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Surfing the Internet with JAWS and MAGic!

Picture of a shark and the words Freedom Scientific Prezents, Surf's Up-Surfing the Internet with JAWS & MAGic.

Learn to use JAWS® screen reading software and MAGic® screen magnification software to read and navigate the Internet! Do you want to become a power JAWS or MAGic user on the World Wide Web? Do you want to learn how JAWS or MAGic can help you navigate the vast resources of entertainment, education, and information available on the Web? Surf's Up! - Surfing the Internet with JAWS and MAGic will teach you to use JAWS and MAGic to read and work with all types of HTML pages, such as Web sites, Help systems, Web-based applications, and more. You'll learn how to use the powerful features of JAWS and MAGic to get the most out of surfing the Web.

JAWS Tip: JAWS provides context-sensitive help for many different elements you might encounter in Web pages. To read help information for the current Web page or element within a Web page, press INSERT+F1. For general help with Internet Explorer®, press INSERT+F1 twice quickly while Internet Explorer is the active window. For Hot Key Help for Internet Explorer with JAWS press INSERT+H.

MAGic Tip: MAGic is not required to use Surf's Up, but it can be handy to run both JAWS and MAGic simultaneously. Throughout Surf's Up we will provide tips and tricks for using JAWS alone, MAGic alone, and JAWS and MAGic running together.

This is the latest version of Surf's Up! - Surfing the Internet with JAWS and MAGic, and it is designed for use with JAWS 13 and later and MAGic 11 or later. Some of the features described may be unavailable in previous versions. You can download the latest version of JAWS or MAGic from the Freedom Scientific downloads page. You can find Surf's Up for JAWS 12 and earlier versions on the training archives page.

For new users, these pages present information and exercises that are designed to be followed in a specific order. If you skip around, you may miss some important information, so it is recommended that you go through it the first time in the order shown below from beginning to end. In addition, many of the exercise pages and keystroke command pages in Surf's Up open in new browser windows. You can press ALT+TAB to move between the open windows. Also remember to close the open windows by pressing ALT+F4 when you are finished with them.

When you first start Surf's Up you may also notice a warning about active content. It may say something like the following: "Security Warning - Allowing active content such as script and ActiveX controls can be useful, but active content might also harm your computer. Are you sure you want to let this file run active content?" It is OK to choose Yes to allow the active content on Surf's Up to run.

NOTE: In Internet Explorer 8 and earlier, if you hear a Windows® sound and notice the information bar pop up near the top of the screen, press ALT+N to move there and SPACEBAR to activate it. Choose "Allow Blocked Content" in the context menu and press ENTER to close the menu. Internet Explorer may block the JavaScript used in the Jump To Page combo box at the bottom of each page. You should only have to do this once per session.

In Internet Explorer 9 or later the information bar is replaced by the notification bar, which shows at the bottom of the screen when it appears. Press ALT+N to move there and then press TAB to move through the available buttons.

Setup for Internet Explorer or Firefox

The Surf's Up Web site is a series of training modules based on following instructions in one browser window and switching to practice exercises in a separate browser window. Switching between two windows can be done easily using the keyboard command ALT+TAB. The newer versions of both Firefox and Internet Explorer use tabbed browsing, where new windows open in a tab within the current window as opposed to outside of the current window. We cover tabbed browsing later in Surf's Up, but for training purposes we recommend changing some settings in Firefox and Internet Explorer. You can still use tabbed browsing in both browsers even after making these changes. Use the two links below to visit pages where you can find instructions for modifying either Firefox or Internet Explorer. Note that if you do not make these recommended changes your results may be different than what we describe here in Surf's Up.

Choose one of the following links for browser setup information with Surf's Up:

The JAWS Key and the MAGic Key

You will notice occasional references to the JAWS key or the MAGic key when using either JAWS or MAGic. These are the keys used by JAWS or MAGic in combination with other keys on the keyboard to perform various actions. For example, the JAWS Key+T reads the title of the current document. MAGic Key+F7 opens a list of links in a Web page.

The default JAWS and MAGic keys are as follows:

The JAWS key can be changed from the INSERT key to the CAPS LOCK or SCROLL LOCK key. This can be done by opening the list of JAWS managers (INSERT+F2) and choosing Settings Center. JAWS Key for either desktop or laptop layout is found in the Keyboard branch of the tree view. This must be changed in the default settings.

NOTE: JAWS Settings Center, introduced in JAWS 12, is discussed further in the module titled Temporary Versus Permanent Changes.

The MAGic key can be changed from the CAPS LOCK key to the EXTENDED INSERT, NUM PAD INSERT, EITHER INSERT, or the SCROLL LOCK key. This can be done in the Tools menu (ALT+T), Keyboard manager, MAGic Key dialog box (ALT+M).

Throughout Surf's Up, we refer to the INSERT key as the JAWS Key, and CAPS LOCK as the MAGic Key. If you are using JAWS in laptop mode you may wish to change either the JAWS key or the MAGic key when running JAWS and MAGic at the same time, since in this case they both would try to use the CAPS LOCK key. In that case, JAWS wins, and you would not have full functionality for using the keyboard with MAGic.

Surf's up! Let's see where JAWS and MAGic can take us:

Navigating Web Pages
Temporary Versus Permanent Changes
Tables
Forms
Frames
Languages
OnMouseOvers
Dealing with Difficult Pages
Using the JAWS Find Command
Skim Reading
PlaceMarkers and the Custom Page Summary
Personalized Web Page Settings
Speech and Sounds Schemes
Custom Labels
Search Engines
Using HTML Help Systems
Settings Packager
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