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

Internet Explorer Shortcuts and Notes using Jaws Screen Reader.

The following is a list of keyboard shortcuts for the internet.  See the separate Notes at the bottom of this web page for more detailed instructions and tips on how to surf the internet. Click here or press Enter to switch to this section.

 Jaws Keyboard shortcuts

Insert F1.  Jaws web page specific Help.

Insert F5.  List of all form fields.

Insert F6. List all headings.

Insert F7.   List all links on web page.

Insert F8.  List Toolbar buttons.

Insert F9.  List all frames.

Insert V.    Adjust Jaws Verbosity.

Insert A.    Read title in address bar.

Control Insert down arrow.   Start skim reading.

Insert down arrow.     Say all.

Left arrow.   Rewind during say all.

Right arrow.   Fast forward during say all.

Alt down arrow.    To read sentence by sentence.

Control down arrow   To read next paragraph.

General Internet Explorer Shortcuts

F5.   Refresh/update web page.

Alt left Arrow.   Go back a page.

Alt right Arrow.  Go forward a page.

Alt Home.   Go to Home page.

Enter.    Open the selected Link.

Control  Enter.   Activate Mouse over Reading on the Internet (mainly as for other programs).

Alt  A or Control i.     Open Favourites menu, arrow through favourites site and press Enter to move to website.

Alt D.   Place cursor in address bar.

F4.   Display a list of addresses you've typed when in Address bar.

Control  Enter.   to add "www." to the beginning and ".com" to the end of the text typed in the Address bar.

Ctrl+O.  Open a new website or page dialog box.

Ctrl+N.     Open another copy of Internet Explorer (in Version 7 Control T to open a new tabbed window is preferable).

Ctrl+S.    Save the current page.

Ctrl+P.   Print the current page or active frame.

Internet Explorer Version 7

Control D.  Add current Web page to Favourites – Internet Explorer 7.

Control H.  Open History  pane, arrow down, press right arrow to access the web pages.

Control T.   Create a new tab window in Internet Explorer 7.

Control Tab.    Move between tabbed windows in Internet Explorer 7.

Control F4.  Close down the active tabbed window.

Control  E.   Go to the search box.

Alt Enter.   Open your search query in a new tab.

Control Enter.    after typing a new web address will open the website in a new tabbed window.

Ctrl Left Arrow.    When in the Address bar, move the cursor left to the next logical break in the address (period or slash).

Ctrl Right Arrow.   When in the Address bar, move the cursor right to the next logical break in the address (period or slash).

Shortcuts to move around a web page

Tab.   To move to next hyperlink (Shift + Tab - Prior Link).

Press N.   To move to next block of text that is not a link, usually used to move past the navigation bar.

Press H. To move to next heading (Shift F move to previous heading).

Press P.  To move to next paragraph (Shift P move to previous paragraph).

Press T.  To move to next table.

Press F.  To move to next form control.

Press K. To Move to next bookmark. 

Press M. To move to next frame.

Alt Insert Home. Move to first heading in web page. 

Alt Insert End.  Move to last heading in web page.

Shortcuts for Forms on the internet

Control + insert + home.   To move to first form field.

Insert F5.    to list all form fields, arrow through the list and press Enter.  This will automatically turn on Forms Mode. 

Press F.   to go to Next Form Field (non specific form control) and press Enter to activate Forms Mode On. 

Press E.  to go to the Next Edit Field.  Enter text, press Numpad + to turn off Forms mode.

Press R .   to go to the Next Radio button.  Press Enter to activate forms mode.  Arrow through the options and press spacebar to turn on or off.

Press X.   to go to the Next Check Box.  Often it is not necessary to press Enter to activate Forms Mode.  Arrow through other check boxes.  Press Spacebar to turn on or off.

Press C.   to go to the Next Combo Box or list box.  press Enter to enter forms mode.

Press B .   to go to the Next command Button.  Press Enter to activate.

Note: To turn off Forms Mode and return to Browse mode press Numeric keypad +.
Tab moves between form fields when Forms Mode is on.

Enter   To activate the forms mode.

Alt Enter. To open drop down list in combo box.

Numeric keypad + .  To turn off forms mode reverts to virtual cursor mode.

Control Insert E.  To list all edit fields on the page.

Shortcuts for Bookmarks

Control Shift K.   Add placemarker or List placemarkers. 

K or Shift K.   Move to next placemarker.

Shortcuts for Tables on the Internet

Press T.  Move to Next Table, Shift T.   Move to Prior Table.

Ctrl Insert T.  List Tables.

Ctrl J.   Jump to Table Cell; Ctrl Shift J.   Return to Previous Cell.

Ctrl Alt Num Pad 5.      Move to and read  Current Cell.

Ctrl Alt Right Arrow.   Move to and read  Next Cell.

Ctrl Alt Left Arrow.   Move to and read  Prior Cell.

Ctrl Alt Up Arrow.  Move to and read  Cell Above.

Ctrl Alt Down Arrow.  Move to and read  Cell Below.

Ctrl Alt Home.   Move to and read  First Cell.

Ctrl Alt End.    Move to and read  Last Cell.

When using the above Ctrl alt and arrow keys Jaws reads the column and row headings if this option is applied.

Windows Key Down Arrow.   Move to and read Next Row (Does not read row headings).

Windows Key Up Arrow.    Move to and read Prior Row (does not read row headings)..

R Or Windows Key Comma.  Move to and read Current Row

C Or Windows Key Period.    Move to and read Current Column.

Left Shift R.    Read Row to Cell.

Right Shift R.  Read Row from Cell.

Left Shift C.    Read Column to Cell.

Right Shift C.   Read Column from Cell.

Notes and Tips on How to Surf the Internet.

Surfing the Internet with Jaws with Freedom Scientific Surf’s up.

The Freedom Scientific website contains a very useful interactive instructive exercise on surfing the internet which allows you to read the instructions and practise using links on the page.  To complete the exercises it will be necessary to access the website: www.Freedomscientific.com and proceed to the link:  Surf’s up with Jaws.  This web page has several links which allow you to practise navigating and using the internet with Jaws.  An extract of the instructions from these exercises are displayed below.  Some of the features described are compatible with Jaws Version 7 onwards and may be unavailable in previous versions.  In addition, Surf's Up! - Surfing the Internet is designed for use in Internet Explorer 5.5 or 6, and may not display properly in other Web browsers.  

Navigating Web Pages

When you visit a page with Internet Explorer, JAWS immediately begins reading the page from the top down. In this chapter, you will learn about Navigation Quick Keys, reading text, and navigating headings, lists, links, and images.

Reading Text

JAWS uses the Virtual Cursor to read and move through HTML pages. The Virtual Cursor is invisible to sighted users, but JAWS users can use this cursor to read and select text and move to different elements on the page.

Jaws Reading Commands and Navigation Quick Keys

Jaws will automatically start reading once a web page has been loaded.  If you want to start at the beginning again CTRL+HOME  moves to the top of the page. 

The commands used to read Web pages are the same as the commands used to read text in any other type of document.  However, Navigation Quick Keys are even faster shortcuts making reading a web page quick and easy to read.  These comprise one letter shortcuts.   

The Navigation Quick Key P moves the reading focus to the next paragraph.  Shift P moves to previous paragraph.   A complete list of Navigation Quick keys are listed above and are included in the relevant chapters.


A hyperlink (or "link" for short) is text that performs some action when you click it or select it and press ENTER. You can move through all the links on the page by pressing the TAB key. To see how JAWS helps you navigate links, do the following: 

  • Press U to move to the first unvisited link on the page. An unvisited link is one that leads to a page or location that you have not visited.
  • Press V to move to the next visited link on the page. A visited link is one that you have previously activated or one that leads to a page you have visited recently.
  • Press INSERT+F7 to display a list of all links on the page.  Arrow down through the list and then press ENTER to open the linked web page.

Skipping Past Site Navigation

Many sites have site navigation elements, such as navigation bars or a long series of links, at the top of each page. These links are a useful way to help visitors get around the site. However, designs like this can make it difficult for users of screen readers to get to the content of each page on the site, since you have to read through all the links first.

Skip to Main Content Links

Some Web pages have special links with names like "Skip to Main Content" or "Skip Navigation." These same page links allow you to quickly jump past site navigation tools, such as menus, navigation bars, and so on and go directly to the important information on the page. These types of links usually appear at the beginning of the page and are often invisible to sighted users.  

The Navigation Quick Key N moves you to the next block of text that is not a link.   This is useful if you want to continue reading down the page without reading any cluster of links such as the navigation bar or menu.   

Note: In addition to same page and e-mail links, another special type of link you may encounter is called an FTP link. When you move to these links, JAWS says, "FTP link." Activating an FTP link opens an FTP session that usually allows you to download files. For example, the following is an actual FTP link: Download an Accessible Chess Game. When you activate this link, Internet Explorer will begin downloading a file containing an accessible chess game called WinBoard from the FTP site.


Web page authors use headings to divide a document into chapters.  Level 1 is the highest level of heading. Level 2 headings are subchapters of level 1 headings. Level 3 headings are subchapters of level 2 headings and so on.

Navigation Quick Keys for Headings

1.      Press H to move to and read the first heading on the page. 

2.      Jaws will read the level of the heading.  Level one headings often indicate the topic or subject of the page.

3.      Press P to read the text below this heading.

4.      Press H again until you move to the next heading. 

5.      You can move through headings of a certain level in the current chapter by pressing a number between 1 and 6.

6.      Press H until you eventually reach the bottom of the page. JAWS says, "Wrapping to top," when there are no more headings. JAWS then moves you back to the first heading at the top of the document.

Tip: Don't forget that you can add SHIFT to navigation quick keys to move backward through the page. For example, press SHIFT+H to move to the previous heading, or press SHIFT+3 to move to the previous level three heading.

When you reach the top of the page by using the SHIFT key in combination with navigation quick keys to move backwards through the page, JAWS announces, "Wrapping to bottom," and starts over again from the bottom of the document.

The JAWS Heading List

1.      JAWS also has a list of headings that allows you to navigate by headings on a Web page. You can sort this list by tab order or alphabetically. You can also view only headings of a specified level.

2.      Press INSERT+F6 to display a list of headings on this page. Press DOWN ARROW to move through the list and read the headings. If you select a heading and press ENTER, the list closes and you move directly to that heading in the document.

3.      Press the TAB key to explore the Heading List dialog box in more detail. Each option is described below:

·        Move To Heading button - Use this button to move to the location of the currently selected heading.

·        Cancel button - Closes the list of headings without changing your location on the page.

·           Sort Headings radio buttons - Select one of these radio buttons to specify whether you want to sort the headings in this list alphabetically or by tab order.

·        Display radio buttons - Select one of these radio buttons to include only headings of the specified level in the list.

4.      In the list of headings, you can filter out all headings except the specific level you are looking for by pressing ALT and any number from 1 to 6. To view all headings again, press ALT+L .

5.      Press ESC to close the list of headings.  

Tip: Use the JAWS list of headings whenever you first go to a Web page to get an overview of how the page is structured.

Skim Reading

Skim reading is a powerful reading, searching, and navigation tool available in JAWS 6.0 and later. This feature allows you to quickly review long documents by reading the first line or sentence of each paragraph. Alternatively, you can search for passages containing specific words or phrases. In this chapter, you will learn how to skim read a Web page with JAWS. You will also learn how to create text rules and use them to skim Web pages for specific information.

Note: Before beginning the first exercise in this chapter, you should ensure that your skim reading preferences use the default settings. If you have previously changed these settings, press CTRL+SHIFT+INSERT+DOWN ARROW and verify that the Read First Line of Every Paragraph radio button is selected before continuing.

Skimming a Document

You can skim read a lengthy Web page to get an overview of the content and search for paragraphs or chapters containing specific information.

 1.      Press CTRL+INSERT+DOWN ARROW to begin skim reading.

2.      JAWS reads the first line of each paragraph on the page.

3.      You can change your skim reading preferences so that JAWS reads the first sentence of each paragraph instead of the first line. To change your skim reading preferences, press INSERT+F2, select "Skim Reading Tool," and press ENTER.

  • Alternatively, you can use the shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+INSERT+DOWN ARROW to display the Skim Reading dialog box.
  • In the Rule Type area, use the arrow keys to select the Read First Sentence of Every Paragraph radio button.
  • Choose the Start Skim Reading button to begin skim reading. Notice that JAWS now reads the first sentence of each paragraph.

Viewing the Skim Reading Summary

JAWS 6.10 or later can display a summary of the current page in the Virtual Viewer. This summary contains all the text you would hear if you began skim reading from your present location using your currently selected options. Each segment of text is a link. You can move to a segment and press ENTER to jump to its location within the document. Once you create a summary, it remains available until you generate another, even if you switch to a different document or program.

Tip: You can review the last summary that you created by pressing WINDOWS Key+INSERT+DOWN ARROW.

To create and use a skim reading summary

1.      Press INSERT+F2, select "Skim Reading Tool," and press ENTER.

2.      Choose the Create Summary button.

3.      JAWS displays a summary of the page in the Virtual Viewer. Use the arrow keys to explore the text in the Virtual Viewer. Notice that JAWS inserts a number before each sentence or line in the summary.

4.      Move to a line number, which should read, the summary text and press ENTER. The Virtual Viewer closes and JAWS moves you directly to that line on the page.

5.      Press WINDOWS Key+INSERT+DOWN ARROW to display the summary again.


Web pages often contain bulleted (unordered) and numbered (ordered) lists that provide information. The procedures on this page are examples of lists. To see how JAWS navigates lists, do the following:

1.      Press L to move to the first list on the page.

2.      Press I to read the first item on the list. You can continue using either I or the DOWN ARROW key to read through the rest of the list. To move back through the list, use SHIFT+I or the UP ARROW key.

3.      Press L to move to the next list.

4.      A nested list is a list of items that is contained within a larger list. Another example of a nested list would be an outline. JAWS announces the level of nested lists.

Lists may be arranged differently depending on their purpose. Web page authors may interrupt a list with a paragraph, quote, image, or similar element. If this is the case, the next list on the page usually begins where the previous list ended. For example, if a procedure is interrupted during step three by an image, the next list on the page might begin with step four.  

Tip: You can display all lists on the page by pressing CTRL+INSERT+L. You can then select a list and press ENTER to move to it.

Tables on the Internet

A Web page author can use tables in two primary ways on the Internet. One is for the layout of structure on a Web page to place items where the author wants them to be in relation to other items on the page. These are called layout tables.

The most common type of table contains data, and is called a data table. JAWS announces when you enter and leave a table. A well-designed HTML table has several features. One of these is a caption, which is visible to a sighted user and is also read by JAWS. The caption is usually like a title, and generally appears above the table. Another design feature is the table summary. The table summary is not visible on the screen to sighted users. Web page designers can add summaries to the HTML code specifically for screen reader users. A good table summary provides a meaningful overview of the table, giving you some idea of what the table contains before you get there. Pay particular attention to the table summaries as you read through this page.

In many tables, the first row, going from left to right, contains headers for the information in the columns below it. Also, many times the first column, going up and down, contains headers for the information in the rows to the right. By default, JAWS treats the information in the first row and the first column as headers and automatically reads this information as you navigate using the JAWS table reading commands. When moving left and right in a table, you hear the item in each column at the top of the column and then the contents of the current cell. When moving up and down in a table, you hear the item at the beginning of each row and then the contents of the current cell.

Document Presentation Mode

There are two different document presentation modes that you can use when reading tables with JAWS: Simple Layout and Screen Layout. With Simple Layout, each cell of the table is displayed on a separate line. Screen Layout mode allows you read tables by row, just as they are presented on the screen. Each row of the table is displayed on a separate line and each cell is separated by a vertical bar. This lets you get a much better idea about how the table is structured and how different cells in a row relate to each other.

Tip: Screen Layout mode is also helpful when you want to copy an entire table row and paste it into another document as a single line. The default document presentation mode is Simple Layout. To temporarily enable Screen Layout mode, do the following:

1.      In Internet Explorer, press INSERT+V.

2.      Select "Document Presentation" and press the SPACEBAR to choose "Screen Layout."

3.      Press ENTER.

When you begin learning to use JAWS for reading tables in the following chapter, experiment with Screen Layout mode and Simple Layout mode to see which you like best. If you determine that Screen Layout mode is better suited to your needs, you can do the following to permanently enable this feature in Internet Explorer:

1.      In Internet Explorer, press INSERT+F2.

2.      Select "Configuration Manager" and press ENTER.

3.      From the Set Options menu, choose HTML Options.

4.      Press CTRL+SHIFT+TAB to move to the Misc tab.

5.      In the Document Presentation Mode combo box, select "Screen Layout."

6.      Press ENTER and then press CTRL+S to save your changes.

7.      Press ALT+F4 to close Configuration Manager.

Reading Tables

You can use the navigation quick key T to move quickly between tables.  Shift T moves to a previous table.

If you want to list all tables on the page, press CTRL+INSERT+T. You can then select a table and press ENTER to move to it.

Once you enter a table, you can use table reading commands to move through and read the information. Most of the movement is done by holding down the CTRL and the ALT keys in combination with the ARROW KEYS to move in a given direction. You can press CTRL+ALT+NUMPAD 5 to read the information in the current cell.  

Using Forms with JAWS

HTML forms allow you to access shopping carts, search engines, Web-based e-mail, bulletin boards, and so on. Forms include controls such as edit boxes, check boxes, radio buttons, combo boxes, and other controls similar to those used in dialog boxes.

JAWS takes advantage of the features of HTML used to create forms and allows you to access all kinds of form controls.

Moving Through Forms

JAWS provides several commands that allow you to move quickly from one control to another.  The Navigation Quick key F moves to the next Form.  Shift F moves to previous form.

To quickly locate a form control, press INSERT+F5. This command lists all form controls on the current page. Move through the list and press ENTER to move to the selected control. Forms Mode is automatically enabled so you are ready to make changes to the control. And if you have already entered information in a long form, use the Forms List to quickly review the information.

Press INSERT+F5 to list all the form controls, and experience how easy it is to review the information.

Forms Mode and Form Controls

Have you ever noticed that if you try to enter something into a form you may end up somewhere else on the page? This happens if you do not switch to Forms Mode prior to trying to type in the information. When you use JAWS on the Internet, JAWS uses the Virtual Cursor, an invisible reading cursor, as the default cursor for reading information. To complete a form on a Web page, you need to use the PC cursor, which is a visible blinking cursor. You need to tell JAWS that you want to use the PC Cursor instead of the Virtual Cursor.

For example, if you try to type in the first letter of the name "Henry" into an edit box without switching to Forms Mode, JAWS will interpret the letter "H" as the command that moves you to the next heading on the page. This is because most of the time on Web pages, you are in reading mode and JAWS uses navigation quick keys to make reading faster and easier. To enter information into a form, you must first switch to Forms Mode.

To enter text into a form, press the Navigation Quick Key E to move to an edit box, and then press ENTER to switch to Forms Mode.  (sometimes it is not necessary to press the E key)  JAWS says, "Forms Mode On," and the information and name of the current control. If the control is an edit box, the cursor is placed at the beginning of the text entry area.

To move around in an edit box while in Forms Mode, use the UP, DOWN, LEFT, and RIGHT ARROW as you normally would. To move to the next form control while in Forms Mode, press the TAB key. To move to the previous control, press SHIFT+TAB.

To exit Forms Mode and go back into reading mode with the Virtual Cursor, press NUM PAD PLUS.

The following Navigation Quick key F is the most useful key for forms.  However the following lists other keys which may also come in handy.

Press F key.    Next Form Control

Press B key.   Next Button

Press C key.   Next Combo Box

Press E key.   Next Edit Box

Press R key.   Next Radio Button

Press X key.   Next Check Box

You can use the SHIFT key in combination with many of the keystrokes to move to the previous unit or element.

You can also display lists of specific types of form controls. To do this, hold down CTRL+INSERT and press one of the navigation quick keys for moving through forms. For example, to view a list of all edit boxes on the page, press CTRL+INSERT+E.

Check Boxes and Radio Buttons

To quickly select a check box or radio button on a form, press NUM PAD SLASH when the Virtual Cursor is on the item. If the selected control is a check box, the state of the check box is toggled. If the control is a radio button that is not selected, this command selects the radio button. JAWS does not switch to Forms Mode, so you can easily continue reading the page.  If you are in Forms Mode, pressing spacebar will toggle between on and off.

Combo Boxes

If you switch to Forms Mode in a combo box, the first item in the list is selected. To change the selection, press ALT+DOWN ARROW to open the list of choices. Then, use the arrow keys to select an item and press ENTER.

Form Control Prompts

HTML allows the author of a Web page to specifically associate text prompts (or labels) with form controls. JAWS recognizes when a prompt is specifically associated with a control, and speaks the correct prompt when you move to that control. If no prompt is specifically associated with a control, JAWS attempts to identify text positioned near the control as the prompt. This is most accurate when the text is directly to the left or above the form control.

On some poorly designed Web pages, the text for the form control prompt is not specifically assigned to the control, and other methods are used to specify form control information. Alternative text is often provided with the ALT or TITLE attributes. JAWS lets you specify what information to use for form control prompts, so you can get the information you need even on Web sites that are not well designed. Press INSERT+V, then press F until you select "Form Field Prompts Use." You can press the SPACEBAR to cycle between the various alternate methods for finding form controls prompts. If an entire Web site uses one of these alternate methods to specify form control prompt information, press INSERT+SHIFT+V to permanently change the setting for the entire site.

Configuration Changes On The Computer To Make It Easier For Jaws To Read Difficult Websites

JAWS makes reading and using the Internet easy and fun. However, Web page authors must follow certain guidelines to make their pages accessible to JAWS and other screen reading software. JAWS reads most pages well, even if they are not designed with accessibility in mind. Occasionally, you may come across a page that is poorly designed or difficult to use with JAWS. In this chapter, you will learn some tricks for dealing with these difficult Web pages.

Reading Pages that Refresh Automatically

Some Web pages automatically refresh - or reload - after a certain period of time. Usually this is done to update information on the page in a timely fashion. When a page refreshes, JAWS moves you back to the beginning of the page. This can interrupt what you are doing.

Tip: Notice that after the page refreshes automatically, JAWS informs you how often this page reloads. You must be using Beginner verbosity to hear this message.

To make pages that automatically refresh easier to work with, do the following:

1.      Press INSERT+V.

2.      Press R until you select "Refresh Page - automatically."

3.      Press the SPACEBAR to choose "Off."

4.      Press ENTER.

5.      The page still refreshes every 10 seconds, but you can read the text without being interrupted or returning to the top of the page.

Working with Improperly Tagged Images

Sometimes a Web page author does not assign alternate text, a title, or a long description to images on the page. JAWS ignores images like these because the program cannot provide you with any useful information. However, if the image is also a link, then JAWS announces the location (or file path) of the image. You can also view the destination URL of the image link.

Tip: You can also have JAWS announce images on the page with no descriptive text that aren't links. Alternatively, you can tell JAWS to ignore all images on the page. To do this, press INSERT+V and select "Graphics in HTML - tagged." Choose "All" to hear all images on the page, or choose "None" if you don't want JAWS to announce any images.

To obtain some more information about an image, do the following:

1.      Press INSERT+V.

2.      Press A to select "As a Last Resort."

3.      Press the SPACEBAR to choose "Link's URL."

4.      Press ENTER.

5.      Press SHIFT+TAB to move back to the image link. JAWS now reads the destination of this graphic link.

Ignoring Flash Content

Some Web pages use a format called Flash to display animated, dynamic content. You can select Flash links, activate buttons, read information, and type within edit fields just like on most Web pages. Flash animations are presented as part of the page, and JAWS announces when you enter and exit the animation.

Since Flash is a very graphical format, some pages that use Flash may have little or no useful text content that JAWS can read and use to tell you what is on the screen. There are two Internet Explorer verbosity options that will help you work with these types of pages. To change these options, press INSERT+V.

  • Flash Movies - Turn this option off to ignore Flash content on Web pages.
  • Refresh Flash Movies - This option allows you to specify how often active content is refreshed. Active Content includes ActiveX controls and Flash animations. You can turn this option off to prevent active content from refreshing.

Ignoring Advertisements

There are two types of advertisements that you will often encounter while browsing the Internet: pop-ups and banners. Pop-up ads automatically create a new browser window that contains the advertisement. Banner ads are inline frames that appear within the page content and display advertisements.

 Pop-Up Ads

Because many Web pages have legitimate reasons to create new browser windows, JAWS does not have a setting that prevents pop-up ads. When a pop-up ad displays, you can press ALT+F4 to close the new browser window that displays. Alternatively, in later versions of Internet Explorer you can turn on a Pop up Blocker in the Tools Menu.  You may need to turn this off occasionally to legitimately access some websites.

 Banner Ads or Inline Frames

Inline Frames are embedded directly within a Web page and display the contents of another page. Visually, these types of frames usually look like images or banners. Inline frames are often used by Web sites to display advertisements.

If you want JAWS to temporarily ignore banner ads on a page, do the following:

1.      Press INSERT+V.

2.      Press I until you select "Inline Frames - shown."

3.      Press the SPACEBAR to choose "Hidden."

4.      Press ENTER.

To have JAWS permanently ignore all inline frames, including banner ads, that you might encounter:

1.      Press INSERT+F2, select "Configuration Manager," and press ENTER.

2.      From the Set Options menu, choose HTML Options.

3.      Press CTRL+TAB until you move to the Headings and Frames tab.

4.      Press ALT+N to move to and check the Ignore Inline Frames check box.

5.      Close Configuration Manager and save your changes.

Getting More Information about Links

Sometimes the text of a link will not be very descriptive. For example, a Web may have a link called "Click here." To change how JAWS reads links on a Web page, do the following:

1.      Press INSERT+V.

2.      Press L until you select "Links with Text Only - screen text."

3.      Press the SPACEBAR to cycle through the available options. Choose one of the following:

  • Title - JAWS first looks for and reads information provided by the TITLE attribute. If no title text is found, JAWS reads the on screen text.
  • Screen Text - JAWS reads the on screen text.
  • On Mouse Over - JAWS looks for "OnMouseOver quoted text" and speaks it.
  • Longest - JAWS speaks the longest string of information for each link.
  • Custom Search - JAWS searches for information in the order specified in Configuration Manager, HTML Options and reads the first information found.

Using the Information Bar

If you are using Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Internet Explorer may block some Web content. Most often this includes pop-up windows or active content. When Internet Explorer blocks content, you hear a sound and a message appears on the Information Bar. The Information Bar is located below the address bar and provides information about downloads, blocked pop-up windows, and other activities. This helps you avoid potentially harmful files that you might otherwise download from the Internet.

To move to and read the Information Bar, press ALT+N. You can then press the SPACEBAR to open the Information Bar menu so you can allow Internet Explorer to display the content. To hide the Information Bar and return to the page you were viewing, press ESC.

Temporary versus Permanent Changes

With JAWS you have the flexibility to make changes on-the-fly that are temporary, or you can make changes that stay in effect permanently.

JAWS Verbosity List

Any changes you make to JAWS using the JAWS Verbosity list while you are in Internet Explorer are temporary. When you press INSERT+V while in a Web page, the JAWS Verbosity list appears. The items at the top of this list are specific to Internet Explorer and the items near the bottom of the list are more generic. The changes you make remain in effect as long as you stay within the Internet Explorer program (or other HTML environment). If you press ALT+TAB to move to another running application and then return to Internet Explorer, the changes are lost and JAWS reverts to default behaviour. This is very handy for making quick changes for testing or reading purposes.

Configuration Manager

The Configuration Manager allows you to make permanent changes to the way JAWS behaves on the Web, or in other programs. When you press INSERT+F2 in Internet Explorer, the JAWS List of Managers appears. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Configuration Manager." Press ENTER to open the Internet Explorer.jcf (the file extension ".jcf" stands for "JAWS Configuration File") window. To take a look at where to go to make these changes, do the following:

  1. Press ALT+S to open the Set Options menu.
  2. Select HTML Options and then press ENTER.

The HTML Options dialog box appears. This is a multi-page dialog box and you can press CTRL+TAB to move from one page to another. On any page, you can press the TAB key to move from one option to another, making changes as needed.

Tip: You can press INSERT+F1 on any option in this dialog box to find out more information about it.

It is HIGHLY recommended that you NOT make any changes to the Configuration Manager without having first tested them temporarily with the JAWS Verbosity list..

If you really want to make any changes, choose the OK button to close the HTML Options dialog box. You will then be back in the Internet Explorer.jcf file. Press CTRL+S to save your changes and then press ALT+F4 to close the configuration file.

JAWS stores .jcf files in the SETTINGS\ENU folder located in the folder where you installed JAWS.

Optimising Internet Explorer to improve Jaws reading

Click on Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tabbed chapter

Make sure the following options are checked:

  • Move system carat with focus/selections changes
  • Always expand alt text for images

In the same chapter you need to uncheck the following (using the spacebar)

  • show channel bar at setup
  • show friendly url’s
  • use smooth scrolling
  • enable page transitions

Control tab to the tabbed page: General

Make sure the following option is checked:

  • ignore colours specified on web pages

Optional:  turn off some of the multimedia options to increase speed when loading web pages.

Using the JAWS Find Command

You can use the JAWS Find command to find specific words or phrases on a Web page. This works on long Web pages even if that information is not currently in view on the screen. The Find command searches from the location of the cursor to the bottom of the document by default, so it is best to start at the top of the page by pressing CTRL+HOME.

1.      Press CTRL+F to open the JAWS Find dialog box. You are in an edit box where you can type your search keyword or phrase. You can press the TAB key to move to the area where you can set the direction of the search, choose whether to search text or graphics only, and whether to ignore case. The default settings are to search forward, look in text only, and ignore case.

2.      Press ENTER to start the search.

3.      Press the keystroke to repeat the Find command (F3). You hear that the words around your search word.

4.      Continue pressing F3 until you get a message that says "search string not found" which indicates you have found the last instance of the word on this particular Web page.

When searching for words or phrases with JAWS, the important keystrokes to remember are:

·        CTRL+F to open the JAWS Find dialog box.

·        F3 to repeat the search in the forward direction.

·        SHIFT+F3 to repeat the search in the backward direction.

Using Search Engines to Find Information on the Web

Search engines on the World Wide Web are remotely accessible programs that let you do keyword searches for information on the Internet. There are several types of search engines and searches may cover titles of documents, URL's, headers, or full text. Keep in mind that the results you get from one search engine may not match the results you get from another search engine. In fact, they are often different due to the way each search engine behaves. Therefore, it may actually be beneficial to use more than one search engine on a regular basis.


When you first go to the Google Web site there is a blinking cursor in an edit box where you can type the word or phrase that you are interested in. The first thing you need to do is press the ENTER key to go into Forms Mode with JAWS. Once you are in Forms Mode, you can then type in keywords that will define your search. After you have typed in some text, press ENTER to activate the Search button.

Google only returns Web pages that contain all of the words in your query. If you find that you get too many "hits" or Web pages that match your search, you can enter more words in your search query to narrow the choices.

After a search, Google displays a page with results that match your search (10 website per page). Each result has a link to that particular source. Following the link are a couple of lines of text that are taken from that particular source (often a website description) that match your search.

A easy way to move to each search result is to press the H key which takes you to the next heading.  In Google the search result titles are formatted as headings which makes it easy to move between each search result. Pressing Enter on a title will open that website.  If you want to read more about the website, press the P key to read the paragraph beneath the Title. Press Shift H to go back to the Title link to the website and press Enter. 

To ensure you get better results, use good keywords. Be as specific as you can. For example, a search for the keyword "musicians" will yield far more results than a search for the keywords "Elvis Presley." You do not need to include "and" between terms, but the order in which you type your keywords will affect the search results. You can also search for a specific phrase by including words in quotation marks. Google searches are not case sensitive.

You can also use the following items within your keywords for Google searches:

·        + (plus) sign. Causes Google to include common words or characters that Google normally might ignore, such as "where" and "how." If a common word is important in getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a "+" sign in front of it. (Be sure to include a space before the "+" sign.)

-         (minus) sign. Causes Google to exclude a word from your search. For example, "bass" can refer to fishing or music. You can exclude music-related hits by searching for "bass -music." (Be sure to include a space before the minus sign.)

·        ~ (tilde) sign. Causes Google to include synonyms of a particular keyword in the search.

·        OR searches are also supported. Use an uppercase OR between terms.

The I'm Feeling Lucky™ button takes you directly to the first Web page Google returned for your query. You will not see the other search results at all. For example, to find the home page for Stanford University, simply enter "Stanford" into the search box and choose the I'm Feeling Lucky™ button. Google takes you directly to www.stanford.edu, the official home page of Stanford University.

As practice try a search for Freedom Scientific. On the results page, press the letter N to move past the links at the top of the page. You should move to the edit box where you typed "Freedom Scientific." Press N again and you should move to the word "Web." Press DOWN ARROW to hear information such as: "Results: 1 - 10 of about 1,910,000. Time of search: 0.33 seconds."

After a search, Google displays a page with results that match your search. Each result has a link to that particular source. Following the link are a couple of lines of text that are taken from that particular source that match your search.

A easy way to move to each search result is to press the H key which takes you to the next heading.  In Google the search result titles are formatted as headings which makes it easy to move between each search result.

You can also read through the page using normal reading keys or use INSERT+F7 to open the list of links and see what related links were found. Use the Move to Link button in the links list (ALT+M) to move to a particular link and then down arrow through the associated text to find out if this might be what you are looking for.

Each hit is also followed by a "Cached" link. Google's cache is a snapshot of the page taken as it crawls the Web. Cached pages may have changed since they were first captured.

There is also a link below each hit called "Similar Pages" that may yield more results. In addition to the information displayed on the initial results page, there are often links to more pages of information that meet your search criteria. These pages are reached by activating the link for the number of the page. Usually you will find links for additional pages 2 through 10 near the bottom of each page.


Yahoo is another search engine that many people use. The main Yahoo page also has more information on it, such as sports and news headlines, entertainment links, and links to many other items. This tends to cause the page to appear more cluttered than the Google site, but may prove itself useful to you as well. As with Google, when you first go to the Yahoo Web site there is a blinking cursor in an edit box. Turn on Forms Mode in JAWS by pressing ENTER and type in your keywords. Then press ENTER to begin the search.

Yahoo behaves very much the same way as Google, but displays a list of up to 20 hits per page of matching items. These are links to further resources, and each link here also has a text description taken from that source that matches your query.

After a Yahoo results page loads, press the letter N twice to move to the line of text that shows the results. You should see something like the following: "Results 1 - 20 of about 2,860,000 for Freedom Scientific. Search took 0.11 seconds."

Yahoo also has links to other results pages, just like Google does. These links will be numbers 2 through 10 and are located near the bottom of the page.


PlaceMarkers allow you to quickly and easily navigate to commonly used areas of your favorite Web pages or HTML documents. You can use PlaceMarkers to jump between certain areas of a page, mark important chapters of an HTML document, or indicate key form elements. For example, you could use PlaceMarkers to move to required fields in a complicated form or specific paragraphs in a long HTML document. Press K to move to the next PlaceMarker, or press SHIFT+K to move to the prior PlaceMarker.

 Inserting PlaceMarkers

Put several PlaceMarkers in this table by performing the following steps:

1.      Move to a position you want to bookmark

2.      Press CTRL+SHIFT+K to display the PlaceMarker list.

3.      Press ENTER to choose the Add button. An edit box appears with the text taken from the Web page: This text is highlighted, so type over it if you wish to give this PlaceMarker a more appropriate name.

4.      Press ENTER to close this dialog box.

Navigating with PlaceMarkers

Press the letter K to move forward to a bookmark and SHIFT+K to move backwards. Notice that you will hear JAWS announce "wrapping to top" or "wrapping to bottom" depending on the direction you are going when JAWS reaches either the bottom or the top of the page.

Placemarker List

1.      Press CTRL+SHIFT+K to display the PlaceMarker list.

2.      Arrow through the list of placemarkers. 

3.      Press the SPACEBAR to select the required PlaceMarker in the list.

4.      Press ENTER to move to this PlaceMarker on the web page.

Note:  This is a smart dialog box. Initially, when you first enter it, JAWS assumes that you want to add a new PlaceMarker so the default command is Add. However, after you select an existing PlaceMarker in the list, JAWS assumes that you want to move to one of them.   PlaceMarkers remain in place even when you shut down JAWS and come back again.

Temporary Placemarkers

You can create one temporary PlaceMarker per Web page by pressing CTRL+K in the spot where you want to place it. The temporary PlaceMarker is also saved in the .pmi file. You can only have one temporary PlaceMarker per page, but you can put it in different locations by pressing CTRL+K again in a new spot on the page.

 Other PlaceMarker Options

1.      Press CTRL+SHIFT+K to display the PlaceMarker list.

2.      Press the SPACEBAR to select the placemarker in the list,

3.      Press the TAB key to move to the Add button.

4.      Continue pressing the TAB key to explore the other buttons. You can change the name of a PlaceMarker, remove a PlaceMarker, or remove all PlaceMarkers.

5.      For now, press ESC to close the PlaceMarker list.


Most Web pages use images to enhance their appearance, provide information, or assist with navigation. To see how JAWS handles images, do the following:

1.      Press G to move to the next image, which is a graphical link. Jaws should read The alternate text.

2.      Press ENTER to activate the graphical link.

3.      Press CTRL+INSERT+G to display a list of all images on the page.

4.      If there is no alternate text for this image, JAWS reads the title instead.

5.      JAWS also announces if this image has a long description. Authors can add long descriptions to images if they want to provide a more detailed text description. Press ENTER to open a new page that contains the long description. Then, use the standard JAWS reading commands to read the text. Since the long description appears in a new browser window, be sure to close the window by pressing ALT+F4 when you're finished reading it.  

Tip: To change which descriptive image attributes JAWS looks for first, press INSERT+V. Select "Graphics Recognized by" and use the SPACEBAR to cycle through the available options. You can change this option permanently in Configuration Manager.

Custom Page Summary

You can use the Custom Page Summary to automatically read information on a regularly visited page whenever you visit this page, such as stock prices. To begin, do the following:

1.      press INSERT+V to display the Adjust JAWS Verbosity List dialog box. Changes you make here are only temporary for as long as you remain within Internet Explorer. If you move to another program, these settings will revert to the defaults.

2.      Press C to select Custom Page Summary.

3.      Use the SPACEBAR to choose either Speak Only or Virtualize Information. If you choose Virtualize Information, JAWS reads the custom page summary and displays the information in the Virtual Viewer.  

Note: To choose a Custom Page Summary setting that applies to all HTML pages, refer to Custom Page Summary Step-by-Step Instructions.


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