blind_html Fwd: Guess What? - Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta 1 - New User Interface

  • From: Nimer Jaber <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html <blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2011 15:56:09 -0600

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: gw-news@xxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2011 14:35:38 -0500
Subject: Guess What? - Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta 1 - New User Interface
To: gw-news@xxxxxxxxxxx

Guess What? – Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta 1 - New User Interface


The following message includes information regarding Window-Eyes 7.5
Beta 1. Please note that Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta 1 HAS NOT been released
at this time. We are, however, providing you with some small glimpses
into the features that Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta 1 will contain. We are
currently not answering any questions regarding the functionality of
the beta. The only things we're going to talk about will be what we
have included in our new Guess What series, which will continue daily
up to the beta release date. We will answer all questions at that
time. Please be patient; you will be rewarded.

If you're subscribed to the GW Micro or Guess What podcast feed,
you'll automatically receive this Guess What in MP3 format.  Check out for more information.  For sighted users, go
to our YouTube channel at to see the video of
the Guess What.  If you want to download the MP3, read this article
online, or view more Guess What articles (when they are released),
please visit


Welcome to GW Micro's "Guess What?" series, an introductory look at
the highly anticipated release of Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta 1.  Window-Eyes
7.5 Beta 1 boasts many new features.  The first of these features that
you will immediately notice with Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta 1 is the
completely redesigned user interface.  One of our goals at GW Micro is
to make our customers more efficient in their everyday use of
Window-Eyes.  In addition, significant customer feedback revealed that
it was time to upgrade our user interface, so with the goal of
efficiency and the feedback we received, we put a lot of effort into
making the new and improved user interface.

As an example of how we made it easier to use Window-Eyes, let’s look
at the Screen menu.  In Window-Eyes 7.2, you used to have to press
Control-Backslash, then Alt-S to open the Screen menu.  Once there, if
you wanted to change the rate, you would have to press Enter on the
rate, and use the Arrow keys to increase or decrease the rate, and
press Enter again.  After that, you would have to go into the File
menu and save the Set File.  While it was a good solution if you did
not know the hotkeys, it was a lot of steps.  Let’s investigate how it
would work with the new user interface.

1.    Press Control-Backslash
2.    Press S for Screen
3.    Right Arrow to open the Screen node, and Down Arrow to Voice
4.    Tab to the Rate edit box, and use the Arrow keys to adjust the
rate up or down.
5.    Once you have the rate you want, just press Control-S, and
Window-Eyes will say, “Settings Saved.”  Your settings are saved, and
you can continue doing your work on your computer.  Reducing steps to
make changes to Window-Eyes allows you to focus on doing your work,
instead of focusing on using your screen reader.  Besides pressing
TAB, you can also press F6 to toggle between the Right pane and Left
pane. Let’s press F6 to put us back on the tree view for now.

The amount of steps were greatly decreased, and it is much easier to
save settings. In the old interface, if you wanted to make multiple
changes, you would need to go back in the Screen menu multiple times
to make changes, but this is no longer the case with the new user
interface.  For sighted trainers, they can now visually see all
settings for each selected node in the left-hand pane, making it
easier for sighted trainers to learn the user interface, which in turn
makes it easier for their blind clients to learn the new user

In this instance, the user interface was in Beginner mode.  The UI no
longer has an Intermediate mode, since most customers were either in
the Advanced menu or Beginner menu.  So, we made it even easier to
change between modes.  Under the Help menu, you can select Show
Advanced Options by simply doing the following:

1.    Press Alt-H to open the Help menu
2.    Down Arrow to Show Advanced Options and press Enter

The Advanced mode doesn’t add functionality to Window-Eyes, but there
are more options displayed in the UI, just as in version 7.2.

Much of the feedback we received let us know that customers were
having a difficult time making changes that were program specific or
global.  In the Beginner mode, we hide these options from the user to
avoid confusion.  To eliminate any confusion when these options do
show up in the Advanced mode, and to enhance all of the Window-Eyes
settings, there was a lot of effort put into making every option have
the ability to be program specific or global.  Let’s go back to the
Screen rate as an example.  To do this, we are already in Window-Eyes
in the Left pane, and on Voice, so we will press Tab to get back to
the Rate edit box.  You will first note a checkbox here that will make
the other two voices match this voice.  Yet again, this is another way
we are making it easier to use Window-Eyes.  Tab again, and you hear,
“Rate – Global. Toggle Scope button.”  This allows us to change the
rate either specifically to the program we are in or make it global
simply by pressing Space or Enter on this button.  If you press Enter,
you will hear “Rate – Program.”  This is true for every option in the
new user interface.  If you Tab to Pitch, you will have the same
button, and if you Tab to Tone, you will have the same button.  These
buttons are independent of each other, and allow you to change each
setting independently.  No more messing with Voice and Verbosity
global and local options.

And, it doesn’t stop there.  We have been getting constant requests to
have the ability to make hotkeys both local and global.  You could
always make hotkeys global by using the Text to Set and Set to Text
utilities, but with the new UI, there is no need for these special
utilities anymore.  Let’s check out how we can make a hotkey global or

First, press F6 to go back to the tree view.  Then, press H to get to
Hotkeys.  Press the Right Arrow to open the node, and then press the
Down Arrow to get to Browse Mode.  Suppose you wanted to change a
Browse Mode hotkey.  Press Tab to get to Link Next.  You will hear
that this is for Link Next, the hotkey is L, and the Scope is Global.
If you want to make this hotkey specific to my current program, press
Tab, and you will hear, “Link Next – Global. Toggle Scope button.”
Press Space or Enter on this button, and you will be placed back on
the Link Next hotkey, and this time, you will hear that the hotkey is
specific to the Program.  However, all other hotkeys are still global
unless you tell them otherwise. For example, if you press the Down
Arrow, Link Prior is still set to Global.  The flexibility added by
the new UI makes the possibilities almost endless.

Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta 1 also gives you the ability to preview both your
synthesizer and Braille display.  Press F6 to get back to the tree
view, and then press D until you get to Devices. Once at Devices,
press the Right Arrow to open the node, and Down Arrow to Braille
Displays.  Press Tab to get to the list of displays, and then Down
Arrow to Alva 240.  If you wanted to select this Braille display,
press Enter.  Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta 1 prompts you to either keep these
settings or revert.  If you do not select to keep them in 15 seconds,
Window-Eyes will revert to the previous settings.  This will keep you
from losing Braille.  The same is true of a synthesizer.  Press F6 to
go back to the tree view, and then Up Arrow to Synthesizers.  Now,
press Tab, and you are in the list of synthesizers.  Press the Up
Arrow to the Echo PC or GP and press Enter.  You will note that you do
not hear anything, assuming you do not have this synthesizer.
However, the same dialog came up that came up for the Braille display.
 You will hear tones, and after 15 seconds, Window-Eyes will revert to
your last synthesizer.  Again, the power of Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta 1 is
shining through.

While there are still many options we have not covered in the new UI,
one of the best tools to help you as you begin to learn the new UI is
F1.  If you are anywhere in the Right pane, press F1, and you will
hear about the option you are on.  If you want to know about a
verbosity option, for example, Window-Eyes can easily tell you about
it.  Let’s first press F6 to get back to the tree view.  Then, press V
until you get to Verbosity.  Press Right Arrow to open the node, and
then Down Arrow to Common, and press Right Arrow to open the node.
Down Arrow to Activated and press Tab until you get to the first radio
button.  Do you know what Activated means?  If not, just press F1, and
you will hear exactly what Window-Eyes will or will not say when this
option is selected.  Or, if you are in the tree view, and you want to
read about those items, simply press F1 on that item and the
Window-Eyes manual will open to the section that talks about the node
that you are on when you press F1.

We still have a few more items that make Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta 1 an
even more well-rounded, well worth it upgrade, including some
additional features, and a solid collection of bug fixes. Stay tuned
for tomorrow's "Guess What?" to learn more about Window-Eyes 7.5 Beta
1, as well as an exciting promotion to help you upgrade from 7.2 to
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