The March update for JAWS 2018 has been posted, and the promised drivers for the Orbit Redaer 20 are now included along with a pile of additional changes.
APH recently released a driver for their 20-cell braille display which has been downloadable since Mid-Februrary. Now, Orbit Reader 20 users will not need to get this driver as it is included in the latest free update.
Improvements for Microsoft Office including the spellchecker, Microsoft Edge including for selecting text, and Windows 10 are also in this release.
The complete changelog is included below.
Enhancements in JAWS 2018.1803.24 (March 2018)
The following is a list of improvements made in JAWS 2018 between the February 2018 update and the March 2018 update.
To download the latest release, visit the Downloads web page.
• JAWS will now unmute your sound card automatically. In addition to refreshing the screen, pressing INSERT+ESC now also checks the sound device being used by JAWS or Fusion to make sure it is not currently muted or has the sound level set to 0 percent. If muted, it will be unmuted. Or, if the sound level somehow got set to 0 percent, this new feature will raise it to 50 percent, allowing you to recover without getting assistance. The sound device is also checked every time JAWS or Fusion is restarted. If you purposely muted JAWS speech, there is not an issue as this new feature only looks at the Windows setting for the sound card, not the JAWS speech settings.
• This update includes drivers for the Orbit Reader 20 braille display from APH. Once the March 2018 update or later is installed, your Orbit Reader 20 will work with JAWS or Fusion 2018 without the need to download a separate driver installation file.
• We've added a new layered command to toggle the Screen Shade on or off. Since some computers do not offer a PRINTSCREEN key, you can now press INSERT+SPACEBAR, F11 as an alternative to INSERT+SPACEBAR, PRINTSCREEN to toggle the Screen Shade feature.
• The Commands Search along with the layered keystroke to launch it (INSERT+SPACEBAR, J) is now at the top of the JAWS Help menu to make it easier for users to locate this feature. The Search for Commands item has been removed from the JAWS Utilities menu.
• Resolved an issue with the Bookshare Book Search Research It lookup source not displaying a list of books as expected.
• When selecting files from a list view in File Explorer, resolved an issue where JAWS would not announce names of files if the list extended past the visible window.
• Resolved an issue where JAWS would unexpectedly restart when pressing ALT+WINDOWS+I to move to the next inconsistency in a document.
• When using JAWS over a Remote Desktop or Citrix connection with a braille display connected, resolved an issue where JAWS on the remote system would sometimes close unexpectedly.
• Added a new Dictionary entry to correct the pronunciation of Aira. It will now be pronounced: "EyeRah".
• JAWS now uses the Liblouis braille translator for French braille. Note that French Grade 1 and French Grade 2 currently only supports output. If you want to be able to both display and type braille in Grade 1 or Grade 2, you should choose Unified French.
• JAWS now includes a Finnish language braille table which can be selected in the Computer Braille Tables dialog box in Settings Center.
Amazon Kindle for PC
• You can now select text in a Kindle book by character, word, line, and paragraph. Once you select the text and press CTRL+C to copy, the Kindle app opens a selection toolbar where you can copy the selected text, highlight the text, lookup the text on the Internet, add a note, and more.
• Addressed issues with JAWS not working correctly with the Spellchecker in the latest updates to Office 365.
• When navigating in the Outlook auto complete list that displays when typing in the header fields of a new message, resolved an issue where JAWS was announcing the previous item instead of the currently selected one.
• When spell checking a Word document and you are focused in the Original Sentence field, pressing ENTER now accepts the first suggestion.
• Addressed reported issues with using Braille Line Mode in Office 2010 on Windows 7.
• In response to customer feedback, improved the error message that is spoken when INSERT+C to read the word in context is pressed and focus is not in the Spellchecker.
• You can now select and copy text from web pages in Microsoft Edge. Currently, selecting by character, word, and line are supported.
• When navigating by character in Edge, addressed an issue where JAWS was not indicating upper case characters.
• When using the JAWS table reading commands to move through a table in Edge, resolved an issue where JAWS was not indicating links in table cells.
• The O and SHIFT+O Navigation Quick Keys now move to the next and previous article on a web page. In addition, the CTRL+INSERT+O command now displays a list of articles on the page. The scripts for navigating by object are still available but are no longer assigned. They can be reassigned if needed using the Navigation Quick Key Manager accessed from the Run JAWS Manager dialog box (INSERT+F2).
• Pressing APOSTROPHE or SHIFT+APOSTROPHE now moves to the next or previous tab control on a web page. You can also now press CTRL+INSERT+APOSTROPHE to display a list of all tab controls.
• When encountering a separator on a web page, resolved an issue where JAWS was incorrectly reading several dashes before saying "separator".
• Addressed an issue where JAWS was not automatically reading dialog boxes opened from web pages in Chrome or when using INSERT+B.
• Resolved an issue where some tables were not being detected properly with JAWS 2018 even though they worked fine in JAWS 18.
• Addressed a reported issue with the B and SHIFT+B Navigation Quick Keys not moving to menu buttons as expected.
• Resolved an issue where JAWS custom labels assigned to edit fields were not being announced in Chrome.
• If Forms mode is set to Auto or Semi-Auto, resolved a reported issue where Forms mode was not activating when navigating to a vertical slider using the TAB Key.
• Resolved an issue where JAWS was not announcing results in the calculator in the latest Windows 10 updates.
• If you use multiple desktops, JAWS now indicates the currently active desktop when CTRL+WINDOWS+LEFT ARROW or CTRL+WINDOWS+RIGHT ARROW is pressed to switch between desktops.
• When pressing ENTER to select a category or subcategory in the Windows Settings app (WINDOWS+I), JAWS now says which item is selected as you navigate the list in addition to indicating the selection in braille.
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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.