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moderated New FS Blog, Learn More, Do more, New Features in JAWS: The JAWS Scan Cursor

Mike B
 


 
New post on Freedom Scientific Blog
 
Learn More, Do more, New Features in JAWS: The JAWS Scan Cursor
Elizabeth Whitaker
December 3, 2019
 
Over the next few weeks, we want to highlight some of the new features in the recently released 2020 updates to JAWS and Fusion. For our first post, we
want to briefly cover some changes to the existing JAWS and Invisible Cursors which help improve access to many of the universal applications found in
Windows 10. These types of apps, also known as Universal Windows Platform apps, are typically obtained through the Microsoft Store and can run on any Windows
device from a small hand-held tablet computer to a full desktop PC.
 
Background
 
For years, JAWS has provided the ability for users to quickly review text on the screen without changing the system focus. For instance, if you need to
access information in a dialog box that is not accessible using TAB or SHIFT+TAB, you could press NUM PAD MINUS or NUM PAD MINUS twice quickly to activate
the JAWS or Invisible Cursor and then use the ARROW keys and other standard reading commands to move around the screen while the system focus remained
on the current control. The primary difference between the JAWS and Invisible Cursors is that the mouse pointer follows along with the JAWS Cursor so you
can click items using the NUM PAD SLASH or NUM PAD STAR commands.
 
In order to access screen content with the JAWS and Invisible Cursors, we use a technology called the Off-Screen Model (OSM). However, in the last few
years, an increasing number of applications are now using newer technologies such as User Interface Automation (UIA) to present screen content which made
the JAWS and Invisible Cursor useless in these situations. When activating these cursors in applications like the Calculator, Weather, or most apps from
the Microsoft Store, you would only hear “blank” when attempting to review the screen.
 
The JAWS and Invisible Scan Cursors
 
JAWS 2020 now detects when focus is in an application where the OSM is not supported and will automatically use the new JAWS or Invisible Scan Cursor in
these situations. You will use the same navigation commands as you would with the traditional JAWS or Invisible cursors.
 
For example, if you press NUM PAD MINUS in the Weather app so you can review a forecast, you will now hear JAWS announce “JAWS Scan Cursor” as this is
an app that does not support the OSM. Similarly, if you press NUM PAD Minus twice quickly, you will hear JAWS announce, “Invisible Scan Cursor.” You can
then use the same commands you always have to review text with the difference being that you are now navigating through the UIA elements of the app.
 
For instance:
 
list of 5 items
◦ LEFT  or RIGHT ARROW  moves by character through the text of the current element.
◦ CTRL+LEFT  or CTRL+RIGHT ARROW  moves by word.
◦ UP  or DOWN ARROW  moves to the previous or next element or line of text.
◦ HOME  or END  moves to the beginning or end of the current element.
◦ CTRL+HOME  or CTRL+END  moves to the first or last element on the screen.
list end
 
You can still use JAWS commands such as INSERT+UP ARROW to read the current element or line of text as well as CTRL+F to search for text currently visible
on the screen. When using the JAWS Scan Cursor, the mouse pointer follows along as you navigate so you can still press NUM PAD SLASH or NUM PAD STAR to
perform a left or right click.
 
While the JAWS and Invisible Scan Cursors work in many places, we are continuing to improve this functionality in more areas. Look out for improvements
in future 2020 updates.
 
 

Take care.  Mike.  Sent from my iBarstool.  Go Rams!
Arguing with a woman is like reading a software license agreement.  In the end you have to ignore everything, & click I agree.