AI Squared has released Window-Eyes version 9, the biggest update to the screen reader in a couple years. Among the new features are completely rewritten web support for Internet Explorer and Firefox, which will handle modern web pages with dynamic content. In addition, support for Google Docs, the latest version of QuickBooks, MathPlayer, and preliminary support for the Windows 10 preview are included in the update among other features. Increased responsiveness is also included, especially when arrowing around documents or executing other keyboard commands. Window-Eyes is free for users with a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 or later installed. We've linked to the press release from this post.
Modern screen readers are offering new approaches to how website information is presented. This excerpt from the documentation explains the Window-Eyes approach: "When a web page loaded, Window-Eyes would convert a snapshot of the page into a speech-friendly document (known as the Browse Mode buffer) which could be navigated with the Arrow keys. While this worked well for web pages whose content did not change, sites with dynamically changing content did not function well. For instance, Browse Mode either would not update with what appeared on screen, it would constantly reload in the background, or the page would use web elements that Window-Eyes did not understand. Now, the content you hear as you navigate web pages reflects the site's content in real-time, and the snapshot or buffer no longer exists. This means that even if a web page changes, Window-Eyes is able to keep up without requiring that Browse Mode be refreshed. Note that even though the buffer is gone, you can still use the same navigation commands as before to move, such as Control-Home, Control-End, the Up and Down Arrows, etc."
Indeed sites with dynamic content or ones using modern HTML elements will benefit most from the changes. These include the desktop Facebook site, YouTube and other Google properties, eBay, and PayPal.
Have you tried Window-Eyes 9? Let us know what you think in the comments.Source: AI Squared
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.