moderated Regarding JAWS and Office Products

David Goldfield <david.goldfield@...>

There has been a thread on this list which, while it may have started out being about JAWS and its support for Access, has now morphed into the alleged benefits, and lack thereof, of using modern versions of JAWS with not so modern versions of Office. As my comments have nothing to do with Microsoft Access I felt it might be appropriate to post them in a new thread with a more relevant subject line.

A lot of people might prefer using pre-2007 versions of Office because it uses a traditional menu bar instead of the ribbon. If you prefer an old-school menu bar then may I suggest that you consider trying out LibreOffice. It contains, among other things, a word processor and a spreadsheet application with a reasonable amount of screen reader accessibility. Admittedly, modern versions of Office, particularly 365, along with modern versions of JAWS are going to give you the best screen reader experience. However, unlike Office 2000 or 2003 LibreOffice still receives regular updates from a dedicated community and it uses the traditional menu bar, similar to pre-2007 versions of Office. To be honest I prefer Microsoft Office because it's still the best choice for the finest level of accessibility, particularly with the latest build of JAWS. However, LibreOffice is responsive, modern, has a menu bar and can handle more file formats. Not to mention that a regular cadence for updates means it should be far more secure.

David Goldfield, Assistive Technology Specialist JAWS Certified: 2019 WWW.David-Goldfield.Com