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JAWS for Windows

JAWS for Windows 5.0 Features and Enhancements

New in JAWS with Internet Explorer
New Speech and Sounds Manager
New in General
New in Braille
New in Popular Application Support
Fixes from Previous Versions
Fixes during Public Beta
Changes in JAWS 5.0 during Public Beta

New in JAWS with Internet Explorer

Automatic Position Virtual Focus to Flashing Cursor

When HTML code automatically places the blinking PC Cursor (force focus) into an edit field, JAWS also moves to the edit field. By default, JAWS will not begin a SayAll provided you are in the default Virtual Cursor mode. When this occurs, you will also be reminded to press ENTER for forms mode, in order to type in information.
For an example of this, please visit:

Forms Mode State Remembered when Switching IE Sessions

If you are using IE in Forms Mode and switch to another session of IE, JAWS remembers that you were in Forms Mode when you return to the previous session. JAWS then automatically reactivates Forms Mode.

Automatic Language Detection in HTML

Your multilingual synthesizer will switch to the appropriate language on the fly, provided the HTML author has used the proper language tags. This feature is turned on by default, but you can disable it in the Configuration Manager under HTML options or via the Verbosity Options dialog. For an example, visit the following Spanish Web Site:

User Definable PlaceMarkers in the Virtual Cursor Mode

This revolutionary feature is designed to further enhance navigation of frequently used web pages, HTML forms or applications, and other documents which will utilize our Virtual Cursor Technology. Through an extremely simple interface, you can add, name, navigate, and remove PlaceMarkers. Script Writers can even use this new technology to produce powerful new scripts designed for use in HTML-based applications. This provides even more opportunities for future jobs, and the JAWS PlaceMarker Technology will be one more tool to make those jobs even more productive and valuable.

There are two types of PlaceMarkers: fixed and temporary. Only one Temporary PlaceMarker can exist at a time but you can move it simply by dropping it in a new location. To insert the Temporary PlaceMarker in your current location on an HTML page, you press a user-definable key combination currently assigned to CTRL+K. If you then move to some other place or a new page and press the same keystroke again, JAWS removes the Temporary PlaceMarker from the prior location and places it at the current location. The Temporary PlaceMarker remains active for the HTML page until you restart your computer, restart JAWS, or assign the Temporary PlaceMarker to another location. Leaving that page or even closing that session of IE or On-Line Help and later returning will not remove the PlaceMarker.

Once you have assigned the PlaceMarker, you can use the Navigation Quick Key K to instantly return to that exact location from anywhere on that particular page.

The Temporary PlaceMarker will also appear in the CTRL+SHIFT+K list of PlaceMarkers and it will be called "Temporary."

The other type of PlaceMarker is called a Fixed PlaceMarker. As the name implies, this PlaceMarker is page/domain-specific and is saved with JAWS across user sessions. To add a Fixed PlaceMarker, move to a location on an HTML page where you want to insert the PlaceMarker and press CTRL+SHIFT+K. This user definable key combination displays the PlaceMarker List Dialog. Simply activate the Add button in this dialog and decide on the name you want for this particular PlaceMarker. You can continue to add as many Fixed PlaceMarkers as you'd like, or you can decide to remove or rename them if necessary. These Fixed PlaceMarkers are also portable so users will be able to exchange Fixed PlaceMarkers with other JAWS users which could prove to be the most useful feature, especially on HTML-based Web applications being used by multiple JAWS customers doing the same job. Once you have assigned a Temporary or a group of Fixed PlaceMarkers on a page, just use the letter K, the Quick Navigation Key for PlaceMarkers, to jump from one to the other quickly.

Press CTRL+SHIFT+K to display a list of all PlaceMarkers on the current page, including the Temporary PlaceMarker. You can use first letter navigation in the list for quick access to the one you want. You will also find buttons for Add, Move To, Rename, Remove, and Remove All.

In addition to using the letter K or the list of PlaceMarkers in the CTRL+SHIFT+K dialog to navigate, there is another way to quickly review the content at one of the first 10 PlaceMarkers on any given page. While on a page with PlaceMarkers, press CTRL+SHIFT+1 through 0 on the number row to hear the contents of that line for any of the first 10 PlaceMarkers. Pressing one of those key combinations twice quickly moves you to that location and reads the line from the Virtual Buffer.

PlaceMarkers are stored at the following path:
c:\jaws50\settings\enu\placemarkers (file extension .PMI)

Navigating by Heading Levels is More Intuitive

When navigating by headings, searches for subheadings stop if the next/prior heading belongs to a different section. For example, if you are navigating through a group of level 3 headings using the Navigation Quick Key 3 on the numbers row, then reach a new heading at a higher level, JAWS will stop and you will be informed that you have reached a new section. Previously, you could have found yourself at a level 3 heading in another section without knowing that the section changed.

INSERT+F5, Select a Form Field Dialog

While in HTML pages with form fields, you can now use the JAWS Keystroke INSERT+F5 to display a list box with all the controls on this page. If you found the INSERT+F7 dialog for listing links useful, you'll really benefit from using this great feature to fill out or review forms. Note that when you use this feature to move to a control, JAWS will also enter Forms Mode automatically for you.

Position Information for Radio Buttons in HTML

JAWS will now properly identify which radio button is selected and how many are available in the group. This assumes the HTML has been written correctly using the name attribute to determine which radio buttons go together.

Position Information for List Boxes and Combo Boxes in HTML

JAWS now has support for position information when in virtual areas. This means that you will get information about how many items are in the particular control and which one of these items is currently selected.

Customize how Form Field Prompts Are Identified

This new option is available in the Verbosity dialog box or in the Configuration Manager. It allows you to customize what gets reported as prompts for various form fields on the Web. Since there are many possibilities for HTML authors, the ability to customize this has been requested.

Reorganized the INSERT+V, Verbosity Dialog

The dialog box options are now more "human-friendly" and intuitive. The options and their settings now say what they mean in plain English. We have removed options that were either impractical or unnecessary to modify per page, such as increasing line length, etc. All options are now accessible via first-letter navigation. Those that aren't are in close enough proximity that when you press a letter to go to that group of options, you should find it. The same standard vernacular and first-letter navigation applies to the Personalize Web Settings dialog box, which is described below.

Personalized Settings for Any Web Site

This feature is one you'll surely appreciate if you use the Internet. Have you ever wished that you could adjust something in the verbosity options for a certain Web site, without impacting how JAWS will sound on other sites? Wouldn't it be great if the next time you returned to that web site, those special settings were remembered for you? Well now you can use the new SHIFT+INSERT+V dialog to display a list of settings you can personalize for that specific domain.

The dialog lists the site name, or as much of it as possible, as the caption. When entering any page on a personalized site from another location, you'll hear the message: "This web site has been personalized." Care has been taken so that pages within the same site (based on the URL) will not repeat the message. It is repeated only when entering a site from an unrelated page.

While not all verbosity options will be offered in this feature, HTML options such as page refresh, graphic rendering, links, image maps, lists, tables, block quotes, etc., will all be available.

Let us emphasize that this feature is not foolproof. There may be some situations where these Web features may not work, due to the dynamic nature of the Web in general. If you change a setting using the regular INSERT+V option, it will not be saved in your personal files.

INSERT+TAB now reveals all Verbosity Options for many HTML Elements

Within virtual buffer areas, you can now use INSERT+TAB to reveal all
setting options for graphics, text links, Form Fields, and Buttons. If
you're on a link, graphic (outside an image map), or button, press
INSERT+TAB repeatedly to hear the control spoken with the available
"verbosity" options.

The first time you press INSERT+TAB, you will hear the control as is
with your current settings. As you press INSERT+TAB again, JAWS will
cycle through the available settings for the given control. As you do
this, you hear the control again, which may or may not sound different,
followed by a message in the message voice which tells you the setting
being used.
Example: "Freedom Scientific Logo" Graphic (message voice) "Alt tag".

Of course, should you be using a scheme in JAWS to have these controls
spoken differently, all your custom speech/sound rules will be followed
by JAWS. If you press any other key, JAWS resumes normal functionality.
Use this feature on several different graphics on the same page so you
know how to personalize verbosity settings in JAWS for these various
items for the current web site, using the Personalize Web Settings
feature described above.

Added the INSERT+F3, Virtual HTML Features Dialog

There are currently two options in this dialog: PlaceMarkers and Personalized Web Settings. We will be adding other items to this list in future releases of JAWS. The main purpose of this list box is for users who seldom use the features and can't recall the specific keystrokes to launch them.

Added Wrap to Top or Bottom of Document for Many of the Quick Navigation Keys

In 2002, with the release of JAWS 4.5, we introduced everyone to the breakthrough concept of Navigation Quick Keys for HTML, letting you use single letters to jump around the various elements of web pages. This was one of the most significant changes and is now being adopted by other products in a similar fashion. In JAWS 5.0, we have added the ability to wrap to the top or bottom of a document as you move using these keys. For example, if you are pressing H to move forward by headings you are on the last heading available on the page, you will be informed of this and sent back to the top to find the first heading. This is very similar to the way Internet Explorer works by default if you are using the TAB key to move between links. You will find this works for most of your JAWS Navigation Quick Keys, even when moving backward by adding the SHIFT key.

Added More New Navigation Quick Keys

You can now use four new Navigation Quick Keys while in a virtual environment like IE and on-line Help.

  • B will move to the next Button on the page.
  • G moves to the next Graphic.
  • Q moves to the next Block Quote.
  • O moves to the next Object.

Include the SHIFT key with any of these commands to move backwards.

Jump to HTML Table Cell

JAWS now has an option that lets you identify a particular cell in a table (based on row and column coordinates) and quickly move to that location. To try this feature, go to a table while in Internet Explorer or On-Line Help and press the letter J. This displays a dialog box called Jump To Cell. Type in the particular column and row that you want to go to, separated by a comma. Press ENTER to jump right to the cell. This is very similar to using the F5 Go To feature in Microsoft Excel. This can be very useful in large tables that you use often.

Jump to Line in the Virtual Buffer when in HTML

If you press J while in an HTML page, but not in a table, you will land in a JAWS dialog called Jump to Line. You can use this to quickly move to any line in the Virtual Buffer by entering the desired line number and pressing ENTER. The dialog provides the number of lines available and displays the line number you are currently on to give you a proper reference.

Since our Quick Navigation Key J is used for both Jump to Table Cell while in a table and Jump to Line if your not in a table, we also added the ability to use CTRL+J any time which will always Jump to Line, regardless of whether you are located in a table at that moment.

Percentage of Document Based on Current Location of Cursor

Pressing ALT+DELETE now includes the cursor location as a percentage of the current document. This is supported in all areas where our Virtual technology is used. If you are currently reading this information on-line, press ALT+DELETE at any time to determine how much of the document remains.

Added Custom Button Search Option for HTML Forms

You can now specify the attributes and search order for buttons in HTML documents. Note that in forms mode, custom button search is only supported when the Use Virtual Info for Forms Mode Labels option is enabled. You can find this new search option on the Miscellaneous page of the new HTML Options Multi Page dialog in Configuration Manager.

Indicates HTML Elements with OnClick or OnMouseOver

We have now added the ability for JAWS to identify elements with OnClick or onMouseOver handlers on the web. We can now optionally indicate any attribute for any element by either speaking a message or playing a sound. JAWS currently has support for the OnClick and OnMouseOver attributes so that when you do a Say Line or arrow onto any element with such an attribute, if the Indicate Element Attributes option is enabled in the Configuration Manager, you'll be notified. You can try this on the HTML Challenge Dynamic HTML page where JAWS will now tell you that the paragraph with the OnClick handler is clickable when you arrow to it.

New MSAA Support for Extended Select List Box in IE and Other Applications

When you land in extended select list boxes, you must use the Windows command SHIFT+F8 to turn on the noncontiguous select option. In IE, if you're using the Virtual Cursor, you must also turn on Forms Mode. Previously, if you arrowed up and down, you would sometimes hear extra highlighted text from a selected item farther up in the list. Now, since we strictly use MSAA in these cases, this extraneous speech is no longer present. JAWS will say, "Not selected," if the control is not selected, but it will speak the item. If the SHIFT+F8 option in Windows isn't turned on, you won't hear "not selected."

Context Sensitive Help Attribute for HTML Introduced for Web Authors.

Web/HTML authors may now use the newly defined ContextHelp attribute for form input or other elements. JAWS will tell the user when a field has such extra help whenever it exists. You can choose to review the help using speech or Braille with INSERT+F1 or ignore it. The GetObjectHelp script function has been updated to support this attribute which we will be sending to the WAI as a recommended option to consider as a standard.

We will be updating our HTML Challenge to include examples of this as well as other areas of our Web Content. GetObjectHelp also returns the acc_help for MSAA and the description for Java objects.

For a demonstration of how this can be used, use the following HTML source:
<P><LABEL for=Mname >Mother's Name: </LABEL><BR><INPUT id=Mname name=Mname ContextHelp="For this field make sure you enter your mother's maiden name."></P>

New Speech and Sounds Manager

In previous versions, JAWS could be instructed to tell you when text attributes, fonts, or colors changed. It even told you when you tabbed or arrowed between different control types (e.g., from an edit field to a button). However, the method of feedback was always through speech which could occasionally become too verbose.

JAWS 5.0 has made a major break through in Windows screen reading because it now allows all kinds of information to be user-definable. Imagine being able to tell JAWS to:

  • Speak bolded text in a different voice.
  • Announce a meaningful message when text was italicized and underlined (such as link).
  • Read all text in a particular font or color in a different language.
  • Change the pitch as the font size changed.
  • Use a sound to indicate that you were focused on an edit field.
  • Use different sounds to indicate the state of a checkbox.
  • Speak a meaningful message when text in a particular color was encountered.
  • Read quoted text in a different voice.
  • Use sounds to indicate capitalization.
  • Indicate different amounts of indentation using sounds.
  • Indicate HTML attributes on the Web using sounds or messages etc.

All this is now possible! You can even use the Dictionary Manager to replace words with sounds or play a sound, as well as change the pronunciation of a word. You can also tell JAWS to always speak a particular word in a particular language. Imagine replacing a left pointing arrow symbol with a sound which plays from the right ear to the left. All this power is available just by selecting the appropriate speech and sounds scheme or by using the more powerful and flexible Dictionary Manager.

The customization of such feedback is called a behavior, that is, you can assign a behavior to a particular kind of attribute. You can even tell JAWS that you're only interested in certain kinds of attributes and totally ignore others. The set of behaviors which are currently active have been grouped together in what is called a Speech Manager File, or scheme. Schemes are easily shared among users and can be switched on the fly using a keystroke which brings up a list of the currently defined schemes. The keystroke for the list of predefined schemes is INSERT+ALT+S or JAWSKey+ALT+S.

This world first feature enables the user experience to be
as intuitive and flexible as possible. There is nothing in the industry which comes close.

JAWS 5.0 will come with a set of default Speech Manager Files (.smf extensions) which can be very easily modified and shared. When you first run JAWS 5.0, it will sound and feel like prior versions of JAWS. This default scheme is called classic. If you want to hear attributes announced as you arrow through text, you can select the Classic with Attributes scheme. You no longer have to go in and select many different check boxes to get specific information. All you do is load the scheme which includes all of the information you want to hear in the way you want to hear it.

For an example of how this can work, try the following after installing the JAWS 5.0 Version.

  1. While reading the What's New Page in Internet Explorer press INSERT+ALT+S for the Select a Scheme Dialog.
  2. Now choose Classic (Attributes) from the list and press enter.
  3. Now arrow up and down through the What's New Document and notice how you hear the changes get reported by JAWS.
  4. Now go back into the INSERT+ALT+S Schemes list and choose ProofReading (Attributes) and press enter.
  5. When you arrow through the same text, you hear the changes this time indicated by modifications in the synthesizer voice and or pitch being changed. This helps distinguish the various attributes that you are encountering without interrupting the actual text from the screen being read from the document.

Both methods will have benefits for different users in different situations. This new way of listening to information will go a long way to changing the way you use your screen reader in the future.

The script language has also been enhanced to provide a way of specifying all of these kinds of customizations. We now support a basic set of XML tags. When you use the Say command, you can provide a string of XML and JAWS will play the sounds, change the voice, change the language, etc., as defined in the XML.

You can configure the following attributes and indications:

  • Control type
  • Control state
  • Attributes (normal text, bold, italic, underline, strikeout, graphic, highlight)
  • Font name
  • Font size
  • Font color
  • Capitalization (both single and all caps)
  • Spell
  • Quoted text
  • Indentation
  • HTML attributes such as OnClick, OnMouseOver, etc. (so you can hear when a graphic on the web is clickable or requires that the mouse be moved to the graphic to reveal more information etc)

At the time of writing, JAWS 5.0 comes with the following schemes already defined:

  • Classic
  • Classic (Attributes)
  • Classic (Attributes and Font Info)
  • Classic (Attributes, Font Info and Color)
  • Classic with Quotes
  • Indent (tab is 0.125 inches Script Manager)
  • Indent (tab is four spaces)
  • Indent (tab is two spaces)
  • ProofReading (Attributes)
  • ProofReading (Attributes and Font Info)
  • ProofReading (Attributes, Font Info and color)
  • Visual Studio .Net (Colors)
  • Visual Studio .Net (Indent)
  • Visual Studio .Net
  • Web RentACrowd

The classic schemes are all like prior versions of JAWS, announcing items using the message voice. Each classic scheme adds a bit more information as the names suggest.

The proofreading schemes use different voices for different attributes, use the word "cap" or "all caps" to indicate capitalization, and change pitch for different-sized text.

The Web RentACrowd" scheme uses different voices for headings and links so that you have a family of voices which take turns reading pieces of your web page to allow you to easily determine the headings, links, etc., without the extra verbosity of descriptive words being added to the actual text.

Voice Aliases Dialog, Found in Configuration Manager

Since all synthesizers have a different set of voices and characteristics, JAWS now allows you to define a uniform set of voice names. These names are mapped to the specific synthesizer's voices using a specified pitch and rate. This is called mapping a voice alias. A voice alias thus allows us to tell JAWS to use the SpellingVoice when text is being spelled.

Using Eloquence, this could map to Shelly using a slower rate. On DECtalk it might map to Dennis and a different rate. Regardless of which synthesizer you use, the voice alias name stays the same. JAWS 5.0 also has a Voice Alias dialog for setting up these mappings and provides a default set of voices. You can add, delete, and modify the voice aliases in this dialog. This option is found under the Set Options menu in the Configuration Manager.

New in General

JAWS Now Identifies Different Types of Edit Fields

Different edit types are now distinguished from each other so the user
doesn't have to guess or wonder why his keystrokes aren't being accepted
in an edit field that turns out to be a read only edit.

You will notice that JAWS now reports the following: Read Only Edit now says Read only edit where it just reported edit previously. Edit fields for Passwords now say password edit. IPEDIT (not very common) says I P edit (for I P addresses).

Dictionary Manager Lets You Assign Language or Sounds

In addition to setting up pronunciation rules using the Dictionary Manager, JAWS 5.0 features new functionality never before found in Windows screen readers. You can now define a Language the dictionary entry should be spoken in, or even a sound that you want played in addition to, or rather than, the text to be spoken.

When adding or changing an entry in the Dictionary Manager, in addition to the Original Word and Replacement Word edit controls, you will now find an Advanced button. This button takes you to a dialog containing a Language combo box and Sound list view. The Language combo box is populated with the languages available from your current Synthesizer.

In addition to the new Sound list view, there is also a Play and Browse button. These new controls allow a user to sample the selected sound by pressing the SPACEBAR, pressing ALT+P, or selecting the Play button. You can access .wav files in other directories by selecting the Browse button. When you select a .wav file via the Browse button the WAVE file is automatically copied to the JAWS Settings\enu\sounds directory, where we have included many sounds for your use. When adding an entry the sound list will default to "None".

Select a Language Dialog Using CTRL+WINDOWS Key+L

Provided you are using a multilingual synthesizer such as Eloquence, you can now use the key combination CTRL+WINDOWS Key+L to display a dialog that allows you to change your synthesizer language on the fly.

Copy and Cut to Clipboard Just Got a Lot Smarter

For a long time, users have noted that the CTRL+C or CTRL+X commands did not tell you if there was a problem when you pressed them (e.g., no text was selected). JAWS warns you of this problem by speaking "No Text Selected" in the error voice so that you are alerted that nothing was selected when you tried to copy or cut. This is true in lists as well as editable controls and virtually anywhere else text or items can be copied or cut.

One addition to this feature is that SHIFT+INSERT+DOWN ARROW now reports, "No text selected," in its normal voice when no text is selected.

Redesigned the Configuration Manager HTML Dialog

In an effort to make it easier to navigate all the various JAWS HTML options available to a user, the HTML options dialog is now a multi-page dialog. You will find this much more organized and it will better accommodate our continued growth in this area going forward.

MSAA Used for Checkable Lists

You can now customize check lists in a far simpler fashion than previously. Simply assign the list control in question to Microsoft Active Accessibility using the INSERT+7 Window Class dialog. Then label the graphics as follows: Checked, Not Checked, and Partially Checked. Note that Partially Checked currently is only available in the Add/Remove Programs dialog boxes under Windows Components.

Changed INSERT+T Message in Beginner Verbosity

When pressing INSERT+T, the message is shorter now and only says, "Title is," instead of, "Title equals".

Aliases for All JAWS Configuration Type Files

Aliases are generally created to make things more understandable. For example, instead of using the name BrowseUI for the name of configuration, script, or key map files we now use Internet Explorer 5 and 6 as an alias. This makes it much easier to find the files for the various applications supported by the configuration files included with JAWS.

Spell Rate Change and Upper Case Increment Now Percentages

In the Voices dialog boxes, you will now find that both of these settings are now percentages (plus or minus) rather than just numbers. This change was necessary as part of the new changes related to the Speech and Sounds Manager.

New Configuration Manager Customize Punctuation Dialog

One of the most popular requested features has been added, and you can now modify your punctuation settings in the Configuration Manager. There is a new dialog called Customize Punctuation which can be accessed via the Configuration Manager's Set Options menu. The dialog is composed of a list control, four radio buttons, Edit Description... button, Restore Defaults button, and Advanced... button. The radio buttons allow you to define the level when the punctuation is spoken. The levels are None, Some, Most, and All. You can also modify the level setting by pressing the SPACEBAR when in the list control. You can modify the description, which is the text spoken when the symbol is encountered. To modify the description, either select the Edit Description... button or press the F2 key. You can reset the values to factory defaults by activating the Restore Defaults button. The Advanced... button allows you to change the description of other punctuation but does not allow you to define the level.

INSERT+Q and INSERT+F Have Added Functionality

You can now press INSERT+Q or INSERT+F twice to format text into the Virtual Viewer. You no longer need to press the key repeatedly to hear what you missed or go into Speech Box mode to review in Braille. INSERT+Q is often needed by Script Writers or Technical Support to determine the exact application being used, while INSERT+F is used to determine font information.

Laptop Keyboard now includes Table Navigation

The laptop sections of Default.jkm now have additions to support table cell navigation. These are the same for both laptop sections, as they are based on the QWERTY logic for character and line navigation. Keystrokes are as follows:
Prior Cell ALT+SHIFT+M

TypeLite Keys Added Back to Default Keymap

Due to the removal of limitations placed on the file size for our .ini files, we have put the TypeLite keys back in the Default.jkm file.

Access Solutions Updates DoubleTalk LT and Triple-Talk Drivers

There are new drivers for the DoubleTalk LT and TripleTalk which fix several issues that have been opened for a long time.

If you are using the DoubleTalk LT with JAWS 4.51 or have friends doing so, they can get the driver and instructions from the TSN on our Support page.

Quick Identification for the "ANSI" Numeric Value of Any Character

This new feature has been assigned to the Say Character KeyStroke when pressed 3 times in a row. To see how this works for the DeskTop Layout, move your cursor to a character and press the NumPad5 three times. You first hear the character, then the phonetic, then it says character followed by a number which is the ansi value. On the LapTop layout, it is JAWSKey Comma pressed 3 times. Going along with this feature, don't forget the other feature we added in 4.51 to insert various symbols into your documents, without having to know the ansi symbol. You can get to this list of symbols by pressing INSERT+4 on the number row at anytime.

JAWS Now Supports the Kinesis Keyboard Layout

You will find this choice in the Basics Dialog in the KeyBoard Layout ComboBox.

Change in Line Reading Keystrokes for Laptop Layout

We have modified the LapTop Layout commands for Line and Sentence reading to match that of the PAC Mate TNS model. JAWSKey + U, I, and O are now used for moving to and reading prior line, current line, and next line while sentence reading will now be on JAWSKey Y, H, and N.
In the event you use LapTop and feel this change is not one you want, please use the Keyboard Manager to modify it back.

New Navigation Scripts Added

Two new commands have been added, which you can assign in Keyboard Manager. The Scripts found in the default file are called:
Long names, but here's the short of it:
If you have a long word filled with numbers and punctuation, such as an IP address or stock quote, press one of these keystrokes to move forward or backward past the whole unit. It can make navigating in such material much quicker and easier to understand. Remember that these keystrokes are not assigned, you must assign them yourself. They are named as they are so you can easily find them in Keyboard Manager located in the Default file.
We recommend that you assign these to new keystrokes such as:
CTRL+JAWSKey+RIGHT or LEFT ARROW respectively.

These were in answer to a question posed by users who needed a way to quickly skip past a whole series of digits and punctuation. If you're not using Braille, doing so was quite long and exhausting before. There is a new TSN posted to explain this for anyone with 4.51 that would like to add it to that version.

New in Braille

New Driver for Focus and PAC Mate Portable Display

This new driver provides for better functionality of the displays and auto detection for both.

Whiz Wheels® Now Offer Panning

We have added a fourth setting, Focus Panning, to our whiz wheel support for the Freedom Scientific Focus Braille devices. This becomes available when using the Whiz Wheels in a document or any multiline area either with system (blinking) or Virtual cursor. We have modified this panning slightly to remain consistent with our line/sentence/paragraph support. This modification simply means that when the Braille display travels vertically, as it does when End of Line is reached during panning, the system or active cursor moves with it.

To switch to Panning Mode with the Whiz Wheels, simply depress either Whiz Wheel until it reports the desired mode.

The Tether option in the Adjust Braille Options dialog box is not related to this movement, just like the Line/Sentence/Paragraph navigation.
Focus Panning is not available outside of the Line/Sentence/Paragraph structures.

New in Popular Application Support

All new support for Accessible Java Applications

JAWS support for applications written using Sun Microsystems' Java
Access API has been greatly improved in version 5.0. JAWS now speaks
every accessible object available through Sun Microsystems Java
Accessibility Bridge version 1.0.4. JAWS has added functionality to
simulate the JAWS cursor in Java applications. Also new is the virtual
buffer view of Java applications, making many of them as simple to use
as JAWS on the Internet. Freedom Scientific recommends using JAWS 5.0
with Java Accessibility Bridge version 1.0.4 and the Sun Java Runtime
Environment version 1.4.1.

New Scripts Have Been Written for Microsoft Access 2000 and XP

This is an area where there has been many requests for fixes and improvements. Based on the MS Object Model, we believe you'll find Access 2K and XP to be much better.

Great Support for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) Version 5.2

There is an Online Help Topic and we encourage you to read this for all the details. If you are looking for a very good Instant Messenger this is a good choice.

Changed Keystroke in MSN Messenger

Within the MSN Messenger application, to assign channels 1 through 5 (for conversations), use CTRL+WINDOWS+1 through 5 respectively. Previously this was done with CTRL+SHIFT+1 through 5.

To switch to the corresponding conversation from anywhere, press WINDOWS+1 through 5. This was done to avoid KeyStroke conflicts with PlaceMarkers, Excel, Word or Winamp, among other things. These keystrokes will be easier to remember, as this is designed to set different windows in the foreground; hence the use of the WINDOWS key. We have also made more changes that positively affect the SwitchToUrgentConversation keystroke, but it requires that you wait while the window gains foreground. This may take a couple seconds in those cases where it hadn't been happening at all.

New Order for Reading Font Information if Attributes Are Present in MS Word

Previously, if you pressed INSERT+F in Word, attributes were reported after font information. This slowed down the process of getting attribute information. Now, when you use INSERT+F in Microsoft Word, you will now hear font information spoken in the following order:

  1. Attributes (bold, italics, etc.)
  2. Point size (12 point, 14 point, etc.)
  3. Font name (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.)

After these items are spoken, you will still hear all other document information (i.e., style, line spacing, etc.) as before.

Additionally, you can now press INSERT+F twice quickly to hear font information in this same order in the virtual viewer for your convenience and review in Braille.

Improved Bookmark Support in Microsoft Word

In Microsoft Word JAWS can now properly handle defining or going to a bookmark regardless of where it is in a document, including Tables.

To add a bookmark:

  1. Place cursor at beginning of text to be bookmarked.
  2. Select the text to be bookmarked.
  3. Bring up Insert menu and arrow to bookmark option. Press ENTER to bring up the dialog.
  4. Name the bookmark or use the selected text as the name.
  5. TAB to the Add button and press SPACEBAR.

To go to a defined bookmark:

  1. Bring up the GoTo dialog.
  2. SHIFT+TAB to see the list of options and choose bookmark.
  3. TAB to see the list of defined bookmarks and arrow to your choice.
  4. TAB to GoTo button and press SPACEBAR.

Improvements for Eudora Email

Added the feature that the up and down arrow keys would announce the top and bottom of the mailboxes rather than rereading the message heading information. This feature has now been amended so that pressing the up or down arrow key quickly a second time will add the message information to the top and bottom of list messages.

The Home, End, Page Up and Page down keys now announce the message status information such as read, unread, etc. in addition to the message information.

Audible Manager Scripts Updated to Include Version 4.0

The keys to read the Device Pane (CTRL+2) and toggle the Device Pane open or closed (CTRL+SHIFT+E) now work properly when Audible Manager is in CD burn mode.

INSERT+W Help Message has been amended to include keystrokes available in CD burn mode.

Modification Information for Script Writers

We have added three scripting functions that will help facilitate use of FocusChangedEvent for many beginning scripters. The FocusChangedEvent function can appear confusing. For others, the idea of having to modify the whole FocusChangedEvent function for one single dialog name is overkill. Still others find it annoying to have to put the same code in SayFocusedWindow as they have to in SayWindowPromptAndText (INSERT+TAB).

We have added three functions to improve customization in the JAWS scripts. If used properly, they resolve the above problems without having to modify either FocusChangedEvent or SayWindowPromptAndText (INSERT+TAB). Of course, there may in fact be an odd situation where modifications of these functions is still necessary, but in most cases customization should become simpler. These functions are as follows:

· HandleCustomAppWindows
· HandleCustomRealWindows
· HandleCustomWindows

Each takes a handle as a parameter, the relevant place in the hierarchy to be checked. Each returns an int. Return TRUE when your custom logic is successful, FALSE to let the default behavior of JAWS take place. No need to worry about whether the AppWindow has changed, whether the RealWindow is different, or updating global variables. If you are familiar with the FocusChangedEvent function, you know the drill.

This function replaces the speaking of the Application Window name, type and Text. Add your logic here where the application window code by default doesn't work.

Enter your code here for custom dialogs, document names that don't speak, etc. Remember that the DialogPageChangedEvent is often your place for dialog page names. However, if it's not being called in this app, you can add that code here.

The code you add here will be spoken when a new window gains focus, or when you press INSERT+TAB on that window. This helps with the consistency of focus versus INSERT+TAB speaking. This window may also be spoken if the JAWSCursor is on, because the INSERT+TAB script uses GetCurrentWindow as the handle for this function. Of course, GetCurrentWindow is the window at the position of the active cursor.

Fixes from Previous Versions

  • We have solved a significant issue that was causing sluggishness and general slow downs often requiring a reboot on certain systems to continue. This was most likely occurring in Windows XP machines but was not limited to that operating system. We are working on making this fix available for any JAWS 4.51 customer that needs it in a soon to be released patch for that version.
  • We have solved issues related to documents scrolling when pressing the UP or DOWN ARROW and JAWS often reading the wrong line. In the event this would happen, the user could do a Say Line and this would read the proper line at that time. The issue was related to timing and scrolling and we believe this should be resolved in most cases now. This fix will also be made available for 4.51 customers in the soon to be released patch for that version.
  • We solved an issue where certain Web pages were causing JAWS to unload for no apparent reason. This fix is currently available as part of a TSN on the Support pages of the Freedom Scientific Web site.
  • We have significantly improved Braille tracking in forms mode.
  • We addressed issues where the cursor would sometimes blink on the wrong cell both in form fields and on the last line of Outlook messages.
  • We improved JAWS so that it is much more reliable in stopping speech when pressing CTRL in places where large blocks of text may have been selected.
  • We addressed issues related to Spell Checker not always reading the misspelled word and suggestion as expected.
  • We fixed an issue in MS Word XP where INSERT+SHIFT+DOWN ARROW pressed twice quickly did not spell the highlighted text.
  • JAWS now properly identifies standard or nonstandard tables when it lands on a table in MS Word. This alerts users to the special problems and inconsistencies in the number of columns and rows found in non-uniform tables.
  • We fixed Power Point XP so Say All works in slides.
  • The Outlook XP Rules Wizard now properly reports checked or not checked when you arrow up or down in the list.
  • We reorganized and updated the JAWSKey+F1 help information within Internet Explorer and HTML content.
  • We now make indentation based on spaces rather than pixels.
  • We improved what happens when JAWS comes to a blank line. For example, JAWS does not announce indentation on a blank line or say 0 spaces but instead says, "left margin."
  • We fixed a problem in Microsoft Word XP where JAWS was not properly reading the General Templates multi-level tab dialog box.
  • We fixed a problem in Microsoft Word XP were the highlighted delivery address was not being read when using the Envelopes and Labels command in the Tools menu.
  • When you launch Excel or PowerPoint, JAWS now says, "Gathering required information," instead of the less friendly, "Initializing application scripts."
  • We fixed issue with tabindex within Frames.
  • When tabbing to a frame with a tabindex, JAWS now just reads the frame title rather than attempting to read the entire frame, which could be a very large chunk of text that renders JAWS speech unstoppable.
  • Since the 4.51 release, Key Repeat is turned on by default. However, it was causing some problems with the ALT key. For example, if you pressed ALT+F4 to exit a window or application, you might find yourself on the menu bar rather than exiting the window or application. This should not happen now in 5.0.
  • We fixed an issue where Say All spontaneously stopped after the first line. This occurred sometimes when the first line contained a single word, so that no index marks were generated for that line.
  • We fixed Spell Word/Line, etc. when on buttons and other controls.
  • We fixed an issue of table navigation breaking due to rows or cells being hidden by visibility styles. Now, if the style map contains any styles affecting visibility, navigation works. The site which demonstrated this best was at:
    Table navigation in the main table showed the wrong number of rows and did not allow table navigation.
  • We fixed issues with cap indication in mixed case words.
  • We fixed the SayControlEx function so it appropriately puts pauses between the parts of the control. Previously all parts were being run together.
  • We fixed PositionString so they are always accurate when in forms mode.
  • We enabled Get Row Text and Get Column Text to work even in forms mode in Internet Explorer. This means that if you are editing data in a table in forms mode you can still hear row and column data. Note that it may be necessary to call refresh from the scripts prior to calling Get Row Text (or Get Column Text if forms mode is active) to ensure that the field currently being edited is included in the row or column data. This will not work if the virtual cursor is actually disabled.
  • We improved Get Prompt Type And Text on the Web so that when prior text is used for the prompt of a form field, text from a table start or end tag, text from a different field or form, text belonging to links, etc., wouldn't mistakenly be used for the prompt. Note that this only would happen if the HTML was not correctly written using a label or title/alt attribute for a form field.
  • We improved radio button and check box group caption search so that text from a different table cell or a table start/end tag or text from a different form is not used as the group caption.
  • We fixed the issue where selecting text in a virtual buffer did not function similarly to the way Windows selects text.
  • Auto complete of a file name in MS Word's File Open dialog is now spoken by JAWS.
  • We fixed issues where JAWS was double speaking dialogs in AOL.
  • We modified the Outlook Express INSERT+H help page. Previously, it had the keystroke and action backwards.
  • We fixed JAWS in Spell Checker where it did not always read the misspelled word the second time if the misspelled word matched the previous misspelled word.
  • We fixed Route JAWS To Home Row in the Laptop keyboard layout.
  • We fixed the problem where JAWS was spelling out the phonetic announcement of capital X.
  • Fixed an issue in Outlook Express 6 where attempting to do a Find with CTRL+SHIFT+F and typing letter T for any word reports, "No more tables found."

Fixes during Public Beta

  • Fixed @ symbol when translated into g2 by English translator.
  • Fixed issue of activating onMouseOver not keeping the current location
    after visiting another page and then coming back and activating another
    mouse over on the original page. When you activated an onMouseOver after
    visiting another page and coming back you'd jump to the last saved
    location on the page rather than staying at the location of the
  • Fixed the issue where the subject line shows that dots 4-5-6 are not
    appearing on the Braille display.
  • Fixed German G2 problem with poor expanding at current words involving
    accented characters such as the Ö.
  • Fixed problem of Real One menus such as the favorites menu items not
    reading the selected menu item and only saying "sub menu" and speaking
    the access key.
  • Fixed a problem in Microsoft Word where SPELL Line in Word (INSERT +
    UP ARROW Twice Quickly) was running the text together and ignoring
  • Fixed an issue in the Dictionary Manager where in the Sound list, the
    "None" entry disabled the Browse... Button.
  • Fixed issue where JAWS was not announcing checkbox status correctly
    when logging onto
  • Fixed issue of Double Speaking or no speech in combo boxes in
    Microsoft Access.
  • Fixed an issue where JAWS drops off leading punctuation on the right
    hand side of the = sign example ", hello=, hi" appears in dictionary as
    a ", hello=hi" without the comma after the equal sign.
  • Fixed an issue where the Dictionary Manager did not preserve more than
    one mark up character for the replacement word.
  • Fixed and issue in Outlook Express where pressing SHIFT+TAB from a
    message did not take you to the Subject Line as one would expect.
  • Fixed a problem where JAWS Managers would allow user to open files
    that did not exist. We now provide a warning message when the user tries
    to open a file that does not exist. Previously our Configuration
    Manager would make zero byte files if the user supplied a file name for
    a non-existent file during the open.
  • Fixed problems where if you are in Microsoft Office apps and you press
    alt+spacebar to open the system menu JAWS did not read the items on the
    system menu correctly.
  • Fixed issue of AccessKeys not moving the Virtual Cursor focus
    correctly and speaking the wrong object. For example of how these now
    work, visit our Training page for the HTML challenge, on the Forms
    challenge, the accessibility features page has several AccessKeys.
  • Fixed abbreviation and acronym expansion. See with and without abbreviation
    expansion enabled. Note this was only an issue with links, not regular
    text with abbreviations.
  • We have Implemented new FormsModeAutoOff feature that will be useful
    in HTML Applcations used in Call Centers. This new setting (on by
    default) allows the user to control whether Forms Mode is automatically
    turned off when the page in the current window is updated. Normally,
    (and historically), this has been the case. For example, If you go into
    forms mode on a website and press Enter on a button which causes the
    current page to change in the current browser session, forms mode would
    be switched off. In web aplications such as those found in some Call
    Centers, this is undesireable. If you disable the FormsModeAutoOff
    option, when the current page is updated either by the user or the
    server, the state of forms mode will remain the same. If however the
    action of the user causes a different IE session to be switched to or a
    new IE session to be opened, the state of forms mode will revert to
    either the saved value (in the case of an existing session) or off (in
    the case of a new session).
    This new feature has been added to the INSERT+V dialog and to the Personalize Web Settings dialog (INSERT+SHIFT+V).
    A checkbox has also been added to HTML Misc page in Configuration
    Manager as follows called: Forms Mode Auto Off.
  • There have been reports of confusion over how to set customized
    punctuation and so we have now updated the help topic on this subject.
  • We have updated the Acrobat topic for more clarity on Acrobat Reader
  • Changed INSERT+V Caps Spoken to Caps Indicated, this makes it
    consistent with the config manager dialog and is more accurate since
    caps may be indicated but not via spoken text.
  • Added note to the HTML Frames section in online help. "Note: The JAWS
    script MoveToFrameByNumber allows you to move directly to the first
    through tenth frame. By default, this script is not assigned to a
    keystroke. If you want to use this feature, you can assign this script to
    a keystroke in the Keyboard Manager.
  • Fixed the issue of list-style-type: none not being honoured for
    ordered or unordered lists on the web.
  • Fixed issue of MoveTo link from list links dialog not always working.
  • Fixed Caps during SayAll when using the Sound Schemes.
  • Caps and Quotes with language detection on is now working with the
    sound schemes fix above.
  • Fixed issue of activating a link directly from the dialog and then
    doing ALT+LEFT to go back not landing on the link you just activated.
  • Fixed issue where JAWS would report incorrect number of items when
    doing a SayLine on a combo box item on the web. Example
    combo boxes.
  • Fixed some reported issues where the spell checker for Word 2000 and
    XP was double speaking every control as you tab through the dialog.
  • Fixed issues where JAWS did not honor sound schemes when navigating by
    paragraph, especially with language detection on.
  • Fixed an issue where JAWS was saying context menu on menus other than
    true Context menus in Excel 2000.
  • JAWS 5.0 now has a WYNN.JCF file which mutes JAWS and gives full
    control to WYNN.
  • Fixed the issue in MS Access where changes in the settings in the JAWS
    Verbosity List box are not announced when the SpaceBar was pressed.
  • Fixed the issue in MS Access 2000 where JAWS did not read data type
    control in table design view when list is open and user arrowed through
  • Fixed Eudora so that we now use ALT+SHIFT+K or J for PlaceMarkers or
    the Jump To Dialog so avoid key conflicts in Eudora where that app used
    CTRL+K and CTRL+J for its own features.
  • Fixed an issue in Windows Explorer where when using first letter
    navigation in the treeview, did not say the item level, and if the item
    has subfolders, whether the item is open or closed.
  • Fixed the issue of hidden headings being included in heading count and
    INS+F6 heading list even though they weren't navigable.
  • Fixed the issue in which you were in IE while at the same time you
    receive email from an app like Eudora causing you to loose focus. JAWS
    then saying content of another app like Eudora when doing a SayLine, PC
    cursor being active rather than Virtual Cursor, and INSERT+T saying
    Eudora rather than Internet Explorer Window Title.
  • Fixed a crash reported that occurred at
  • Eudora script fix: If you started from one of the mailboxes and invoke a virtual buffer to report JAWS or Eudora hot keys, the down arrow was reporting "End of List.
  • JAWS now reads certain dialogs and combo boxes in Microsoft Access 2000
  • Items in the AIM 5.2 buddy list tree view are now being spoken
  • JAWS now reports the level or open/closed status for tree views in AIM 5.2
  • Fixed a problem where using Spell Line on a blank line read lots of spaces instead of just saying, “Blank.” Spell Line or Spell to Cursor/from Cursor change so that all leading and trailing blanks are stripped before spelling. The prior solution only avoided the case of a totally blank line saying, “Space space space ,,,.” Now if you do a Spell Line on a line with lots of blanks at the start or end, you won't hear, “Space space space…” prior to the text. If you want to hear the number of leading spaces on the line you can use Say Line with indentation on.
  • Fixed issue of some disabled form fields not showing up in the Select a Form Field dialog. Disabled check boxes and multi-line edit boxes were showing up but not disabled edit fields. Note that you can move to disabled form fields but can not go into forms mode since the fields are disabled.
  • Fixed problem where JAWS help wasn't working when JAWS was running as a service.
  • Ignore Flash on Web Page check box is no longer backwards in JAWS dialogs like JAWS Key+V.
  • When reading a secure document in Adobe Acrobat Reader, structured Braille is no longer blocked.
  • Fixed the issues reported on the OnClick attribute still being indicated for certain kinds of links such as those at
  • Fixed crashes that occurred after virtualizing a window.
  • Microsoft Outlook system menus now speak properly.
  • We fixed the disappearing form field issue when using INSERT+TAB to cycle options on radio buttons and check boxes.
  • Fixed bug in Personalize Web Settings dialog where items would appear to be turned off.
  • We fixed the context sensitive help in Dictionary Manager, Advanced area.
  • Fixed an issue with CSS and garbage being included in style information.
  • We fixed a bug where JAWS would fail to find form field prompts for radio buttons and check boxes which didn't have explicit labels, titles, or alt attributes and when using markup. This could be seen on the forms challenge page.
  • In Adobe Acrobat Reader 6, selecting text while in forms mode is now speaking highlighted text.
  • Microsoft Word all, Say Word is no longer crossing line boundaries if the first word on the next line is a hyphenated word.
  • When creating or modifying a voice alias, changing the voice rate no longer causes the voice to be set to the fastest setting.
  • You can now modify a voice alias. Configuration Manager no longer states, "This Voice Alias is already defined. Please use a different Voice Alias name."
  • In Configuration Manager, HTML Options, Heading and Frames tab, changing the Heading Verbosity setting no longer causes duplicate "heading" alternate text.
  • In Configuration Manager, Voice Alias negative rate percentage change causes very fast speech.
  • In MS Word, JAWS no longer double-speaks in the Find What edit control in the Find and Replace dialog when hotkeys are pressed.
  • In MS Word XP, JAWS allows navigation of list box control in Commands tab of the Customize dialog.
  • Word 2000 - JAWS now speaks page name when navigating with CTRL+TAB or CTRL+SHIFT+TAB in Customize dialog.
  • In Configuration Manager, it is now no longer possible to add incorrect or empty entries in Speech and Sounds Manager HTML Attributes behavior.
  • In Configuration Manager you cannot add a voice alias when existing voice aliases do not exist.
  • In Configuration Manager, creating a new voice alias no longer deletes ALL the previously defined aliases.
  • JAWS no longer brings up the initializing dialog every time you use ALT+TAB to return to Excel.
  • Pressing CTRL+SHIFT+M while in Excel no longer gives an unknown function call.
  • You no longer get more information when you press JAWS Key+F once in the MS Word Virtual Viewer.
  • Changing one setting in the Personalized Web Settings Dialog (SHIFT+JAWS Key+V) no longer causes all other settings to change.
  • Fixed issue in Excel XP where JAWS does not read the list view in the Excel XP Custom dialog.
  • JAWS should now be more reliable when attempting to activate clickable elements such as links with JavaScript. In the past many links did nothing when you activate them with ENTER or the left mouse button. This has been largely resolved.
  • Continued improvements to JAVA support. This is still a work in progress.

Changes in JAWS 5.0 during Public Beta

  • Added new .wav files of piano notes to the Sounds folder. Eight of the .wav files contain a single note spanning one octave. The rest of the .wav files are two-tone sounds that increase or decrease in pitch. These should work well for schemes that convey when something increases or decreases, such as indentation or font size. There are seven pairs of two-tone note .wav files that increase or decrease by one note. There are also six pairs of two-tone.wav files that increment or decrease by two notes. We thought that having two-note separation might sound more distinct.

    A file naming convention has been developed that:
    1. Allows these types of sounds to be grouped together in a sorted list.
    2. Uses numbering to show sequence in scale.
    3. Indicates the actual note or two-note combination.
    4. Indicates whether the two-note combination is increasing or decreasing.
  • Same Page Links and Link Type announcement added to the Personalize Web Settings dialog.
  • New scripts for Victor Reader Software support from have been added. The file set is called VrSoft.
  • New scripts available for Quicken 2003 and for Eudora.
  • Added Ignore Flash on Web Pages check box to HTML Options Misc tab.
    The check box will perform the behavior as described below:
    Added a new option to disable Flash on Web pages. Note that this doesn't affect the visual screen. It only causes the content to be ignored by JAWS. The JCF option is optEmbeddedActiveXSupport and is on by default (which means by default you'll see Flash content. If this content is updated, the document is also updated.
  • Flash Movies added to Adjust JAWS Verbosity and Personalize Web Settings dialog boxes. This toggles whether or not you see Flash at all on Web pages.
  • Added the option to turn off the attribute announcement for "clickable" and "on mouse over." The option is enabled by default. However it can be turned off in the Personal settings JAWSKey+SHIFT+V and in the verbosity settings JAWSKey+V. It is labeled "element attribute announcement."
  • JAWS now uses the thumb keys on the Focus Braille Display:
    LEFT SHIFT is Pan Left, RIGHT SHIFT is Pan Right,
    LEFT SHIFT CHORD is BraillePriorLine
    RIGHT SHIFT CHORD is BrailleNextLine.
    These thumb keys don't interfere with normal shift key usage, and only add functionality. They are conveniently placed under the thumbs at all times, allowing you to read without taking your hands off the display.
  • Navigation Quick Keys added to the Personalize Web Settings dialog box.
  • When doing a Say Line, JAWS now always speaks indentation if the option is enabled and the line is indented. JAWS now also speaks all attributes and font information for the first segment if the scheme specifies. Previously, JAWS would only speak this information if it differed from the segment where the cursor was located. This meant the user would not always get consistent feedback. Say Line will now always be consistent. You still only hear indentation when it changes while you are arrowing up and down. If you do a Say Line on the current line JAWS assumes that you want to hear everything requested by the scheme.
  • Added help that has been missing for a long time in Dictionary Manager.
  • Removed code that excluded MSAA windows in dialogs from Say Highlighted Text. This was put in to prevent over speaking list items, but those don't appear to be double-speaking anymore. The code was actually causing problems with some controls never being allowed to speak properly as you navigated between items.

List of Authorized Serial Numbers

Download JAWS 5.0 update


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