Moderated Re: Spell Checking and HJ Pad
I hope that a lot of polite inteligent conversation with FS might have a decent chance. If enough of us could just convince them of the need.
I realize that Outlook and HJPad may not be important to everyone but how difficult would it be to just make a few minor upgrades.
Sent: Sunday, November 10, 2019 2:20 PM
Subject: Re: Spell Checking and HJ Pad
Sadly I think the answer to all of your questions is no.
This is why I think FS, given that they appear not to have touch HJPad for over a decade at least should consider releasing its code into public domain where VI community programmers could possibly transform its usefulness.
Alternatively someone in-house could probably tweak it very quickly so that at least it would be possible to repair the user dictionaries function which over time would greatly assist a more helpful spell checking experience.
Getting Jaws to announce formatting change when hotkeys are used to apply bold and so on would also make it seem more modern.
I have not contacted FS about this but if there is sufficient support here I may do so.
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
From: JM Casey
Sent: 10 November 2019 20:08
Subject: Re: Spell Checking and HJ Pad
Interesting post. I have known about this programme but never bothered to use it, since I’ve got several word processors and text editors at my disposal already. But your point about the spell-check is well taken. I use Word most of the time if I want to be “professional”, but I’ve stuck with 2016 non-subscription. The spell-check works alright, but it’s not exactly the nicest thing. I believe my spelling is accurate 99% of the time, so it’s not something I use much, but certainly for “pro” writing, I still believe in being cautious.
Can you do anything with the HJ-Pad dictionary at all? What languages does it recognise? Can you import other dictionaries?
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> On Behalf Of David Griffith
Sent: November 10, 2019 12:04 PM
Subject: Spell Checking and HJ Pad
I think many people forget that for over a decade now there has been a basic word processor provided with Jaws called HJ Pad.
On my system it is located in
C:\Program Files\Freedom Scientific\JAWS\2020\HJPAD.EXE
This is potentially a very useful utility. However it is unfortunately showing its age and takes a few seconds to load on my machine, normally after windows reporting a not responding message which then disappears.
This utility badly needs updating in other areas also but remains useful.
Whilst this is by no means a fully fledge Word Processor in the style of Word many Word shortcuts work here. For example control H will bring up the replace dialogue with options for replace all etc. It also provide basic formatting with, if you need it bold, underline italics etc . You will need however to use Jaws key plus F to confirm format information changes.
However I think the most valuable aspect to this little word processing utility lays not in format control but it extremely easy and accessible Spell checking functionality.
I find spellchecking in Word office subscription version increasingly un-intuitive. I can sort of use it but sometimes it appears to inexplicably miss obvious spelling errors. This is probably my user error but I never had problems with spell checking in earlier versions of Word and I do get a little lost amongst the mass of Grammar options Word now provides.
As result I am a little untrusting of Word, , especially for blog posting.
For quick and dirty checking of Blog posts HJPad is an option. The Spell Checker is not modern, a little limited in vocabulary and any attempt to add a word to a User Dictionary results in an error message.
Nevertheless the Spell Checker is like stepping back in time to the easy early Word Spell Checking dialogues and for quick blog checking is I think, still a useful free tool for Jaws
Users. I wish FS would devote just a little effort to update this utility as I am sure others would find it really useful with a little tweaking. With a slightly improved dictionary, and the repair of the broken ability to add words to a User dictionary it would really come in useful.
Also a basic script so that Jaws announces bold on and off as control b and other formatting changes are made would also update this utility mightily.
If FS really cannot devote any time to updating this utility then perhaps they could make it open source and freeware so that the VIP programming community could take this little product forward and develop it to the benefit of screen reading users everywhere. It could then rise from obscurity to have a new life to assist many of us.