What’s New in JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion 2021

JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion 2021 are here! No matter which product you use, you will benefit from the new features and enhancements offered in these upgrades. We are sharing just a few examples of what to expect.

Improvements to Picture Smart

Introduced in JAWS and Fusion 2019, the Picture Smart feature analyzes photos and displays a description in the Results Viewer, which can be read with JAWS. To use Picture Smart:

  1. Press INSERT+SPACEBAR to activate layered commands.
  2. Press P to activate the Picture Smart layer.
  3. Press A, F, C, or B for a description, as described below:
    • Press A for a description of a photo acquired from a flatbed scanner or PEARL camera.
    • Press F for a description of an image file you selected in Windows Explorer.
    • Press C for a description of a control in focus. This can include a graphical button in a dialog box or other area of the screen.
    • Press B for a description of an image on the Windows Clipboard.

Several improvements to this feature are available in JAWS and Fusion 2021. These include:

  • Providing descriptions of images on web pages
  • Submitting images to multiple services for a more accurate analysis
  • Using Picture Smart with multiple languages

Learn more about Picture Smart in JAWS Help, or press INSERT+SPACEBAR, followed by P, then ? (question mark) for additional information. Check out this video demonstration of Picture Smart for more details.

Voice Assistant

The Voice Assistant gives you a new way to interact with JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion in Windows 10 using your voice. Supported languages include:

  • English
  • German
  • Dutch
  • Spanish
  • French

Ask the Voice Assistant to perform tasks. Often, multiple commands are available to execute the same task. For example, say “Settings Center” or “Change Settings” to launch Settings Center in JAWS or Fusion.

The Voice Assistant provides direct interaction with the JAWS or ZoomText software, and benefits users who are unable to use a keyboard.

To tell the Voice Assistant to begin listening for a command:

  1. Speak the designated wake word to alert the software to begin listening for a command. The wake word for JAWS is “Sharky,” and “Zoomy” for ZoomText and Fusion. A short audio indicator plays and a visual indicator is displayed when the Voice Assistant begins listening for a command.
  2. Speak a command. Once a command is given, a different audio indicator plays until the command is processed.
  3. Change Voice Assistant options in JAWS, ZoomText, or Fusion settings.

Note: When automatic use of the wake word is turned off, you can launch the Voice Assistant by pressing INSERT+ALT+SPACEBAR for JAWS or CAPS LOCK+ALT+SPACEBAR for ZoomText or Fusion.

Learn more about Voice Assistant in this video demonstration. Visit the What’s New pages for JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion 2021 for sample commands and to learn more about the Voice Assistant and other features. Additional details will be available via a press release Monday, November 16 on the Freedom Scientific home page.

Visit the Freedom Scientific Software page or the Freedom Scientific Software Licensing Portal to download your software.