What's New and Fixed in JAWS 4.51 Release!
Important Notice from Freedom Scientific Product Management
JAWS 4.51 is the first release of JAWS to incorporate the new video chaining element called DCM technology. DCM is a new method of interfacing with computer video information, which is how many screen readers and magnification programs gather information. GW Micro released a version of Window-Eyes using DCM in December 2002 and other companies are sure to follow. While this is an important breakthrough, it should be understood that until each company has completed its work and actually released its upgrades, installing multiple products on the same Windows NT 4, 2000, or XP operating system, is very risky and not advisable no matter the order you might install the products.
What should I consider before upgrading?
If you already have any non DCM Screen Reader or Magnifier installed (other than a Freedom Scientific product) then you should upgrade them to a DCM compatible version before attempting to install this version of JAWS. Otherwise, you should completely remove the Non DCM product before proceeding.
Can I use DCM with my existing Non DCM Screen Reader or Magnifier?
No. You will need to obtain an upgraded version of your Screen Reader or Magnifier from your vendor that supports DCM. For DCM to work properly, all of your Screen Readers or Magnifiers should be DCM compatible.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes. In the case of Freedom Scientific, we have developed our DCM technology to be backward compatible with earlier versions of JAWS, Connect Outloud, and MAGic 8.01. If you currently have these products installed, you can install the new JAWS 4.51 Release and those pre-existing products will work using the same DCM driver we are now providing. It is not advisable that you ever install older versions after newer versions however, so once you install JAWS 4.51 you should not then install an older version of JAWS, MAGic, or Connect Outloud on the same computer without completely removing the 4.51 version first.
How can I tell if my current Screen Reader or Magnifier is a DCM product?
You must get this information from the vendor that produced the software you currently have installed.
New Features and Fixes
HTML Frame Navigation
We have added Navigation Quick Keys to move quickly through the frames on a Web page. Press M to move to the next frame, and press SHIFT+M to move to the prior frame.
More Information with Read Window Title
When you use the Read Window Title command, INSERT+T, within Internet Explorer or a HTML based help system, JAWS now reads the heading of the section of the page you are in, the name of the frame you are in, and the window title.
Suppress Inline Frames
Many Web pages use
inline frames, which are embedded right within the page and display the
content of other pages. Inline frames are often used to display
Route Virtual Cursor to PC Cursor
Now you can press
INSERT+DELETE to route the Virtual Cursor to the location of the PC Cursor.
This makes using Web forms easier, and is also useful on pages
More Information for Buttons in Web Forms
Select the information JAWS speaks for buttons found in forms on Web pages. JAWS can use Title text, Screen text, ALT text, the Value attribute, or the longest string of information. Screen text is the default. Set this option permanently in Configuration Manager, HTML Options; or set it temporarily in the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog, INSERT+V.
SPACEBAR and Check Boxes and Buttons
Now you can press
SPACEBAR to toggle check boxes, select radio buttons, or activate buttons,
without entering Forms Mode. This provides the familiar feel
Virtual Cursor in Web dialogs
Now use the Virtual Cursor to move through many Web based dialogs. This provides the same functionality as on a Web page. For example, in Internet Explorer, select Help, About (ALT+H, A).
More Information for Lists on Web Pages
Now when the start of a list is announced, JAWS states the number of lists that are nested within each list For an example of this, visit the HTML Challenge.
Tabbing through Text
A Web page author
can specify the TAB order for various elements, including textual elements
such as paragraphs and headings. Now when you press TAB, JAWS
Graphics as Buttons
A Web page author
can make an image act as a button, even if the image is not part of a
form control. Now JAWS includes such images regardless of the HTML
Acronyms and Abbreviations on Web Pages
Now JAWS can read
Title text associated with acronyms and abbreviations on Web pages. To
enable this feature, open the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog, INSERT+V,
Control Prompts in Forms Mode
Now you can specify what prompt information is provided for form controls while in Forms Mode. JAWS can use the same prompt information provided when using the Virtual Cursor and using form navigation commands such as F or SHIFT+F. This provides the most accurate information for forms that are designed using correct HTML coding techniques. When this Virtual information is not used, JAWS is often better able to provide accurate prompt information for form controls in forms that do not use proper HTML coding techniques. This setting is off by default. To enable this feature, from within Internet Explorer, press INSERT+V to open the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog. Move to Use Virtual Info for Forms Mode Labels, and press SPACEBAR.
Change the behavior in HTML of move to prior frame so that if located in a frame, and you press Shift M, you move to the prior instead of the top of the current frame.
Added 4 new Controls to the Configuration Manager, Set Options Menu, HTML Options.
The first is HTML
Inline Frames with a prompt: "Ignore Inline Frames".
The second is for
Expanding Abbreviations with a prompt: "Expand Abbreviations".
The third new control
is for Acronyms with a prompt: "Expand Acronyms".
The forth new control
has a prompt: "Use Virtual Labels in Forms Mode".
Spell Selected Text
JAWS has provided the command to spell words for many years, making it easy to verify words. Now, you can spell selected text to verify the text that is selected. After selecting text, press and hold INSERT+SHIFT, then press DOWN ARROW twice quickly to spell the selected text.
Spelling and Numbers
When you spell text that contains numbers, the numbers are now read as single digits. For example, "JAWS451" is spelled as "J A W S 4 5 1."
Announce Capitalization during Say All
Now JAWS can announce capitalized letters and words during a Say All, INSERT+DOWN ARROW. JAWS announces "cap" for single capital letters and "all caps" for capitalized words. Set this option permanently in Configuration Manager, Text Processing Options, or temporarily in the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog, INSERT+V.
More Control over Capitalization Announcement
Now select to have
JAWS announce capitalization when reading by word or line. You can set
JAWS to announce capital letters only when reading by character,
Dictionary Manager Enhancement
Now Dictionary Manager lets you specify the root of a word, and have all the extensions of it pronounced correctly. So with one entry, you could change the pronunciation of "computer," "computers," and "computerize." Just add an asterisk (*) at the end of the word in the Actual Word field within Dictionary Manager. Type in the Replacement Word as normal. For example, type "computer*" in the Actual Word field, and type "puter" in the Replacement Word field.
Virtualize Window Text
Now you can display all the text from the current window in the Virtual Viewer. Press CTRL+INSERT+W and the Virtual Viewer opens, displaying the text of the current window. This makes it easy to review information, or to select text and copy and paste it into another application.
JAWS Finds Previous
The JAWS Find command,
CTRL+INSERT+F, finds the text you specify anywhere on the screen or within
a Web page. INSERT+F3 finds the next instance of the text
Number Processing Enhancement
Changed number processing so that "Numbers Full" takes precedence over all punctuation. Also, if punctuation is set to all for any other setting, numbers are read as digits. The option is there to either hear embedded punctuation if punctuation is set to all, or to override this and still hear full numbers by setting number processing to full numbers and punctuation to all.
Key Repeat Improvements
Improved speed when using the Key Repeat feature. It's even faster with Braille if you turn it on and use your left and right arrow to scroll the text.
Change Key Repeat so that it is now on by default. This feature is switched in Configuration Manager, Set Options menu, User Options.
New Default Braille Attribute Rotation
Change Braille attribute rotation to 1000 milliseconds in the Configuration Manager, Set Options Menu, Braille Options.
Select symbol to Print
Change the INSERT+4 on the number row which used to be GraphicsMode toggle. Now we are using it for the Select Symbol to Print dialog box. This lets you insert a variety of different symbols into print documents, their text descriptions show up in list which you can arrow through. Press INSERT + 4 to view the list.
Added newly improved scripts for Audible Manager.
Word and Document Views
JAWS now announces the current document view in Microsoft Word if you are not using the Normal view. JAWS may provide slightly different information in some views, and provides additional functionality in Outline view, so it helps to know which is the current view. To switch the document view, press ALT+V, move to the view you want to use, and press ENTER.
Word Capitalization Toggle
JAWS now provides feedback when you use the Microsoft Word SHIFT+F3 command to toggle capitalization of selected text between lower case, initial cap, title cap, and all uppercase. Each time the command is pressed, JAWS spells the selected text.
Excel Row/Column Title Reading
You can now specify
when row and column titles are read in Excel. Use the Adjust JAWS Verbosity
dialog to set this option. Press INSERT+V to open the dialog,
JAWS provides all new support for TaxACT 2002. TaxACT is tax preparation software you can use to prepare and electronically file your Federal Income Taxes.
JAWS now offers all
new support for Quicken 2003. The Quicken 2003 financial software package
has features ranging from cash flow tracking and retirement
MSN Messenger 5
JAWS now provides
the same extensive support for MSN Messenger 5.0 as is provided for prior
versions of MSN Messenger. MSN Messenger allows you to chat
We have resolved issues that caused sluggishness with JAWS 4.5 on some systems. JAWS 4.51 is more responsive and does not become sluggish after a period of continuous use.
We corrected the problem of multiple blank lines in Web based tables representing blank cells. Now if you navigate into an empty cell there is only a single blank line representing the cell. If you encounter a series of blank cells, JAWS should only announce a single blank line per contiguous block of blank cells.
In Microsoft Word,
JAWS now reads text that is 36 points or greater in size, and also reads
far more reliably within the Spell Check dialog.
JAWS now honors style sheet media types. Style sheets can contain information for printers or other devices. JAWS now only uses style sheets if they are not disabled, or their media type is either screen or all. Previously, incorrect handling of style sheet media types could cause the Virtual Cursor to miss text on some Web pages.
You should no longer occasionally get a blank Internet Explorer Web document when selecting a link from applications such as Outlook Express.
When there is no HTML Fieldset "Legend," JAWS now attempts to determine the group title for sets of radio buttons and check boxes by finding the first non-link/non-form field text before the current group of same input fields. To guarantee that JAWS always reads the correct title for a group of form fields though, the group of form fields should be within a "Fieldset" element with its own "Legend" element.
JAWS now reads column titles in HTML tables in column 1 and row titles in row 1 if the title reading options specify that titles should be read.
In Internet Explorer, JAWS now supports linking by ID. Same page links that reference ID attributes on the page now take you to the correct location.
Pressing TAB to move through links and form fields now provides the same information as you receive when moving through a Web page with the arrow keys.
JAWS is now much more responsive when tabbing through large Web pages. For an example, visit www.empowermentzone.com.
When moving through
Internet Explorer forms in Virtual Mode with TAB or the arrow keys, the
Prompts and the form Controls are now presented in Braille at
When using Next/Prior Table commands, T and SHIFT+T, JAWS now announces table captions when they are present.
In Internet Explorer,
when pressing SPACEBAR to toggle a check box while in Forms Mode, JAWS
now accurately reports the checked/unchecked state of the check
We corrected a problem where using ALT+TAB to switch from Internet Explorer when in Forms Mode to Outlook Express with the preview pane active caused loss of speech when returning to the Internet Explorer window.
We fixed a problem where JAWS would sometimes exit after quickly closing two Internet Explorer 6 windows.
We enhanced our ActiveX
manager to provide basic support for activeX controls in Web documents
even if they do not support MSAA (Microsoft Active Accessibility).
In Internet Explorer, for graphics with long descriptions, we changed the (has long desc) text to (Press ENTER for long description).
Pressing INSERT+T on a blank Web page no longer causes a program error.
We fixed random crashes on Web pages with non-data tables.
When a graphical link has no useful information specified in its attributes, we now use the URL as we did in JAWS 3.7.
Headings containing only images are now correctly read.
We enhanced our support for graphical links in Web pages to more frequently read the most useful information.
In tables on Web pages, if a summary attribute is left blank we no longer attempt to show the summary.
JAWS now announces
"edit" when text on a Web page uses the "contenteditable"
attribute. Previously, you could activate Forms Mode on text with this
In Internet Explorer, selecting same page links now always moves the Virtual Cursor to the correct location, no matter how many times you select that link.
Web pages containing long definition lists no longer cause JAWS to close without any error or warning.
Headings containing links or links containing headings are now found when using the heading navigation keystrokes, H and SHIFT+H.
JAWS now announces when controls on Web pages are disabled and they are no longer included in the tab order.
We have corrected several issues with support of the "tabindex" attribute used to specify the tab order of elements on a Web page.
We have corrected an occasional problem of not being returned to your last position on a Web page when switching between Internet Explorer windows.
Fixed: The bug which caused the "Java" settings to sometimes be loaded when switching away from IE.
Fixed: The headings in IE so that the Braille cursor is positioned on the first character of the heading in Structured mode rather than the last causing the need to have to pan left to read the heading.
Fixed: An issue in
HTML using Cascading Style Sheets. The problem occurred when the external
style map was being created after ElementToText rather than before. This
meant that style info from external stylesheets wasn't available until
after the document was rendered. This wasn't noticeable for inline styles,
Fixed the problem in IE or in JAWS help, when you turned headers off in the verbosity dialog, and then returned to the verbosity dialog and pressed escape, it turned headers back on. This was reproducible in Say All.
Fixed an issue of not being able to go into forms mode when virtual cursor is on a blank edit or a multi line edit form field.
Fixed reported problems when JAWS would say "unknown function call to enter key" and then does nothing when pressing enter on a Windows update license agreement accept button.
Fixed an issue in HTML when tabbing to an anchor with no href but which had a tabindex. We weren't speaking the object because anchors with no href aren't included in the anchors collection. In these cases, since we speak using info from the virtual area, we simply still speak the virtual object even though we weren't able to get a pointer to it.
Fixed reported problem when you arrow down to a form field and press enter and JAWS would not go into forms mode consistently.
Fixed problem in IE if you use the Insert F9 Frames list to move to main content frame, and when you tab you find yourself back in the navigation frame.
You can now check or clear check boxes with SPACEBAR in PDF documents.
In Microsoft Word, when Format Options are enabled, blank lines are now correctly announced. Format Options are set in Configuration Manager.
We corrected a program error that occurred when using the CTRL+TAB and CTRL+SHIFT+TAB commands for switching views in Microsoft Access 97.
We have improved performance in Eudora HTML messages.
When pressing CTRL+DELETE to delete a word in Outlook or Outlook Express, JAWS now just says the word to which the insertion point moves.
In Sound Forge, we have eliminated sluggishness caused by frequent screen updates.
The Winamp Say Window Status keystroke has been changed to INSERT+SHIFT+W.
We fixed a problem where headers in emails such as To: Sent: Cc: were not being read on certain email messages.
We fixed a problem where JAWS would stop speaking coordinates in Excel after going into the Format Chart Area Properties of a chart and selecting the ok button.
We fixed a program error that occurs if you start JAWS after Excel 2000 is already running.
JAWS now announces the state of the check boxes that select the various borders in Excel.
We have improved responsiveness when moving through Microsoft Access forms with TAB or the arrow keys.
In Outlook XP, the phrase, "Not in Spell Checker" is no longer spoken before reading the dialog that states that checking is finished.
Microsoft Access 2000
forms are now useable with JAWS. If the Object Model is not available
while on a form in Microsoft Access 2000, we use MSAA (Microsoft
In Outlook, ALT+M displays a summary of the contact information for the currently open contact. If you press this command anywhere else in Outlook, you now receive a message telling you the command is only available in an open contact.
You can now read documents using the Virtual Cursor in Lotus Notes when Automatically Start JAWS is used.
In PowerPoint, when running a slideshow, you can now use all standard application commands to interact with the slideshow. Previously, all keystrokes not assigned to JAWS scripts were being blocked.
In Excel, when reviewing a chart with the Virtual Cursor, you can now use standard application commands to interact with Excel. Previously, all keystrokes not assigned to JAWS scripts were being blocked.
We corrected a program error that occurred in Acrobat Reader when trying to read a PDF document in page mode.
We corrected a problem where navigating the AOL Inbox and File Cabinet caused AOL to crash.
JAWS no longer speaks the previous value when tabbing to combo boxes within AOL.
We corrected a problem in Lotus Notes where downloading from a FTP site caused the Virtual buffer to refresh, making it almost impossible to read a document.
We corrected a problem in Acrobat Reader where pressing INSERT+F7 in a PDF file that contained no links displayed the Links List dialog with no items listed.
When you press ALT+F4 to close Adobe Acrobat Reader, the keystroke is now echoed.
Fixed: The problems associated with the Virtual document User Buffer. There were reports of Text missing when pressing Insert+F1 while in Word or Excel XP. You should now get all appropriate and complete information regarding the open document when using Insert F1.
Fixed the problem in Windows Calculator when on the menu bar. JAWS would say "Left Arrow" rather than reading the correct item you landed on when pressing the arrow keys.
Fixed the problem of Excel not properly unloading after loading the second spreadsheet. This generally also causes a problem where you can visually see through the spreadsheet window to the desktop yet JAWS thinks everything is ok so far as the data is concerned. Most often reproduced on Windows-NT4/2000/XP with all versions of Excel. Excel should now unload properly when quitting spreadsheets.
Fixed JAWS so that it no longer says zero links if you are in Acrobat Reader and you open a PDF document that contains no links.
Fixed a problem where
JAWS would sometimes cause a crash in HP Scanning
Fixed the problem when JAWS is running, switching OpenBook scanning drivers from TWAIN to WIA after scanning once, could cause a crash in HP software.
Fixed an issue in
Excel MoveToWorksheet script so that hidden sheets are
Fixed problems where attempting to add a password to Excel XP spreadsheet could cause Excel to crash when running with JAWS.
Fixed a problem in the Spell Checker running Outlook Express where JAWS was saying "Not in dictionar y".
Fixed a reported problem
in Outlook Contact Fields dialog when using localized versions of JAWS
Fixed the reading of Eudora Graphics when arrowing up and down or when using Say Line with the PC cursor.
Braille is now far more responsive when replying to HTML email messages in Outlook.
We have improved Braille panning when using the Virtual Cursor while using Structured Mode.
Mark Colors in Braille, located in Configuration Manager, Braille Options, now functions correctly.
When creating a message in Outlook Express 6, under Windows XP, email and Web addresses are now correctly marked with dots 7 and 8 in Braille.
In Outlook, when replying to HTML based messages, the text in the reply is no longer marked with dots 7 and 8.
Braille Structured Mode should now be far more responsive.
You can now select text with a Braille display by holding down a SHIFT key on the keyboard and pressing a routing button. Press SHIFT plus a routing button at one end of the block of text you want to select. Then press SHIFT plus a routing button at the other end of the text you want to select.
Braille now correctly follows the JAWS or invisible cursors when Braille Follows Active is enabled.
In Microsoft Word, the state of menu items that toggle settings are now shown in Braille. For example, under the View menu, the menu item for the document view that is active has a check mark after it.
If you enable control codes in Microsoft Word, the space symbol is now treated as a word delimiter in Braille.
JAWS now uses the same Braille tables whether Grade 2 Translation is on or off.
Fixed the problem where braille routing buttons didn't always work when navigating text in the virtual cursor environment.
Fixed the issue of Braille cursor not following virtual cursor to new location when follow active is on, and the user presses End or Home on a long line which spans more than one display width.
Fixed a Braille Routing issue which occurs if a line extends beyond the display width and the last word on the display is only partially showing, if you click a routing button above that word the whole word is shown but a subsequent click within that word causes the word to be hidden again.
Fixed reported scrambling of text in edit fields when Structured Mode Braille and Tether Braille to Active was enabled.
We fixed a problem preventing assignment of CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+DELETE as a keystroke on systems running Windows NT, 2000, or XP.
JAWS now correctly reads HTML help contents tree view entries at levels greater than 8.
The keyboard no longer behaves as though the ALT key is stuck after leaving the security dialog in Windows 2000.
We corrected a problem where SHIFT+F1 help balloons in Windows 2000 were read twice.
We corrected a problem where capitalized letters were indicated twice with Speak Format and Attribute Changes enabled and Caps Indication set to Say Caps.
The setting for pitch raise or say caps is now honored when spelling phonetically.
Apostrophes in the middle of a word are now announced if punctuation is set to all.
Commas and other punctuation embedded in numbers are now spoken if punctuation is set to all.
Fixed: The issue of
full numbers not speaking correctly.
Fixed: the problems
that occurred when pressing the Say All. command if a Say All. was already
in progress. JAWS should now ignore the request for a second request for
Fixed JAWS so it now indicates the check or unchecked status for items in Windows Components in Add/Remove Programs Dialog.
Fixed problems that occurred when setting and saving application specific voice settings.
Fixed a problem of the seconds being cut off when announcing time numbers spoken by eloquence. The seconds are now no longer truncated.
Fixed problem where "Time" numbers with leading zeros so that they are now read correctly. Note that other numbers starting with a leading zero still honor the leading zeros. For example: 05:30 and 0123
Fixed the announcement of negative decimals such as -.2 which don't have a 0 between the, and the decimal.
Fixed a reported problem when running JAWS and attempting to lower the color depth.
Fixed reported problem
regarding Indicate Capitalization. When typing, Say Cap settings are broken
globally throughout in all applications yet navigating text is fine This
was broken when echo was set to characters
Fixed Key Repeat Buffering
issues on down arrow. When KeyRepeat is enabled, JAWS seemed to slow down
the cursor and buffer the keystrokes.