[bct] Access world artical

  • From: Chris G <chrisg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2006 15:14:32 -0500

Hi,
with the recent discussions about Window-eyes and Jaws I thought I'd
post this artical.
it is in the access world issue for January 2006.

AccessWorld globe logo
AccessWorld
 ®
January 2006 ?
Volume 7
?
Number 1
Product Evaluation
The Sound of Computing: A Review of Three Screen Readers
Amy Salmon
If you are blind or have low vision and use a computer, then you are probably 
familiar
with one of the products that are evaluated in this article: Freedom 
Scientific's
JAWS for Windows 7.0, Dolphin Computer Access's Hal 6.51, and GW Micro's 
Window-Eyes
5.5. If you are already familiar with one or all of these screen readers, then 
you
know the power and access that a good screen reader can provide to today's 
computer
user who is visually impaired. If you are just beginning to dive into the 
wonderful
world of screen readers, read on and be amazed at how these products can empower
you.
Each screen reader was evaluated independently using the same testing and 
criteria.
Specifically, each screen reader was evaluated on its accessibility and 
usability
in the following areas: installation, documentation and support, basic 
performance
in Microsoft Word and Excel, and basic and some advanced features on the Web 
using
Internet Explorer 6.x and Mozilla Firefox 1.5. Testing was conducted on Pentium 
4
computers at 3.8 GHZ with 1 gigabyte of RAM running Windows XP Professional and 
Microsoft
Office 2003 Service Pack 2.
Since
AccessWorld's
 last evaluation of screen readers in
May
 and
July 2004
, significant upgrades and new features have been added by many of the 
manufacturers.
This article evaluates the changes and upgrades that most significantly impact 
the
average user of screen reading software. For a complete description of 
individual
upgrades, consult your screen reader's What's New materials or manual.
Note that evaluation was not conducted on each screen reader's support and 
functionality
with various braille displays. Stay tuned to
AccessWorld
 for a future article that will include an evaluation of braille access.
JAWS for Windows 7.0
Freedom Scientific's JAWS for Windows screen reader has been providing speech 
access
output, enabling users who are visually impaired greater access to the computer 
and
information, since the mid-1990s. JAWS supports numerous refreshable braille 
displays
and several languages. A standard version of JAWS can be used with Windows 98, 
ME,
and XP Home. JAWS Professional also works with Windows NT 4.0, 2000, and XP 
Professional.
Installation
The overall installation of JAWS 7.0 was simple and easy to follow. You can 
install
training materials, such as a basic training guide and a guide on surfing the 
Internet,
directly on your computer. If you choose not to install the training materials, 
you
can access the materials directly from the CD at a later time or from Freedom 
Scientific's
web site <www.freedomscientific.com>.
New since JAWS 5.0 is the Internet License Manager (ILM). No longer do users 
have
to deal with installing JAWS authorization from a floppy disk. Users who have 
the
ILM CD and access to the Internet can easily install their JAWS authorization. 
Some
users may experience problems installing their ILM, depending on their 
individual
Windows firewall settings. Users who do not have their ILM authorization CD or 
access
to the Internet can have a Freedom Scientific technical support representative 
walk
them through the installation over the telephone. Although this is not a 
difficult
process, users need to be aware that they have to pay for the telephone call, 
since
it is not a toll-free number.
Also new to JAWS 7.0 is the ability to install and run JAWS from a Dongle (a 
hardware
device that you can connect to a computer's parallel or USB port or from a USB 
thumb
drive). This is an added-value feature, but there are some limitations. There is
an additional cost for the Dongle version of JAWS. If you use a USB thumb drive,
you must install one of the JAWS authorization codes, or the program will run 
only
in the 40-minute demonstration mode. The Dongle and USB thumb-drive versions 
offer
portability to install JAWS on other computers, but users should be aware that 
speech
is not immediately available when the device is plugged in. Most of the 
manufacturers
recommend that you initially run Windows Narrator (a utility in Windows 2000 and
XP that speaks dialog boxes, menus, and web pages) to open the device and 
program.
If you are updating from JAWS 5.0 or later, you can easily merge your 
configuration
(JCF) files, dictionary (JDF) files, graphics (JGF) files, and voice settings 
from
a previous version of JAWS using the Merge Utility option.
Documentation and Support
Most JAWS users who upgrade to 7.0 receive only the program and ILM 
authorization
CDs in a CD sleeve that includes braille and large-print labels. First-time 
purchasers
of JAWS also receive a regular print and a braille quick-reference guide and an 
audiocassette
tape describing basic information on the program. For most users, this 
slimmed-down
version of the JAWS documentation is a welcome relief, since they no longer will
need an entire shelf to store all the documentation. The reason for this 
slimmed-down
version is that all the support and Help features are available on the program 
CD
and on Freedom Scientific's web site <www.freedomscientific.com>.
During installation, you can choose to download JAWS 7.0 training materials, 
such
as Basic Training and Surf's Up HTML Challenge! and can access the JAWS manual 
and
Quick Reference cards in text format through the JAWS menu. JAWS also offers its
training materials, manual, and Help features in DAISY format, which can be read
using the built-in DAISY reader or by inserting the JAWS program CD into any 
standard
DAISY reader. These and additional training materials can be accessed through 
Freedom
Scientific's web site <www.freedomscientific.com> in MP3 and text files. A 
standard
feature of JAWS is its online Help system, which includes context-sensitive 
help,
hot-key help, and application-specific help. JAWS keyboard Help mode is another 
tool
for learning the keyboard and JAWS commands.
Microsoft Word 2003
JAWS 7.0 performed well with Word 2003, reading documents, menus, and dialog 
boxes
in a predictable and efficient manner. The most notable problem occurred with 
Spell
Check: Occasionally, JAWS did not read the misspelled word, and it was necessary
to use Insert-F7 to determine the error. JAWS' loss of focus when reading a 
document
appears to have been resolved in 7.0. Although JAWS lost its ability to move 
through
a document paragraph by paragraph or page by page for no apparent reason, the 
problem
was resolved when the document and Word were shut down and restarted. However, 
when
working in Word 2000, JAWS froze and no speech support was available to read the
error dialog box. Windows Narrator was used to access the dialog box and shut 
down
JAWS, after which JAWS had to be restarted.
Freedom Scientific has added several new features to JAWS 7.0 support of Word. 
Similar
to the JAWS navigation quick keys that were introduced for Internet Explorer, 
JAWS
now offers navigation quick keys that provide users with an easy and efficient 
way
to move through a document by headings, tables, form fields, pages, and 
sections.
This is a helpful feature for anyone who has to slog through lengthy documents. 
JAWS
can now automatically announce the nesting level of paragraphs that are 
formatted
as bulleted or numbered lists. Pressing Insert-T announces the name of the 
current
document and its document view (Normal, Outline, or Print). Those who like to 
create
and use bullets will appreciate that JAWS can now announce the types of bullets,
such as filled square, star, or arrow.
Although unrelated to JAWS' performance in Word, the following problem warrants 
noting.
When using Alt-Tab to cycle through open programs and files, JAWS frequently 
loses
speech. It is not clear why this problem occurs, since it does not occur 
consistently
and is resolved by minimizing all applications, returning to the desktop, and 
trying
again.
Microsoft Excel 2003
JAWS 7.0 provides excellent support in Excel 2003. Simple and complicated 
spreadsheets
are easy to read and navigate. New to JAWS 7.0 is the Custom Summary feature, 
which
allows you to create a snapshot of important data from a worksheet, such as 
subtotals,
monthly totals, and grand totals. You define which cells appear in the custom 
summary
by assigning labels to each cell. The summary then displays the contents of all 
the
specified cells as links. One feature in JAWS 7.0 that many users will greatly 
appreciate
is the ability to press the Insert-Tab key twice to receive information that is 
specific
to a cell, such as text, cell height and width, font specifics, and number 
format.
Internet Explorer 6.x
JAWS 7.0 continues to build on the advances that Freedom Scientific has made in 
making
the Web more accessible and user friendly. Similar to upgrades in JAWS 5.0, the 
new
features in JAWS 7.0 work not only on the web, but in most standard 
applications,
such as Word and Adobe Acrobat/Reader. The main problem encountered with JAWS on
the web was that occasionally speech support was lost, and the system required a
complete reboot.
Custom Labels enables you to customize any HTML element on a web page that can 
be
moved to by pressing Tab, such as text links; graphic links; and all form 
fields,
including buttons and images. The unique feature of custom labels is that you 
can
label a link to a web site, and that link will appear with the new label on any 
page
on which it is displayed. The Custom Label feature is also a real plus for any 
user
who is frustrated with mislabeled form controls. If you regularly visit a site 
like
<www.walmart.com> or <www.amazon.com>, where the form controls are not labeled 
correctly,
you now can create new labels for all the form controls, and the new labels will
be there every time you visit the site. This feature was tested on the web site 
<www.marriott.com>
and proved to be easy to use. Custom Labels can also be used to label form 
fields
in Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat/Reader.
Also new to JAWS (in version 6.x) is the Skim Reading feature, which lets you 
quickly
browse through cluttered web sites or long documents by reading the first part 
of
each paragraph. This feature can also be used to skim a web site or document for
elements or paragraphs that contain certain words and phrases. Users can define 
skim-reading
rules and create a summary of all skim-reading rules for easy navigation to 
specific
sections of the web site or paragraph. This feature was tested using a 
publication
from the web site <www.socialsecurity.gov> and a 95-page Word document. In both 
cases,
there were complications using the feature, and on several occasions JAWS 
crashed,
which required a complete reboot of the system. The real advantage of this 
feature
is not clear, since JAWS already offers excellent features like Insert-F7 (which
provides a list of links), Insert-F5 (which provides a list of fields), and the 
navigation
quick keys.
Mozilla Firefox 1.5
JAWS now supports the Mozilla Firefox web browser version 1.5 beta or later 
<www.GetFirefox.com>.
As of the JAWS 7.0 release, the current level of support for Firefox remains 
under
development, and technical support is not currently available. However, when 
testing
was conducted using JAWS 7.0 with Firefox 1.5, all the features of JAWS 
performed
well. This is a major improvement over JAWS 6.2 support of Firefox. Using the 
Google
search engine and accessing web sites, such as <www.amazon.com>, 
<www.walmart.com>,
and <www.socialsecurity.gov>, presented no difficulties, and all JAWS navigation
quick keys and Internet browsing features worked well. Also, JAWS online help 
through
Insert-H and Insert-F1 provided detailed information on supporting Firefox.
HAL 6.51
Dolphin Computer Access software has been assisting individuals who are blind or
have low vision to access a wide range of Windows programs through 
magnification,
speech, and braille since 1986. Hal is Dolphin's screen-access solution 
supporting
both speech and refreshable braille output. Hal supports all Microsoft operating
systems (Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, NT, and XP Home/Professional), and support 
for
Citrix networks and Terminal Server sessions is standard.
Installation
Although installation of Hal was fairly simple, the three-level installation 
seems
a bit complicated for the average user. You first install the screen reader; 
then
Dolphin's synthesizer access manager (SAM); and finally Orpheus, Dolphin's 
software
speech synthesizer. After all that, you have the option to install IBM's Via 
Voice
from a CD that is provided. It would seem that the entire installation process 
could
be consolidated and simplified.
Once Hal is installed, users can access the Update from Internet option to see 
if
any new or updated map files are available from the Dolphin server. Map files 
are
Hal's configuration files for specific applications. The entire process is easy 
to
perform, and Dolphin recommends that you check for Hal updates on a regular 
basis
using this feature.
New for Dolphin is the ability to purchase Supernova, Hal, Lunar, and LunarPlus 
in
the new Dolphin Pen edition, as well as in the standard PC edition. The Dolphin 
Pen
runs from a USB pen drive, which plugs straight into the USB slot of a computer.
Several good features are offered by the Dolphin Pen: Your settings are saved to
the pen every time it is used; the pen installs Dolphin's interceptor on the 
first
installation, so you can return to the same computer, plug in the pen, and have 
full
access support; and the pen and all software on the pen are copy protected, so 
you
cannot accidentally erase or overwrite the program. One drawback is that for 
computers
that do not have Dolphin's interceptor installed, you first have to install the 
interceptor
from either the pen or the Dolphin web site. This process is not supported with 
speech,
and Dolphin recommends that users activate Windows Narrator to get them through 
this
part of the installation.
Documentation and Support
Hal's manual is available in print, on a CD as an interactive DAISY file, and 
through
the Dolphin web site. A copy of Dolphin's EaseReader player is included on the 
CD.
Users will also find print manuals for the Getting Started Tutorial and Using 
Windows
and a braille Quick Reference Guide. Online tutorials are available through 
Dolphin's
web site that provide easy-to-follow instructions for performing most basic 
tasks
with Hal, such as setting verbosity and using the Internet. Application-specific
help can be accessed through a hot key or through the Hal control panel. Outside
the application-specific help, all the documentation and Help menus are generic 
for
all Dolphin products (SuperNova, Hal, Lunar, and Lunar Plus). You have to dig 
through
information to find Hal-specific help. Finally, you will need sighted assistance
to determine which CD in the case is the program CD, since there are no braille 
or
large-print labels.
A unique feature of Hal is keyboard emulation, which allows you to select 
another
product's keyboard command set. So, users who are familiar with JAWS commands 
can
set Hal to use JAWS commands. This can be a plus for new users of the product 
who
have previously used other screen-reader or screen-magnification products. For 
users
who want to customize Hal's commands, the fact that they can use the left and 
right
modifier keys gives them even greater functionality when selecting key 
combinations.
New in Hal 6.51 is a feature that allows users to configure their own Dolphin 
products
to a range of different keyboards and languages. This is a real plus if you want
to be able to switch keyboard languages without changing your keyboard.
Microsoft Word 2003
Hal 6.51 reads documents, menus, and dialog boxes in a predictable manner in 
Microsoft
Word. Text attributes and styles are read automatically, as well as with the Hal
hot key. Problems may be encountered when using the Spell Check feature. For 
example,
during testing, Hal read the context of the misspelled word but not the 
misspelled
word, and when the Hal hot key was used, Hal spoke color information first, then
the context of the misspelled word, then the misspelled word, and finally the 
first
suggestion. All this information is confusing and makes it difficult to identify
the misspelled word. Hal reads selected text and even the number of lines that 
are
selected. However, if you cut, copy, or paste the selected text, no speech 
feedback
is provided.
Hal properly reads tables within a Microsoft Word document. When the focus is 
placed
on a new cell, the cells column or row number is spoken. Moving between cells is
accomplished using the Tab or arrow keys. Hal informs you when you are entering 
a
table and provides the table parameters but does not announce when you leave a 
table.
New in Hal 6.51 is its ability to announce embedded objects, page or section 
breaks,
and hyphens. Hal also offers the ability to review a Word document through a 
list
of links, headings, objects, spelling errors, grammatical errors, and revisions 
through
simple hot keys. Users also can get Hal to tell them the type of bullet in a 
bulleted
list, such as a filled round bullet or an arrow.
Microsoft Excel 2003
Hal 6.51 accurately reads worksheets in Microsoft Excel and consistently 
identifies
and reads cell values and cells with formulas. Switching between Hal's three 
default
verbosity levels dramatically affects the amount of information that is spoken 
while
moving through a worksheet. When using high- or medium-verbosity levels, Hal 
announces
the cell location, cell contents, text attributes and alignment, and if a 
formula
or comment is used. Hal also announces the type and style of a cell border and 
if
you have gone outside the spreadsheet print area. In addition, Hal reads dialog 
boxes,
such as the formula-selection dialog box, with few problems. You can read the 
equation
that makes up a formula with one of Hal's hot keys.
New in Hal 6.51 is the ability to pull lists of information from an Excel 
spreadsheet
using a hot key. You can now easily skim through a list of worksheets, objects, 
charts,
visible cells with formulas, visible cells with content, and visible cells with 
comments.
This makes it easy to go directly to a specific cell or information.
Internet Explorer 6.x
Hal 6.51 performs well accessing and reading web sites in Internet Explorer. 
However,
users who like to switch between HTML pages, such as web pages or HTML Help 
areas,
and another program, such as Word, may get frustrated with Hal. Every time you 
leave
and then return to an HTML page, you are returned to the top of the page, rather
than to the location that you left. Hal does provide the ability to list links, 
headings,
and frames with a hot key.
New in 6.51 is Hal's ability to announce bulleted lists on HTML pages. The speed
of Hal's Virtual Focus mode and Find feature have also been improved. However, 
on
the web sites <www.amazon.com>, <www.walmart.com>, and <www.socialsecurity.com>,
Hal appeared to move sluggishly. A unique feature that Hal offers is the ability
to access a link's URL address, even if the link or graphic is not properly 
labeled.
This allows you to know exactly where selecting the link will take you. Another 
upgrade
in Hal 6.51 is its improved Forms mode. Hal can now intelligently detect the 
label
to edit areas; return you to Virtual Focus mode when you land on buttons, radio 
buttons,
and check boxes; and then return you to Interactive mode once more when an edit 
area
or list box is reached. Hal's ability to pause a web page that is constantly 
refreshing
by taking a snapshot of the page, allowing you to review the page content in 
full,
is a real plus for anyone who regularly visits web sites with autorefreshing 
pages.
Mozilla Firefox 1.5
In repeated testing, Hal 6.51 did not work with Mozilla Firefox 1.5. Users 
cannot
even access the main Firefox Google page to perform a simple search. Dolphin 
states
that support for Firefox will be available in an upgrade that is due out in 
early
2006.
Window-Eyes 5.5
Since 1990, GW Micro has been providing computer access for users who are 
visually
impaired. GW Micro's Window-Eyes screen reader offers speech features with full 
braille
support and the flexibility needed for running many of today's most advanced 
Windows
applications. Window-Eyes is compatible with Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, and XP 
and
supports multiple users either on a stand-alone machine or across a network 
remote
access with Citrix MetaFrame, Microsoft Terminal Services, and Windows XP 
Professional
Remote Desktop.
Installation
Installation of Window-Eyes 5.5 is simple and straightforward. You can download 
the
upgrade to Window-Eyes 5.5 from the GW Micro web site <www.gwmicro.com> or 
install
it from the program CD. When installing the Window-Eyes 5.5 upgrade, you now 
have
the option to make a backup of existing configuration files.
During the installation, Window-Eyes prompts you if you do not have the latest 
version
of Microsoft Word installed and provides steps on updating Word with the latest 
updates,
service packs, and hot fixes. In addition, GW Micro informs you that most of the
new features in Window-Eyes will be available only if you are using Microsoft 
Office
2000, XP, or 2003 and recommends that users upgrade to Office 2003 for maximum 
benefits
with Window-Eyes 5.5.
New in Window-Eyes 5.5 is the ability to install Window-Eyes on a portable 
device,
such as a USB stick or removable drive, or to another directory on the computer.
To use the Window-Eyes Mobile Install feature, you also must install video 
support
from the Window-Eyes program directory. As with any of the portable devices, you
do not have speech during installation, but you can use Windows Narrator to get 
you
through the initial installation process. The Mobile Install feature is a real 
plus
for anyone who requires access to several computers that do not have speech 
support.
Also, if you customize Window-Eyes while using the Mobile Install version, you 
can
save the changes to the portable device.
Documentation and Support
Users who are upgrading to Window-Eyes 5.5 will receive a program CD in a 
braille
and large-print labeled sleeve. First-time purchasers of Window-Eyes will 
receive
the Window-Eyes program CD, Window-Eyes tutorial on audiocassette, Print 
Installation
Guide, Braille Installation Guide, and Hot Key Quick Reference Guide. Included 
on
the Window-Eyes program CD are electronic versions of the manual in text, PDF, 
MP3,
and HTML formats and the Window-Eyes tutorial in MP3 format. You can also access
the various formats of the manual and the tutorial from the GW Micro web site. 
Application-
and task-specific help are available for most programs through the hot key 
Control-Shift-F1.
The Window-Eyes manual and online help provide excellent support. However, the 
MP3
single-track format for the tutorial does not allow you to skip to specific 
content,
requiring you to listen to the entire tutorial, rather than specific sections of
interest.
For Windows 2000 or later systems, you can now place Window-Eyes in the system 
tray.
Window-Eyes 5.5 also now provides access to those annoying balloon tool tips 
that
pop up, such as the Update Windows balloon tool tip in the system tray. You can 
route
the mouse pointer to the tool tip and press the left mouse button to close the 
tool
tip. Also new in 5.5 is the ability to customize the Window-Eyes Control Panel 
menu
to your preferences and skill level with different menu structures for beginner,
intermediate, and advanced features.
Microsoft Word 2003
Window-Eyes 5.5 performs well in Microsoft Word and reads documents, menus, and 
dialog
boxes in a predictable manner. The Read-to-End function reads documents without 
interruption.
It is easy to read and navigate tables, and the fact that Window-Eyes shortens 
the
announcement of cell locations with "r" for row and "c" for column (resulting in
the cell location announced as r2c3) is a plus. No problems are encountered when
using the Spell Checker; misspelled words and errors are announced, and the use 
of
the hot keys provides added support. Occasionally, Window-Eyes did not correctly
read the text that was selected during testing.
A new feature since Window-Eyes 5.0 is the ability to use the Insert-Tab key to 
access
a summary of features for that document, such as spelling errors, grammatical 
errors,
and hyperlinks. You can select the desired summary (such as a list of spelling 
errors),
navigate through the list using the arrow keys, and then press Enter to move to 
the
item in the document. Window-Eyes also has added default hot keys for moving to 
the
next or previous sentence in a document.
Microsoft Excel 2003
Window-Eyes 5.5 has made significant improvements in its support of Microsoft 
Excel.
The most notable problem that was encountered in Excel during testing was the 
missing
documentation for the Window-Eyes Application Help screen. GW Micro is aware of 
the
missing documentation and is working to update these files.
Some of the new features in Window-Eyes 5.5 support of Excel include more than 
30
new verbosity options; consistent application of navigation tools; page 
Navigation
and Element Properties among Internet Explorer, Firefox, Adobe Reader, Microsoft
Word, and Excel; a Headers and Totals dialog box, which simplifies the reading 
of
spreadsheets; the Monitor Cells dialog box, which allows you to monitor specific
cells across worksheets; and chart navigation using the arrow keys for all 73 
possible
Excel charts.
You will find the Page Navigation dialog box (Insert-Tab) useful when working in
Excel. Through this dialog box, you can access a summary list of different 
elements
in your spreadsheet, such as comments, hyperlinks, objects, named areas, cells 
in
row, page breaks, monitor cells, charts, and worksheets.
Internet Explorer 6.x
Window-Eyes 5.5 continues to build on the advancements made in previous versions
in its support of Internet Explorer. In addition to the quick access keys that 
were
introduced in Window-Eyes 4.5, Window-Eyes 5.5 enables users easily to access a 
variety
of different web-page elements through the Page Navigation dialog box. In this 
dialog
box, you can access a list of links, tables, lists, forms, anchors, headings, 
and
frames, depending on what is available on a particular web site. When a new web 
site
or web page is loaded, Window-Eyes 5.5 can announce the number of links, tables,
headings, and frames in addition to the page title. This provides a snapshot of 
what
you can expect to encounter on the particular web page and can be a real bonus. 
One
problem was that no application-specific help is available for Internet Explorer
using the Control-Shift-F1 hot key.
The most noticeable change in Window-Eyes 5.5 is that it now refers to the 
environment
that is used for browsing web pages, PDF documents, HTML help, and HTML e-mail 
messages
as Browse Mode. Although Window-Eyes now announces Browse Mode versus MSAA 
(Microsoft
Active Accessibility) Mode, that is the only difference. All features and hot 
keys
that are associated with MSAA Mode still apply. You do have to listen to fewer 
syllables,
though.
Mozilla Firefox 1.5
Window-Eyes' support for Firefox is almost identical to that of Internet 
Explorer.
All the quick access keys work in both Firefox and Internet Explorer. In other 
words,
regardless of the browser, C will move you through form controls, S will move 
you
through lists, L will move you through links, and so on. No problems were 
encountered
when navigating web sites or completing forms on the web sites <www.amazon.com>,
<www.walmart.com>, and <www.socialsecurity.gov>. However, similar to Internet 
Explorer,
no application-specific help is available for Firefox through the Ctrl-Shift-F1 
hot
key.
The Bottom Line
All three screen readers have made significant improvements in the latest 
versions.
JAWS 7.0 continues to expand its support for HTML documents. Hal 6.51 has added 
a
list function for Word and has improved its Internet accessibility by enabling 
users
to pull summaries of specific elements on a web site and through the new 
Interactive
Forms mode. Window-Eyes 5.5 includes expanded support for Microsoft Excel. Both 
JAWS
and Window-Eyes support Mozilla Firefox 1.5 through the use of existing HTML hot
keys and features; therefore, users are not required to learn an entirely new 
set
of commands.
Manufacturer's Comments
GW Micro
"Although our manual covers in great detail how to use Window-Eyes with Word, 
Excel,
Internet Explorer and Firefox, we understand that our context-sensitive help 
needs
to be enhanced. We plan on improving all our on demand help in the next release.
Until then, I suggest users refer to Section 20 of the Window-Eyes manual for 
Word,
Section 21 for Excel, and Section 19 for Internet Explorer and Firefox.
"It was stated that occasionally Window-Eyes did not correctly read text being 
selected
in Word. This very much surprises me, as we are talking directly to Word for the
selected text and as of the release of our enhanced Word support in January of 
2005
we have had no reports of this. I would welcome the reviewer to expand on this 
to
determine if this is truly a problem."
Additional Resources
JAWS user lists
JAWS Lite: <Jawslite@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
JAWS Employment User Group: Subscribe at 
<jfw-employment-subscribe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
JAWS-List User Group: Subscribe at <jaws-list-subscribe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
JAWSScripts User Group: <Jawsscripts@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Blind Programmers User Group: <Programming@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To subscribe to the JAWS mailing list, send a message to < 
jfw-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
with the word
subscribe in the subject line.
Window-Eyes User Lists
Visit the GW Micro web site at <www.gwmicro.com/support> to subscribe to any of 
the
following e-mail lists:
GW-Info: The GW-Info list is a discussion list, which often contains many 
messages
per day.
GW-News: The GW-News list is a low-traffic, announce-only list. Messages on the 
GW-News
list are posted by GW Micro employees only.
GW_Italiano: The GW_Italiano list is specifically for users of the localized 
Italian
version of Window-Eyes. The majority, if not all, the traffic on this list is
not in English.
GW_Polska: The GW_Polska list is specifically for users of the localized Polish 
version
of Window-Eyes. The majority, if not all, the traffic on this list is
not in English.
GW_UK: The GW_UK list is a low-traffic, announce-only list. Only GW Micro 
employees
and GW Micro UK dealers are able to post.
GW_DE: The GW_DE list is a discussion list that is available for German users of
Window-Eyes. The majority, if not all, the traffic on this list is
not in English.
Note: There is currently no discussion list for Hal users.
View the Product Features as a graphic
View the Product Features as text
View the Product Ratings as a graphic
View the Product Ratings as text
Product Information
Product: JAWS for Windows 7.0.
Manufacturer:
Freedom Scientific Blind/Low Vision Group, 11800 31st Court North, St. 
Petersburg,
FL 33716-1805; phone: 800-444-4443 or 727-803-8000; e-mail: 
<Info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>;
web site: <www.FreedomScientific.com>.
Price:
JAWS Professional (works with Windows NT/2000Pro/XPPro), $1,095; JAWS Standard 
(works
with Windows 95/98/Me & XP Home), $895.
Product: Hal 6.51.
Manufacturer:
Dolphin Computer Access, 60 East Third Avenue, Suite 301, San Mateo, CA 94401; 
phone:
866-797-5921 or 650-348-7401; e-mail: <info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; web site: 
<www.dolphinusa.com>.
Price:
Hal Standard edition (runs under Windows XP Home and Professional editions, 
Windows
2000, Windows ME, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 98), $795; Hal Professional 
edition,
$1,095.
Product: Window-Eyes 5.5.
Manufacturer:
GW Micro, 725 Airport North Office Park, Fort Wayne, IN 46825; phone: 
260-489-3671;
e-mail: <sales@xxxxxxxxxxx>; web site: <www.gwmicro.com>.
Price:
Window-Eyes Professional (works with Windows 95/98, Millennium, 2000, Windows XP
Home/Professional and Windows 2003), $795.
Related articles
An Introduction to JAWS Scripting
 by Joe Lazzaro
The Key to the Information Age: A Review of Three Screen Readers, Part 1
 by Jim Denham, Jay Leventhal, and Heather McComas
The Key to the Information Age: A Review of Three Screen Readers, Part 2
 by Jim Denham, Jay Leventhal, and Heather McComas
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Always do right; this will gratify some people and astonish the rest.  -Mark 
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