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JAWS for Windows 4.01 Features and Enhancements

New Features

Windows XP Home and Professional Support:

Freedom Scientific continues our tradition of providing unparalleled support for all Microsoft operating systems with the introduction of support for Windows XP! If you currently have JAWS 4.0 Standard (supporting Windows 9x/Me), the JAWS 4.01 update gives you support for Windows XP Home as well. If you have JAWS 4.0 Professional (supporting Windows NT/2000), both XP Home and XP Professional versions of this exciting new operating system are supported in JAWS 4.01.

Support for Windows XP Help Balloons:

JAWS now supports Windows XP style Tool tips and help balloons.

Colors Higher than 256 in Windows NT, 2000, and XP:

JAWS for Windows now provides support for display color depths above 256 colors in all versions of Windows. 16 bit, 24 bit, and 32 bit color depths are supported.

Automatically Disable Windows Effects:

In JAWS 4.01, Windows visual effects that are less than optimal for screen readers are automatically disabled when JAWS starts, and are enabled again when JAWS is closed. These effects are visual features, such as animated menus and selection fade within Windows XP.

The Windows System Parameters dialog is in the JAWS application window, under Options, Basics. Use this dialog to specify which items JAWS disables. We recommend you allow JAWS to disable these features, or manually disable them in the Windows Control Panel.

There is a Windows System Parameters option that is not checked by default, Ignore Colors on Web Pages. Check this item to automatically check the Internet Explorer setting under Tools, Internet Options, Accessibility. This Internet Explorer setting causes Internet Explorer to ignore background colors and images on web pages, resulting in the pages loading faster, and providing greater accessibility for people with low vision. If you check the item in the JAWS application window, under Basics, Windows System Parameters, JAWS will automatically enable this Internet Explorer feature when started, and disable it again when closed. This improves performance on web pages that use repeating images for backgrounds.

Announce and Move through HTML Headings:

JAWS now supports navigation of web pages by headings in Internet Explorer 5.x and 6, and in Microsoft HTML help systems. JAWS recognizes headings at levels 1 through 6. IN HTML, headings are used to indicate the start of sections and subsections of a page. When used hierarchically by the author of the page, the level of the heading provides information about how a specific section relates to the page as a whole. When viewing all headings on a page, if the headings are used properly, the hierarchy of the heading levels indicates how the page is structured. This makes it easier to find information and understand the relationships within the information.

After installing JAWS 4.01, view the effective use of headings in the following locations:

·Throughout the JAWS help system
·The JAWS 4.01 What's New Announcement

Press CTRL+INSERT+ENTER To move to the next heading, or press CTRL+INSERT+SHIFT+ENTER to move to the previous heading. Press INSERT+F6 to list all headings on the page, select a heading in the list, and press ENTER to move to it on the page.

In the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (, the World Wide Web Consortium recommends "user agents" provide navigation based on structural elements in a document. Freedom Scientific continues to strive toward the goals of these guidelines by providing features that aid in quick and easy navigation on the World Wide Web.

Support for HTML Long Description Attribute:

JAWS now supports the "Longdesc" attribute in HTML within Internet Explorer 5.x and 6. The "Longdesc" attribute allows a long description of graphics to be provided on a separate page. The "Longdesc" attribute contains the address of the descriptive page. After reading any Alt text for the graphic, JAWS announces there is a long description and the address of the page. Just press ENTER to open the page containing the long description in a new window.

Access keys in HTML:

JAWS now announces access keys assigned to HTML elements using the HTML "Accesskey" attribute. Access keys let you move directly to an item such as a link or form control. Access keys are used within the JAWS help system to provide quick access to the Back and Next links within most topics, which make it easy to move through the help system. Visit to see effective use of access keys on a web site.

Mouse Over Effects:

HTML allows the author of a page to set an "Onmouseover" event for most HTML elements to run specified code such as JavaScript or Visual Basic Script when the mouse is moved over the HTML element. Often this is used to momentarily display text or graphics or links. JAWS now recognizes the "Onmouseover" event, and if it is set to display text or links as part of the page, JAWS provides access to that information. In some cases, links may not be announced as links, but you can still press ENTER to follow them.

Click Almost Anything:

Press ENTER on almost any item on a web page to simulate a left mouse click on that item. HTML allows the author of a page to set an "Onclick" event for most HTML elements to run specified code such as JavaScript or Visual Basic Script when clicked with the left mouse button. Now with JAWS, you can access items that are set up in this manner. Just move to the item and press ENTER.

Note: Links and form fields still function the same as in previous versions of JAWS.

Dynamically Edit HTML Text:

The "Contenteditable" attribute is used within Internet Explorer 5.5 and newer to make almost any text dynamically editable. JAWS now supports this attribute. If the attribute is set to true for an element of text, just press ENTER to enter Forms mode, edit the text, and press NUM PAD PLUS to activate the Virtual cursor again.

Internet Explorer and TAB:

When you press TAB in Internet Explorer, not only are you moved through links and form controls, now JAWS also moves you through items that use the HTML "Tabindex" attribute. However, at this time, the TAB order specified by the "Tabindex" attribute is not always preserved.

New Braille Positioning Option:

This new setting determines how the content of the Braille display is updated when the active cursor is moved outside the area currently displayed. The Minimal setting repositions the display the minimum number of cells in order to ensure that the active cursor is visible. The Fixed setting always repositions the display so the active cursor is in the same cell as before the positioning occurred.

Report Battery Level on Laptops:

JAWS 4.01 provides you quick access to information about your portable computer's battery life. On laptop computers, just press CAPS LOCK+SHIFT+B to hear the current battery level.

We wish to extend special thanks to our good friend and long time JAWS User Stephen Dawes from Calgary, Canada for this great feature! Stephen's contribution is a testimony to why this product just keeps getting better.

Quickly View Contents of System Tray:

If you need to verify the contents of the Windows System Tray, just press CTRL+SHIFT+F11. The information displays in the Virtual Viewer where you can easily review it, or select it and copy it to the clipboard.

This is another feature brought to you through the courtesy of Stephen Dawes of Calgary Canada, and we wish to again thank him for his kind contributions.


Arrow Keys for Say All Fast Forward and Rewind:

During a Say All, you can now use LEFT ARROW to rewind and RIGHT ARROW to fast forward through your document. The SHIFT keys are still available for fast forward and rewind as well, if you prefer to use them.

Disable Shift Keys for Say All Fast Forward and Rewind:

If you require the Windows Sticky Key feature, which is enabled by pressing a SHIFT key quickly five times, you can turn off use of the SHIFT keys for rewind and fast forward. Disable use of the SHIFT keys for Say All's rewind and fast forward in Configuration Manager, Keyboard Options, in the Default configuration file.

Braille is Faster:

Braille is now much more responsive than in JAWS 4.0. When navigating from a Braille display, or moving the PC and JAWS cursors, notice quick, sharp responses to your commands, and speech remains very fast and responsive as well!

Improved Text Attribute Marking in Braille:

The Braille Toggle Marking command is used with most supported Braille displays to cycle through the text attributes that are marked in Braille (such as bold, italic, highlight, underline). This command now displays a list of all text attributes. Just move through the list, and use SPACEBAR to specify the attributes you want marked on your display. This makes it much easier to specify that multiple text attributes are to be marked in Braille.

Improved Braille in Lists:

We have improved our Braille support so the entire text of items in list boxes and tree views are displayed in Braille, even if the text is not fully visible on the screen.

Screen Text or MSAA for List Views:

Now you can choose to hear either the on screen text or information provided by MSAA (Microsoft Active Accessibility) within list views, such as on the Windows Desktop. The on screen text is provided by default. When JAWS relies on MSAA to speak list views, the entire text of the selected item is spoken even if it is not visibly displayed. After speaking this text, JAWS speaks the size, type and date information automatically. You may find this option beneficial when using Braille on the desktop, as icons with two or more lines of text are completely displayed on the Braille line. To enable this option, check the "Rely on MSAA for List Views" check box within the Advanced Options dialog in Configuration Manager. This check box is only available in the default configuration file.

Next Non Linked Text in Web Pages:

The command to move to the next instance of text that is not a link, INSERT+ENTER, has been improved and is now far more reliable.

Improved HTML Table Support:

When using ALT+CTRL plus the arrow keys to move through a table in a web page, JAWS attempts to identify and announce the content of table cells used for row and column headings. JAWS is now far better at finding these table headings. If HTML is not used to specify the cells to be used, JAWS will use either table cells using the TH element, or the leftmost/topmost complete column/row in the table.

Internet Explorer Organize Favorites Dialog:

We have added functionality for the Organize Favorites dialog in Internet Explorer 5.x and 6, making it far more accessible.

Virtual Cursor Location When Returning to a Page:

When you return to a page in Internet Explorer, using the back or forward commands, or when using ALT+TAB to switch between open applications, the Virtual PC cursor far more frequently returns to its last location on the page.

Select by Page in HTML:

When using the virtual cursor, such as in Internet Explorer 5.x and 6 or in the JAWS help system, now use SHIFT+PAGE DOWN or SHIFT+PAGE UP to select a page at a time. And you can specify how many lines are treated as a "page" in Configuration Manager, HTML Options.

New HTML Text Link Verbosity Default:

JAWS allows you to determine if, when you encounter a text link on a web page, you wish to hear the text displayed on the screen, any Alt or Title attribute information for the link, or the longest piece of information. Previously, by default, JAWS spoke any Alt or Title attribute information, and only spoke the text displayed on screen if no Alt or Title attribute information was present. Now, by default, JAWS speaks the on screen text.

HTML Page information Displays in Virtual Viewer:

When you press INSERT+F1 while at the top of a web page or JAWS help topic, JAWS provides you information about the current page or topic. And now this information is displayed in the Virtual Viewer for easy review with speech or Braille. In addition to detailing what is found on the page, JAWS provides navigation information to make it easier to find what you want on the World Wide Web.

Improved Word Outline View Support:

We have enhanced our support for Word's Outline View. The Word commands to move sections within the document, ALT+SHIFT+UP ARROW and ALT+SHIFT+DOWN ARROW, are now supported. To use these commands, press ALT+V, O to enter Outline view. Press ALT+SHIFT plus 1 through 7 to view headings to the corresponding level. Locate the heading for the section you wish to move and press ALT+SHIFT+UP ARROW or ALT+SHIFT+DOWN ARROW to move the section up or down within the document. All text and subsections contained in that section are also moved.

Word Font Information now Displays in Virtual Viewer:

In Microsoft Word, when you press INSERT+F for font and formatting information, this information can now be displayed in the Virtual Viewer. This feature is off by default for quick review of font and formatting information. To turn on this feature, open the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog (INSERT+V), move to Font in Virtual Viewer, and press SPACEBAR to toggle the setting.

This makes it easy to verify you are using the formatting features you intend, and possible to review this information when necessary.

Improved Support for Protected Word Forms:

When working in protected Word forms, JAWS no longer announces the distance from the left margin each time you TAB to a new form field. JAWS also now reads F1 Help text set up for form controls when you press F1 to display the help message. F1 Help text is a great way for authors of protected Word forms to provide comprehensive information for specific form fields.

Improved Reading of Tables in Word with Say All:

When you use Say All, INSERT+DOWN ARROW, to read a document in Word, and the document contains tables, JAWS now reads these tables very well. JAWS announces the beginning and end of each table. JAWS reads each table row by row, announcing each row number before reading it.

Improved Handling of Protected Word Documents:

JAWS 4.01 provides improved support for protected Word documents, based on the level of protection applied. Previously, when a document was protected, it was not possible to read by word, sentence or paragraph.

In JAWS 4.01, if the document protection is allow revision only, all of the JAWS features are available.
If the document protection is "allow comments only" or "form fields only" you can now read by word, sentence, or paragraph. Language detection is not available and does not appear in the JAWS Verbosity dialog. The JAWS verbosity items: Title Reading, Set Title Row, Set Title Column, and Clear Title Definition are not available and do not appear in the JAWS Verbosity dialog. The Tables option, which allows the detection of tables, is still available and functional. The contents of the current table cell, along with column and row coordinates are spoken when navigating a table.

When form field protection is applied, the only navigable portion of the document is that portion which can be edited or is unprotected: the fields to be completed.

List Spelling Errors in Word:

We have changed the command to list spelling errors to ALT+SHIFT+L.

WordPerfect Enhancements:

In a WordPerfect document, JAWS now detects the following:

·Change of table names when tables directly follow each other
· Announcement of table styles
· Type of multi column
· Number of columns
Border names
Column borders
Width of cells in inches
Number of columns and rows in a table

Frame Viewer Improvements:

We have improved frames support in several areas to make them easier to use, configure, and troubleshoot.

Easily change Validation Rule Text:

Now it's even easier to change the text of the information your frames compare with information from your applications. If this information is not found in your application, your frame is not active, so it's important to be able to change it when needed. From the Validation Rules page of your frame's properties, just move to the rule you want to change in the list, and press F2 to edit the value assigned to it.

Add Multiple Actions to Events:

JAWS 4.01 makes it easier to add multiple actions to frame events without having to recreate the same event over and over. Events are things that happen in your applications. Actions are assigned to them so they take place whenever the event occurs. Frames are often most effective when one event causes several things to happen.

In JAWS 4.01, just create an event as normal. After you have set it up and added your first action, TAB past the Finish button and press SPACEBAR on the Add Another Action button. Add as many actions as you need.

Frames List Defaults to Application:

In JAWS 4.01, the Frames list shows all application frames by default. The Frames list is a convenient way to work with your frames, and it is the only way to access frames that are not currently active in your application. Previously, only active frames were listed by default. Now, all frames are listed so it is easier to troubleshoot frames that are not functioning as you expected.

Restrict the JAWS Cursor to a Frame:

It is often helpful to restrict the JAWS or Invisible cursor to the current application, or even the current window within an application. Now, restrict the JAWS cursor to a frame you have created. This makes it easier for you to limit what the JAWS cursor reads to only the information you need. Just press INSERT+R to cycle through the options for restricting the JAWS or Invisible cursor.

Braille Displays and Screen Savers:

In JAWS 4.01, we have changed Braille support so that when navigating with the virtual cursor using a Braille display, the screen saver does not come on, provided you press a Braille key within the time-out period.

Braille Viewer Improvements:

A new option in the Braille Viewer system tray menu allows you to unlock the Braille Viewer from the desktop. This means that the desktop does not change shape to accommodate the Braille Viewer. When the setting is changed, the Braille Viewer is positioned at the top of the screen.

When unlocked, the Braille Viewer can be moved up and down the desktop, and when the mouse is released, it moves back to the correct position. When unlocked, the Braille Viewer is "always on top," even if it is not the active window.

JAWS Version Information now Displays in Virtual Viewer:

In JAWS 4.01, when you move to the JAWS application window and press CTRL+INSERT+V for version information, this information is listed in the Virtual Viewer where you can review it, or even copy it into a document. In addition to listing the current version of JAWS, other useful information is also displayed, such as your serial number and the speech synthesizers and Braille displays that are currently installed.

Eloquence Now Pauses for Colons:

The Eloquence for JAWS software speech synthesizer now pauses briefly for colons to provide a more natural sounding reading experience.

Verbosity Options are now Alphabetized:

We have rearranged the Configuration Manager, Verbosity Options settings in alphabetic order to make it easier to find the settings you wish to change.

Improved Support for Windows Calculator:

We have improved JAWS functionality in the Calculator in all versions of Windows.

Lotus Notes Support:

We have improved JAWS support for Lotus Notes.

Improved PDF Support:

We have improved JAWS functionality within Adobe Acrobat Reader, providing improved support for reading PDF files.

TaxAct 2001:

We have updated JAWS support for TaxAct to include TaxAct 2001.

Problem Fixes:

PCAnywhere and JAWS Installation:

JAWS Can now be installed on systems running Windows NT 4.0, 2000, and XP without first removing PCAnywhere.

Say Line in Word with Text Selected:

In JAWS 4.0, if you used the Say Line command, INSERT+UP ARROW, on a line where text was selected in Microsoft Word, after reading the line, JAWS would also read the selected text. In JAWS 4.01, only the current line is read when you use the Say Line command in Word.

Quattro Pro 10 Menus:

JAWS 4.0 did not properly read the menus in Quattro Pro 10. JAWS 4.01 now works well in these menus.

Duplicate Frame Names:

In JAWS 4.0, Frame Viewer permitted multiple frames to have the same name. JAWS 4.01 prevents this from occurring.

Word Documents with % Symbol and Say All:

Word documents containing the % symbol could cause Say All, INSERT+DOWN ARROW, to fail in JAWS 4.0. This has been corrected in JAWS 4.01.

Word Borders and Shading Dialog:

JAWS now reports the value in the Width control in the Borders and Shading dialog as you use the arrow keys to adjust the setting.

Word Font Dialog:

Several controls in the Word Font dialog that previously did not announce new values as they were changed now properly speak this information.

Better Word Font Size Reporting:

Previously if text with multiple point sizes was selected and the Say Font command, INSERT+F, was used, the point size was reported as 9999999. JAWS now reports "mixed point size" when this occurs.

Internet 6 Reported Incorrectly:

The command, Script File Name, INSERT+Q, when used in Internet Explorer 6, now reports the correct information.

Frame Viewer and Old Frame Files:

The validation rules in frame files from older versions of JAWS are now properly converted to the new Frame Viewer format.

Eudora Title Not Read:

The title of the Eudora application is now announced before JAWS starts to read email messages.

Windows Date and Time:

In the Date and Time applet in Control Panel, the hours minutes and seconds are now announced as they are being changed.

Braille No Active Window Message:

We have changed the message received on a Braille display when there is no active window. Braille displays will now state, "Press routing button to go to Desktop."

Minimize All Applications and Sticky Keys:

We have removed the INSERT+F6 command for minimizing all applications. This keystroke would occasionally cause sticky ALT and Windows Keys in some operating systems. We recommend using WINDOWS KEY+M to minimize all applications. If you do not have a WINDOWS KEY on your keyboard, press CTRL+ESC, ALT+M to minimize all applications.

Eudora Set to Say All by Lines with Pauses:

We have set the Say All by setting to lines with pauses for Eudora so that when a Say All is stopped, the cursor is located closer to where the Say All was stopped.

Tree Views Reporting Blank:

We have corrected a problem where in some tree view controls items were announced as "blank."

Frames and JAWS Screen Echo:

Frames now correctly honor JAWS screen echo settings.

Braille Information from Frames not Cleared:

When frame information is displayed in Braille, and ALT+TAB is pressed, the Braille display now properly updates.

Verbosity Position Information and Tree Views:

The Configuration Manager Verbosity Options setting for position information is now honored within tree view controls.

Verbosity Options Select not Honored:

The Configuration Manager Verbosity Options Select setting is now honored. This setting determines if JAWS announces when text is selected.

Start Menu and Tutor Message:

The tutor message and access key are now spoken after opening the Start Menu when Programs is the top item within the Start Menu.

Pause/Break Key Disabled:

In JAWS 4.0, the Pause/Break key could not be assigned to commands, was misreported as "num lock," and was disabled in some applications while JAWS was running. All these issues have been fixed in JAWS 4.01.

16 Bit Applications in Windows NT 4:

JAWS settings for 16 bit applications within Windows NT 4 now load correctly.

Portable Systems with the SIS 630/730 Display Chipset:

JAWS now functions correctly on portable computers that use the SIS 630/730 display chipset.

MSN Messenger:

The automatic message reading features provided by JAWS now work in MSN Messenger 4.5.

Image Map Links with Virtual Cursor Off:

Image map links are now recognized when the Virtual PC Cursor is off.

Sluggish Performance in Internet Explorer Menus:

In Internet Explorer 5.x and 6, menus no longer respond sluggishly when large web pages are loaded.

Word XP and Announce Comment Command:

The JAWS Announce Comment command, ALT+SHIFT+APOSTROPHE, now works in Word XP.

WordPerfect 10 Registry Entry:

The WordPerfect 10 Registry key imported by JAWS with CTRL + INSERT+ SHIFT + I now works on all systems to make WordPerfect 10 accessible.

Clock Displayed Twice:

The clock on the Windows taskbar is no longer displayed twice in Braille while using structured mode.

Braille in Lists:

Items in lists views are now correctly reporting their state when not selected.

Dialogs in Office Applications:

Moving through some dialogs in Office applications no longer results in information being spoken that is not relevant to the dialog. This issue only occurred when Automatically Start JAWS was used.

Windows XP Control Panel and Category View:

In Windows XP Control Panel, when using Category View, buttons and links now read properly.

Deleting Items in Windows Explorer:

JAWS no longer says "Y" when you press the DELETE key in Windows Explorer.

Internet Explorer 6 in Windows XP:

The Focus to First Field and Focus to Last Field commands, CTRL+INSERT+HOME and CTRL+INSERT+END, now work in Internet Explorer 6 within Windows XP.

Virtual Viewer and Braille:

When you press INSERT+F1 for help on a control, Braille displays now properly display the information within the Virtual Viewer help message.

Word XP and Prompt Creator:

If you use Prompt Creator to customize control prompts within Word XP, JAWS no longer speaks the prompt twice.

Performance in Internet Explorer:

Performance within Internet Explorer should no longer be sluggish.

Delay when Closing Word:

You will no longer notice a delay when closing Word within Windows XP on computers with very fast processors.

Braille Displays with Virtual Cursor:

While using structured mode on a Braille display, information will now update as you navigate with the Virtual PC cursor activated.

Features and Enhancements in JAWS 4.0

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