DRAFT Quick Reference Guide and Tutorial for Screen Reading with Jaws,
prepared by Maeve May.

Follow the links for specific Topics using Jaws and Windows Shortcuts and Notes for Jaws users.

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Excel Spreadsheets Shortcuts and Instructions for Jaws Screen Reader

Reading Cells.

List cells in current column.   Control Shift C.

Read Column Total.   Insert + Numpad Enter.

List cells in current row.   Control Shift R.

Read row total.   Insert + delete.

Say formula.   Control F2.

Say contents of focus rectangle.   Insert N.

Say cell format.   Insert F.

Reading titles.

  • ·         Jaws  will only be able to read titles when the title range has been defined.

  • ·         Place cursor on the column titles row and if possible also in the row titles column.

  • ·         Press Insert V to bring up the Jaws verbosity options.

  • ·         Select the option Set column titles to row range.  It should change to the row number you are in. Press spacebar to accept changes.

  • ·         Select the option Set Row titles to column range.  It should change to the column letter you are in.  Press spacebar to accept changes.

  • ·         For automatic reading of titles ensure the option: “Title Reading:  Read both Titles” is selected.

  • ·         When moving cursor across a row Jaws will automatically read the column title.

  • ·         When moving the cursor down a column Jaws will automatically read the row title.

  • ·         If both titles required for a cell it will be necessary to use the following.

Say Column Title.   Alt Shift C.

Say Row title.   Alt Shift R.


List worksheets.   Control Shift S.

Next Worksheet.   Control page down.

Previous worksheet.   Control page up.

Rename Worksheet.   Format Menu, Sheet, Rename, type new name, Enter.

Selecting cells.

Select column.   Control spacebar.

Select row.   shift + spacebar.

Select region.   Control Shift 8.

Movement keys.

Go to cell.   F5 key then enter cell reference.

Start of worksheet.   Control Home.

End of worksheet.   Control End.

Start of row.   Home.

Entering data.

Enter data and move to next cell.   Enter or Tab or arrow keys.

Start a new line in the same cell.   Alt + enter.

Enter todays date.   Control  plus semicolon.


Edit existing cell.   F2.

Fill down.   Select cells to be filled then Control  + D.

Fill Right.   Select cells to be filled then Control + R.

Insert a row.   Select row below,  application key, select insert.

Insert a column.   Select column to left, application key, select insert.

Delete a column.   Select column, application, select delete.

Delete a row.   Select row, application key, select delete.


Say formula.   Control F2.

Autosum.   Alt =.

Formula input model.   =.

Paste a function into a formula.   Shift + F3.

Fill down a formula.   Select cells first including formula then Ctrl D.

Fill across a formula.   Select cells first including formula then Ctrl R.

Fill a Series, date, sequence.   Select cells first including start of series, then menu option Edit, select Fill, select Series, then Alt F for Autofill option, press Enter.


Say cell format.   Insert F.

Format Cells Dialog box.   Control plus 1.

Apply currency with 2 decimal places.   Control Shift $.

Apply number format with2 dec places.   Control Shift 1.

Apply outline border.   Control Shift 7.

Remove outline border.   Control Shift _.

Copy format.   Control Shift C.

Paste format.   Control Shift V.

Header and Footer in Excel.

Place cursor in either the left, centre or right section and type any of the following codes.

Filename code.   &[File].

Sheet code.   &[Tab].

Date code.   &[Date].

Pathname code.   &[Path].

Page No code.   &[Page].

Total no of pages code.   &[Pages].

Creating a macro for repetitive commands in Excel using Jaws

A macro is either a shortcut for a series of commands which you may do on a regular basis.  For example you may regularly want to add your name as a footer on a spreadsheet page and make the print fit to one page and perhaps vertically and horizontally centre it.  This involves a series of commands.  You can create a macro which will carry out all these commands with just one command which you can apply as a keyboard shortcut or an icon or a menu item.

Creating a macro

Most macros are relative therefore it is best to make sure your cells are in the correct cells before you start creating your macro, so that you do not record the steps of moving cells when you start recording the macro.  Also it is best to practise the steps that you plan to take when you are creating a macro as it records all steps including your mistakes.

As Jaws users already have so many keyboard shortcuts to remember it is advisable not to apply keyboard shortcuts to individual macros and instead use short macro names which can be accessed in the Macro dialog box using Alt F8 which is the same for Word and arrow down and select the individual macros.

  • ·        Press Alt T (tools), arrow down to macro, Enter, arrow down to Record new macro.

  • ·        Type the name of the macro –  short name no spaces allowed

  • ·        Tab past the keyboard shortcut

  • ·        Press tab to Store macro in:  The default will be in this workbook which will mean the macro will only work in this workbook.  Press Alt and down arrow to choose personal macro workbook, if you want the macro to be applicable in all worksheets.  The macro will then be saved on the hard drive, not in the workbook.

  • ·        Press tab to description and type in a description of the macro.  Optional.

  • ·        Press tab to OK and press Enter.

  • ·        Step through the commands you want to shortcut.  The macro will now record all steps you take so be careful.

  • ·        When finished you need to stop recording. 

  • ·        Press Alt  T for Tools, arrown down to macro, Enter, arrow down to Stop recording.

  • ·        Press Enter

Playing back the Macro.

Make sure the cells you want to apply a command to are selected.

Press Alt F8, arrow down through the list of macros.  Press Enter to start the macro.

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