JAWS for Windows 4.5 Release Features and Enhancements

New in JAWS with Internet Explorer
New in General
New in Braille
New in Popular Application Support
List of Fixes Since Public Beta Cycle

New in JAWS with Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is a browser that allows you to connect to the Internet via the World Wide Web or your local intranet. Internet Explorer doesn't just display information. It helps you find information and interact with other people using message boards, Web-based email, shopping carts, and much more. Its support of Macromedia Flash MX makes audio and video a part of the experience you get with Internet Explorer.

JAWS gives you quick access to the information you need in a logical format. JAWS also provides more information about the structure and organization of web pages than ever before. Tables, lists, headings, and alternate text for images are all announced. The information comes right from the HTML used to create the page. HTML 4.0 is designed with accessibility in mind, and JAWS supports more of the built in HTML accessibility features than any other screen reader.

With the Virtual Cursor, read web pages using standard JAWS reading commands, tab through links and easily follow them, go back, display lists of links or headings to quickly find and move to what you need, and easily move to and fill out web based forms.

Expanded Help for Internet Explorer

The expanded help for using JAWS with Internet Explorer 5 and 6 provides more information than ever before. Over ten pages of helpful hints provide comprehensive information about JAWS commands, how JAWS responds to web pages, and using JAWS to access features of Internet Explorer. New and advanced users alike will find that accessing the Internet is easier and more enjoyable with the understanding gained from the easy-to-read help topics.

Content Refreshing

JAWS announces "Page will refresh in X seconds," when you open a page that is set to automatically refresh. Some web pages are configured to automatically
refresh, or reload, every so often. When this happens, JAWS starts over reading from the top of the page. This makes it very difficult to read these pages.
Now, set JAWS to prevent these pages from reloading. Use the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog, INSERT+V, to set this option temporarily, or change it permanently
in Configuration Manager, HTML Options.

Active Content, web content provided by ActiveX controls, applets, and Flash animations that support MSAA, can also be set to automatically refresh. You can also set JAWS
to suppress refreshes of active content - temporarily in the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog, and permanently in Configuration Manager, HTML Options.

Quick and Easy Navigation On Web Pages

For users of Internet Explorer and HTML Help, we have provided very easy single key navigation commands. Not only will you find the commands easy to use, but they are simple to remember. It's all at your finger tips with JAWS 4.5. With the new Navigation Quick Commands, you can press a letter and move directly to tables, headings, or lists.



Next Visited Link


Next Unvisited Link


Next Heading


Next Heading At Level

1 through 6

Next Paragraph


Next Form Control


Next List


Next Table


Next Non-Link Text


Next Same Type Element


Next Different Type Element


Step Past Element


Read Current Row


Read Row to Cell


Read Row From Cell


Read Current Column


Read Column to Cell


Read Column From Cell


Add SHIFT to the commands for Move To Next Heading, Paragraph, List, etc., to move to the prior item.

New commands also allow you to read by row in a table. Press WINDOWS KEY+DOWN ARROW to read the next row, or WINDOWS KEY+UP ARROW to read the prior row.

Navigation Quick Keys in Say All

Many of the new Navigation Quick Keys are also available when you are using Say All on a web page. Press the letter or number to move to the next heading, paragraph, list, form field, etc., and JAWS will skip ahead and keep right on reading from the new location. If you go past where you intended to and need to back up, no problem, just add SHIFT to the letter or number and it will rewind.

Web Forms are Easier

JAWS now lets you toggle check boxes and select radio buttons without entering Forms Mode. Just move to the check box or radio button and press ENTER or NUM PAD SLASH.

Forms and TAB Order

Authors of web pages can specify the TAB order for form controls by using the "Tabindex" HTML attribute. JAWS moves through the controls in this specified
order when you press TAB, F, or CTRL+INSERT+TAB to move through the form. If the "Tabindex" attribute is not assigned to all fields, JAWS first moves through
the items with a "Tabindex" assigned, then moves through the other form fields and links in the order they appear on the page.

Non-Uniform Tables in HTML

In a non-uniform table, when the number of columns changes from row to row, JAWS announces the number of columns in the new row. This information is only announced when you are using the next/prior row commands, WINDOWS KEY+DOWN or UP ARROW, or the table specific navigation commands, ALT+CTRL+UP or DOWN ARROW.

HTML Tables and Braille

JAWS allows you to determine how much information is displayed on your refreshable Braille display for tables in web pages. There are three settings in the Adjust Braille Options dialog, CTRL+INSERT+B, to configure what information JAWS displays in Braille. Set JAWS to display the current cell, row, or column; and control the display of table titles and coordinates.

Move to Next or Prior HTML Element

HTML elements are like the features in a word processor that tell the web browser how to display information. The type of element determines how something is displayed and what it is. Paragraphs, headings, tables, lists, and links are all examples of HTML elements.

Some elements are used hierarchically, representing the relationship of information on the page. For example, a table is made up of several elements which signal the beginning of the table, define a table row, place information inside a cell within a row, etc.

JAWS 4.5 provides commands to move to the next or prior HTML element. Move either to the next or prior instance of the same type element, or to the next or prior instance of a different element. For example, use the Next Different Element command, D, to move past a list.

Step Out of Element

JAWS 4.5 lets you step out of an element, such as a table or list, so you can move around more quickly. Press E to step past the current table, list, or other element. Press SHIFT+E to step before the current table, list, or other element.

Select Entire HTML Element with a Single Command

Now you can select an entire part of a web page. Select an entire table, or select an entire list. To select an entire list, move to the line that reads, "List with x items," and press F8. The list is selected and ready to be copied to the clipboard. To select an entire table, move to the line that reads, "Table with x columns and y rows," and press F8.

Note: What is selected is based on where the Virtual Cursor is located, so it is important to move to the beginning line of a list or table if you want to select the entire list or table. For example, if the Virtual Cursor is on a list item, rather than at the top of the list, only that list item is selected.

Moving to non-Link Text

JAWS provides a feature to move to text that is not part of a link, which makes it easy to skip over navigation links. Now, press N to move to next non-linked text. Press SHIFT+N to move to the previous instance of text that is not part of a link.

More Information on Format and Structure Bring the Web to Life

HTML structures and presents information on web pages. Now JAWS gives you even more of this information so you know how web pages are organized. JAWS tells you when you enter a list, table, heading, or long quotation, so you know how the text you are reading relates to the page as a whole.

  • JAWS now reports font information within web pages when you press INSERT+F. JAWS also announces text attribute information if you have enabled Speak Format and Attribute Changes in Configuration Manager or the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog.
  • JAWS now announces the beginning and end of lists, the number of items in each list, the nesting level of lists, and reads the correct symbol before each list item.
  • JAWS announces when long quotations, marked with the HTML element are entered and exited. If the "Cite" attribute is used to specify the web address of the source of the quotation, JAWS also announces the citation.
  • Now you can set JAWS to announce the start and end of all tables. Tables are often used to layout a page, visually positioning text and graphics for best effect. By default, JAWS ignores many layout tables so you don't hear lots of extra information. Now, when you need that information, set JAWS to read it all. Set this option temporarily in the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog, INSERT+V, or permanently in Configuration Manager, HTML Options.
If you write HTML and want to know how it is used on the page you are reading, or if you need more information to help you understand the layout of the page or the purpose of an element, press INSERT+SHIFT+F1 to obtain HTML element information. This includes the assigned attributes and their values for the current element and the element directly above it in the HTML page hierarchy. For example, if you use this command while an image within a link is highlighted, JAWS provides all information on both the image and the link.

Press CTRL+INSERT+SHIFT+F1 to receive detailed HTML element information. This includes the assigned attributes and their values for the current element and the elements directly above it in the HTML page hierarchy. For example, if you use this command while within a table, you receive information for the table data cell, the table row, the table, the body of the HTML page, and the HTML document element.

This information comes directly from the HTML source code for the web page, and is very useful. For example, on a page with a series of graphical links, where the graphics are labeled with alternate text of "Image One," "Image Two," and "Image Three," these commands would provide more information about each graphical link, including the name of the pages to which each link leads, that could help you determine what is on each page.

Add Support for ActiveX Content

Now you can easily add support for ActiveX controls that support Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA). The ActiveX Manager lets you use an ini style settings
file to specify how the ActiveX content is rendered by the JAWS Virtual Cursor within Internet Explorer 5.x and 6.0.

New in General

JAWS Support for Java

JAWS now supports Java SDK 1.4.0 and the Java Access Bridge version 1.0.2. Earlier versions of the Java SDK and the Access Bridge may or may not work with JAWS 4.50.

The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for Java Version 1.4.0 may be found at http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4/download.html. The Java Access Bridge version 1.0.2 may be found at http://java.sun.com/products/accessbridge/ .

The following new features have been added:

  • JAWS now has limited support for JAWS cursor navigation in Java applications.
  • JAWS now speaks position and level information in Java Tree Views in the same way it does in standard Windows Tree Views. JAWS also provides position information in list views and radio button groups.
  • We have added an extended edit prompt search option for Java applications to JAWS. This option is on by default and can be modified within the Advanced Options dialog in Configuration Manager.
  • JAWS now recognizes Tool Tips in Java applications.

Java and Scripting

JAWS now reads options from Java.JCF whenever a Java application is loaded. This makes it possible for Java specific configuration options to be stored
in a common configuration file. And you can create application specific configuration files for Java applications as well.

The default java.jss script file is used as the base for all Java programs and the java.jsb file is also loaded. JAWS also looks for a jsb file named after
the same name as the Java application. When you launch script manager from a Java application, JAWS correctly determines the Java application in use and
creates a jss file for it. For example, if you are running swingdemo.jar then a swingdemo.jss file is created.

A special event is fired whenever a Java object changes. Many useful parameters are sent to the event so that scriptwriters can use them. For example, one
might want to ensure that a control on the screen that does not have focus will still have its changes spoken, and so on. Scripting is still limited however
it is more flexible than ever before. Java event scripts are now processed much faster. We have also added the Java event, JavaObjectChanged, which receives
the following parameters: Java Role string, Java object name, Java description, Java value, and Java states.

JAVA.JSB, the base script for all Java applications, is now loaded internally. It is no longer necessary to create a script for each Java application you
wish to use and call switchToScriptFile to load the Java scripts.

Support for Macromedia Flash MX

Flash animations are presented as part of web pages, and JAWS announces when you enter and exit the animation. These animations make your web experience interactive by displaying content that changes, like sports scores. Edit fields in Flash animations allow you to interact with the Web. JAWS now reads information from Macromedia Flash animations as easily as any other part of a web page. Select links, activate buttons, and type within edit fields just like on any web page. With JAWS, you aren't just reading static web pages. You are interacting with the global Internet community!

New Version of Eloquence

JAWS now includes Eloquence 6.1. This version of Eloquence includes French Canadian. We have changed the default JAWS cursor voice from Rocco to Glen.


JAWS is now compatible with DVD video software.

Control the Spelling Rate

JAWS now allows you to specify the rate at which words are spelled. In the JAWS application window, Options, Voices, Global Adjustment, there is a "Spelling Decrement" edit field. Specify the amount you want the speech rate to decrease when spelling words. This setting allows you to use a slower rate when proofreading, resulting in greater accuracy.

Spell by Line

JAWS has provided the command to spell words for many years, making it easy to verify words. Now, you can spell entire lines. Press and hold INSERT, then press UP ARROW twice quickly to spell the current line. Punctuation is also announced. Press and hold INSERT and press HOME twice quickly to spell from the beginning of the line, or INSERT+PAGE UP twice quickly to spell to the end of the line. Spelling by line can eliminate the need for reading by word or character.

Spell Phonetically

Now you can set JAWS to provide phonetic representations for each character in a word or line as you spell it. For example, "JAWS" would be spelled "Juliet Alpha Whiskey Sierra." Set this option temporarily in the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog, INSERT+V, or permanently in Configuration Manager, Text Processing Options.

Spell Check Suggestions are Spoken and Spelled

Within spell check dialogs, when you TAB to the list of suggested words, JAWS reads each word, then spells it as you move through the list. This makes it even easier to make your documents as accurate as possible.

New Options for Announcing Capitalization

Now you can select to have a change in the speech pitch level indicate capital letters, or to have JAWS announce "cap" for single capital letters and "all caps" for capitalized words. This information is provided when JAWS is reading by character or when a word or line is spelled. Change this option in Configuration Manager, Text Processing Options.

New Table Navigation Commands

JAWS 4.5 provides many new standard commands for moving within and reading tables within many applications. Move to the beginning or end of a row, move to the top or bottom of a column, or read by row or column.



Table Navigation Commands

Say Current Cell


Cell To Right


Cell To Left


Cell Below


Cell Above


First Cell


Last Cell


First Cell In Column


Last Cell In Column


First Cell In Row


Last Cell In Row


Table Reading Commands

Read Current Row


Read From Start Of Row


Read To End Of Row


Read Current Column


Read From Top Of Column


Read To Bottom Of Column


These new table commands work in many applications: Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer, HTML Help, Outlook Express, and even in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Date Processing and Regional Settings

JAWS Date Processing now honors Windows Regional Settings and uses the Windows Regional Settings date separator character for determining what is treated
as a date. For example, "17/8/2002" is read "17 August 2002" if Regional settings are set to Australian English, but is not recognized as a date if set
to English US. The date "3/2/2002" is recognized as "March 2, 2002" if Regional Settings are set to English US, but is recognized as "February 3, 2002"
if set to Australian English.

Note: Unless the date separator character is defined as the DASH symbol by the Regional Settings of Windows, it is no longer recognised as a date separator
as it was in prior versions of JAWS.

Easier Customization for MSAA Applications

Now it's easier to have JAWS use MSAA (Microsoft Active Accessibility) for controls within applications that support it. Use the Window Class Reassign dialog to set JAWS to use MSAA for a specified type of control. MSAA allows JAWS to provide information about the controls such as their type, name, location, and state.

New in Braille

Enhanced Focus Whiz Wheel Support

The Focus Whiz Wheels are used to quickly move through files, dialogs, lists, and menus, providing the functionality you need while you work. In a file, move by line, sentence, or paragraph. In a dialog, move between the available controls, and even interact with them. In a menu, move up and down through the menu items.

All New M20 and M40 Command Assignments

We have updated the JAWS command assignments for the Freedom Scientific M20 and M40 notetakers. The commands are now based on the Focus Braille display command assignments, and even include the Whiz Wheel enhancements we made for the Focus!

New in Popular Applications Support

Autotext in Word

Autotext entries allow you to type the first four characters of a word or phrase, and if there is a Word Autotext match, just press ENTER to accept it. Now JAWS announces when an Autotext entry is displayed in Word.

More Feedback with Word Commands

JAWS now provides more feedback when you use Word keyboard commands to change formatting. When you press CTRL+SHIFT+COMMA or CTRL+SHIFT+PERIOD to decrease or increase the font point size, JAWS announces the new point size. When you press CTRL+LEFT or RIGHT BRACKET to decrease or increase the font size by one point, JAWS also announces the new point size.

Enhancements to Excel Workbook Settings

Excel Workbook Settings in the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog now contains three options: Exact Match, Best Match, and New JSI File. Workbook Settings determine what settings to use to read a particular workbook. Use Exact Match for settings that only apply to the current workbook. Use Best Match for settings that apply to a series of workbooks with similar file names. Use New JSI File to create a new settings file based on the settings in a file used for a series of workbooks.

All New Support for Winamp

Now, listen to audio clips in a variety of formats. JAWS now includes comprehensive support for Winamp which gives you the ability to create your own playlists and even adjust the sound of music to fit your tastes. You can even stop a song or a book, mark your place, and start listening at that place later.

All New Support for MSN Messenger

Keep in touch with friends and family. Share files and chat using text messages or MSN Messenger's voice chat feature. JAWS now includes comprehensive support for MSN Messenger. To read the most recent message in a conversation, press GRAVE ACCENT. To read messages prior to this, press GRAVE ACCENT multiple times quickly. Press CTRL+1 through 5 TO assign a conversation to a channel so that you can move quickly to it from another window.

Now you can even insert facial expressions or actions into your conversations. Press CTRL+SHIFT+M to open a list containing descriptions of emoticons, combinations of characters which form images. Select an expression and press ENTER to insert the emoticon in your conversation.

Updated Support for Eudora

Many features within Eudora have been added and enhanced. There are seven new items in the Adjust JAWS Verbosity dialog, INSERT+V. These items allow you to set default options for how JAWS behaves in certain situations. All of these settings are saved to a special file when the verbosity dialog is closed, and the choices are used in all future sessions of Eudora.

New functionality has been added for Eudora's Find Messages dialog, opened with CTRL+F. In addition to pressing F6 to move to the list of search results, you can now press SHIFT+F6 to move to the Mailboxes treeview to select which mailboxes are included in your search. Move through the listed mailboxes with UP or DOWN ARROW, and press SPACEBAR to check or clear selection of a mailbox.

Press ALT+F6 to hear how many mailboxes are selected or how many search matches were found.

From the body of a message, you can now press CTRL+SHIFT+H to read and edit the attachments list.

Press ALT+CTRL+INSERT+DOWN ARROW to skip past the headers in a message and start reading the message. This is useful if you have moved to the top of the message window.

Updated Support for AudibleManager 3.5

JAWS now includes support for the latest AudibleManager 3.5, available from

America Online 7.0 and JAWS

JAWS now provides support for some of the features in America Online 7.0.

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List of Authorized Serial Numbers

List of Fixes Since Public Beta Cycle

Download JAWS 4.5 Final Release