Definition of Terms

We will be using a variety of new terms in this manual to describe scripts and functions along with their uses. Terms are listed below along with their meaning. You will find more detailed information about these terms as they are introduced in this manual.

Built-in Function

Built-in functions are functions created by the developers at Freedom Scientific. They are used as building blocks for your scripts and functions. Although built-in functions can be used anywhere, they cannot be modified.


The term 'call' is used whenever a function is performed from within a script or another function.


The term 'compile' refers to the action of converting the scripts contained within your script file into a language that can be understood by your computer.


A 'constant' is a name you give to a hard-to-remember numeric value or sequence of characters. Constants are not changed during the execution of your script or function and are typically defined in a JAWS script header file. You use constants in place of hard-to-remember values in your scripts and functions.

Event Function

Event functions have been created by developers at Freedom Scientific and are triggered by various Windows events. Examples of events that trigger event functions are when the system focus changes or when new text is displayed on the screen. Event functions can be modified or customized for your own use but you cannot create new event functions. You can find all the event functions in the Default.jss script file.


A 'function' is also a series of statements that performs a given task. Functions are not activated by a keystroke. Functions are called by scripts or other functions.

Key Words

'Key words' are words that are reserved for use by the scripting language. Some of the key words used in the scripting language are Script, EndScript, If, EndIf, While, and EndWhile. See Appendix A: Key Words for a complete list of the key words used in the scripting language.


A 'parameter' is a piece of information that is passed to a function. The function uses the parameter to process its task.


A 'return' is a piece of information a function sends back to a script or function from which it is called.


A 'script' is a series of statements that performs a given task. The script is normally activated by a keystroke.

Script File

A 'script file' is a collection of scripts, functions, and variable declarations with the file extension of .jss for JAWS script source.


A 'statement' is a series of words used within your script that performs an action or group of actions. For example, the following block of code is considered to be a statement:

If A > B Then

User-defined Function

User-defined functions are functions created by individual script writers. User-defined functions can be modified and you can create as many as you need. You will find many examples of user-defined functions in the default JAWS script files.


A 'variable' is an entity that holds a value. Unlike a constant, the value of a variable can be modified by your script or function during its execution.


A predefined rectangular area on the screen that can be identified by unique characteristics. Windows usually contain text, graphics, or various types of controls used by an application.


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