not changing based on whether paragraph marks are shown or not. When you enable or disable the displaying of paragraph marks in the Word Options dialog box, JAWS automatically sets the New Lines and Paragraphs Indication setting accordingly.
- Addressed an issue where style changes were being announced after enabling spelling detection from Quick Settings.
- Resolved an issue where Grammatical Error Detection was enabled when turning off Spelling Error Detection in Quick Settings.
- Removed references to the Task Pane from the INSERT F1 help messages for the Quick Access and Status Bar toolbar controls.
- Resolved an issue with Quick Settings where changing Style Changes to Always Announce was not turning off the Headings Announce option.
- Resolved an issue with the Spanish version of JAWS where JAWS messages containing accented characters were not read correctly in Word.
- If you have customized the dot pattern for the braille cursor, addressed an issue where using Track Changes was changing it back to the default setting.
- Pressing ALT DELETE while in a table now provides more accurate cursor position information.
- Resolved an issue in Word 2007 with JAWS not properly navigating tables until you used ALT TAB to move away and back to the document. This occurred when opening a document containing tables from Windows Explorer.
- Resolved an issue where table navigation commands would no longer work after typing text into a table cell.
- The page title is now shown on the braille display when pressing INSERT T even when you are positioned on a heading. Note that the currently selected heading is included with the title information. This was also addressed in Internet Explorer.
- Toggling the Document Automatically Reads check box in Quick Settings now works as expected. When this option is cleared, JAWS will not automatically read the Web page after it loads.
- Addressed an issue where you had to press ALT TAB to move away from the application and back to get focus into the output window after starting a compile.
- Addressed an issue encountered after using ALT TAB to move to the Desktop where JAWS would not announce the count of the selected item, for example, five of eight. Pressing INSERT T would also not speak the window title. This did not occur if WINDOWS Key M was used to go to the Desktop.
What's new in version 12.0
Powerful access to screen content
Get started today working with all your Microsoft and IBM Lotus® Symphony™ applications using JAWS®, the world's most popular screen reader. Developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content, JAWS reads aloud what's on the PC screen.
Compatible with the most frequently-used workplace and classroom applications
JAWS enables you to work with Lotus Symphony, a suite of IBM® tools for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation creation and with Lotus Notes® by IBM. JAWS also is compatible with Microsoft® Office Suite, MSN Messenger®, Corel® WordPerfect, Adobe® Acrobat Reader, Internet Explorer™, Firefox™ - and many more applications that are used on a regular basis on the job and in school.
Unmatched braille support
With a refreshable braille display, JAWS also provides braille output in addition to, or instead of, speech. An array of versatile features and customizable options lets you tailor JAWS for your individual needs and preferences.
Freedom Scientific JAWS is a screen reading application that enables you to work with Lotus Symphony, a suite of IBM tools for word processing, spreadsheets and presentation creation and with Lotus Notes. It features two multi-lingual speech synthesizers - Eloquence and Vocalizer with great natural-sounding speech.
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