What's New in JAWS 16 Screen Reading Software
This page describes the new features and improvements available in JAWS 16.
- Download JAWS
- JAWS 16 Enhancements, for a complete list of enhancements made in this release, including the most recent update.
- FSCast web page, provides demonstrations of the exciting features in JAWS 16.
- Training Downloads page, to access all of the FREE JAWS Training material in DAISY or MP3 format.
- Read previous JAWS release notes by selecting a version from the list
JAWS provides many keystrokes to perform a variety of commands. Many commands can be performed anywhere in Windows, such as reading the window title or current line, while other commands are only available in specific applications like Microsoft Word or Internet Explorer. If you are using JAWS with a refreshable braille display, there are even JAWS commands that can be performed using the controls on the braille display. To search for JAWS commands, press INSERT+SPACEBAR, J to open the Search for Commands dialog.
While there are certain commands that are used by the majority of JAWS users on a daily basis, such as reading the current line (INSERT+UP ARROW) or reading the current window title (INSERT+T), there are numerous commands that even the most experienced users do not use regularly and need to be looked up. Certain types of commands can be especially difficult to remember as some of them require pressing several keys at once. The JAWS Command Search feature enables you to enter a full or partial description of a command whose keystroke you do not remember. JAWS will display all commands that match your search criteria, the description of the feature, and all the associated keystrokes, including braille commands if a refreshable braille display is currently connected.
For example, you may need to locate a keystroke for working with formulas in Excel. Instead of opening the JAWS help topic for Excel and searching through all of the available keystrokes, or starting Keyboard Help (INSERT+1) and pressing various keystroke combinations until you find the correct one, you can open the Search for JAWS Commands window while focused in Excel, type "formulas" in the search edit box, and then view a list of all keystrokes related to working with formulas. Similarly, if you are browsing the web and you need to find the keystroke for displaying a list of headings on the current page (INSERT+F6), you can open the Search for JAWS Commands window from Internet Explorer or Firefox, type "list headings" in the search edit box, and this command will be the first result.
To search for a command, press INSERT+SPACEBAR, followed by J, to open the Search for JAWS Commands window. Alternatively, you can choose Search for Commands from the Run JAWS Manager dialog box (INSERT+F2) or the JAWS Utilities menu. An HTML window opens and places you in an edit field. If Forms Mode is set to Auto or Semi-Auto, Forms Mode will be activated when the edit field gains focus. Begin typing the description of the command you are looking for and the results area in the lower part of the window automatically updates. As you type, the first result in the list is spoken automatically. Pressing ENTER turns off Forms Mode and places you on the first result.
Note: If Auto Forms Mode is set to Manual, you will need to first press ENTER to activate Forms Mode before you begin typing in the edit field.
Since this is an HTML window, you can use standard reading commands to review the search results. Each command name along with the most common keystroke used to perform it is displayed as a heading so you can quickly move between results using the H and SHIFT+H Navigation Quick Keys. When you locate the command you want, press DOWN ARROW to move to a brief description of what the command does, and any additional keystrokes that can be used to perform the command. This will include non-layered, layered, and braille keystrokes. If a particular command offers a braille keystroke, but a braille display is not currently connected when you performed the search, the braille keystroke will not be listed.
Each JAWS command name and its associated keystrokes are also displayed as links. This allows you to press ENTER on the command name heading, or any of the associated keystroke links to close the Search for JAWS Commands window and activate the command. You can also exit this window by pressing ALT+F4, or the ESC key.
Note: When performing a JAWS command search, the search results only contains JAWS keystrokes. Microsoft Windows keystrokes, such as CTRL+A for select all, are not included in the search results.
Most end users who are buying new computers today, end up purchasing systems that come with professional editions of Windows 7 or Windows 8. In order to make this easier and more affordable, we have changed the traditional JAWS Standard so it will now work on either Home or Professional versions of Windows. At the same time, we are changing the name from Standard to JAWS Home Edition and it is intended for Non-Commercial Use as well as ideal for anyone who intends to use JAWS on their personal laptop or desktop computer. Just like the JAWS Professional licenses, JAWS Home Edition licenses will allow JAWS 16 to install and run on both Home and Professional editions of Windows.
When running a JAWS Home Edition license, JAWS will announce in both speech and braille "JAWS Home Use" at startup. Also, the JAWS application window has been changed. The Title of the JAWS Window now says "JAWS Home Use" and in the main window area, it will display graphical text that says "Noncommercial Use Only". Finally, Home Use Edition is also displayed in the JAWS About dialog box which is accessed from the Help menu.
JAWS 16 is designed to recognize all existing Standard licenses and will automatically work as a Home Edition now on both Home and Professional machines. All new licenses of JAWS 16 that are shipped will be set up using either the new Home Edition license or the traditional Professional license. In the case of Professional Licenses, JAWS 16 will now announce "JAWS Professional" in speech and braille at startup as well.
Finally, we have included the option to purchase and use the JAWS Remote support to the Home Edition Licenses. This will allow your license to work in Remote Desktop, Terminal Services, or Citrix connections with other computers. Previously, this option was only available for purchase with JAWS Professional Licenses.
The new Semi-Auto Forms Mode feature offers users the convenience of Auto Forms Mode, but the benefits of manual operation.
With Auto Forms Mode, JAWS automatically enters Forms Mode so you can immediately begin typing when you move to an edit field using the ARROW Keys, or TAB and SHIFT+TAB. When you move away from the control, Forms Mode turns off and you resume navigating using the Virtual PC Cursor. This can be very useful especially for new and sighted users and is the default setting. When you move to an edit field in Manual Forms Mode, you must first press ENTER to turn on Forms Mode, and then press NUM PAD PLUS or ESC to turn it off once you are finished typing.
With Semi-Auto Forms Mode, JAWS will only turn on Forms Mode automatically when you move to an edit field using TAB or SHIFT+TAB. This allows you to have the benefits of Auto Forms Mode and still be able to read through a web page using the ARROW keys and not be interrupted by Forms Mode turning on and off. Additionally, Navigation Quick Keys will not turn on Semi-Auto Forms Mode.
To cycle through Manual, Auto, and Semi-Auto Forms Mode, use the Auto Forms Mode option in Quick Settings (INSERT+V) or the Select Forms Mode option in Settings Center.
The Convenient OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature now allows you to recognize entire PDF documents. Convenient OCR was first introduced in JAWS 13 and allows you to recognize any images visible on the screen in order to access text contained in the image that would normally be inaccessible to JAWS. This included inaccessible PDF documents where you could only recognize the currently visible text.
In JAWS 16, if you open a PDF document and you do not find any text to read, press INSERT+SPACEBAR, O to access the OCR layer and then press the letter D. JAWS begins recognizing the text of the entire document featuring a very high degree of accuracy as the results are not affected by the current screen resolution, as they are when recognizing the current screen or window. After several seconds, the contents of the PDF file are displayed in the Results Viewer for reading. Use standard reading commands to review the text or select and copy sections of content for pasting in other applications. For example, you could select all, then copy and paste into a Microsoft Word document, which you could then save.
Note: The OCR process takes longer for larger PDF files. As text is recognized, it is added to the end of the existing text already in the Results Viewer. This allows you to continue reading without interruption as the document is processed.
MathML is a language for including mathematical content on web pages, enabling browsers to present math and science equations and formulas as they would appear on paper. JAWS provides spoken, natural language descriptions of MathML expressions In Internet Explorer and Firefox using the same terms a teacher would use to explain them in a classroom. Students will benefit from hearing JAWS describe mathematical expressions as their teachers and peers do. Math expressions are also displayed with highlighting in the Math Viewer as they are spoken so sighted teachers can assist students that are using JAWS to study math.
Once JAWS is installed, you can immediately begin reading math and science content. You do not need to install any additional third-party software applications or plugins to use JAWS MathML support.
When you encounter MathML on a web page, JAWS describes the equation, followed by the message "math content." Pressing ENTER while focused on the math content opens the Math Viewer where you can explore the equation in greater detail by doing the following:
- To move between parts of the expression, use the LEFT and RIGHT ARROW keys.
- To focus in on a partial expression, press DOWN ARROW.
- To return to the whole expression, press UP ARROW.
- To read all the partial expressions at the current level, press INSERT+UP ARROW.
- To read the current partial expression or term, press NUM PAD 5 or INSERT+NUM PAD 5.
- From within the Math Viewer, press ESC or ALT+F4 to exit.
Additionally, the contents of the Math Viewer are displayed visually on the screen. As the equation is navigated, the current expression or partial expression is highlighted so a sighted assistant can easily tell what part of the expression is being spoken. Try pressing ENTER on the following example and exploring it using the Math Viewer.
If you are exploring an equation containing a table, you can pressENTER to go into Table Navigation. In Table Navigation, the UP and DOWN ARROW keys move between rows while the LEFT and RIGHT ARROW keys move between columns. Press ENTER on a table cell to enter Equation Navigation so you can explore the current cell. Press ESC to return to Table Navigation, and then once more to return to Equation Navigation for the whole expression. Try out the following example which demonstrates math content that contains a table.
On certain sites, such as Wikipedia, math is displayed as a graphical image which is not readable by JAWS. However, in the case of Wikipedia, you can specify that the MathML that generated the graphic is included directly in the HTML of the page. Making this change requires you have a Wikipedia account. Creating an account is free, but the process includes a captcha which will require sighted assistance, or the WebVisum add-on for Firefox, to complete. Once logged in, go to your advanced prefferences and select "MathML with SVG fallback" to render math in HTML.
For now, math content on a web page or in the Math Viewer is only spoken and displayed visually by JAWS and is not shown in braille. The ability for JAWS to Display math content in braille will be added in future updates as we continue to refine MathML support.
For more examples of JAWS and MathML support in action, visit the MathML Examples page.
Visit the W3C web site for more information about MathML.
JAWS now takes full advantage of the UIA (User Interface Automation) support in Microsoft Word 2013 to offer more robust performance when using Word. You will notice a significant increase in responsiveness when navigating and editing documents. In addition, the JAWS cursor can now be used to read the currently visible text in the document area.
Braille users will also notice significant improvements with navigating documents in braille, including the ability to pan through a document without losing your place where you are currently editing when Active Follows Braille is off. In addition, the alignment of text is more accurately shown on the braille display when navigating by line.
If the currently active voice profile offers additional voice languages, JAWS has had the ability for several versions to automatically begin speaking in a specific language if the appropriate language tags are used in a document or web page. For example, if you are using an Eloquence voice profile with English as the primary voice language and you encounter Spanish text on a web page, JAWS will switch to a Spanish Eloquence voice to read the text. Similarly, if you are using a Vocalizer Expressive voice profile with English as the primary language voice, if a Spanish Vocalizer Expressive voice is available, JAWS will switch to that voice to read the Spanish text. The only drawback in prior versions however, was that you could not specify individual settings, such as rate or pitch, for each individual language. Voice settings configured in the current voice profile would apply to all languages in that profile.
In JAWS 16, the Voice Adjustment dialog box has been modified to enable you to configure individual settings for each available language in the same voice profile. For instance, if you are using the Vocalizer Expressive profile and the English version of JAWS, English will be set as your primary language by default. Once you have installed the voices you intend to use with JAWS, you can configure the usual voice settings such as the current voice person, rate, pitch, and so on. If you read documents in Spanish and one or more Spanish Vocalizer Expressive voices are installed, you can then choose Spanish from the Synthesizer Language combo box and configure completely different speech settings for this language which will only be applied when JAWS detects Spanish text while reading. After making your settings changes for each language, you can use the new Speak Sample button to have JAWS speak a sample of text in the current voice so you can determine whether or not you want to use the particular settings before you save the profile.
By default, each voice profile has a primary language that always matches the language of the installed copy of JAWS. If you are using English JAWS, the default voice language is English, or if you are using Spanish JAWS, the primary voice language is Spanish. If you choose a language from the Synthesizer Language combo box other than the primary language, you can set it as the primary language for the current voice profile using the new Set Language as Primary button.
Note: Changing the primary synthesizer language does not affect the language used to display information in the JAWS main window or dialog boxes. For example, using a Spanish voice when navigating menus with the English version of JAWS may not speak items as expected.
When using the JAWS commands to temporarily or permanently increase or decrease the speech rate on-the-fly, only the rate for the primary language in use in the currently active voice profile is affected. For example, if the primary language is English, the speech rate for all available English voices will be changed. All other languages in the profile will continue to use the rate that you configured in the Voice Adjustment dialog box.
You can also now manually switch to another language in the current profile using the Select a Language dialog box (CTRL+WINDOWS Key+L). This displays a list of all currently available languages. Select the language you want to use and choose OK. JAWS will switch to that language and apply the appropriate settings you specified in the Voice Adjustment dialog box. The selected language will remain active until you change to a different profile, or press CTRL+WINDOWS Key+L again to change languages.
The number of languages that are available depends on the active profile. The Eloquence synthesizer installs all languages, while with Vocalizer Expressive, you must manually download and install the language voices you specifically want to use. It is best to install all voices and languages you intend to use before using the Voice Adjustment dialog box to configure your voice profiles.
Note: Due to the extensive changes to voice profiles in JAWS 16, the JAWS Merge utility will not merge any voice settings from versions of JAWS prior to version 16.
For more information, refer to Voice Adjustment in the JAWS help file.
Microsoft discontinued support for the Windows XP operating system in April of 2014, 13 plus years after its initial release. Based on this decision, we have decided to discontinue the on-going development and testing for Windows XP as of JAWS 16. Starting with the initial release of JAWS 16, it will only install on computers running Windows Vista or higher. For all of our customers who may continue to maintain a Windows XP computer, you can download the current JAWS 15 release, along with earlier versions of JAWS, from our archive download pages on the Freedom Scientific web site. These earlier versions will remain available for our customers in the future as well.
Reading List is a Windows 8.1 Modern App from Microsoft that allows you to gather articles and other online content from various apps and provides a centralized location for all your reading material. JAWS 16 offers enhanced support for Reading List using the Touch Cursor.
The Touch Cursor is active by default when Reading List starts. Using the RIGHT and LEFT ARROW keys or flicking left and right with one finger on the touch screen will move through all elements on the screen.
Using the UP and DOWN ARROW keys or flicking up and down with one finger on the touch screen will move to the previous or next separator by default. This allows you to quickly move to articles from the current day, the past week, past month, or the most recently read article, called the Spotlight. You can also choose to move by list items, buttons, or form controls. To change the navigation type, press PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN or flick left or right with two fingers on the touch screen.
Press the SPACEBAR to select or unselect an article, or press ENTER to activate menu items or open articles for reading.
The People app in Windows 8.1 provides a central location for managing your contacts in E-mail accounts and other services, whether stored locally on your computer, or remotely on a service like Gmail, Yahoo, or Skype. If you have an account on a social network such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you can also add these accounts and keep track of posts from your friends on these sites right from the People app.
JAWS 16 enables you to access the main features of this app using both speech and braille. When using JAWS with People, you will be able to:
- Add or delete a contact, as well as edit the information for an existing contact.
- Use the Search edit field to find a specific contact.
- Add your social networking accounts and post messages to them. For example, send a tweet, or post a Facebook status.
- View the latest social networking posts from your friends and respond to them. For instance, like or comment on a Facebook status, or reply to a tweet.
- Add a contact to your Favorites, or pin it to the Windows 8.1 Start Screen for quick access to their information and social network updates.
The PC Cursor is active by default when People has focus. Use TAB and SHIFT+TAB to navigate between controls and use the ARROW keys to navigate in list boxes. Pressing the APPLICATIONS key while focused on an item will open a context menu containing additional actions you can perform.
When typing in the Search edit field, such as when searching for a particular contact, JAWS will automatically announce and show in braille whether there are results or not. When typing a tweet, JAWS will automatically announce and show in braille the number of characters entered as Twitter messages have a maximum limit of 140 characters.
You can now perform a five-finger triple tap on your computer's touch screen to exit JAWS. This is similar to pressing INSERT+F4 on the keyboard.
A new lookup source has been added to Research It that enables you to obtain progress and delivery status for packages shipped through the United States Postal Service.
- Press INSERT+SPACEBAR, R to open the Research It dialog box.
- In the edit combo box, enter a valid USPS tracking number and press TAB.
- Use the UP and DOWN ARROWS or first letter navigation to select USPS Tracking and press ENTER.
- After a few seconds, the Results Viewer window opens and displays the tracking information for your package. Press ESC to close the Results Viewer.
You can now press the left or right panning button along with the SPACEBAR on the Focus braille displays to pan left or right on the current line. This will allow you to see all of the text on the current line without the display wrapping to the next line.
JAWS 16 includes the following updated third-party braille drivers. These drivers are automatically installed with JAWS and are available for adding through the Synthesizer and Braille Manager as soon as the JAWS installation is complete.
- New EuroBraille drivers for the Esys and Iris braille displays.
- New HumanWare drivers for the Brailliant family of displays.
- New Optelec drivers updated for the new 640 display.
- Updated Handy Tech drivers.
Select the More Voices option from the JAWS Help menu to open the Vocalizer Expressive web page where you can download additional voices in a wide variety of languages. In prior versions of JAWS, this option was located under the web Resources submenu, but is now located near the top of the main Help menu for more convenient access.
A subset selection of Vocalizer Expressive Premium High voices will now be included on the distribution DVD. These voices can be installed by selecting the "More Voices" button on the main JAWS DVD setup screen. For the English DVD, these include:
- American English Tom
- American English Allison
- Mexican Spanish Paulina
Additional voices can be obtained by downloading them from the Vocalizer Expressive Voices web page.
If a problem with an application causes JAWS to become unresponsive and the JAWS process has not resumed after approximately 15 seconds, JAWS will automatically restart after approximately 30 seconds.
The following is a list of improvements made between the JAWS 16 June 2015 release and the July 2015 update.
To download the latest release, visit the Downloads page.
- Fixed an issue in Windows Live Mail that was introduced in the June update where JAWS was speaking information unrelated to the email you were composing or reading.
- JAWS will install and run correctly with Windows 10 releases. JAWS 16.0.4350 is the first build targeted for use in Windows 10. Anyone planning on updating must first update to this build or higher.
- Resolved an issue where Research It was not yielding any results in the Wikipedia lookup source.
- Resolved a reported issue related to the JAWS Function: GetAccessibleSelectionFromContext.
The following is a list of improvements made between the JAWS 16 May 2015 release and the June 2015 update.
- Addressed issues with JAWS unexpectedly exiting Forms Mode while editing or navigating in HTML ARIA multiline edit fields.
- Text entered into the Search Box in the Windows 7 Start menu is now shown in braille.
- Addressed reported issues with characters not being entered as expected when typing rapidly using a braille display.
- Resolved issues with using speech in a JAWS Remote Desktop connection.
- Addressed reported Research It issues where links in the Weather lookup source could sometimes not be activated and extraneous text was being displayed with results in the Wikipedia lookup source. We are continuing to work on resolving the MLB Scores issues.
- Addressed a reported issue where the Braille Viewer utility would not run if JAWS was started using the /default command line switch, which is used for troubleshooting. Braille Viewer allows a sighted person to see what is on the user's braille display by displaying the JAWS braille output on the screen.
- When the Allow Web Application Reserved Keystrokes option is enabled, assigned punctuation characters are now passed to Facebook as expected. For instance, pressing SHIFT+SLASH for a question mark will now open the Keyboard Shortcut Help dialog on the Facebook web site.
- Addressed an issue reported by a customer using the Eloquence synthesizer where the Keyboard voice was still set to English - United States even though the profile was set to use English - United Kingdom for all contexts.
- JAWS now correctly announces the Windows 8.1 Start button as a button instead of a list box.
- Resolved a customer reported issue with the Say Word command, INSERT+NUM PAD 5, not working as expected in Windows Explorer.
- Resolved an issue with JAWS not working correctly in edit combo boxes when the Windows language settings are configured for Hebrew.
- Updated the JAWS dictionary to improve the pronunciation of "live view." Additionally, improved how Vocalizer Expressive pronounces different combinations of characters, such as a letter followed by a number.
- Worked with Adobe on solving issues with the OCR of PDF documents in the new Acrobat Reader DC. Adobe will release an update to Acrobat Reader DC soon that is working as expected with JAWS 16.
- An issue was reported where JAWS appeared to become unresponsive for several seconds when attempting to select and copy text from a very large document. This has been corrected and copying text from large documents should now be instantaneous.
- The ALT+UP ARROW keystroke now closes a combo box in Chrome without the need to first use the Pass Key Through command (INSERT+3).
- Resolved an issue where the label for multiline edit fields was being shown at the beginning of each line on the braille display in Google docs.
- Addressed an issue where information was not being displayed correctly in braille for spreadsheets containing hidden columns when the braille mode was set to Current Row.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Pressing ENTER on submenu items on Outlook.com now activates the item.
- Resolved issues with JAWS not detecting changes in certain ARIA live regions.
- If a page does not contain a main region, you are now told there is no main region on the page when using Navigation Quick Key Q to move to the main region.
- The error message that is heard when using Navigation Quick Key C on a page that does not contain combo boxes, list views, or tree views, has been updated to also mention ARIA controls. Navigation Quick Key C also moves to ARIA role tabs.
- The Virtual HTML Features dialog box (INSERT+F3), which allows you to select the type of HTML element list you want to view, now includes a "Controls (Selectable ARIA, combo, lists, and trees) List" item.
- Addressed a customer reported issue with JAWS not correctly announcing the notification bar when pressing ENTER on a download link. Information about the Notification Bar is now also shown on the braille display as a flash message.
- Resolved an issue where INSERT+UP ARROW to read the current line was not reading the contents of an edit field in Forms Mode.
- Resolved an issue where attempting to change the keyboard language was not working if a braille display was connected.
- Addressed an issue reported by the Department of Veterans Affairs with JAWS becoming unresponsive and restarting while attempting to read certain messages.
- When selecting a profile, a customer reported JAWS double speaking the profile name. This has been fixed.
- When entering email recipients and you are connected to an Exchange server, JAWS now automatically reads the information bar that is displayed if a recipient is out of the office or they have configured an automatic reply. This was requested by the CNIB in Canada.
- Addressed a reported issue with reading all-day appointments in Outlook 2013.
- Resolved an issue where the currently selected item in the message list was not being spoken after closing a message or dialog box.
- Addressed an issue with braille not working as expected after moving a message to another folder.
- Addressed a customer reported issue where the correct window title was not being read after switching to another folder.
- Resolved an issue with reading certain text boxes navigated to using the Inline Objects dialog box (CTRL+SHIFT+O).
- As requested by a customer, pressing CTRL+ALT+NUM PAD 5 in a table now only reads the current cell if no column or row titles have been defined.
- JAWS now announces and shows in braille the current state of the Hide/Browse button in the Save As dialog box.
- Addressed a situation reported by a customer where speech and braille were lost when attempting to create a bulleted list in Word 2010.
- In Word 2010, resolved a reported issue where JAWS focus was not returning to the document after selecting a word from the Synonyms menu.
- A customer reported that the commands to read the previous or next sentence (ALT+UP ARROW and ALT+DOWN ARROW) were not working as expected when focused on the first or last paragraph in a document. This is now fixed.
- After selecting an item from a combo box or toggling the state of a check box in a form in Word 2013, addressed an issue where JAWS was repeating the control info multiple times when focus returned to the document.
- Resolved an issue where the page title was not always being spoken correctly on dynamic web pages.
- To help eliminate any possible confusion, long labels on radio buttons, check boxes, and buttons that exceed the specified line length for the Virtual Cursor will no longer wrap to multiple lines.
- Resolved an issue with Forms Mode not working as expected after using the ALT+DOWN ARROW keystroke to open a combo box.
- JAWS now speaks the selected text when you attempt to select the contents of a table cell in some web-based editors.
- When using the Select a Form Field dialog box (INSERT+F5) to move to a specific form field, resolved an issue where JAWS was not automatically reading the field prompt when focus moved to it.
- Improved JAWS performance with ARIA slider controls so the correct left/right orientation is indicated.
- Improved JAWS performance when navigating large messages. In addition, JAWS no longer reads the selected item twice after deleting a message.
As a result of our automatic error reporting feature pointing out an issue, we were able to post this intermediate update to improve stability.
The following is a list of improvements made between the JAWS 16 release on April 9, 2015, and the April 29, 2015 update.
- For customers who use JAWS 16 and MAGic 13 together, we resolved an issue that was discovered in the previous update where MAGic's Mouse Echo feature was not working as expected when JAWS 16 was running.
- Worked with Smarter Balance Testing group in order to make some adjustments in how JAWS is working with the tests being conducted in many of the schools throughout the US.
- In addition to detecting math that is rendered using MathJax in Internet Explorer, JAWS now detects Math content that is directly included in the HTML of a web page in both Internet Explorer and Firefox.
- The contents of the Math Viewer are now displayed visually on the screen. The Math Viewer is accessed by pressing ENTER when JAWS encounters math content on a web page. As the equation is navigated using the ARROW keys, each expression or partial expression is highlighted so a sighted assistant can easily track visually, what JAWS is speaking.
- Based on customer feedback, JAWS is now much more responsive when reading long and complex mathematical expressions rendered by MathJax.
- Resolved a reported issue where JAWS was not recognizing math content in Internet Explorer on Wikipedia when the Wikipedia user account was set to render math using MathJax.
- Improved how JAWS pronounces various mathematical functions so they are spoken using more natural language.
- The Technology News from CNET Research It lookup source now works as it did in JAWS 15, displaying as many as 20 articles.
- If both JAWS and MAGic are running, resolved an issue where pressing the Text Viewer toggle key on the MAGic Keyboard was not working.
- Resolved reported issues using the Find feature (CTRL+F) in FSReader.
- A customer reported that if focus was in a Windows security dialog and speech was off, braille was not working as expected and JAWS was creating several untitled voice profiles. This is now fixed.
- When focused in the Font edit combo box, addressed a reported issue where the location of the cursor was not being shown in braille.
- Resolved a reported issue where JAWS was not reading the list of column headers in the Sort dialog box.
- Addressed a reported issue with suggestions in the spell checker not being read as expected.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
- If you are inside an application region on a web page in both Internet Explorer and Firefox, it is now necessary to press the PC cursor command (NUM PAD PLUS) twice quickly to turn off Forms mode and return to the Virtual PC cursor. This change was made to keep users from inadvertently leaving Forms mode while interacting with controls inside application regions which require Forms mode remain active and is similar to having to press the PC cursor command twice quickly to turn off the Touch cursor.
- Resolved issues with JAWS reading links and other content on web pages marked as hidden and not meant to be read by screen readers.
- Resolved an issue where changes to the Graphical Links setting were not being saved when configured through the Personalized Web Settings group in Quick Settings.
- When navigating the tree view of folders in Outlook 2010, resolved an issue where the number of unread messages in the selected folder was not being announced automatically by JAWS.
- Resolved an issue with the last message in an Outlook 2013 folder being announced and shown in braille even after deleting the message.
- Addressed a customer reported issue with the keystrokes to read header information not working as expected in Calendar appointments. These keystrokes include ALT+1 for the From field, ALT+2 for the Sent field, ALT+3 for the To field, and so on.
- Resolved a reported issue where the number of unread messages in the selected folder was not being shown in braille in the Go to Folder dialog box.
- Resolved issues with JAWS not reading as expected in Word 2013 when using CTRL+UP or DOWN ARROW to read by paragraph, ALT+UP or DOWN ARROW to read by sentence, and ALT+CTRL+ARROW keys to navigate in tables.
- If the fields in a Word form contain F1 help, resolved an issue where JAWS would speak the entire prompt for the current form field every time a character was typed. This only occurred in Word 2013.
- JAWS will now read as expected when encountering an Excel spreadsheet embedded in a Word document.
- Resolved an issue with JAWS not spelling the selected item in the Suggestions list in the Word 2013 Proofing pane. The INSERT+F7 command to read and spell the current suggestion now also works as expected when focused in the list of suggestions.
- Resolved an issue reported by customers in Spain using Word 2007 where search results were not being spoken automatically by JAWS.
- Resolved an issue where the message indicating that a document contains headers or footers was not being shown in braille.
- Improved JAWS detection of headings that are inside table captions.
- Addressed a situation where an ARIA region on a web page could appear blank after a page update.
- Addressed an issue with JAWS not detecting changes in the language on combo boxes.
- In response to a customer, pressing INSERT+F in Firefox to receive font information will now indicate web loaded fonts.
- Addressed a customer reported issue with JAWS not reading the table of contents section of an RTF file opened in WordPad.
- A customer reported an issue with JAWS not reading web addresses in WordPad. This is now resolved.
The following is a list of improvements made between the JAWS 16 January 2015 release and the April 2015 update.
- Found and resolved issues related to using Google Docs where JAWS would unexpectedly exit Application mode and place the user in different locations when navigating across headings or interacting with iframes. With these fixes, we expect much better results using JAWS with Google Docs.
- After meetings with Amazon during the CSUN 2015 convention, it was learned that the lookup source used by our Research It feature which allows JAWS and MAGic customers to shop on Amazon will soon be unavailable. Additionally, some customers have reported problems with the Amazon product search displaying incomplete results. Based on this feedback, we have changed the way Research It accesses the Amazon Shopping site which will avoid any interruptions and addresses current customer issues.
- A new setting, Allow Web Application Reserved Keystrokes, is available for interactive web sites that offer hot keys to perform various tasks, but conflict with JAWS keystrokes. For example, on the Facebook site, you can press P to post a status, L to like a story, C to comment on a story, or J and K to scroll between News Feed stories, however, these keys conflict with JAWS Navigation Quick Keys. Turning this option on through Settings Center or Quick settings will allow any JAWS keystrokes that are also defined as hot keys by a web site to perform the site specific task instead of the JAWS command.
- Addressed issues with JAWS treating HTML ARIA Multiline edits as single line edits. This caused problems for Braille Users because you remained in structured mode when navigating the lines of text.
- If you do a full install of JAWS 16.0.2136 or later, the JAWS remote access client is now enabled by default during a Typical installation. This allows anyone with JAWS remote access authorization to simply install JAWS and immediately begin using Remote Desktop and have speech and braille access. If you install through Check for Updates and JAWS Remote Access is currently not installed, you will be prompted to install the remote access components when you attempt to establish a remote access connection.
- When using Research It to lookup sports scores and schedules, it was discovered that abbreviations for certain teams were being displayed in the Results Viewer instead of the full name of the team. For instance, if you press INSERT+SPACEBAR, R, press TAB to move to the list of lookup sources, and select NHL Scores, instead of reading "TB at WSH," it will now read "Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals."
- For users who run both JAWS and MAGic, numerous changes have been made to ensure JAWS works seamlessly with the recently released MAGic 13.
- Addressed an issue for a customer in France where a WPF application at a job site that reported information using data templates caused issues for how JAWS processed the information in UI Automation, which led to JAWS not reporting the on-screen information as expected.
- Certain Government Agencies have reported issues where their Citrix or Terminal Server connections using JAWS would unexpectedly drop because JAWS was checking its authorization too often to make certain it should still be working. We greatly expanded the time between these checks so this should not be occurring in the future.
- In response to customer feedback, performing the layered command INSERT+SPACEBAR, T now only activates the table layer when focus is inside a table.
- When using a braille display in Line Mode to navigate a long list of files in Windows Explorer, resolved a long standing issue where the display would unexpectedly go blank when the window scrolled.
- Addressed an issue with the Stock Quotes Research It lookup source not displaying any results if a particular stock was not specified. If you press INSERT+SPACEBAR, R and select Stock Quotes from the list of lookup sources without entering a stock, only the Dow Jones and S&P500 are displayed.
- When attempting to perform a layered command from the keyboard of a braille display and JAWS braille translation is set to Input and Output, resolved an issue where characters were being entered into the document.
- When using Research It to search for an entry on Wikipedia and the term was not found, addressed an issue where a link to an empty page was being displayed in the Results Viewer.
- Addressed a reported issue with navigating using the JAWS cursor not working as expected when Active Follows Braille is enabled.
- Addressed issues reported to us by the CNIB regarding working with the web based CNIB store.
- When establishing a connection to another computer using the JAWS Tandem feature, addressed an issue with keystrokes performed on the controller system not always getting passed through to the target system.
- Addressed issues with JAWS not properly announcing tree views in Java applications.
- Addressed a reported issue where Excel 2013 would become unresponsive when attempting to move a row using JAWS.
- When editing a cell and you press any of the keystrokes for toggling attributes such as CTRL+B for bolding text, a long standing issue was resolved where JAWS was announcing "off" even though the attribute was on.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Resolved an ARIA issue regarding how JAWS should report and read non-interactive lists while navigating HTML pages.
- Resolved an issue reported by customers in Spain where link descriptions which are spoken messages, were also displayed in Braille by default, which takes up extra real estate on the display. These descriptions are no longer included by default when navigating with a braille display in structured mode. Users can still change it in the Settings Center if they choose.
- JAWS now correctly announces the text and background colors on web pages when using the INSERT+5 command. This was also addressed in Firefox.
- JAWS now announces "required" for check boxes that are marked as required using HTML5 or ARIA. This has been addressed for both Internet Explorer and Firefox.
- Resolved an issue reported by Florida Division of blind services where the JAWS feature to save Personalized Web Settings failed to save as expected on a particular URL on their site.
- Resolved an issue where iframes, with either a width or height set to zero, were not being read correctly by JAWS. This was observed on the Microsoft Windows 10 Preview web site.
- Resolved an issue with the Categories list box in Outlook 2010 where JAWS was not indicating if a list item was checked.
- Addressed a customer reported issue where JAWS was not reading as expected in the dialog box used to insert an Outlook item.
- If the Contacts view in Outlook 2013 was set to Card view, resolved an issue where JAWS was not announcing the currently selected contact as you navigated.
- In Outlook 2013, pressing the ALT key in conjunction with a key on the number row twice quickly now moves focus to the specific field as expected. For instance, ALT+3 twice quickly moves you to the To field, ALT+5 twice quickly moves you to the Subject field, and so on.
- Resolved a reported issue with JAWS not reading as expected in some Word 2013 documents using CTRL+DOWN ARROW to read by paragraphs.
- Improved JAWS reporting of colors when using the INSERT+F command to hear font information and the INSERT+5 command to hear the foreground and background colors.
- Resolved an issue where Word was closing unexpectedly in some instances when typing in a form field that was moved to using the F11 keystroke.
- If Active Follows Braille and Braille Follows Active are both enabled, a customer reported that when using the braille display controls to move through a document, JAWS would speak as well as move the display. This is now resolved.
- JAWS now properly reads controls contained inside edit fields when navigating with TAB or SHIFT+TAB.
- Addressed reported issues with words containing umlauts or accented characters not being read correctly by JAWS. This was observed primarily on international versions of Windows.
- JAWS now correctly identifies toggle buttons on web pages when Forms Mode is active.
- Addressed reported issues with JAWS not reading as expected in address fields.
- If a message is deleted while focus is in the preview area, addressed a reported issue where the contents of the Thunderbird title bar were being spoken prior to the subject and contents of the next message.
- The Skype hot keys to answer or end a call, ALT+PAGE UP and ALT+PAGE DOWN, now work correctly from the message list in Outlook 2013.
The following is a list of improvements made between the JAWS 16 December 2014 release and the January 2015 update.
- In response to reports from the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as other federal agencies in the United States and Europe, resolved issues with using JAWS 16 with Microsoft Lync 2010 and 2013.
- Addressed an issue reported by several customers where the virtual buffer would suddenly appear blank while navigating a web page in Internet Explorer.
- Firefox users can now use Contracted Braille input when typing text into edit fields on web pages. This is especially beneficial in academic testing environments, such as Smarter Balance Testing, that only use Firefox as their testing platform.
- Addressed numerous issues that were submitted to Freedom Scientific through the JAWS Error Reporting feature.
- Resolved an issue with the People Search Research It lookup source not returning any results.
- A customer reported issues when attempting to modify the voice profile for the DECTalk USB synthesizer. This has been resolved.
- Addressed issues with the JAWS Command Search not locating certain commands as expected. For example, Read Speaker's Notes (CTRL+SHIFT+N) in PowerPoint, and List Spelling Errors (ALT+SHIFT+L) in Word.
- A customer reported that if the Table Layer (INSERT+SPACEBAR, T) is active, pressing CTRL+P to play or stop audio in FSReader was exiting the layer. Now, pressing CTRL+P to play and stop audio, as well as CTRL+COMMA and CTRL+PERIOD to rewind or fast forward, will no longer exit the Table Layer.
- Resolved an issue where JAWS would say "read-only edit" each time the ARROW keys were pressed to move by character or word in certain types of read-only edit fields.
- Addressed an issue where Convenient OCR was not working as expected when JAWS 16 was installed on a system with a Spanish version of OpenBook.
- An issue was resolved where attempting to install a French Canadian update for JAWS using Check for Updates was not working. French Canadian users can now use Check for Updates to install the JAWS 16 January update.
- Addressed an issue with the virtual ribbon not being spoken in the Polish version of Microsoft Office.
- Addressed an issue with the current cell coordinates not being displayed correctly in braille Structured Mode when a column or row is hidden.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Resolved an issue where JAWS would become sluggish while typing in the Search edit field on Google.com.
- An issue was reported where Internet Explorer would intermittently stop working unexpectedly on web pages with JAWS running. This has been addressed.
- Resolved an issue with Google Docs searchable menus where JAWS was not reading newly selected items. This was observed with Internet Explorer 10 and later.
- If INSERT+ESC was pressed to refresh the screen while focused in a message folder in Outlook 2010, resolved an issue where you could no longer move to items in the message list using standard navigation commands.
- Resolved issues navigating the Phone view of the Contacts list in Outlook 2010.
- Resolved an issue where you could not use the ARROW keys to review a link inserted in the body of a new message.
- Resolved an issue where JAWS was reading cross reference fields in a document as a series of numbers instead of the actual text of the cross reference.
- Addressed a customer reported issue where JAWS was reading extraneous text when encountering a citation in Word 2013.
- If Typing Echo is set to Characters, addressed a reported issue with the HOME and END keys not being announced when pressed.
- Improved JAWS performance with tables that use ARIA.
- Addressed an issue with JAWS not always reading ARIA labels on menus.
Intuit’s Quicken team has been working to increase the accessibility of Quicken 15 for Windows. You will find many improvements in keyboard functionality and object identification in this latest version. During this process, Intuit also updated the existing JAWS scripts for Quicken to further increase functionality. While these script updates were made for Quicken 15, they should work with prior versions as well.
These updated scripts offer the following improvements:
- When focused on the Account list, Bills and Income reminders, or Account register screens, press CTRL+1 to read the list row data along with headers.
- JAWS now reads the field header and cell value as you move from one field to another on the Account Register screen.
- Removed the double reading of the cell value on the Account Register screen.
Please note the following limitations:
- JAWS can only read what is visible on the screen.
- JAWS sometimes reads the next column value for the current cell if the cell isn't wide enough. This is a limitation - due to small column widths.
- Since the scripts are written based on coordinates, they will not work correctly if column header values are spanned across rows.
- JAWS is not reading the balance column value on the Account Register Screen.
- Resolved issues with JAWS not always speaking as expected when navigating around the main window in Skype 7.
- A customer reported that it was taking approximately 14 seconds for JAWS to respond after performing a reading command in the main edit window of WordPerfect X7 in Windows 8.1. This is now resolved.
The following is a list of improvements made between the initial JAWS 16 release and the December 2014 update.
- You can now select text using a braille display in various edit and document windows without the text being selected having to remain visible on the screen. For example, if you are using a Focus display, press the LEFT SHIFT along with a cursor router at the location where you want the selection to begin, navigate through the document or web page, and then press the LEFT SHIFT along with a cursor router again at the location where you want to end the selection. All text between these two locations is selected regardless whether all the text is visible on the screen or not.
- This update contains new drivers from Papenmeier which support their new Braillex Live series of braille displays.
- Resolved an issue encountered in multiple web browsers on various web pages where HTML source code was being read by JAWS in the virtual buffer, even though visually, the web page looked normal.
- Pressing the LEFT SHIFT or RIGHT SHIFT button on a Focus braille display now silences speech similar to pressing CTRL on a QWERTY keyboard.
- Updated the Bookshare Book Search Research It lookup source to work with the latest changes to the Bookshare.org web site.
- Addressed a customer reported issue with the Time Search Research It lookup source not displaying the current time for the specified location.
- If JAWS contracted braille translation is set to both input and output, the Computer Braille start symbol, dots 4-5-6 followed by dots 3-4-6, is now shown on the braille display in addition to the "computer braille" message being announced to indicate when only Computer Braille can be entered into an edit field.
- When using a braille display with JAWS in Structured Mode, resolved an issue where it was sometimes necessary to pan left to read the information associated with a control, such as the name of a button or contents of an edit field, even if it all fit on the display.
- Resolved multiple issues with configuring punctuation levels for individual languages in a voice profile using the Voice Adjustment dialog box as well as changing the punctuation level through Settings Center.
- In response to customer feedback, improved JAWS performance with MathML expressions containing multiple tables.
- Resolved an issue where the wrong colors were being reported when pressing INSERT+5 in WordPad.
- Pressing INSERT+T in WordPad in Windows 8.1 now speaks the window title as expected.
- Addressed a customer reported issue with the Theophilos Bible program where JAWS was not automatically reading the selected item when navigating the combo box to choose a book.
- When using CTRL+WINDOWS Key+ALT+PAGE UP or CTRL+WINDOWS Key+ALT+PAGE DOWN to permanently increase or decrease the speech rate, addressed an issue where JAWS was not saying "faster" or "slower."
- A customer reported that when reading certain abbreviated words containing periods, such as Mr. and Mrs., JAWS was incorrectly speaking the period. This has been resolved.
- On the Windows 8 Logon screen, resolved an issue where "password" was being announced three times when the Password field gained focus.
- Addressed a customer reported issue where JAWS would not read as expected in the calendar that can be accessed from the System Tray by pressing SPACEBAR on the clock.
- When installing an application that uses a Nullsoft Install System installer, an issue was resolved where JAWS would not announce the checked or unchecked state of items when asked to choose the components to install. This occurred on 64-bit versions of Windows.
- In Windows 8.1, an issue was addressed where JAWS would not always speak the correct window title in Windows Explorer while navigating with TAB and SHIFT+TAB.
- When pressing INSERT+DOWN ARROW to begin a Say All, resolved an issue where there was sometimes and extra-long pause before JAWS began reading. This was primarily observed in applications like NotePad, WordPad, and HJPad.
- When using Settings Center to configure the punctuation level for Vocalizer Expressive and SAPI 5 voices for languages other than English, resolved an issue where the current voice rate and volume were not retained.
- Addressed a reported issue with the German release of JAWS where Alva braille displays were not being listed in the Synthesizer and Braille Manager.
- In the Voice Adjustment dialog box, when navigating in the Synthesizer Language combo box with Eloquence as the selected profile, resolved a reported issue where German was not being pronounced correctly.
IBM Lotus Notes
- Improved JAWS performance with the IBM Lotus Notes Browser Plugin.
- If an image in an Excel document includes alt text and you press CTRL+SHIFT+O to open a list of all shapes on the current worksheet, resolved an issue where the alt text associated with the image was not being read by JAWS.
- JAWS no longer says there are no charts on the worksheet when INSERT+ALT+C is pressed on a worksheet containing multiple charts. If a worksheet contains multiple charts, pressing this keystroke now says how many charts are available and to use the CTRL+SHIFT+O keystroke to select one.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Addressed ARIA issues reported by the AT&T Accessibility Technology Office related to new Chat application scheduled to be released soon to AT&T customers.
- Resolved a customer reported issue with JAWS not properly reading links that contain ARIA labels.
- Improved JAWS performance when interacting with web pages that use Microsoft Silverlight.
- Addressed an issue where the Lists Identify Start and End option in the Personalized web Settings group in Quick Settings could not be turned off. This was also resolved for Firefox and Chrome.
- Updated the keyboard help messages for the INSERT+F8 keystroke which allows you to list and activate buttons on the Command Bar when enabled from the Toolbars submenu in the View Menu.
- JAWS no longer sometimes says "section minus one, page minus one" when moving into the body of a new message in Outlook 2013.
- Resolved an issue where pressing CTRL+SHIFT+M from an open message would not start a new message unless the Pass Key Through command (INSERT+3) was pressed first.
- If an HTML e-mail message contains a bulleted list, resolved an issue where copying selected list items to the clipboard would copy the entire message instead.
- Resolved an issue where, in certain circumstances, text was not always being shown on the braille Display in Microsoft Word 2010.
- Addressed an issue with JAWS not reading as expected in various edit fields in the Property Editor pane.
- Resolved an issue with CTRL+PAGE UP and CTRL+PAGE DOWN not moving to the previous or next page as expected after you move to a heading using the Heading List dialog box (INSERT+F6).
- Improved how bookmarks in word are displayed in braille when Bookmark Detection is enabled in Quick Settings.
- If a document contains revisions with Track Changes enabled, resolved an issue with braille not tracking properly after moving over and past deleted or revised text.
- When SHIFT+ENTER is pressed to insert a blank line after a line of text, an issue was addressed where JAWS would not recognize the blank line until SHIFT+ENTER was pressed a second time.
- When entering a password to access a protected Word form and typing echo is set to characters, addressed an issue where JAWS was echoing the characters being typed instead of saying "*" as expected.
- Resolved an issue where JAWS would not detect fields in a document when navigating by character.
- When the Next Search Result button is activated during a document search, resolved an issue where JAWS was not automatically speaking the next result.
- In Word 2013, if Track Changes are enabled in a document containing revisions, but the document view is set to No Markup which displays a final view of the document without showing revisions, addressed a reported issue where JAWS was not reading correctly.
- Resolved an issue with braille not tracking properly when typing text into a table in Word 2013.
- If a menu is attached to a button on a web page using the aria-owns attribute, resolved an issue where the menu items were not being shown in the virtual buffer when the button was activated.
- Addressed an issue with activating tabs on certain web pages, such as the settings page on plus.google.com.
- In the Links List dialog box (INSERT+F7), JAWS now indicates "unavailable" for links that are disabled using ARIA.
- If a web page element uses ARIA role="dialog" and the dialog has a name, addressed an issue where JAWS was not automatically reading the name when the dialog gained focus.
- Addressed an issue where using SHIFT+R to move through the previous regions on a web page would sometimes skip a region.
- A customer reported that JAWS responsiveness was slow when attempting to access the results of a search on a particular web site. This is now resolved.
- If you choose Buttons List from the Virtual HTML Features dialog box (INSERT+F3), JAWS would sometimes display a message stating that this feature is only available in a virtual document. This has been resolved.
- Addressed an issue where the currently selected item in certain combo boxes was not being shown in braille when the combo box first gained focus.
- Improved access to the text in various Thunderbird and Firefox dialog boxes. When a dialog box opens, JAWS Automatically reads the title and the current control that has focus. Now, pressing INSERT+B will more reliably read the text of the dialog box as it does in other applications.
- When using the ARROW keys to read messages in the chat history, resolved an issue where longer messages were not being completely read by JAWS.
- Addressed an issue with incoming messages not always being read automatically as expected in the latest version of Skype.
Question: If I download the JAWS 16 release from the web, should I install JAWS from the DVD when I receive it?
Answer: No. However, you should check for updates by pressing ALT+H from the JAWS program window, and then pressing P to select Check for Updates.
Question: If I wait until my DVD arrives to install JAWS 16, should I also download the version that is available on the web?
Answer: No, but once you have installed JAWS 16 from the DVD, you should check for updates by pressing ALT+H from the JAWS program window, and then pressing P to select Check for Updates.
Question: Should I remove my existing version of JAWS before installing the new JAWS 16?
Answer: This is not necessary and many users choose to keep multiple versions on their system. Once you find that you are no longer using the prior version, and everything is working well with the new version, you may uninstall the old version but do not remove shared components.
Question: If I recently received JAWS 15, how do I get JAWS 16?
Answer: If you purchased JAWS 15 after September 1, 2014, you can download the JAWS 16 release for free from the Freedom Scientific web site. To verify if you are entitled to the current version, visit the Freedom Scientific Software Activation page. You will need your serial number.
Question: If my SMA expires, will I receive a notice?
Answer: Customers in the U.S. will receive notification in the mail shortly after the JAWS 16 DVD arrives. The envelope will have a braille label on the outside, and it will contain an SMA Renewal letter explaining the process in print and braille. You can also renew your SMA online using the Upgrade and SMA Renewal Pricing Information page on the Freedom Scientific web site.