The JAWS® screen reader provides you with a powerful utility to quickly analyze an unknown application. This feature is called the Script Utility Mode. When the Script Utility Mode is activated, the keyboard is placed in a shifted state. This utility gives you access to system level window information that you can use when scripting an unknown application. You can determine parent-child relationships, windows identifiers, and retrieve information about Microsoft® Active Accessibility® (MSAA®) objects.
Press INSERT+WINDOWS KEY+MINUS to turn on the Script Utility Mode. Press INSERT+WINDOWS KEY+MINUS a second time to turn off the Script Utility Mode.
NOTE: While the Script Utility Mode is active, only part of the keyboard is placed in a shifted state. The keys that are not used by the Script Utility Mode, such as the alphabet, function as normal.
NOTE: The Script Utility Mode was previously called the Home Row Utility and was accessed by pressing INSERT+SPACEBAR in versions of JAWS prior to 11.0.
After activating the Script Utility Mode, you can speak various types of information about the active window. Press F1 to speak information about the window. By default, the window and related text are spoken when the utility is activated for the first time. You can cycle through the different pieces of information spoken by pressing F3. The pieces of information spoken are referred to as output modes. Each time you press F3 followed by F1, a different output mode is spoken. Some of the output modes include: window type and text, handle, control ID, class, type, subtype, and real name.
As you cycle through the various output modes, you can press F11 to hear JAWS speak the current output mode. Pressing INSERT+HOME on the number pad will reset the output mode to say type and text. After the keystroke is pressed, JAWS announces the output mode is type and text. This keystroke eliminates the need to press F3 or SHIFT+F3 to return to the say type and text output mode.
You can also copy the spoken information to the clipboard. Press CTRL+F1 to copy the spoken information to the clipboard. You can paste this information into your favorite text editor for review.
In the windows program structure, there is a parent-child relationship between all windows contained within an application. A parent window can have several child windows. All child windows of a specific parent window are siblings of each other and said to be on the same logical level. Using the Script Utility Mode, you can access each of these windows and speak information about them.
Using the Script Utility Mode, you can access windows even if they are not accessible through the applications tab order when the Script Utility Mode is turned off. Press TAB to move to the next window on the same level. You can continue to press TAB until JAWS speaks “No next window.” This message indicates you have reached the last window on the same logical level.
You can move to the prior window on the same level by pressing SHIFT+TAB. You can continue to press SHIFT+TAB until JAWS speaks “No prior window.” This message indicates you reached the first child window on the same level.
As you press TAB or SHIFT+TAB to move through the windows, JAWS automatically speaks the selected output mode. You can press INSERT+TAB to hear the window type and text spoken by JAWS for the active window. If you are not sure where you began, press F5 to return the Script Utility Mode to the location of the active cursor.
You can use the Script Utility Mode to move up and down the windows hierarchy. This functionality gives you the ability to determine if the window with focus has any child windows associated with it. It also gives you the ability to move to the parent of the active child window. Press F2 to determine if the active window has any associated child windows. When a child window is found, the focus is moved to the child window and JAWS speaks the output mode information about the child window. You can continue to press F2 until “Child window not found,” is spoken by JAWS. This message indicates you are at the bottom of the windows hierarchy and no more child windows are present. Press TAB and SHIFT+TAB to determine if there are other child windows on the same logical level.
Press SHIFT+F2 to determine if a child window has an associated parent window. You can continue to press SHIFT+F2 until JAWS speaks "Parent window not found." This message indicates you have reached the top of the windows hierarchy. After you have reached a parent window, press TAB and SHIFT+TAB to determine if there are other windows on the same logical level. Remember that a parent cannot only have child windows, but it can be the child of another parent window. After reviewing the parent-child relationships, you can press F5 to route the Script Utility Mode to the active window. This essentially takes you back to the starting point from which you originally activated the Script Utility Mode.
As you move across, up, and down the windows hierarchy you are moving to windows that may or may not be visible on the screen. You can use the Script Utility Mode to identify the windows that are visible and those that are not. Press F6 to hear the visibility status of the current window announced automatically by JAWS. Each time you move from window to window with this option turned on, JAWS announces the visibility of the window immediately following the output mode information. You can turn this feature off by pressing F6 a second time. You can also announce the visibility status of the current window by pressing F7. This announces the visibility status regardless of the state of the F6 visibility status toggle.
After you have moved to a specific window within the structure of an application, you can use the node capture command to quickly gather all the information about that window. The node capture command places the gathered information into the virtual viewer. You can then use standard reading and selecting commands to read or copy the information to the clipboard. Press ALT+CTRL+ENTER to perform a node capture. Some of the types of information collected by the node capture command includes: window handle, class, type, subtype code, control ID and window name. When you are finished reviewing the information, press ESC to close the Virtual Viewer.
A second and more powerful command is called tree capture. This command allows you to quickly view information about the current window and any child or parent windows associated with it. When you press ALT+CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to perform a tree capture, the command places all the information for the current window along with all associated child windows into the virtual viewer. You can then use standard JAWS reading and selection commands to read or copy the information to the clipboard. information collected by the tree capture includes: windows handle, class, type and subtype code, control ID, window name, real window name, window hierarchical values and text contained within the window.
When the active cursor is on an MSAA object, you can use the Script Utility Mode to provide information about the object. However, you cannot navigate through MSAA objects using the Script Utility Mode. If you need to retrieve information on an object you must first activate that object by moving to it with either the Jaws or PC Cursor.
Press F9 to speak information about the object. By default, the object name is spoken when the utility is activated for the first time. You can move to the next output mode by pressing F10. You can move to the prior output mode by pressing SHIFT+F10. Each time you press either F10 or SHIFT+F10 followed by F9, a different output mode is spoken. Output modes include:
You can also copy the output mode information about the active object to the clipboard by pressing CTRL+F9. You can then paste the information into a text editor for review after you complete your analysis of the application.
The following commands are helpful in finding all the information you need to know about controls, parent/child relationships, and text attributes.
|INSERT+H||Speak JAWS hot key shortcuts for the Script Utility Mode.|
|F1||Speak the selected mode of information.|
|F1 pressed twice in succession||Spell the selected mode of information.|
|INSERT+F1||Display output mode information in the virtual viewer.|
|CTRL+F1||Copy output mode information to the clipboard.|
|INSERT+CTRL+ F1||Output Window Technical Info in the virtual viewer (You do not have to be in script utility mode to use this command)|
|CTRL+ALT+ENTER||Activates node capture and places all window information into the virtual Viewer|
|CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+ENTER||Activates tree capture and places all the window information for child or parent windows into the virtual viewer|
|F2||Move to the first child of the current active window and speak output mode information.|
|SHIFT+F2||Move to the parent of the current active window and speak output mode information.|
|F3||Select the next output mode.|
|SHIFT+F3||Select the previous output mode.|
|CTRL+F3||When repeatedly pressed, this keystroke moves to the first item of each group in the utility output modes. The modes jumped to are: Window handle, window type and real window name.|
|SHIFT+CTRL+F3||When repeatedly pressed, this keystroke moves to the prior first item of each group in the utility output modes. The modes jumped to are: Window handle, window type and real window name.|
|F4||Select the attribute search mode. Attributes include bold, italic, underline, highlight, and strikeout.|
|F5||Initialize the Script Utility Mode to the window containing the active cursor.|
|F6||Toggle auto speaking of window visibility status. When this option is turned on, the window's visible status is spoken as you move to it.|
|F7||Speak the visibility status of the window currently referenced by the Script Utility Mode.|
|F8||Speak the contents of the window currently referenced by the Script Utility Mode.|
|F9||Speak the MSAA Object output mode information. The active object is indicated by the position of the active cursor.|
|INSERT+F9||Display the MSAA object output mode information in the virtual viewer. This is not available on output modes that return integers.|
|ALT+F9||Displays the list of MSAA objects in the window currently accessed by the Script Utility Mode.|
|CTRL+F9||Copy requested MSAA object output mode information to the clipboard.|
|SHIFT+F9||Displays a list of MSAA objects by name in the window currently accessed by the Script Utility Mode. Other pieces of information about the MSAA objects contained in the list include: name, value, subtype code, state and more.|
|ALT+CTRL+F9||Displays information about the current MSAA object and its hierarchical ancestors or parents in the Virtual Viewer. Level 0 is the current MSAA object, level 1 is its parent, 2 its grand parent and so on.|
|F10||Select the next MSAA object output mode.|
|SHIFT+F10||Select the prior MSAA object output mode.|
|F11||Speak current output mode.|
|F12||Speak current MSAA object output mode.|
|TAB||Move to next window and speak output mode information.|
|SHIFT+TAB||Move to prior window and speak output mode information.|
|INSERT+TAB||Speak the window prompt and text for the window currently referenced by the Script Utility Mode.|
|INSERT+NUM PAD HOME||Set output mode to SayTypeAndText.|
|INSERT+7||Activate the window-reclassification dialog.|
|INSERT+NUM PAD MINUS||Route the Jaws or Invisible cursor to the window currently indicated by the Script Utility Mode if it is visible on the screen.|
|GRAVE ACCENT||Move to the next text attribute.|
|SHIFT+GRAVE ACCENT||Move to the prior text attribute.|
|CTRL+GRAVE ACCENT||Move to the first text attribute.|
|SHIFT+CTRL+ GRAVE ACCENT||Move to the last text attribute.|
|LEFT or RIGHT ARROW keys||Changes the value of pixel movement performed by the MouseLeft and MouseRight functions|
|UP or DOWN ARROW keys||Changes the settings for which special characters are spoken|