Re: Views on Keyboard Shortcuts to teach or, perhaps, emphasize when teaching

Adrian Spratt

Actually, you can make a very big generalization about what keystrokes come from JAWS. Any combination that uses the numpad insert key (desktop) or caps lock key (laptop) is almost certainly, if not definitely, a JAWS keystroke.

I agree it's extremely helpful to distinguish between keystrokes that originate with MS from those specific to JAWS. For one thing, if you're working with a non-JAWS user, MS keystroke commands are a common language, but JAWS commands are available only to JAWS users.

I imagine some new JAWS users will find certain comments in this thread intimidating. Like many on this list, I am mostly self-taught, but the JAWS trainer who got me started on a primitive word processor made everything else that followed possible. She gave me what I needed for specific tasks, but while doing so conveyed some generalizations.

Since then, people have passed along tips that made all the difference. This example will seem basic, and it is, but it was another woman techy who grounded me in Windows as I made the reluctant transition from DOS. While setting up some application or other on my computer, she remarked in passing that copy was control-c, cut control-x and paste control-v. Windows opened up for me from there.

Many of us lament the loss of file menus in Office applications. Figuring out my way around these menus was useful and didn't require much memorizing. As long as I had ideas in my head of where to look, it was there to find. Ribbons are more complicated, but that's all they are. Having grasped the ribbon structure, I can, if need be, hunt for the function I need. Here, though, I prefer to search on Google or go to a textbook, such as those written by CathyAnne Murtha.

I also benefited from concepts about the structure of DOS that still translate to Windows. Earlier, a lister talked about the file cabinet or shelving analogy. What is more vivid to me is the tree analogy. For example, Outlook has a trunk that consists of the line of folders. Each folder branches out to a list of messages. The To, From, message, etc., fields within an individual message are twigs. Perhaps I go too far with the twigs, but thinking of the structure in this way helps me understand what I'm doing when I tab or arrow up and down. This tree analogy applies throughout Windows.

Since joining this list, I've picked up many, many tips. I keep a folder listing them alphabetically by subject. I often forget even a valuable piece of advice the next day, but if the need arises, something will be triggered in my mind and I can go to my Word document. Others will refer to the list's digest, which I know James is putting into more usable form.

Some listers have given me invaluable off-list help, such as when I switched to Windows 7 and started with Office 2010 ribbons. The trick here is to make sure you listen well, take notes, and don't keep going back with the same questions.

As students, we do best when we figure out how our minds work best. Intelligence takes many more forms than what the SATs and such tests measure. for me, what works is a combination of a modest amount of memorization, willingness to spend a limited time exploring, and acquisition of the habit to compile resources. If I remember something, that's quickest. If I have a notion where something should be, exploring takes a little more time, but I'll get there. If I'm really not sure, I turn to Google or a reference textbook.

It's incumbent on the teacher to understand how a student's mind works and to steer the instruction to his or her strengths. The opportunity to do so is the advantage of individual instruction, which is typical of screenreader training.

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill White []
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2016 10:58 PM
Subject: Re: Views on Keyboard Shortcuts to teach or, perhaps, emphasize when teaching

Hi, Laura. No question is dumb, especially if you've done your best to find
the answer and still haven't found it when you ask the question.

The only way I know to tell if a keystroke is a JAWS command or a Windows
keystroke is to get a list of both, and compare. There isn't a way to tell
other than to use another screen reader briefly, and see if the keystroke is
still active when the alternate screen reader is being used. If the
keystroke works when the alternate reader is invoked, the keystroke is
probably a Windows keystroke.

Having said this, it is important to read the JAWS materials, and to
familiarize yourself with the various key commands used in JAWS.

Keystrokes for Windows are more easily found on the web.
Bill White
----- Original Message -----
From: "Laura Richardson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2016 7:05 PM
Subject: Re: Views on Keyboard Shortcuts to teach or, perhaps, emphasize
when teaching


This may seem like a dumb question but I’ll ask it anyway ...... When using
keystrokes to perform certain tasks, could someone tell me how I know if
that is a Windows keystroke or a Jaws keystroke? I use Windows 7 and Jaws


-----Original Message-----
From: Carolyn Arnold []
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2016 7:41 PM
Subject: Re: Views on Keyboard Shortcuts to teach or, perhaps, emphasize
when teaching

Brian, I think that we need to know Windows strokes, since we are working in
a Windows system, but, as blind users, it is imperative for us to know JAWS
specific strokes. That is why, for us, there is so much more to learn to get
maximum use from our computers.

Bye for now,


-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Vogel []
Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 6:13 PM
Subject: Views on Keyboard Shortcuts to teach or, perhaps, emphasize when

[Edited Message Follows]

Hello All,

What follows is a rather philosophical question but that certainly
has practical implications that the cohort will know about a lot more
personally than I ever can. Hence this is the place to ask.

When I tutor on using JAWS I do not focus exclusively on JAWS and
its keystrokes because JAWS hovers on top of all other Windows programs and
assists in using those. My philosophy is that I want my clients to know as
many, if not more, keyboard shortcuts that are universally, or very close to
universally, applicable in all Windows programs. I want them to know that,
in almost all cases, ALT+F opens the file menu or equivalent, followed by S
saves a file, followed by A does a Save as, etc.

One of my clients, with whom I had a marathon 3.25 hour tutoring
session yesterday, is relatively new to using Windows Live Mail as well as
using PDF XChange viewer to perform OCR on the many image PDFs that still
get thrown his way. As a result, I worked him through certain tasks
step-by-step and create instructions in the same format, examples of which
will follow. It was only when we were conversing afterward, and he used the
phrase JAWS keyboard shortcuts when talking about conventional Windows
keyboard shortcuts that I thought it important that he had at least a basic
understanding that keyboard shortcuts do differ in what program layer, JAWS
versus a give Windows program, is responsible for the interpretation of
same. I want him to understand how to apply Windows keyboard shortcuts "by
extension" when he is playing around with a Windows program that's new to
him. Is this a mistake to try to make this distinction? Is it unwise to
not focus nearly exclusively on JAWS keyboard shortcuts for functions that
also exist independently as a different Windows keyboard shortcut? I'd love
to get the perspective of those who would know the pluses and minuses of
leaning one way or another.

What follows are a couple of examples of the step-by-step
instruction sets I've created, and they look more complicated than they
actually are because I try to break things down into simple single steps.
Once you know what you're doing most of these tasks can be done in a few
moments. I'll include the instructions for running OCR with PDF XChange
Viewer because it may be helpful to some here who have decided to play with
that program. All focus almost exclusively on using WIndows keyboard
shortcuts for the program in question with JAWS serving the role of
narrating what's happening while you do this.


Using PDF XChange Viewer to perform OCR on any PDF you receive that is an
image PDF, step-by-step:

1. Open PDF XChange Viewer from your start menu.

2. Hit ALT+F,O to bring up the file open browsing dialog.

3. Hit ALT+I to jump directly to the Look In combo box

4. Hit down arrow to get into the area that’s somewhat, but not exactly,
like the tree view in Windows Explorer.

5. Hit L until you hear, “Libraries,” announced.

6. Hit TAB two times, you should hear, “Documents”.

7. Hit SPACEBAR to select the Documents library.

8. Hit ENTER to open the documents library.

9. Hit the first character of the folder or file name you’re trying to
perform OCR on. Keep doing this with the first character until you hear its
name announced.

10. Hit Enter to open the file or folder. If you’re
dealing with a file at this step go straight to step 11. Otherwise, do the

a. If you know the file is in this folder then use the “hit the first
character” technique to locate it and jump to step 11 once you have.

b. If you need to drill down another folder level go back to step 9.

11. Hit ALT+O to open the file in PDF XChange Viewer.

12. Hit CTRL+SHIFT+C to open the OCR dialog box.
Immediately hit ENTER to initiate the OCR processing. The length of time
this takes depends on the size of the file being processed. JAWS does not
read the processing status box, but will announce the file’s name with star
after it when the processing completes. That’s how you’ll know it’s done.

13. Hit ALT+F,S to save the file and its OCR text
into the original file itself.

14. Hit ALT+F4 to close PDF XChange Viewer.


Creating a new folder in Windows Explorer, step-by-step:

1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder location in which
you wish to create the new folder.

2. Hit ALT+F,W,F to create the new folder itself.

3. Type in the name you want for the new folder you’re creating.

4. Hit ENTER to make that new name stick, and you’re done.


To find a specific e-mail message in WLM, step-by-step:

1. Hit ALT+O,FI which opens the message find submenu

2. You are presented with two choices in this submenu: Find Text and
Find Message. I will cover each of these briefly.

3. Find Text presents a dialog box allows you to enter a word, words, or
phrase that you know is somewhere within the message you’re trying to find.
Simply enter that text and skip to step 5.

4. Find Message presents you with a dialog box with a number of possible
attributes of the message you might want to search on, e.g., Subject, From,
To, and others. Tab through and fill in whichever of these attributes you
wish to include in the search. After you’ve filled in whichever are
pertinent, go to step 5.

5. Hit ALT+I to activate the Find Now key. This will cause a dialog box
to come up with the list of messages that match whatever you searched on, if
any exist. These are presented very much like your inbox message list, but
are composed only of messages that match the search criteria you entered.
When you hear the one you’re interested in as you move through them, hit
ENTER to open it.

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