Braille Commands

JAWS supports a series of keystrokes that allow you to input braille commands and also control your computer (see BrailleIn™ description below). Below are keystrokes that support Freedom Scientific’s Focus braille displays. For other braille displays, contact the manufacturer for a list of keystrokes.

Many commands listed here include the word “CHORD.” To perform a chorded command, you always include the SPACEBAR as part of the command. For example, L CHORD or DOTS 1-2-3 and the SPACEBAR.

Modifier Keys

Use the modifier keys to simulate key combinations (keystrokes) that include CTRL, ALT, WINDOWS Key, SHIFT, or the JAWS Key (INSERT). To use these modifiers when typing a keystroke, do the following:

  1. Hold down DOT 8 CHORD and then press the corresponding modifier keys in the keystroke. Modifier keystrokes are listed in the following table.
  2. After you create the modifier portion of the keystroke, release the keys and press the remaining part of the keystroke. For example, to perform the keystroke CTRL+SHIFT+V, you press DOTS 3-7-8 CHORD, release the keys, and then press V (DOTS 1-2-3-6).

Key NameKeystroke
Function Keys (F1 through F12)
For more information, see the Function Keys description.
DOT 1
INSERTDOT 2
CTRLDOT 3
WINDOWS KeyDOT 4
JAWS KeyDOT 5
ALTDOT 6
SHIFTDOT 7

Instead of memorizing these keys by their dot position, it may be easier to learn the finger with which each key would be associated. When all of your fingers are on the braille keyboard, the layout would be:

Key NameFinger position
Function Keys (F1 through F12)Left index finger
WINDOWS KeyRight index finger
INSERTLeft middle finger
JAWS KeyRight middle finger
CTRLLeft ring finger
ALTRight ring finger
SHIFTLeft little finger

Notice that you can create a rather loose correlation between pairs of fingers in this description. For example, the left index finger is Function Keys while the right index finger is the WINDOWS key. A stronger correlation can be made with the left and right middle fingers. The left is the INSERT Key and the right is the JAWS key, both often serving the same purpose in JAWS usage. Finally, the left and right ring fingers are the CTRL and ALT keys respectively, which make these two positions easier to remember.

Once this layout is understood, it is easy to grasp that Any time a modifier key, or combination of modifier keys is used as part of a command, DOT 8 CHORD will always be included.

Finally, pressing any of these modifier keys with DOT 8 CHORD is the same as pressing and holding any of the equivalent keys on the QWERTY keyboard. The computer is waiting for the key or keys which the modifier keys will modify. So, pressing DOTS 3-8 CHORD is the same as pressing the CTRL key. Windows then waits for the key which will complete the CTRL combination, such as the letter A to make CTRL+A to select all, or the letter C to make CTRL+C to copy the selected text to the clipboard. Repetition of frequently used keystrokes such as the CTRL key combinations already mentioned, Windows commands such as WINDOWS Key+M, and JAWS commands such as INSERT+T should imprint these key associations firmly in your memory.

Function Keys

To simulate the function keys (F1 through F12), press DOTS 1-8 CHORD followed by A through L (which correspond to 1 through 12). For example, to simulate the F6 key, press DOTS 1-8 CHORD, then F (DOTS 1-2-4). If the function key is part of a key combination, add the appropriate modifiers while holding down DOTS 1-8 CHORD. For example, to simulate the keystroke INSERT+F2, press DOTS 1-2-8 CHORD, then B (DOTS 1-2).

Special Keys

Use these keystrokes to simulate certain keys that are not available on the Focus braille keyboard. These keys can be combined with the modifier keys described previously. For your convenience, both keystrokes and braille dot patterns are provided. If no dot pattern equivalent is available, a dash appears in the table cell.

Key NameKeystrokeDOTS Pattern
ESCRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 1 or Z CHORDRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 1 or DOTS 1-3-5-6 CHORD
ALTRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 2
APPLICATION KeyRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 2 CHORD
NUM PAD ASTERISKRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 3
WINDOWS KeyRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 4
NUM PAD SLASHRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 7RIGHT SHIFT+DOT 7
CAPS LOCKRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 7 CHORD or RIGHT SHIFT+KRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 7 CHORD or RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-3
NUM PAD PLUSRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 8
BACKSPACEDOT 7
ENTERDOT 8
CTRL+BACKSPACEDOTS 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 CHORD
TABDOTS 4-5 CHORD
SHIFT+TABB CHORDDOTS 1-2 CHORD
HOMEK CHORDDOTS 1-3 CHORD
ENDDOTS 4-6 CHORD
PAGE UPLEFT SELECT+ROCKER BAR UP or RIGHT SELECT+ROCKER BAR UP or DOTS 2-3-7 CHORD
PAGE DOWNLEFT SELECT+ROCKER BAR DOWN or RIGHT SELECT+ROCKER BAR DOWN or DOTS 5-6-7 CHORD
DELETEFOR CHORD or LEFT SHIFT+DDOTS 1-2-3-4-5-6 CHORD or LEFT SHIFT+DOTS 1-4-5
EQUALSDOTS 1-2-3-4-5-6
RIGHT BRACKETDOTS 1-2-4-5-6-7
LEFT BRACKETDOTS 2-4-6-7
BACKSLASHDOTS 1-2-5-6-7
SLASHDOTS 3-4
LEFT PARENTHESISDOTS 1-2-3-5-6
RIGHT PARENTHESISDOTS 2-3-4-5-6
APOSTROPHEDOT 3
DASHDOTS 3-6
GRAVEDOT 4
PERIODDOTS 4-6
QUESTION MARKDOTS 1-4-5-6
EXCLAMATION MARKDOTS 2-3-4-6
SEMICOLONDOTS 5-6
COMMADOT 6

Use these keystrokes to perform various JAWS navigation commands. Both keystrokes and braille dot patterns are provided in the table. If no dot pattern equivalent is available, a dash appears in the table cell.

DescriptionKeystrokeDOTS Pattern
Say Prior Character DOT 3 CHORD
Say Next Character DOT 6 CHORD
Say Character DOTS 3-6 CHORD
Say Prior Word DOT 2 CHORD
Say Next Word DOT 5 CHORD
Say Word DOTS 2-5 CHORD
Say Prior Line DOT 1 CHORD or LEFT ROCKER BAR UP
Say Next Line DOT 4 CHORD or LEFT ROCKER BAR DOWN
Say Line C CHORDDOTS 1-4 CHORD
Say Prior Sentence LEFT SHIFT+RIGHT ROCKER BAR UP
Say Next Sentence LEFT SHIFT+RIGHT ROCKER BAR DOWN
Say Sentence LEFT SHIFT+RIGHT SHIFT+CLEFT SHIFT+RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-4
Say Prior Paragraph RIGHT SHIFT+LEFT ROCKER BAR UP
Say Next Paragraph RIGHT SHIFT+LEFT ROCKER BAR DOWN
Say Paragraph LEFT SHIFT+RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 2-3-5-6-7-8
Move to Top of File L CHORDDOTS 1-2-3 CHORD
Move to Bottom of File DOTS 4-5-6 CHORD
Say to Cursor RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 3-7
Say from Cursor RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 6-8
Say All DOTS 1-2-4-5-6 CHORD
Say Top Line of Active WindowLEFT ROCKER BAR UP+RIGHT ROCKER BAR UP
Say Bottom Line of Active WindowLEFT ROCKER BAR DOWN+RIGHT ROCKER BAR DOWN
Previous Document Window DOTS 2-3 CHORD
Next Document Window DOTS 5-6 CHORD
Open List Box LEFT SHIFT+RIGHT ROCKER BAR DOWN
Close List Box LEFT SHIFT+RIGHT ROCKER BAR UP
Exit Forms Mode X CHORDDOTS 1-3-4-6 CHORD
Say Window Prompt and Text G CHORDDOTS 1-2-4-5 CHORD

Microsoft Word Navigation Quick Keys

Use these keystrokes to navigate Microsoft Word documents. Navigation Quick Keys must be enabled in order for these commands to function (DOT 8 CHORD, DOT 2 followed by DOTS 1-3-5-6). Note that you can add DOT 7 to most of the keystrokes in the table below to move to the previous element of that type in the document. Both keystrokes and braille dot patterns are provided in the table. If no dot pattern equivalent is available, a dash appears in the table cell.

DescriptionKeystrokeDOTS Pattern
Next Grammatical ErrorADOT 1
Next BookmarkBDOTS 1-2
Next Combo Form FieldCDOTS 1-4
Next EndnoteDDOTS 1-4-5
Next Edit Form FieldEDOTS 1-5
Next Form FieldFDOTS 1-2-4
Next GraphicGDOTS 1-2-4-5
Next HeadingHDOTS 1-2-5
Next ListLDOTS 1-2-3
Next Spelling ErrorMDOTS 1-3-4
Next CommentNDOTS 1-3-4-5
Next FootnoteODOTS 1-3-5
Next ParagraphPDOTS 1-2-3-4
Next RevisionRDOTS 1-2-3-5
Next SectionSDOTS 2-3-4
Next TableTDOTS 2-3-4-5
Next Check Box Form FieldXDOTS 1-3-4-6
Next PageSPACEBAR
Previous PageBACKSPACEDOT 7

Selection Commands

Use these keystrokes to select characters, lines, and other page elements. Both keystrokes and braille dot patterns are provided in the table. If no dot pattern equivalent is available, a dash appears in the table cell.

DescriptionKeystrokeDOTS Pattern
Select Prior Character LEFT SHIFT+DOT 3 or DOTS 3-7 CHORD
Select Next Character LEFT SHIFT+DOT 6 or DOTS 6-7 CHORD
Select Prior Word DOTS 2-7 CHORD
Select Next Word DOTS 5-7 CHORD
Select Prior Line LEFT SHIFT+DOT 1 or DOTS 1-7 CHORD
Select Next Line LEFT SHIFT+DOT 4 or DOTS 4-7 CHORD
Select Prior Screen LEFT SHIFT+KLEFT SHIFT+DOTS 1-3
Select Next Screen LEFT SHIFT+DOTS 4-6
Select from Start of Line LEFT SHIFT+DOT 2 or DOTS 1-3-7 CHORD
Select to End of Line LEFT SHIFT+DOT 5 or DOTS 4-6-7 CHORD
Select from Top LEFT SHIFT+L or L+DOTS 7 CHORDLEFT SHIFT+DOTS 1-2-3 or DOTS 1-2-3-7 CHORD
Select to Bottom LEFT SHIFT+DOTS 4-5-6 or DOTS 4-5-6-7 CHORD
Select AllLEFT SHIFT+FOR SignLEFT SHIFT+DOTS 1-2-3-4-5-6
Move To Beginning Of LineROCKER BAR UP+PANNING BUTTON
Move To End Of LineROCKER BAR DOWN+PANNING BUTTON

Braille Commands

Use these keystrokes to configure various braille functions. Both keystrokes and braille dot patterns are provided in the table.

DescriptionKeystroke DOTS Pattern
Grade 2 Expand Current WordT CHORDDOTS 2-3-4-5 CHORD
Grade 2 TranslationDOTS 1-2-4-5-7 CHORDDOTS 1-2-4-5-7 CHORD
Toggle Characters and AttributesCH Sign CHORDDOTS 1-6 CHORD
Cycle Among Braille Display ModesM CHORDDOTS 1-3-4 CHORD
Toggle 8/6 DOTS Braille8 CHORDDOTS 2-3-6 CHORD
Change Cursor ShapeSH Sign CHORDDOTS 1-4-6 CHORD
Restrict Braille CursorR CHORDDOTS 1-2-3-5 CHORD
Switch Braille Translation TableDOTS 2-3-4-5-7 CHORDDOTS 2-3-4-5-7 CHORD

Windows Commands

Use these keystrokes for basic editing functions in Windows.

DescriptionBraille SignDOTS Pattern
ALT+TABLEFT SHIFT+DOTS 4-5LEFT SHIFT+DOTS 4-5
Paste from ClipboardLEFT SHIFT+VLEFT SHIFT+DOTS 1-2-3-6
Copy to ClipboardLEFT SHIFT+CLEFT SHIFT+DOTS 1-4
Cut to ClipboardLEFT SHIFT+XLEFT SHIFT+DOTS 1-3-4-6
UndoLEFT SHIFT+ZLEFT SHIFT+DOTS 1-3-5-6
DeleteLEFT SHIFT+DLEFT SHIFT+DOTS 1-4-5

JAWS Commands

Use these keystrokes to perform some of the more common JAWS functions.

DescriptionBraille SignDOTS Pattern
JAWS WindowRIGHT SHIFT+JRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 2-4-5
Quick SettingsRIGHT SHIFT+VRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-2-3-6
List FramesRIGHT SHIFT+9RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 3-5
List HeadingsRIGHT SHIFT+6RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 2-3-5
List LinksRIGHT SHIFT+7RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 2-3-5-6
Open Task ListRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 3-5-6RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 3-5-6
List System Tray IconsRIGHT SHIFT+KRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-3
Say System TimeRIGHT SHIFT DOTS 1-2-3RIGHT SHIFT DOTS 1-2-3
Drag and DropRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 3-7 CHORD
Refresh ScreenRIGHT SHIFT+ZRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-3-5-6
Say FontRIGHT SHIFT+FRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-2-4
Toggle Keyboard HelpQUESTION MARK CHORDDOTS 1-4-5-6 CHORD
Windows Keys HelpRIGHT SHIFT+WRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 2-4-5-6
Read Current WindowRIGHT SHIFT+BRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-2
Default Button in DialogRIGHT SHIFT+ERIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-5
Shut DOWN JAWSRIGHT SHIFT+4RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 2-5-6
Select a Voice ProfileRIGHT SHIFT+SRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 2-3-4
Temporarily Increase Speech RateLEFT or RIGHT SHIFT+RIGHT SELECT CHORD
Temporarily Decrease Speech RateLEFT or RIGHT SHIFT+LEFT SELECT CHORD
Permanently Increase Speech RateRIGHT SELECT CHORD
Permanently Decrease Speech RateLEFT SELECT CHORD
Toggle Speech On DemandRIGHT SHIFT+MRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-3-4
Silence SpeechLEFT or RIGHT SHIFT

Cursor Functions

Use these keystrokes to select one of the cursors used by JAWS.

DescriptionBraille SignDOTS Pattern
JAWS CursorJ CHORDDOTS 2-4-5 CHORD
PC CursorP CHORDDOTS 1-2-3-4 CHORD
Touch CursorDOTS 1-2-5-6 CHORDDOTS 1-2-5-6 CHORD
Route JAWS to PCRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 3-6 (MINUS Sign)RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 3-6
Route PC to JAWSRIGHT SHIFT+ING Sign (PLUS Sign)RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 3-4-6
Braille Follows ActiveDOTS 1-2-6 CHORDDOTS 1-2-6 CHORD
Active Follows BrailleDOTS 1-2-7 CHORDDOTS 1-2-7 CHORD
Route Braille Cursor to PC CursorLEFT SHIFT+DOTS 3-4-6LEFT SHIFT+DOTS 3-4-6
Route Braille Cursor to Active CursorLEFT SHIFT+RIGHT SHIFT or LEFT SHIFT+DOTS 3-6LEFT SHIFT+RIGHT SHIFT or LEFT SHIFT+DOTS 3-6

Touch Cursor Functions

Use these keystrokes to navigate using the Touch Cursor.

DescriptionBraille SignDOTS Pattern
Touch CursorDOTS 1-2-5-6 CHORDDOTS 1-2-5-6 CHORD
Prior ElementDOTS 1-2 CHORDDOTS 1-2 CHORD
Next ElementDOTS 4-5 CHORDDOTS 4-5 CHORD
Say Current ElementC CHORDDOTS 1-4 CHORD
Next Element by Type (specified in the navigation rotor)LEFT or RIGHT ROCKER DOWNLEFT or RIGHT ROCKER DOWN
Prior Element by Type (specified in the navigation rotor)LEFT or RIGHT ROCKER UPLEFT or RIGHT ROCKER UP
Move Forward Through Navigation TypesLEFT SELECT+LEFT ROCKER DOWN, RIGHT SELECT+LEFT ROCKER DOWN, LEFT SELECT+RIGHT ROCKER DOWN, or RIGHT SELECT+RIGHT ROCKER DOWNLEFT SELECT+LEFT ROCKER DOWN, RIGHT SELECT+LEFT ROCKER DOWN, LEFT SELECT+RIGHT ROCKER DOWN, or RIGHT SELECT+RIGHT ROCKER DOWN
Move Backward Through Navigation TypesLEFT SELECT+LEFT ROCKER UP, RIGHT SELECT+LEFT ROCKER UP, LEFT SELECT+RIGHT ROCKER UP, or RIGHT SELECT+RIGHT ROCKER UPLEFT SELECT+LEFT ROCKER UP, RIGHT SELECT+LEFT ROCKER UP, LEFT SELECT+RIGHT ROCKER UP, or RIGHT SELECT+RIGHT ROCKER UP
Move to First ElementLEFT PANNING+LEFT or RIGHT SELECT or L CHORDLEFT PANNING+LEFT or RIGHT SELECT or DOTS 1-2-3 CHORD
Move to Last ElementRIGHT PANNING+LEFT or RIGHT SELECT or DOTS 4-5-6 CHORDLEFT PANNING+LEFT or RIGHT SELECT or DOTS 4-5-6 CHORD
Activate Current ElementCURSOR ROUTING BUTTONCURSOR ROUTING BUTTON
Activate Text Review ModeRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 7RIGHT SHIFT+DOT 7
Turn Off Text Review ModeRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 1 or X CHORDRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 1 or DOTS 1-3-4-6 CHORD
Toggle Advanced NavigationRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 3 or press and hold a cursor routing buttonRIGHT SHIFT+DOT 3 or press and hold a cursor routing button

Utility Functions

Use these keystrokes for general utility functions.

DescriptionBraille SignDOTS Pattern
Run JAWS ManagerRIGHT SHIFT+2RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 2-3
Set Frame Top LEFTRIGHT SHIFT+OW SignRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 2-4-6
Set Frame Bottom RIGHTRIGHT SHIFT+ER SignRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-2-4-5-6
Graphics LabelerRIGHT SHIFT+GRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-2-4-5
JAWS FindRIGHT SHIFT+F CHORDRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 1-2-4 CHORD
JAWS Find NextRIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 2-5RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 2-5

Using BrailleIn to Type with Contracted Braille

The BrailleIn feature lets you type in contracted braille using your Perkins-style keyboard. The input is immediately translated back as normal text in your current e-mail, document, or form. If an application or specific edit box does not support contracted braille, JAWS announces “Computer Braille” when tutor messages are enabled. In addition, the Computer Braille start symbol, dots 4-5-6 followed by dots 3-4-6, is shown on the braille display to indicate when Computer Braille is required.

Computer braille input is selected by default. To use contracted braille, do the following:

  1. Press INSERT+F2, and select Settings Center.
  2. To apply changes to all applications, press CTRL+SHIFT+D to load the JAWS default settings. To apply changes to a specific application, select it from the Applications combo box.
  3. In the Search edit box, type “Translation” without the quotes.
  4. Press DOWN ARROW to move to Translation in the filtered search results in the tree view and press ENTER to move focus to the Translation group. Press RIGHT ARROW to expand the group.
  5. Press SPACEBAR to cycle through the different settings in the Output combo box to configure the mode for reading braille on your display.
    The first option is always Computer Braille. The other available options depend on the currently selected language. For example, when the language is set to English United States, which is the default setting, the available output modes are U.S. English Grade 1, U.S. English Grade 2, Unified English Braille Grade 1, and Unified English Braille Grade 2. If you set the language to French, the available modes are French Grade 1 and French Grade 2. The default output mode is Computer Braille.
  6. Press SPACEBAR to cycle through the different settings in the Input combo box to specify the input mode used when typing braille from the Perkins-style keyboard on your display.
    The first option is always Computer Braille. The other available option depends on the currently selected output mode. For instance, if you have chosen to display Unified English Braille Grade 2, then you can choose to type in either Computer Braille or Unified English Braille Grade 2. The default input mode is Computer Braille. This setting is not available if the selected output mode is Computer Braille, or the selected output mode does not support input.
  7. Choose OK to save your changes and close Settings Center.