When used with most popular applications, JAWS® screen reading software provides you with screen information for the application you are using. The information that tells JAWS how to behave is contained within a set of “default files.” These default files, created by Freedom Scientific, are provided with JAWS. Unfortunately, not all applications are the same. Therefore, information telling JAWS how to behave in these applications is contained in a set of “application-specific files.”

Through the many options available in the JAWS application, changes and adjustments can be easily made to all of the commonly used features, such as Verbosity and Screen Echo. But despite this ability, you may find special situations that require more advanced or specific instructions so that JAWS can properly navigate and provide the correct screen information in the application.

A script file contains a variety of scripts and functions. You can think of scripts and functions as small computer programs. Each script or function contains commands that tell JAWS how to navigate and what to speak under different conditions. You can modify existing script files or you can write entirely new commands to make most any application accessible with JAWS. Moreover, you can create scripts that automate many of your daily tasks. In short, your use of the scripting language is endless and is only limited by your imagination and creativity.

JAWS is not the only product developed by Freedom Scientific that takes advantage of the powerful scripting language. Both the MAGic® screen magnification application, through the use of the MAGic Pro Scripting edition, and PAC Mate Omni® accessible Pocket PC device take advantage of the power and flexibility offered by the scripting language. With the familiarity gained from writing JAWS scripts, you will be able to easily apply your skills when generating scripts that control magnification and speech functionality found in MAGic.

For those of you who ask, "Do I need a programming background to write scripts," the answer is that while a programming background is helpful, it is not necessary. In fact, many script developers working for Freedom Scientific are self-taught. It is for this reason alone that we have compiled this step-by-step manual in hopes that you will get a good start toward becoming a successful JAWS script developer.

Basics of Scripting Table of Contents

The Basics of Scripting manual contains the following chapters:

2.0 The Keyboard Manager

3.0 What are Scripts?

4.0 The Script Manager

5.0 Creating Scripts

6.0 Reading Information with Scripts

7.0 Using Variables and Constants

8.0 Creating and Speaking Messages

9.0 Controlling the Flow of Scripts with Decision Making

10.0 Passing Keystrokes and Typing Text with Scripts

11.0 Using the Virtual Viewer

12.0 Understanding Functions

13.0 Windows Program Structure

Copyright (c) 2011 Freedom Scientific Inc. All Rights Reserved. JAWS is a registered trademark of Freedom Scientific Inc. in the United States and other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the Trademarks (tm)  of their respective owners in the U.S. and/or other countries.


July 2011