Monday, September 4, 2017 2:21:14 PM

JAWS VERSION 2020.2003.13.400 (march 2020 release)

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Here we are presenting the JAWS2020, v2001.70.400 (, February 2020 release full package. JAWS is the most popular screen reader of the world, therefore do not require any introduction. It has been developed by "Freedom Scientific". To know more about their products, you can visit their homePage.

What's new in jaws 2020?

Reduced Double Speaking of Form Control Prompts

When navigating and filling out forms on the web, it has become increasingly common for web page authors to include the prompt inside the control in addition to assigning an accessible Tag for the control. While non-screen reader users only see the written prompt, those using a screen reader are getting both the Prompt and accessible Tag in Speech as well as Braille if a display is in use. Often times, the web page author has assigned the same text for each, so it appears the screen reader is double speaking. In JAWS 2020, we have greatly reduced the amount of double speaking of form controls as you navigate using speech and Braille by comparing the prompt and these tags, and only speaking or brailling them both if they are different.

Zoom Meeting Scripts Added for an Improved Experience

Thanks to Hartgen Consulting, basic scripts for Zoom are now included directly in JAWS and Fusion to improve the experience when attending Zoom Meetings. This platform is used for our quarterly FS Open Line program as well as the free training webinars we hold each month. These scripts offer a more pleasant experience by giving more control over what you hear, without interrupting the flow as users enter or leave the room or make comments. Press INSERT+H to view a list of JAWS keystrokes available in Zoom such as turning off alerts, speaking recent chat messages, and more. You can also press INSERT+W to view a list of Zoom hot keys.

Hartgen Consultancy also offers more advanced scripts for Zoom Pro if you are interested.

Enhanced JAWS and Invisible Cursor Support for Windows 10 Universal Apps

For years, JAWS has provided the ability for users to quickly review text on the screen without changing the system focus. For instance, if you need to access information in a dialog box that is not accessible using TAB or SHIFT+TAB, you could press NUM PAD MINUS or NUM PAD MINUS twice quickly to activate the JAWS or Invisible Cursor and then use the ARROW keys and other standard reading commands to move around the screen while the system focus remained on the current control. The primary difference between the JAWS and Invisible Cursors is that the mouse pointer follows along with the JAWS Cursor so you can click items using the NUM PAD SLASH or NUM PAD STAR commands.

In order to access screen content with the JAWS and Invisible Cursors, we use a technology called the Off-Screen Model (OSM). However, in the last few years, an increasing number of applications are now using newer technologies such as User Interface Automation (UIA) to present screen content which made the JAWS and Invisible Cursor useless in these situations. When activating these cursors in applications like the Calculator, Weather, or most apps from the Microsoft Store, you would only hear “blank” when attempting to review the screen.

JAWS 2020 now detects when focus is in an application where the OSM is not supported and will automatically use the new JAWS or Invisible Scan Cursor in these situations. You will use all of the same navigation commands as you would with the traditional JAWS Cursor or the Invisible Cursors.

For example, if you press NUM PAD MINUS in the Weather app so you can review a forecast, you will now hear JAWS announce "JAWS Scan Cursor" as this is an app that does not support the OSM. Similarly, if you press NUM PAD Minus twice quickly, you will hear JAWS announce, “Invisible Scan Cursor.” You can then use the same commands you always have to review text with the difference being that you are now navigating through the UIA elements of the app.

For instance:

  • LEFT or RIGHT ARROW moves by character through the text of the current element.
  • CTRL+LEFT or CTRL+RIGHT ARROW moves by word.
  • UP or DOWN ARROW moves to the previous or next element or line of text.
  • HOME or END moves to the beginning or end of the current element.
  • CTRL+HOME or CTRL+END moves to the first or last element on the screen.

You can still use JAWS commands such as INSERT+UP ARROW to read the current element or line of text as well as CTRL+F to search for text currently visible on the screen. When using the JAWS Scan Cursor, the mouse pointer follows along as you navigate so you can still press NUM PAD SLASH or NUM PAD STAR to perform a left or right click.

While the JAWS and Invisible Scan Cursors work in many places, we are continuing to improve this functionality in more areas. Look out for improvements in future 2020 updates.

Convenient OCR Updated to Use the Latest OmniPage

The recognition engine used by the JAWS Convenient OCR feature has been updated to Kofax OmniPage 20, formerly owned by Nuance. This offers greater accuracy when recognizing the text from on-screen images as well as text from images captured with a PEARL camera or scanner.

For users needing to OCR using Hebrew or Arabic, these languages are automatically installed with any English or Western European download of JAWS and Fusion.

Virtual Cursor Toggle Now Tab Specific in Google Chrome

Today, there are many web apps where using the Virtual Cursor is not the best approach. An example of this can be seen if you use Gmail in the Chrome Browser. In these cases, it makes sense to toggle the Virtual Cursor off by pressing INSERT+Z and then use this application with the PC cursor. Many users also regularly open multiple tabs (CTRL+T) so they can easily access different sites such as GMail plus one or two other pages by moving between the open tabs using CTRL+TAB. This can become frustrating as you need to constantly press INSERT+Z to get the right cursor in use as you switch between tabs.

Beginning with version 2020, we are introducing an option to help JAWS automatically remember the state of the Virtual Cursor for each tab once you set it. It will also announce whether the Virtual Cursor is on or off as you move between various tabs. Once you close the browser, or restart JAWS, it will default back to its default behavior so you will need to set this each day as you use it.

This feature is turned on by default. To toggle this option, do the following:

  1. Press INSERT+6 to open Settings Center.
  2. Press CTRL+SHIFT+D to load the default file.
  3. Type "Tab" in the search field.
  4. Press DOWN ARROW until you locate "Virtual Cursor On/Off based on Browser Tabs."
  5. Press the SPACEBAR to change the option and then select OK.

Contracted Braille Input Enhancements

For ElBraille users as well as those who regularly use a Braille display with their PC, JAWS 2020 offers significant improvements when typing in contracted Braille. In particular:

  • You should now be able to enter and edit text in numbered and bulleted lists in Word, WordPad, Outlook, and Windows Mail.
  • Contracted Braille input is now supported in more applications including PowerPoint and TextPad.
  • Improved Contracted Braille input in WordPad, especially when editing a numbered or bulleted list created in Word and opened in Wordpad. This includes properly handling wrapped items which previously showed the number or bullet on subsequent wrapped lines, rather than indenting the text.
  • Improved Contracted Braille input in Chrome, Google docs, and other online editors which can create bulleted and numbered lists.
  • Typing rapidly using Contracted Braille in Microsoft Office as well as other applications should no longer result in text becoming scrambled.

Updated JAWS Basic Training

The JAWS Basic Training has been updated to include the latest features in JAWS 2020. There will still be the same nine books, however each book has been reorganized to be more task oriented as well as simplified to apply to more people in more situations. For instance, in the JAWS User Interface and Utilities book, we won't be trying to show everything in the UI as we did in the past. Instead, we point out the most important things and where to find them in both the menus and in the Utilities folder. This makes it easier for teachers, instructors, IT professionals, etc. to get an overview of where to find things quickly.

To update a book, do the following:

  1. Press INSERT+J to open the JAWS application window.
  2. Press ALT+H to choose the Help menu, and then press ENTER to choose Training.
  3. FSReader opens and displays the JAWS Training Table of Contents which contains links to all of the available DAISY training books. Use the ARROW keys to navigate to the book you want to open and then press ENTER. If the book is not currently on your computer or an updated book is available, FSReader will automatically download and install it.
  4. Repeat this process for each book you want to download.

Toggle JAWS Sounds in Speech On Demand

Introduced in JAWS and Fusion 2018, Speech On Demand allows you to limit the amount of JAWS speech you hear as you navigate windows and documents or perform other actions using hot keys and is activated using a convenient layered keystroke (INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by S). For JAWS users who rely heavily on Braille or for users of Fusion that can see well enough to use the screen for tracking focus, too much speech can be overwhelming while navigating using the keyboard and mouse. By default, when using Speech On Demand, JAWS only announces actions for a limited set of screen reading keystrokes such as reading the current character, word, line, window title, and so on. Windows navigation commands such as moving to the next or previous character, line, or word do not speak. Refer to the Speech On Demand topic in the JAWS Help for a full list of commands that provide speech in this mode.

JAWS and Fusion 2020 now allow you to specify whether or not JAWS generated sounds are heard when Speech On Demand is active. JAWS sounds include the sound heard when pressing INSERT+SPACEBAR to perform a layered keystroke as well as the sound heard when completing an address in Outlook. By default, JAWS sounds will continue to be heard. If you do not want to hear JAWS sounds when Speech On Demand is active or when speech is completely muted, open Settings Center, expand the Speech Options group, and clear the "Play JAWS Sounds" check box. You can customize other Speech On Demand settings in this group as well.

Filter Control Characters in Braille

Depending on the application you are using, control characters may be used to represent certain document elements like page breaks or line breaks. JAWS now allows you to configure whether or not these control characters are shown on the Braille display. By default, JAWS does not output these control characters in Braille to help provide a smoother reading experience. However, there may be times when having control characters displayed in Braille could be helpful when editing text.

To display control characters in Braille, open Settings Center, expand Text Processing, expand, Proofing, and clear the "Filter Control Characters such as Page Breaks" check box. Control characters will be displayed correctly for both Computer Braille and Contracted Braille output.

General Changes in Response to Customer Requests

  • While browsing the internet, JAWS will no longer announce "Clickable" by default as you move to various content.
  • You should no longer hear the message "Press JAWS Key+ALT+R to hear descriptive text" as you navigate form controls and certain other elements on the web.
  • Removed extraneous "Insert F1 Help" announcements that were heard when navigating through various controls on the web.
  • By default in Word and Outlook, JAWS will no longer announce "Alt SHIFT F10 to adjust Auto Correction" when you move to something that was auto corrected previously.
  • JAWS and Fusion will no longer gather and announce the count of all the objects, misspellings, grammatical errors, and so on when a document is opened in Word. This will enable documents to load much faster, including very large documents containing a lot of these items. You can always press INSERT+F1 for an overview of what the document contains.
  • Improved responsiveness when closing Word after saving a document.
  • The AutoCorrect Detection option, previously only available in the Quick Settings for Word, can now also be changed in the Quick Settings for Outlook (INSERT+V).
  • Pressing INSERT+W while focused in PowerPoint now displays a list of useful PowerPoint hot keys.
  • In Google Docs, JAWS now announces the currently selected menu when you activate a menu or use LEFT and RIGHT ARROW to move between menus. In addition, if a document contains lists, JAWS now indicates list item markers such as "1, 2, 3."

Updated BraillePen Display Driver

Added an updated driver from Harpo in Poland to support their New BraillePen 14 Braille device in addition to the previously supported BraillePen 12T. Now, all models are supported by this driver.

Improved JAWS and Fusion Installation for Multi-Lingual Computers and Applications

When performing a full installation of JAWS or Fusion 2020 on computers offering multiple languages for Windows or specific applications like Office, you now have the opportunity to install additional JAWS languages to match the available operating system or application languages. This makes it more convenient for agencies and other groups using multi-lingual systems as they can easily switch the JAWS user interface language to match the current operating system language without having to uninstall and install a different version of JAWS.

On the main setup screen, choose the Options button to display a list of available JAWS languages for installation. Use the SPACEBAR to select the languages you want to install and then select OK to continue. Once JAWS is installed, Use the Language menu in the JAWS application window to switch between languages. Before switching the JAWS language, make sure you have configured Windows to use the matching language. Otherwise, JAWS keystrokes and other features may not work as expected.

Note: This is not recommended for users who just want to read web pages or documents in a secondary language. For these users, you only need to install additional voices for that language and allow JAWS or Fusion to switch automatically. Changing the User Interface of JAWS to a language other than that of the Operating System will create problems trying to navigate and work with applications in the primary language.

Enhancements in JAWS 2020.2001.70 (February 2020)

The following is a list of improvements made between the December 2019 release and the February 2020 update.

  • Addressed issues using JAWS and Fusion with the new Microsoft Edge Chromium Browser released in January 2020. Notable fixes include reviewing text in Edit Controls and the Address Bar as well as a possible loss of speech and braille output.
  • Added a new JAWS Settings Center option called "Skip Blank Lines While Navigating" which is on by default when reading web pages and PDF documents. This feature helps make reading more efficient as JAWS and Fusion ignores blank lines as you navigate using UP and DOWN ARROW. For those who prefer to hear blank lines while navigating, open Settings Center (INSERT+6) and clear this check box. You can find this new option in the Web / HTML / PDF group under Reading.
  • Changed the Highlight Tracking used in JAWS when navigating web pages or PDF documents with the Virtual Cursor from a Green Block to a Red Box to match ZoomText and Fusion. To further customize the settings used for visually highlighting text as you navigate, open Settings Center and expand the Visual Tracking group.
  • When reading comments in Word documents, JAWS now also reads any reply comments. For instance, if you are focused on a comment that contains a reply, pressing ALT+SHIFT+APOSTROPHE now reads both the original comment followed by the reply.
  • When using Say All (INSERT+DOWN ARROW) to read a book in the Kindle for PC application, resolved a customer reported issue where JAWS or Fusion would repeat the last line after reaching the end.
  • Added a new Quick Settings option called "Blank Cell Announcement" for JAWS and Fusion that is available when using Excel. By default, when you encounter empty cells as you navigate spreadsheets, you hear "blank" followed by the cell coordinates. Turn off this option if you only want to hear the coordinates of empty cells, making speech less verbose as you navigate.
  • Removed the "Microsoft Edge Browser Support" option from JAWS Settings Center as it is no longer needed. This control was required in order to use the original Edge browser that is being removed from Windows 10 by Microsoft and replaced by the new Chromium version of Edge released in January 2020.
  • Added the ability for JAWS and Fusion to properly recognize and report both Column Span and Row Span info in HTML tables where information might span over 2 or more cells.
  • For JAWS installations licensed using one of the new portal licenses that is tied to an email address, the status line of the JAWS window now only displays the expiration date for the license. The About dialog box will display additional license information including the users email Address, expiration date, and the serial number.
  • Resolved a reported issue where a customer was not able to properly migrate settings from an earlier version.
  • Addressed an issue where typing Contracted Braille very quickly using a Braille keyboard would sometimes cause text to appear in gibberish. This was observed primarily when typing in Office applications and when exporting text from the Scratchpad on Focus displays into an open Office document.
  • Resolved a long standing issue where attempting to select and delete multiple words in a row using a Braille keyboard was not working as expected in Word and Outlook.
  • When typing into a Word document using Contracted Braille, resolved an issue where immediately backspacing over a word and typing a replacement word would result in duplicate text on the current line.
  • Added support for 3 African Languages (Sotho, Xhosa, and Zulu) when using Convenient OCR in JAWS and Fusion.
  • Resolved a reported issue with TreeViews in Eclipse not reading as expected using speech. Braille support for these controls will be addressed in a future update.
  • All JAWS Flexible Web Rules created for 1 chromium based Browser will now apply for any other browser that also uses Chromium. For example, if you create a Flexible Web Rule in Chrome, it will also apply for the new Microsoft Edge Chromium Browser.
  • Resolved an issue where FSReader would become unresponsive when opening a very large DAISY book.
  • Added a function for web application scripts that helps JAWS ignore the role="application" attribute when a web author has used it incorrectly. This was reported by ONCE in Spain and was related to SAP web-based applications.
  • Resolved a reported issue from Once in Spain where opening very large messages in Outlook 365 with lots of nested levels was causing JAWS and Outlook to stop responding.
  • Added Color Settings options to the View menu in the Script Manager to help users who have issues viewing certain colors, for instance, red/green color
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