[guispeak] Re: 2011 updates to several, free, accessible software solutions

  • From: "Ian D. Nichols" <inich@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011 18:32:51 -0500

Hi Jamal,

My PC is Windows 7 64-bit with JAWS 12.

When I tried to install the MS filter pack while upgrading EdSharp I got the following message:

"The installation of Microsoft Filter Pack cannot continue. The MSI Installer type does not match the platform architecture."

Any thoughts?  Is it my 64-bit system?


Ian D. Nichols,
Toronto, Canada

-----Original Message----- From: Jamal Mazrui
Sent: Monday, January 17, 2011 10:17 AM
To: programmingblind ; Program-l ; guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx ; 'Uaccess-L'
Subject: [guispeak] 2011 updates to several, free, accessible software solutions

NonvisualDevelopment.org announces updates to several free, open source
projects.  Below is a short description of each project, including links
to its download package and user guide, followed by a summary of recent

Nearly all of these are Windows-based programs published under the GNU
Lesser General Public License (LGPL), which  is explained at

Some programs are written in cross-platform languages, so may be
adaptable to run on other operating systems as  well.  Anyone may use
the programs in either binary or source code form.  I welcome feedback,
suggestions, and code  contributions.



EdSharp -- A productive text editor, word processor, file converter, and
code editor.


Version 3.3 adds the Format Code command, Control+4, to format source
code of C-like languages based on file  extension.  This incorporates
the free Artistic Style utility, which is also available separately at

Added an unofficial encoding, UTF-8N, meaning UTF-8 encoding without a
Byte Order Mark (BOM).  If this code is used  in the YieldEncoding
configuration setting (Alt+Shift+C for Configuration Options), that
default encoding will be  assumed.  This maximizes compatibility of
files uploaded to Linux-based web servers  -- Windows programs typically
 add a BOM, but it is often not recognized by cross-platform programs
with Linux origin.

A file saved on the Recent Files list (Alt+R) now includes the last
cursor position when the file window was closed  (Control+F4 or Alt+F4).
 This position is automatically restored the next time the file is
opened -- unless an  explicit bookmark was set (Control+K), which takes
precedence as the initial location in the file.

Added many more import (Control+Shift+O) and output (Alt+Shift+E) format
options, supporting conversions among HTML  (.htm), LaTeX (.tex),
Markdown (.md), rich text format (.rtf), and txt2tags (.tt) formats.
These conversions are  made possible by incorporating free utilities
called Pandoc

and txt2tags

In addition, Microsoft Office 2007 formats such as .docx may be imported
if you install a Microsoft "filter pack"  that is offered at the end of
the EdSharp installer.

Sped up time for subsequent invocations of EdSharp after the  initial
one.  Improved the optional JAWS scripts for EdSharp so that titles of
top-level windows are more reliably  read.


Encoding -- Check and convert among various file encodings, including
versions of ANSI and Unicode.


Version 1.1 adds an unofficial encoding called ASCIIFY.  This works
similar to the ASCII encoding in that only 7- bit characters having an
ordinal value less than 128 are included in the resulting file.  A
significant difference,  however, is that rather than just dropping each
non-ASCII character, an attempt is made to substitute an ASCII
character or word with equivalent meaning.  For example, the single
Unicode character for an ellipses symbol is  replaced with three
consecutive period characters.  The Encoding.exe utility is now also
distributed in the  WebClient subdirectory of the EdSharp and FileDir
applications, which make use of it for detecting encodings
automatically, or converting among different ones.


FileDir -- A file and directory manager that does much more than Windows


Version 3.9 strengthens the Query Encoding command, Shift+2, so that it
automatically detects an encoding using the  Encoding.exe utility
previously mentioned.  Convert Encoding , Control+2, is a new command
for converting the  current or tagged files to another encoding.  You
can pick among nearly 100 encodings, including the unofficial  ASCIIFY,
UTF-8B, and UTF-8N ones previously mentioned.  As a safety measure,
original files are automatically  backed up to files with the same names
and an additional .bak extension.  Microsoft Office 2007 formats are now
 supported with the What command (Question Mark), Output to Text
command (Shift+O), and Append Text to Clipboard  command (Shift+A).
This support requires installation of the Microsoft "filter pack"
previously mentioned, which  is offered at the end of the FileDir
installer, and also available separately at


JAWS Script Exchange -- A program for installing 3rd party JAWS scripts
from a zip archive, or for Creating an  executable package of scripts to
distribute to others.


Version 3.3 finds the appropriate user script directory more reliably,
regardless of whether JAWS is running as a  Windows service or user
process (typically determined by whether JAWS is configured to run at
Windows startup or  not).  A conflict is eliminated between the optional
HomerKit scripts for Internet Explorer and the IEMax scripts  available
separately at
(or .zip for a manual install)

Comprehensive documentation for JAWS 12, rather than JAWS 11, is now
included.  JSX also now incorporates the  latest, 5.4.0 version of Inno
Setup, which is also available separately from


PDF2TXT -- A program for single or batch conversion of PDFs to text,
including OCR capability.


Version 2.3 supports enhanced speech messages with NVDA, in addition to
JAWS, System Access, and Window-Eyes.  This  is done via a new version
of the SayLine.exe utility that is part of the updated SayTools package
mentioned below.


SayTools -- A COM server and set of executable utilities for developers
to add speech to an application, using  either the default screen reader
or SAPI voice.


Version 1.9 adds support for NVDA, a free, open source screen reader
available from


Let me also mention that the web site of the "fruit basket" project has
recently been revised to take advantage of  features of the Drupal
content management system:

A fruit basket program is a simple, but nontrivial program with a
graphical user interface (GUI).   This community  project offers many
samples that meet the same criteria using different programming
languages, thereby allowing  programmers to compare various aspects when
considering a development approach.


I edit a set of answers to frequently asked questions about nonvisual
development at


A complete list of my open source projects (excluding screen
reader-specific scripts) is available at

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