What's new in this release:
Enhancements in JAWS 2021.2103.174 (April 2021)
The following is a list of improvements made between
the February 2021 release and the April 2021 update.
list of 6 items
• By default, Voice Assistant listens for the word
"sharky" before accepting any commands. However, to help
decrease the possibility of starting Voice
Assistant when you didn't intend to, you now have the
option to change the wake up phrase to "hey sharky"
instead. You can change this from the JAWS Utility
Menu by choosing Voice Assistant, and then selecting
Settings. We strongly recommend changing the wake word
to "Hey Sharky."
• It is no longer necessary to say the word "toggle"
when turning on or off features including Audio Ducking,
Screen Shade, Speech On Demand, or the Virtual
Cursor. For example, saying "Sharky, Audio Ducking" now
turns this feature on or off depending on the current
• When changing the speech rate, you now only need to
say "Sharky, Voice Rate" followed by a number. For
example, "Sharky, Voice Rate 50" sets the speech
rate to 50 percent. You can even just say the number,
and the speech rate will change appropriately.
• To launch the JAWS Dictionary Manager, you now only
need to say "Sharky, Dictionary."
• Voice Assistant now immediately stops listening once
you have spoken a command. This helps in situations
where someone else may begin talking which could
cause Voice Assistant to not process the command
• Voice commands that generate speech output now work as
expected even if JAWS and Fusion are set to Speech On
PlaceMarkers Now Available in Excel Workbooks
You can now use Placemarkers to mark cells in an
Excel workbook similar to how they are used in Word
documents. The following commands are now supported:
list of 4 items
• Set a PlaceMarker on the current cell, press
CTRL+WINDOWS+K. Only one PlaceMarker can be set per
• Move to the cell PlaceMarker on the current worksheet,
press ALT+WINDOWS+K. To move to a cell PlaceMarker on
another worksheet, first press CTRL+PAGE
UP or CTRL+PAGE DOWN to move to the specific worksheet.
• List all cell PlaceMarkers in the workbook, press
• Select all cells between the cell PlaceMarker and your
current location, press INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by M.
list of 4 items
• Updated the JAWS INSERT+W help to now include all
currently available Teams keystrokes.
• Resolved an issue in Teams where messages were double
speaking in chat pop out windows.
• If you press CTRL+PERIOD to display all Teams
commands, JAWS now also reminds you about using INSERT+W
as an easier way to access this information.
• Removed the ALT+T command as you can now use the Teams
keystroke, CTRL+3, to move focus to the Teams and
Channels tree view.
Support for Reading Comments and Other Revision Types
in Goodle Docs
In Google Docs, JAWS and Fusion now indicate the
following as you navigate documents:
list of 3 items
• Text that includes comments. When JAWS indicates you
are in a section of text that has a comment, press
ALT+SHIFT+APOSTROPHE to read the associated comment
including any replies. Press ALT+SHIFT+APOSTROPHE twice
quickly to activate the Virtual Cursor and move focus to
the comment details page. Press ESC to
return to the document.
• Text that has been inserted or deleted.
• Text that is highlighted or has been called out for
some reason, such as a section of text in a document
currently being edited by another user. JAWS
says "mark" and "end mark" as you move in and out of
this highlighted text.
If you prefer to not receive announcements for one or
more of these items, open Settings Center and turn off
Comment announcement, Inserted text announcement,
Deleted text announcement, or Marked text announcement.
All of these options are located in the Proofing group
under Text Processing.
New Installation Command Line Option for Disabling
Starting with the April 2021 releases of JAWS,
ZoomText, and Fusion, when performing a full install, IT
professionals and network administrators can add
the /DisableExternalServices command line option to turn
off all product features that reach out to the internet.
Once JAWS, ZoomText, or Fusion is installed after
using this command line option, features that are no
longer available for use include Research It, FS
Support Tool, Voice Assistant, Error Reporting, JAWS
Tandem, Picture Smart, and Anonymous Usage Data
Collection. Note that using the software in a remote
access environment will still be available. Turning off
features that connect to the internet is especially
important for installs in secure locations
such as banks, hospitals, and government agencies.
For more information, run the setup package with the
/Help command line option.
list of 13 items
• When joining a Zoom meeting and you are prompted to
enter your name, addressed an issue where JAWS was not
reading the name already in the edit field
if the screen resolution was set higher than 100
percent, which is common on most modern laptops. This
caused users to enter their name again which in
turn caused it to be read multiple times in meetings.
• In Excel, resolved a reported issue where JAWS was
saying "entering table" when pressing F2 to edit a
• When navigating a worksheet in Excel using the mouse
in JAWS or Fusion, cell contents are now read first
followed by the cell coordinates.
• In Microsoft Word, when encountering text in a
document that is both a heading and a link, resolved a
reported issue where JAWS was not indicating the
• Addressed a reported issue where JAWS was unexpectedly
displaying an error message in Outlook when pressing
ALT+SHIFT+L from the body of a new message
to list misspelled words.
• Addressed a reported issue where JAWS was not reading
as expected when reviewing a message in GMail and focus
landed on text that was part of a link.
• Starting with the April 2021 updates of JAWS and
Fusion, Grammar detection in Settings Center is on by
default for all applications except Word and Outlook.
This enabled JAWS and Fusion to automatically announce
grammatical errors in web-based editors like Google
Docs. See the following
for more details.
• Updated the descriptions in JAWS Commands Search
(INSERT+SPACEBAR, J) for the Append Selected Text to
Clipboard (INSERT+WINDOWS+C) and View Clipboard
Text (INSERT+SPACEBAR, C) commands to help clarify that
these features are especially useful when you only want
to copy and paste text without extra formatting.
• Resolved a reported issue where JAWS was not
indicating the state of check boxes in the BARD Express
app in braille.
• Resolved an issue with selecting text in console
windows at high resolution settings.
• Removed the Business Search Research It lookup source
due to changes to the website which no longer allows us
to retrieve information.
• Removed the ability to use JAWS to customize message
lists in Mozilla Thunderbird based on changes in the way
list views are presented which caused this
feature to no longer work as expected in this
• Turkish is now included as an available language
option during a full install.