Re: JAWS Not Reading Outlook Messages

Paul Martz <skewmatrix@...>

I occasionally encounter this issue. I’m using current JAWS with Outlook 2010 on Windows 7. I think there are two different situations that cause the issue.


First, I believe it’s somehow related to the format of the email message. There are plain text emails, HTML emails, and then some strange third flavor that causes JAWS to freak out. If JAWS is able to read some emails but not others, then you should suspect message format as the culprit. I don’t know a way to work around this.


Second, sometimes JAWS just gets in a mode where it won’t read any emails. If it refuses to read even emails it has successfully read in the past, then this is the problem you’re encountering. I usually try a series of restarts until things are working again (e.g., close and re-open Outlook, if that doesn’t work close and restart JAWS, if that doesn’t work reboot the computer).


Here are a couple other issues I’ve noticed.


Sometimes you hit enter to read an email, but JAWS focus lands on the message subject instead of the message body. You have to tab around to find the message body. Frustrating.


And, from working with computers owned by other JAWS users, I’ve discovered that the Outlook configuration can contribute to usage problems. I find it best to turn off preview pane, set the messages to display as a list with a single line showing sender, subject, and date, and configuring each message to open in a new window. The setting to nest messages in a thread is personal preference – turning it on causes its own set of headaches, but turning it off might be intolerable.


Well I hope all this rambling helps.




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