This page describes the new features and improvements available in JAWS 14.
- Choose JAWS download links to go directly to the download links on this page.
- For a complete list of enhancements made in this release, including the most recent update, see JAWS 14 Enhancements.
- Listen to Eric Damery, Vice President of Software Product Management, introduce and demonstrate the exciting features available in JAWS 14 in the August 2012 FSCast.
- Listen to Eric Damery and Jonathan Mosen demonstrate Flexible Web in the September 2012 FSCast.
- To access all of the FREE JAWS 14 Training material in DAISY or MP3 format, visit the Freedom Scientific Training Downloads page.
- To read about features and updates made in earlier JAWS releases, see Previous JAWS Enhancements.
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.
To learn more about using Flexible Web, refer to the Flexible Web help topic in the JAWS online help (f1).
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.
While navigating a virtualized message, you can:
- Activate links in the message by navigating to them and pressing ENTER.
- Obtain a list of links, headings, tables, and graphics in the message as you would on a Web page.
- Use Navigation Quick Keys to move to various elements in a message. For instance, use P and SHIFT+P to read by paragraph.
- Route the JAWS or Invisible Cursor to the approximate location of the Virtual Cursor where possible.
- Select text and copy it to the Clipboard.
If you want to view the actual layout of a message as it appears on the screen, turn off the Use Virtual Cursor for Read-only Messages option in Quick Settings (INSERT+V) for Outlook.
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.
To download these voices, go to the Vocalizer Direct Voices Web page. Each voice can be downloaded as high premium or premium. The high premium voices are large files, but offer the highest quality speech. The premium voices offer very good speech quality and a smaller file size. Both high premium and premium versions of a voice can be installed on the same computer so they can be compared. After installing a voice, a Vocalizer Direct profile will be added to the list of JAWS voice profiles.
Note: All the Vocalizer Direct voices will be supported in future versions of MAGic and OpenBook. Install them now for JAWS, and these other products will take advantage of them in the future without the need to install again.
Freedom Scientific has been working closely with the Microsoft Windows team over the past year and we have made the necessary changes in JAWS 14 in order to make the Windows 8 experience a very smooth transition. JAWS will perform with all your familiar applications used in Windows 7 or XP with a few exceptions, outlined below. When using the new Windows 8 Start Screen, or the new style apps such as e-mail, browser, calendar, or even the store to shop for Apps, you will find JAWS 14 really makes it a smooth transition for experienced JAWS users and very easy to learn for first-time users. You can also install the new Vocalizer Direct voices and use them with JAWS on Windows 8.
Windows 8 Start Screen and Search Tool Support
When you press the WINDOWS Key, the Start screen opens. This replaces the Start menu from prior versions of Windows. Each program is represented by a tile. Navigation of the tiles of the Start Screen is supported. As you navigate with the ARROW keys, you will hear the name of the tile gaining focus, the row and column of the tile, and expanded state of the tile. Expanded means that the tile takes up twice the space as a standard tile. This is necessary because columns may be skipped when navigating when a tile is twice the width of a standard tile. If you navigate to another group of tiles, JAWS plays a sound to indicate when you have switched groups. You can also simply begin typing the name of the application you want to quickly move to it.
The Search Charm (Search edit box) is activated as soon as you begin typing text after opening the Start Screen by pressing the WINDOWS Key. If you press TAB, you move to the Search Categories list. Pressing UP or DOWN ARROW speaks the name of each category and its position. When you press SHIFT+TAB to move to the Search Results pane, the name of the focused result is announced followed by its position. As you navigate in the Search Results pane using the ARROW keys, the name and position are both indicated.
Screen Sensitive Help (INSERT+F1) is provided at all these points offering navigation tips and warnings.
A few useful keystrokes specific to Windows 8 include:
- WINDOWS Key+Q: Places you in the edit field for searching your applications. Note that while on the Start Screen, simply beginning to type moves you into this same edit field.
- WINDOWS Key+F: Places you in the edit field for searching your Files.
- WINDOWS Key+W: Places you in the edit field for searching your Windows 8 Settings.
- WINDOWS Key+I: Places you in the Settings Charm.
- WINDOWS Key+C: Places you in the Charms.
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.
The main change is that the JAWS and Invisible Cursors no longer have an unrestricted mode in Windows 8. In other words, it is not possible to review the contents of multiple applications at the same time. These cursors are restricted to the contents of the current application or dialog box. In addition, due to Microsoft changes, the title bar of each window cannot be read by the JAWS or Invisible Cursor. To read the window title, use the INSERT+T command.
Just like earlier versions of Windows, there are some applications that render their contents to the screen in such a way that only the PC Cursor will report information about them.
JAWS now combines the power of Results Viewer with the Clipboard. If you have copied some text to the Clipboard, pressing the layered keystroke INSERT+SPACEBAR, C will display the contents of the Clipboard in the Results Viewer. This offers you a wide range of flexibility with managing copied data, allowing you the opportunity to copy and paste it into multiple locations.
For example, you could use CTRL+C to copy text to the Clipboard, then use INSERT+WINDOWS Key+C to append text to the Clipboard from other sources. Once you have added all of the text you want, press INSERT+SPACEBAR, C to display the Clipboard contents in the Results Viewer. At this point, you can choose any portion of the text in the Results Viewer window and copy it to the clipboard. Once you do this, the clipboard text is overwritten and the text previously collected is no longer associated with the clipboard. However, the text is still available in the Results Viewer, as long as that window stays open. This means you can repeatedly copy any text to the clipboard and paste it wherever you want.
The Text Analyzer, a tool which can be used to notify you of inconsistencies in a document such as mismatched parentheses, unintentional format changes, extra whitespace, and stray or missing punctuation, has been improved to provide even more information about font changes. When scanning a document for errors, the Text Analyzer can now identify inconsistencies with the font name, size, color, and attributes, such as bold, italic, or underline.
To configure what font changes are identified, go to the Text Analyzer page in Settings Center, navigate to the Font Changes to Check group, and select or clear one or more of the check boxes. By default, Text Analyzer will identify all font changes.
Text Analyzer is also now more language aware. If you have created a document in another language, for instance, Spanish, and the correct language code has been used to identify the document as being in another language, Text Analyzer will apply the correct language rules when analyzing the document for errors.
You can now select text between a temporary PlaceMarker and the current position in HTML environments.
Already used in Word, this method of selecting text is often easier than attempting to use SHIFT in conjunction with the ARROW keys to select large blocks of text. For instance, use CTRL+WINDOWS Key+K to set a temporary PlaceMarker on a Web page, then move to another location on the page. Press the layered keystroke INSERT+SPACEBAR, M to then select the text between the temporary PlaceMarker and current location. The text is then available for copying to the Clipboard.
In JAWS 12, a feature was added that allowed previously inaccessible windowless flash objects to become accessible. This allowed JAWS users to be less dependent on page designers that may or may not remember to make Flash accessible. In addition, some sites contain windowless flash objects that were declared as windowless flash in order to hide objects that only affect the presentation of the page like a background picture, an icon inserted to accentuate document content, etc. All these items were invisible to users prior to JAWS 12. Now, as you navigate in the virtual buffer, you hear only "Flash start", "Flash end", or "Flash start", "graphic ###", "Flash end." As you navigate, you may also hear "frame start", "frame end" since Web pages also sometimes contain empty frames, which can be used to improve the visual layout of the page.
JAWS 14 filters out these unnecessary flash and frame objects to help make reading in the virtual buffer as smooth as possible. JAWS will no longer announce the start and end of flash and frame objects if the only object inside flash is a graphic or button, or if the flash or frame object is empty.
If you press INSERT+F9 for a list of frames, empty frames are not included in the list. Also, pressing Navigation Quick Key M or SHIFT+M will only move to frames that contain readable content.
JAWS 14 supports all of the latest industry standard ARIA tags and elements that can be applied to Web pages. For more details on how JAWS works with ARIA, visit the Screen Reading Software Documentation page and select the JAWS Support for ARIA document.
After OCR has been applied to an unrecognizable image or text, a JAWS Find (CTRL+INSERT+F), can be used to search for recognized text.
Frequently, Web page authors will use the <hr> HTML tag to insert a line of dashes between sections of a Web page. This is called a separator. You can now press Navigation Quick Key DASH or SHIFT+DASH to move to the next or prior separator on a Web page in Internet Explorer or Firefox.
You can now use Settings Center to configure the amount of punctuation JAWS will speak in all applications. To set the punctuation level, do the following:
- Press INSERT+F2, and select Settings Center.
- Press CTRL+SHIFT+D to load the default JAWS settings.
- In the Search edit box, type "punctuation level" without the quotes.
- Press DOWN ARROW to move to Punctuation Level in the filtered search results in the tree view.
- Press SPACEBAR to choose how much punctuation you want to hear. The choices are None, Some, Most, and All.
JAWS 14 now works with 64-bit SAPI 5 voices. A SAPI 5 64-bit profile has been added to the list of default voice profiles and is available when using JAWS on a 64-bit version of Windows.
New keystrokes have been added to allow you to permanently change the voice rate on the fly. Press CTRL+WINDOWS Key+ALT+PAGE UP to increase the rate and press CTRL+WINDOWS Key+ALT+PAGE DOWN to decrease the rate. The new speech rate is saved to the active voice profile. You can still use CTRL+ALT+PAGE UP and CTRL+ALT+PAGE DOWN to temporarily change the speech rate if necessary. The rate will revert back to the last saved setting when you press ALT+TAB.
If you are using the MAGic Large Print Keyboard, pressing the dedicated speech rate keys will permanently save the new rate to the active voice profile. Pressing the speech rate keys along with the CTRL key will temporarily change the voice rate.
The command to append text to the Clipboard, WINDOWS Key+C, has changed due to conflicts with the Windows 8 operating system. The new keystroke is INSERT+WINDOWS Key+C. In Windows 8, WINDOWS Key+C opens the Charm Bar.
JAWS 14 includes a new scripting function for obtaining screen content in XML format. For more information on using this new function, refer to the Enhancements in Scripting Web page.
The following briefly describes how to download, save, and install the JAWS 14 release.
Note: If your corporate firewall prevents you from downloading files using FTP (File Transfer Protocol), use the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) links instead.
- Select the appropriate download link that appears at the end of this procedure.
- When the dialog box opens, choose Save and select a location where you can easily find the downloaded executable file.
- Run the executable and follow the talking installer.
- After installing software, always check for updates to make sure you have the latest release.
During JAWS installation, the OCR engine for Convenient OCR is automatically downloaded and installed. If you will be installing JAWS on a computer that does not have Internet access and you wish to use the Convenient OCR feature, you will also need to choose the link to download the OCR engine. Place this file in the same location as the executable before beginning the installation.
- JAWS 14.0.3005 32-bit – May 2013 English (119 MB)
- JAWS 14.0.3005 64-bit – May 2013 English (126 MB)
- JAWS 14.0.1037 USB Thumb Drive Downloads (updated JAWS 14 coming soon)
- Non-Tandem builds
- OCR Engine for Convenient OCR 32- and 64-bit compatible (84.0 MB)
To respond quickly to customer issues, Freedom Scientific provides minor software updates throughout the year. The Check for Updates feature makes it very easy to keep up with the latest JAWS enhancements. If you maintain your software as updates are published, you can download incremental updates, or patches, to your computer. If several minor releases have been published before you check for updates, you will download a full software release, which includes all minor releases up to that point. You can manually check for updates at any time, or JAWS can automatically check for updates when it starts.
To check for updates after installing a release, do the following:
- Open the JAWS application window.
- Open the Help menu.
- Select Check for Updates. The update feature determines if you have the most current release. If you do not, select one or more items from the list and then select INSTALL to begin the update. All enhancements since the initial public beta release are included in the update.
The Automatic Notification of Updates feature, which is on by default, alerts you when a software update is available. This is an easy way to maintain your software. If you decide not to install the JAWS update, you can always manually check for updates later as described in the previous section.
To turn auto notification on or off, choose Basics in the JAWS Options menu, and select or clear the Automatic Notification of Updates check box.
To try a free demo version of JAWS, select the appropriate link from the Download JAWS 14 section above and run JAWS in 40-minute demo mode.
Question: If I download the JAWS 14 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 14, should I also download the version that is available on the Web?
Answer: No, but once you have installed JAWS 14 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 14?
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 13, how do I get JAWS 14?
Answer: If you purchased JAWS 13 after September 1, 2012, you can download the JAWS 14 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 14 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. The JAWS SMA Renewal Form is also available for download from the JAWS Headquarters on the Freedom Scientific Web site.