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.

Home Page    |   Jaws Reading Shortcuts    |   Menus and Dialog Boxes Shortcuts and notes    |   Desktop Shortcut and Notes     |    Word Shortcuts and Notes   |   Internet Shortcuts & Notes    |   Outlook Shortcuts and Notes    |   Outlook Express Notes    |      File Management Shortcuts     |  Jaws special Features    |   Outlook Calendar shortcuts and notes   |   Excel for Jaws     |    Powerpoint for Jaws


File Management using My Computer for Jaws Screen Reader

Configuration of Windows Explorer or My Computer for screen readers

The only difference between My Computer and Windows Explorer is the Folders View.  By default in My Computer the Folders are not displayed, whereas in Windows Explorer they are.  It is easier for screen readers to keep it simple and not have the folders displayed. Therefore easier to use My Computer. However in Windows Explorer, folders can be turned on an off by pressing Alt V for View Menu, E for Explorer Toolbar, and O for Folders.  This toggles it on and off. 

To open My Computer press windows key and M to move to desktop, press M to move directly to any icons which start with M.  Repeat until you reach My Computer.  Alternatively you can create a shortcut for my computer and assign a keyboard shortcut.

Configuration Changes:

Jaws finds it easier to read files when listed in Details View.  It is also recommended for Jaws users to change the window view to Classic View, which removes the task pane for tasks associated with files.  Also by ensuring file extensions are displayed, Jaws will read the full file name and file extension, which tells them the type of file it is.  These view changes can be made permanent as follows.  There will then be only focus points remaining.  The Address bar and the List view of files  

Step 1 Details View

Press Alt V for View  Menu, D for Details view to list files with all details  such as name, size, type and date. 

Step 2 Classic View

Press Alt, T for Tools, arrow down to Folder Options. In the General tabbed section the cursor should  already be in the Tasks section.  Arrow to next radio button option “Use Windows Classics Folder”. Tab to command button Apply and press Spacebar to activate.  Then to make these views permanent, press Control Tab to the tabbed section called View.  The first option will be Apply to All folders.  This will apply the settings you have just applied to all new folders when they are opened.  Press Enter to Apply to All Folders and press Enter to confirm this command. You will need to Tab to the OK command and then press Enter.

Step 3 File Extensions if not already displayed

If the file extensions are not displayed, Press Alt T for Tools, Arrow down to Folder Options, Control Tab to View tabbed section.  Tab down to Advanced settings. Arrow down through the list of viewing options.  Uncheck the option Hide Extensions for known file types using the spacebar.  Jaws will read On or Off rather than checked or unchecked.  Make sure it reads Hide Extensions for known file types OFF.   Press Enter to close dialog box.

Moving between Address Bar and List View

Press F4 to access the drop down menu in the address bar which lists storage locations available on your computer.  Press up or down arrow to select a Drive and some folders, such as My Documents and Desktop. 

To move from the address bar to the list of folders you have opened,  press Tab or F6.  Jaws reads the first folder or file but does not select it.  Press Spacebar to select.  Press Enter to open.  Press down arrow to read the remaining folders or files.  When folders are opened in List view, the focus remains in the List view, so no need to press Tab. 

Note:  In List view, Jaws reads only the name of the file and the file extension. To read all the file details press Insert Tab.  (Window Eyes reads all details automatically)

Note also:  Typing the first letter of the folder or file name will quickly take you to the start of files or folders that start with that letter.  Repeat letter to move to other files which start with that letter. 

To Sort Files

Files can be sorted in either alphabetical, numerical or date order, that is by file name  which is the default, by size of file, by type of file such as the program it was created in, and the date it was last modified.  Press Alt V then arrow down to menu item:  Arrange Icons. Arrow through the options: Name, Size, Type, Modified.

Shortcut keys for File Management

Note most of the following keyboard shortcuts are Windows shortcuts.

F2                       Rename a file or folder. Select File, press F2, type new name, type full stop then file extension and press Enter.

F4                       To place focus in Address Bar and automatically opens the drop down menu. 
                            Press down arrow to choose from the drop down list.  Press Enter to open the drive or folder.

F6 or Tab          Switches between the address bar and list view of the files.  Arrow down to the required folder. 
                           Typing the first letter of the folder will move focus to first folder which starts with that letter.

Backspace        Move up one level, up to parent folder or drive

Alt Left Arrow    equivalent to Back in Internet Explorer  - move back to previous location or folder.

Alt Right Arrow  equivalent to Forward in Internet Explorer - move to previous location after you have pressed the Back key.

Insert Tab           if you want Jaws to read out the details of a selected folder or file

Enter                   to open a file or folder

Application key  to activate a shortcut menu of options for the selected file or folder, such as copy, send to, print etc.

Alt + Enter           to open the properties of a file or folder

Ctrl A                   to select all files in the selected folder

Ctrl key               To select more than one file if it is not adjacent to another selected file.  Select first file.  Hold down
                            Control key, arrow down, press spacebar to add to selection.

Shift                    To select a  group of files which are next to each other. Select first file, hold down the shift key and
                            arrow down to add to selection.

Ctrl C                  to copy selected files

Ctrl X                  to cut selected files

Ctrl V                 to paste selected files

New Folder:      Open folder or drive where you want the new folder, press Alt F for File menu, arrow down to New
                           or type w for New, press Enter to accept Folder.

Find Files

Press F3, Windows F or Control F to open the find files program.  Best to select the folder/drive to be searched first: 

Task Pane in the left side of the screen will give the following options – press spacebar or enter to open them:

  • Pictures, music or video – good option if looking for any of these types of files
  • Documents – good option for application files
  • All files and folders – good general option for all files including advanced options for date modified and type of files.
  • Computers or people – good if part of a network or looking for contacts in a contact list.
  • Tab Moves through the above options
  • Spacebar opens the options
  • Alt B Activates the Back button taking you back to the original selection when in the find dialog box
  • Alt left arrow After the search results are displayed takes you back to the original folder.
  • Enter or Alt R to start the search option after the search details listed below have been entered.
  • F6 or spacebar Moves focus from the Search pane to the List view where the files which have been found are listed.  Arrow down to view the found files
  • Application Key on a selected file will give you all the options available, such as copy, print, send to, etc. or press F6 to take you to the task pane.  Arrow or tab through the options.

Extra Options in Find Files

  • In the Search for Files or Folders in, type in the name of the file preferably with file extension if known.
  • If unsure of the complete name, type * in place of unknown letters or words, eg *notes*.doc will find any word files which have the word “notes” in the file name.
  • An alternative way to find certain types of files such as jpg files, such as jpg files, type *.jpg

To find files which contain specified text,

  • Preferably Open the folder or drive to be searched. Press F3.
  • Tab to the option Files or Folders, Press Spacebar to select.
  • Type the filename or part of filename if known, otherwise type * and fullstop plus the file extension, eg *.doc, press tab
  • Type the text (preferably use text that would be fairly unique to this document), press Tab
  • select the location if not already selected.  Press Enter to start the search.

To find files between a certain date,

  • Select the file type required, then tab down to the extra Search options, press spacebar to select the option:  When was it modified.
  • Tab to the first set of radio buttons.  Arrow to display the best option. Press Spacebar to select.
  • If the option Specify Date is selected press Tab to select the date type options and then tab to type the relevant from and to dates.


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