FSCast #208 FSOpenLine

December, 2021


RACHEL BUCHANAN:  Hello and thank you all for joining us for FSOpenLine for December of 2021.  This is our global live Q&A where we get the chance to hang out and talk with you all.  And before we talk about who all’s joining us to answer your questions, let’s go over a few items just so all of the people, no matter where you are, know how to engage with us during the show.  If you are on Zoom right now, your microphone should be muted.  You will raise your hand to ask your question.  And if you’re on Windows, you’ll do that with ALT+Y.  If you dialed in via the telephone, you’ll use *9 to raise your hand.  And if you are listening on either Facebook Live or YouTube Live, then you can only listen on those platforms.  If you want to ask a question, you’ll need to be on either Clubhouse or on Zoom.  So make sure you’re on one of those platforms if you want to interact and raise your hand and ask questions.  And with all of the little details out of the way, let’s talk about our  meat and potatoes, our Q&A people, Matt Ater, Glen Gordon, and Eric Damery.

MATT ATER:  Hello, Rachel.  Can you hear me okay?

RACHEL:  I can hear you great, Matt.

MATT:  Excellent.  Welcome.  Good evening.

RACHEL:  Thanks.  Glen, can I hear you?

GLEN GORDON:  You probably can.  It’s great to be here.

RACHEL:  I can.  Excellent.  And Eric’s got a USB mic.

ERIC DAMERY:  And good evening, everyone.  It’s great to be here and hear everyone.

GLEN:  And I want to point something out.  And that is that last time on FSOpenLine we got a call, was it from Oleg Shevkun, and then Gary O’Donoghue did the second of the motion that we should have something where the running time can appear on a braille display in the status cells.  And I’m very pleased to report, due to work on the part of other people besides me, it is in the JAWS December update, which will be out in less than two weeks, coming to a computer near you, unless you refuse to download it. So if you’re doing something where keeping track of the time is important to you, this is going to be a valuable feature.  You can optionally turn the braille display to show the current clock, either hours and minutes or minutes and seconds in those status cells.

MATT:  And can I tell you today I did a webinar, and I had it going the entire time, and it was very helpful to see, in this case it was hours and minutes because it was a one-hour webinar.  So it was very helpful to have it.

GLEN:  So what do you think?  Shall we get into some calls?

MATT:  Let’s do it.

RACHEL:  So David, you’re going to be prompted.  I’m going to unmute you.  It’ll ask you to unmute.

DAVID KINGSBURY:  Hello.  How are you?

RACHEL:  Good.

GLEN:  Good, thanks.

DAVID:  One of my favorite things in Word with JAWS is Text Analyzer.  And one thing that Text Analyzer, when you hit ALT+WINDOWS+I, detects, I guess it’s called “mismatched symbols.”  So, for example, you’ve put in an open parenthesis or an open quote, and then you’ve forgotten to put in a closing parenthesis or a closing quote.  And the problem I have with that is that I might have an opening parenthesis on one line, and then my closing parenthesis is on the next line after it.  And it detects that as a problem.  And same thing with quotes.  So if there’s a way to look just to one line below or maybe three lines below...

GLEN:  Or maybe within this paragraph.

DAVID:  ...and them not catch it as a problem, that would be nice because it’s almost become useless because I get so many false positives.

ERIC:  I got a note on that one, so we’ll definitely check on it.

DAVID:  So, you know, again, I know you can go into Settings Center to disable certain things in Text Analyzer.  But it would be nice if you could maybe on the fly, while you’re doing ALT+WINDOWS+I, you run into a particular problem, and just for that moment say, like you can do in Word when you’re spell checking, just ignore that problem for the rest of the document, rather than having to go into Settings Center.  One example is, you know, in a lot of documents I write, I have the word “iPhone” – little “i,” capital “P,” little “h o n e.”  So 50 times in that document I’m told I have an inverted cap I.  And I just jump past those, but it’d be sort of nice – and again, I don’t know if it’s possible – if you could almost do sort of like an Ignore All.  You run into one problem like that, and you say Ignore All for the rest of the document.  Again, don’t know if it’s possible, but it would be nice.

GLEN:  That also sounds like a good idea.  For those of you who are not familiar with David, he has written two really good books, one of which is “When One Web Browser Is Not Enough,” talking about using different web browsers with screen readers on Windows; and another one which is a book about formatting documents with Microsoft Word.

RACHEL:  They’re great books.

GLEN:  They are great books.  Are you working on another one, David?

DAVID:  I am actually, I didn’t want to plug, but you mentioned it, so yeah.  I’m working on one now that’s more comprehensive, basically all three screen readers with Microsoft Office and a few other things.  And I’m hoping that’s going to be out, like, soon, like within a few weeks.

GLEN:  Excellent.

MATT:  David, can I ask a question?  This is Matt.  I want to know, is it harder to say one browser’s not enough when Chromium seems to be Edge and Brave and all of these different browsers today?  Because you didn’t have that when you wrote the book.

DAVID:  Yeah.  I would say, yeah, a little bit less so.  But still there are – you run into these bugs where something just doesn’t work in one browser, and then you try it in another.  Or I think there are still some really nice features in one that doesn’t exist in another.  But one thing is because it’s so easy to change browsers, it’s like, so I still like using multiple browsers.  But like you say, it might be less of an issue now because you had very different things.  You had the Chromium platform, you had Firefox, and of course you had Internet Explorer, which we don’t have anymore, which was quite different.  But so you could argue it both ways.  I’ll agree with you on that.

RACHEL:  All right.  Thanks, David.

DAVID:  Thank you.

RACHEL:  Eric, do you have someone on deck?

ERIC:  I’m going to invite Larry Watkinson up onstage.  Larry, I don’t know if you can – there you are.

LARRY WATKINSON:  Got a question, Matt.  Can you give me the 30-second Reader’s Digest?  I was unable to be in the event today.  And so I kind of want to know if JAWS itself, is that going to be useful in this new – in the product line you were talking about today at the conference?

MATT:  So what we talked about today was JAWS Connect, which is a feature that is a collaborative feature between Freedom Scientific and TPG Interactive where you could, if a company is working with TPG Interactive for scanning and monitoring their websites, blind users using JAWS will be able to press a key or choose a link within the list of links to provide feedback to the developer.  So it’s kind of crowdsourcing blind users of JAWS for feedback on websites.  And it’s a 2022 later, but it’s only on specific websites that are subscribed to the ARC platform.

LARRY:  Great.  Awesome.  Hey, Eric, you still owe me that beer.  But can I send you the updated version of that scanning software, and will you see if you can get it to interact with JAWS?  Because I still have problems trying to get it to work.

ERIC:  Sure.  Send it over.

MATT:  If you send me the beer, I’ll make sure it gets done.  Just to be clear.

LARRY:  You remember that software that I use for scanning radios and...

GLEN:  Which software are you talking about, Larry?

LARRY:  Oh, it’s the Uniden software for police scanners to program your programmable scanners.  And it’s a product put out by Uniden.  And it looks like it’s based on, almost behaves like a spreadsheet, to a degree, but it doesn’t.  And Brand X reads more of it than JAWS will.  But I’m not confident with the Brand X because I’m married to JAWS.  We have a relationship.

GLEN:  And we like you being monogamous.  We appreciate that.  One of the problems we have is reproducing the problem because typically, if you don’t have the radio, it’s hard to get the software to work.  So it may be a very simple problem.  Pardon me?

LARRY:  I’ll send Eric the radio.  I mean, he and I played with it down at CSUN, I mean, when we used to get to be together.

ERIC:  Couple of years ago, yeah.  Seems to me they were seeing buttons that we weren’t seeing or something, if I recall.

LARRY:  Right.  Are we getting closer to resolving kind of that gap between, you know, the...

GLEN:  So I think I want to clarify that it’s not a general gap.  It’s a gap in the case of this particular app doing something in a particular way.  And if we don’t sort of understand what that app is, I think the likelihood of it just improving is probably low.

LARRY:  Right.  Thanks a lot, and I appreciate it.  We’ll talk to you guys later.  Have a nice Christmas.

ERIC:  All right.  You, too.

RACHEL:  Can you hear me?

ERIC:  All right, we’ve got someone on Zoom.  Yeah.

RACHEL:  I do.  I have Rajesh, and I have tried to ask you to unmute.

RAJESH:  Thank you very much for organizing this monthly – I guess you do it bimonthly.

ERIC:  Quarterly, yeah.

RAJESH:  But it’s nice to be able to talk to you.  I have two things I’d like to bring up.  I’m using a Windows 10 computer, two of them.  And in Word, when I press the JAWS PAGE DOWN key to read the status bar, it tells me the page number and several other things.  But what I’m most interested in is word count.  And I know I have checked that to be shown, but it’s not reading it.  It just skips it and reads the line number and a couple of other things, the zoom.  But for some reason it’s just not reading how many words there are in the document.

GLEN:  Did it ever work?  Like did it work once and now it’s stopped?  Or you’ve not seen it work?

RAJESH:  Well, the funny thing is that I’m using it on two computers.  At home it does not.  And in my office it used to work, and for some reason today when I used it, it just would skip over it.

ERIC:  I’m making a note on this one.  I’ll have to check.

MATT:  Is it possible that it requires it to be maximized to be able to see on the screen?  Like sometimes your app doesn’t maximize.  Does that ever matter?

GLEN:  I think it would matter if it didn’t show up on the screen.  If it didn’t show up on the screen, the accessibility information might reflect that.

ERIC:  But does part of the line read, but not word count?

RAJESH:  Right, exactly.  It reads the initial number, the page number, and then skips over the word count and reads some of the other elements like zoom and a couple of other things.

GLEN:  Things that are further off to the right.

RAJESH:  Exactly.  My second, it’s a minor point, sometimes – I teach classes, so I run PowerPoints for my students.  And sometimes I have 50 slides.  And at some point I have to stop the PowerPoint presentation and go back and find the slide I was on, number 35 or 40.  Then I have to go through all of the slides after I press 5 to get to number 35 or 40.  I know the now previously defunct screen reader had a command, G, and you just typed the slide number, and it would go there.  And if JAWS had a keystroke to that effect, it would simplify my life a great deal.

MATT:  So you’re saying that when you’re in PowerPoint, and you would – you’re not going to press SHIFT+F5, which would restart wherever your current slide is because you’ve moved back to previous slides?  Is that what’s happening?

RAJESH:  Right.  I’ve done that, or I’ve gone away from PowerPoint and then...

MATT:  Yeah, but SHIFT+F5 should launch wherever your last slide on the screen is.

RAJESH:  Oh, that I didn’t know, actually.  That’s an interesting keystroke.

MATT:  Yeah.  So F5 starts over, and SHIFT+F5 starts where your current slide is.

RAJESH:  Okay, SHIFT+F5, I’ll remember.

MATT:  Yeah, yeah.  That doesn’t solve...

GLEN:  Don’t feel bad.  I didn’t know that either.

MATT:  Yeah, that doesn’t solve the command for going to a specific slide.  So for some reason let’s say you went back 10 slides, and you want to go forward 10 slides, it doesn’t do that.  It just starts wherever your current is.

RAJESH:  Okay.  I’ll try that approach and see if it resolves my problem.  If not, then I’ll raise the issue again in a couple of months.

GLEN:  Excellent.  What do you teach, by the way?

RAJESH:  I teach psychology at a college here in Montreal.

GLEN:  Oh, very good.

RAJESH:  And ever since I’ve been teaching, I’ve always used JAWS.  I think first time I started using JAWS was in 1997 or 1998.  And I’ve been a regular user ever since.

GLEN:  You’re one of the very early adopters.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

RAJESH:  Indeed.  And I’ve gone through many, many changes and technical issues.  I’ve called technical support on many occasions.  Sometimes the problems get results.

ERIC:  And have they been helpful?

RAJESH:  Sometimes they do not.  But I’m really glad to have this particular forum where such issues can be raised.  So keep it up, guys.

ERIC:  We will.

RAJESH:  Thank you.

ERIC:  Great.  And next on Clubhouse is Peter.

PETER:  I just had a quick feature request.  I think it might be popular in the broader community.  During the pandemic, I work in the school system, and we did a lot of remote learning.  And we started introducing braille through teaching braille from remote learning to younger students that didn’t have a grasp of the full contracted braille code yet.  And one of the features that people, teachers kept asking for was the ability to customize the braille tables so that you didn’t either have all uncontracted or you had fully contracted.  But to be able to say, well, my student knows, you know, these 10 contractions, I’d like to be able to turn on these 10 contractions for now and leave the rest of the code uncontracted.

A lot of the software like Duxbury and BrailleBlaster actually have, like, learning table features built in where you can customize the contraction level to meet like an established curriculum, like the Mangold curriculum or some of the other ones where you can say I’d like this level of contraction.  And something more customizable like that in JAWS I think would be a popular feature in the education market.  If it existed, I think it would have helped us during the last year or two.

GLEN:  It’s really funny that you mention this because someone wrote to me within the last month and requested this exact same thing.  It wasn’t you, was it?

PETER:  It wasn’t me.  But no, it wasn’t me, but great minds do think alike, I’ve heard.  So, you know.

GLEN:  The idea of coming up with some options that people could choose between rather than having to pick this contraction and that one because they end up playing into one another.  So if you change the way one contraction expands or doesn’t, it may break other things that are unexpected.  So I like your idea of the different possible tables.

PETER:  Well, I don’t know how they do it in Duxbury, and I think BrailleBlaster is implementing the learning table approach, too, so that if you look in the Duxbury software there’s a learning table section, and you can say when I translate this to braille, I want it to match, you know, like Mangold I think has 64 different levels of contraction that go in the progression that the curriculum teaches them or something.  And you can say I want this level, and these contractions are included in it.

Anyways, it’s just a suggestion.  But I think something like that would be very popular.  Could be as simple as just having a thing where you go down a list and teachers can check off the contractions they want.  I think, you know, I don’t know how hard that is to implement.  But if it really was that simple, I think it would be really popular.  So I just wanted to make the suggestion.  So thank you.

ERIC:  Great.  Thanks, Peter.

RACHEL:  All right.  Timothy, I’ve asked you to unmute.  Sorry about that a minute ago.  I got a little trigger-happy with it.

TIMOTHY:  That’s all right.  Can you hear me?


TIMOTHY:  Okay, good.  I got it to work the first time.  So I have two questions that one is for the present, and one is for the future in relation to the ElBraille docking stations.  Last summer I got myself a brand new ElBraille 40 with the 5th-Gen Focus 40 Blue and the wonderful new 64-bit docking station which is so nice.  No more single units packed together and slow RAM and slow operating speeds.  And best of all, sleep and hibernation are back.  So, so many things I love about this unit.

And there’s one thing I would like to find out, and that is there are several hotkey buttons, as you know, on the docking station.  Some of them have not been assigned to controls.  And I thought, you know, it sure would be nice if I could create some generic media player buttons to be able to play and fast-forward and rewind my tracks, just like you could on the old CD players.  And then if you want to do more fine-tuning things like shuffle and repeat, you just use the keyboard to go into the menus.

And in iTunes the keystroke to play or pause is simply the spacebar.  And the keystroke to do fast-forward and rewind is CTRL+LEFT ARROW or CTRL+RIGHT ARROW.  And then it’s CTRL+WINDOWS+ALT+LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW to seek through a track.  And I was having trouble getting those commands to be accepted in the ElBraille keystrokes menu.  And I was wondering if there’s something I might be doing wrong with that.

MATT:  So I think we’ll have to take this up with Adi, right, for these kinds of issues and questions?

ERIC:  Yeah, this is probably a good one for the ElBraille list, to ask that question.  If there is somebody out there that’s done it, I’m sure they would be more than happy to share their experience with that.

RACHEL:  And if you write us an email to, this is one of those questions we can forward to some people who may have more better answers, and we can get back to you about it.

TIMOTHY:  Okay.  And my second question is also related to the ElBraille dock, and that is I don’t have any plans to upgrade to Windows 11 anytime soon.  But I noticed that it said that the current ElBraille dock is not supported by Windows 11.  And so I assume that they’re going to release some new docks in the future so that those who want to upgrade can simply trade in their old dock maybe and get a reduced cost on a new dock and just simply plug their braille display into that and go.

ERIC:  Yeah, we don’t know exactly what the timing is on that.  Again, this is another good question for the ElBraille list and for Adi.  So pose us that question, we’ll be able to put you in touch with him.

TIMOTHY:  Well, thank you so much.

ERIC:  All right.  Thank you.

RACHEL:  Thank you.  Svetlana, are you there?

SVETLANA:  Hi, everyone.


SVETLANA:  So there will be a path to upgrade to Windows 11 for current ElBraille for those who want to do that.  But it will require a clean install, and we’ll provide tools and instructions to do so for people who want to do that.  We are testing it inside our company, and it works.  It should be out by the end of this year or in the beginning of next.  We just don’t want to force it on people who don’t want it.  So there will be a way.  And if you have any ElBraille question, just mail to  I post it in the chat.  And we would also be happy if Rachel and Tim forward us any queries.

ERIC:  Well, thank you very much.  Support@elitagroup, and don’t  hesitate, reach out to training and ask us, and we can point you in their direction.

RACHEL:  Right.

ERIC:  It’s very, very helpful, and we’re glad to hear that Windows 11 option will be available for ElBraille customers.  You should stay tuned.  You’ll hear more about it after the first of the year.  Thank you.

SVETLANA:  Thank you.

ERIC:  I’ve got Don Barrett onstage here in Clubhouse.

DON BARRETT:  Two quick things.  We’re trying to get the new Tandem to work at the federal agency where I train.  And we opened port 443, and we opened the Tandem 2 URL.  I don’t know if this is something you want to answer now or maybe take offline.  But it would help to know exactly what you guys are doing that is more than the port and the URL that we might need to tell our firewall guys about so that we could get Tandem, the new Tandem working.

GLEN:  We’d be happy to talk about it, except all the brains behind it aren’t here tonight.  I was of the impression that actually for the new Tandem we went to the regular HTTPS port and just repurposed it to not require that a specific port be unblocked.  But the fact that you’re saying it doesn’t work means that there’s more to the story.

DON:  Well, it works when we’re not on the VPN.  But as soon as we load GlobalProtect, so it might be the encryption that they’re blocking, I just don’t know.  And I’m just trying to figure out what our next steps might be.  So maybe if I can drop you a note and we can talk about that.

GLEN:  Yeah.  That would be great.  And I actually am glad you mentioned this because for people who have not gotten wind of this, Tandem has changed.  We’ve upgraded security, and that means that if you’re running anything but JAWS 2022, specifically 2020 and 2021 are compatible with these new things.  But you do need to download the appropriate update.  For 2021 you should be offered it.  Go ahead, Eric.  You can do this better than I can, probably.

MATT:  Well, and this is Matt.  And I was just going to say that if you’re on an older version, you need to call support and work that through with them.  2019 and earlier will not work with Tandem soon.  And they definitely will not work with 2022 and anybody who’s updated 2021 or 2020.  So expect by the new year that the old Tandem will go away, so it’s important for us to resolve the issues that Don’s having, as well.

DON:  So can I mention one more thing?  Pretty quick.

ERIC:  Go ahead.  Of course.

MATT:  Just one, though, Don.  Just one.  Just kidding.  Just kidding.

DON:  Gotcha.

MATT:  Hit us up.

DON:  So I know that in the Quick Settings for JAWS you guys have comments, footnotes, and endnotes on.  And that’s I’m sure because footnotes and endnotes can get very long, and people don’t want to hear them, generally.  Okay?  Unless you’re doing deep research.  I’d like you guys to at least consider the thought of separating out comments, leaving the footnotes and endnotes on, but making comments its own setting and having it default on with text.

And the reason is in federal agencies and other workplaces, when you get a document with comments, you’ve got to read them quickly.  You’ve got to reply.  You’ve got to respond.  It’s not like a footnote or an endnote that’s kind of an ancillary deep research thought.  Comments generally require immediate attention.  And I’d love to see that on with text by default if it’s something – I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve gotten, why isn’t JAWS reading my comments?  They forget they have to change it in the settings because it’s off by default, or it’s just on, but no text.  So great if you guys could give that some thought of maybe changing that at least for comments.

ERIC:  Okay.  Well, thanks, Don.  I’ve made a note on this.  And I think my key takeaway was you think it’s important that we can separate comments from footnotes and endnotes.

DON:  Exactly.

ERIC:  At the very least.

DON:  Exactly.

ERIC:  At the very least so that they can at least just make sure that that gets turned on.

DON:  There you go.

ERIC:  Great.  Thanks.

DON:  Thank you, guys.

RACHEL:  Thanks.  Thanks, Don.  I’m going to move on to Kim.

KIM:  Okay.  I had two comments.  The first was kind of directed toward the earlier question about the programming software for Uniden.  Be interesting to know who wrote that software.  There’s a company called RT Systems that writes a lot of that software for a lot of different companies.  And if they’re the ones that wrote that, I found that changing the MSAA mode gets a lot of that stuff working.

GLEN:  In other words, going into Settings Center for the app, is that right, and changing... 

KIM:  I actually embedded it in a script so that I didn’t have to keep flipping it back and forth.  But yeah, that’s exactly it.

GLEN:  Great idea.

KIM:  I’ve written it for several different radios now and had it work in all the cases where I’ve tried it so far.  The other question that I had is really...

ERIC:  Larry will have to buy you a beer.

KIM:  I like either Labatt’s or Molson.

ERIC:  Okay.

KIM:  The other question I had is regarding iTunes.  Wondering if there’s ever been any thought given to updating the scripts on that?  And I noticed with iTunes 12 it seems like there’s a lot of refresh problems there.  And I kind of went in and did some scripting to kind of strong-arm some of the things that I care about.  But it’s things like, if you’re going from the Library to the Store, and you hit the spacebar on that radio button, it seems like you have to tab away and tab back before it realizes you changed something.

GLEN:  I’m really glad you mentioned this because we’ve gotten some sporadic comments in the last few months that “You should fix iTunes.”  But the comments were not as directed as what you’re talking about.  If you’re willing to gather a short list and send them on to us, and they may all fit into the same category, but two or three places where you see it would be a lot of help for us to get it resolved quickly.

KIM:  Okay.

GLEN:  And feel free to write to me.  I’m about to go on my  month hibernation, so probably nothing will happen till the beginning of the year.  But I’m

KIM:  Yeah, we’ve corresponded before.

GLEN:  Oh, I thought we might have.

KIM:  Yes.

GLEN:  Yeah.  Excellent.  Yeah.  No, I’m really glad you mentioned this.

KIM:  All right, thanks.

RACHEL:  Thank you so much.  And Eric, you are...

ERIC:  Greg Hayes is up here.  Hi, Greg.

GREG HAYES:  Hi, there.  How are you?

ERIC:  Good.

GREG:  I’m a first-time caller.  Been using your other product, ZoomText, for years.  But I’m a relatively new JAWS user.  So I think this is awesome that you do this.  Thank you.  What’s the latest on ARM?  Are you all moving into ARM?  Do you have a beta program coming?  Can I be a beta tester for you in ARM?  I don’t know.

ERIC:  That’s a good question.  And I’m not sure that we’re ready to give any dates or say anything about it.  But you might want to reach out to us separately off of this, if this is something that you’re interested in testing, and we may be able to talk to you in the coming months here.

MATT:  And do you plan on using Windows 10 or Windows 11 on ARM?

GREG:  I would probably jump to 11.  I have a Surface Pro X, and we have a few in our organization.  And so I would go wherever you told me to, but probably 11.

MATT:  Great.  Nobody ever tells me they’d go anywhere I told them to.

GREG:  Yeah.  In order to make it work I’ll be happy in either, is all I’m saying.

MATT:  Where do you work that you’re using ARM computers?

GREG:  I work for a state agency in Arizona.

MATT:  Okay, cool.

GREG:  So it’s something that we’ve just – we’ve been, as an organization, have been investing in or looking at because the battery life – it’s a police organization.  So the battery life is great, you know, when they’re out in the field.  And so that’s one of the main reasons.  They’re small, they’re light, and the batteries last forever.

GLEN:  I think it’s safe to say that we are working on it.  We just have enough left to do that saying an exact date could be pushed out.  But this is going to happen.

GREG:  I’d appreciate that.  And again, that’s what I said.  If  you want a beta tester, I’m here for you.

GLEN:  Nice meeting you virtually.

GREG:  Thank you.  You, too.

ERIC:  Thanks, Greg.

RACHEL:  All right.  Saddam, you are up on Zoom.

SADDAM:  Thank you very much.  How are you, Rachel and Eric and Glen and Matt?  How are you guys?

MATT:  Doing very good, thanks.

RACHEL:  Great.

ERIC:  Great, wonderful.

SADDAM:  I speak both Somali and English quite fluently, and I work as an accessibility engineer by day, but I also have my own business training clients on JAWS and have been using JAWS for 17 years.  But a lot of the feedback that I’m getting from the core community, ethnically diverse community, is it would be great to have JAWS in Somali language.  Because I speak a bit of Arabic, but shwe shwe, just a little bit, not too much.  But a lot of our community say, look, you know, some of us work, or they work as interpreters, and it would be great to have JAWS in that particular language.  That’s the first question I had.  Any plans for that one?

ERIC:  I don’t think that you’re asking for a JAWS localized in Somali as much as you’re looking for it to be able to have a synthesizer that speaks Somali that JAWS can communicate to.

SADDAM:  Exactly.  That’s right, Eric, that’s exactly right.

ERIC:  And my guess is Cerence has not done one.  I don’t recall seeing that language yet.  So this is really a question that we would want to pose to Cerence.  I would ask Microsoft, as well, if there’s any plans.


GLEN:  For some languages – I have a friend in Hungary, and the best Hungarian synthesizer, at least in the minds of many, is something called Profivox, which was developed at a university.  And so maybe, you know, there’s a Somali synthesizer that was not developed by one of the big companies, but is something that we could incorporate.  So if you hear of one, even if it’s not from the big players, definitely let us know.

SADDAM:  Yeah.  I’ll definitely let you guys know.  And just I’ll head off now, but one other question is I know Eric we conversed on a previous FSOpenLine about bringing the resetting of the activations to outside of the U.S.  I’m wondering if any plans have moved forward at Vispero in terms of allowing us to reset our activations.

ERIC:  There’s some work and some changes going on in this area, but not necessarily for allowing automatic resets outside.  But, you know, if you send a request in, you should be able to get that reset done inside of 24 hours.  And certainly if somebody gets down to one key, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.

SADDAM:  Okay.  But not like what Jonathan Mosen once was demoing on the podcast there with being able to go to the portal and sort of reset your – like Office 365.  Not quite at that stage yet?

ERIC:  Ah.  So we haven’t, no, we haven’t got to the portal for countries outside of U.S. and Canada at this point, no.

SADDAM:  Okay, no worries.  Well, thank you so much, guys.  I’m a long-term user, and I started this role as accessibility engineer recently, and it’s thanks to JAWS.  So you guys really do wonderful things, day in, day out.  Thanks very much.

ERIC:  Thank you.

GLEN:  Thank you.

RACHEL:  Thanks, Saddam.

ERIC:  Up here on Clubhouse we’ve got Mandy.

MANDY:  Good evening.

ERIC:  Hi there.

MANDY:  Hello.  I’ve got a few dream features for you.  I love Speech History, you know, and I’ve been thinking there are some times when, like, I’ll get into Speech History, and I go to the end, and then I UP ARROW to the line.  I wonder – and clients have asked if you could do this, kind of like getting JAWS to repeat something, like maybe an instant replay, and maybe have some options to configure how you want that.  I often want the last four words, for example.

GLEN:  Without going into Speech History? 

MANDY:  Yup, like a Speech History instant replay, light version of it or something outside of having to go all the way in.

GLEN:  Kind of a, what was that?

MATT:  Or it’s called the “repeat that” command.

MANDY:  Yeah.

RACHEL:  Yeah, like, it’s like, huh?

MATT:  But you can’t press it three times in a row just because you didn’t hear it the first two.

GLEN:  I should point out, though, the key that I just learned about today.  I knew it existed, but I never remembered what it is.  If you get a notification, and you have not heard it, you can do INSERT+SPACE+N.

MATT:  And I’m going to challenge you.  Do you know the command for copying your speech history, Mandy?

MANDY:  Well, INSERT+SPACE+H, then CTRL+A, then CTRL+C.  But I bet there’s a shortcut.

MATT:  Oh, no, no, you just made it really long.  It’s INSERT+SPACE and then CTRL+H.


RACHEL:  I probably would have done it your way, Mandy.

MATT:  And INSERT+SPACE, SHIFT+H will actually clear your history.

ERIC:  So if you know you’re going to just read something that you want to capture in your history, you don’t want to copy the last 500 lines to your history, clear it, have it read, and then do the INSERT SPACE C H and it’ll be there.

GLEN:  Well, thank you, Mandy.

MANDY:  Thank you.

RACHEL:  Jeong, I’m going to ask you to unmute.

JEONG:  Okay, cool.  So I’ll make this quick.  So a couple of things.  The ARM support, I would definitely vote for that.  I am actually – I work for the New York City Department of Ed, and the MacBooks we’re getting are these new M1s.  We used to do a boot and whatever.  But now JAWS won’t work on the Windows side.  So that’s a problem.  So just to give you a thumbs-up for that.  Hopefully you guys get that going.

Second thing I wanted to say, on a Focus display, maybe it’s any braille display, but when you do the ALT+TAB command, it doesn’t work the same as when you do it on a keyboard.  You can’t cycle through your apps.  Is that something that you guys are aware of?  You can only just cycle between the last two apps as opposed to holding down the ALT key and then keep tapping the TAB and like merry-go-rounding through like whatever’s open?

ERIC:  Yeah.  I wasn’t aware of that.  But I understand that one.  I’ll make a note and ask if we can look at that, too.

MATT:  I’m not surprised that this doesn’t work.  I mean, it’s probably been not thought to be that way, partially because it’s not like the ALT key.  It’s a function key that’s being used with another key.  It’s just not the same.

GLEN:  We typically send the – when you’re holding down the ALT, the ALT actually stays down when you let the TAB up.  In the braille display, we typically send it as sort of a single keystroke so the ALT and the TAB go down and come up in response to pressing the key on the braille display.  The challenge is if we do this, and there may be a way for us to do it, the challenge is to make sure we don’t get the ALT key stuck because that’s a lovely way to ruin anyone’s day.  It likely is going to be display vendor-specific.  But we might be able to do something for the Focus.  It’s definitely good that you brought it up.

JEONG:  The other thing, is there a way so when you use your rocker bars to go up and down by line on the display, is there a way to have JAWS actually speak with the display showing?

MATT:  I think you’d have to remap the key because by default that’s just moving the braille line and not moving – it’s designed for the braille user.  So you’re thinking of using it more like an UP ARROW.


MATT:  Yeah, I’d remap your key on the braille display using the Keyboard Manager.

JEONG:  You would.  Okay.  And then the last thing, JAWS 2022, I love it.  Really snappy.  JAWS hasn’t been this snappy in a long time.  Love what you guys have done in Outlook and just whatnot.  But whenever I put my computer to sleep, and then I open it, JAWS is crashing a lot.  And then you have to reboot JAWS.  I’m told that you guys are aware of this and trying to figure it out.  But whenever JAWS I guess or whenever Windows wakes up, JAWS is crashing in ‘22.

GLEN:  So is it actually crashing?  Or is it taking a long time to come back to life?

JEONG:  No, I’m pretty sure it’s crashing because I have to invoke my hotkey to get it up again.

GLEN:  It would be good for you to talk to support if you have not already and work with them to get us an FS support tool dump.  There may be a couple of other things we want you to do as well.  But yours is the most definite report of this problem.  So it’d be great to work on.  Have you already sent us one?

JEONG:  I mean, I called them and spoke to them.  And they said, yeah, we know.  We’re working on it.  There’s a fix coming soon is what I was told. Doesn’t sound like that’s true.

GLEN:  Not for those exact symptoms.  So, yes, it would be good to reach out again.

JEONG:  I’ll revisit it.  I will revisit it. 

GLEN:  And tell them we all sent you.

JEONG:  I’m going to tell them Glen sent me, Uncle Glen sent me.

ERIC:  That’s right.

RACHEL:  That’s good.

JEONG:  All right, guys.  Listen, great job in ‘22.  I know there’s a lot of people behind me.  But seriously, one of the better ones in quite some time, I think.

GLEN:  Thanks a lot.

ERIC:  Alvaro on Clubhouse.

ALVARO:  There’s a question about Microsoft Word and how to make sure you check for your grammar errors or, you know, formatting errors, things like that.  So what I did today was I used the –  I think it’s called Text Analyzer, if I’m not mistaken.  And I also used the spell checker, if I’m not mistaken.  However, I found something called Speech and Sound Schemes.  And I read somewhere that could help you, as well.  Can you explain to me that?  And my follow-up is, is there any other tool to analyze your writing?  Or with the spell checker and the Text Analyzer you’re good?

ERIC:  I would say that the Text Analyzer’s really the thing to help you look over what you’ve created to see, you know, how is it going to be presented?  Are my fonts different?  Are my point sizes different?  Did I put extra spaces in?  Are there things that it just does.  The appearance is going to be different.  That’s what Text Analyzer’s going to try and help you understand.  Now, what the Speech and Sound Schemes are all about, this is ways of being able to use different voices or different pitch or even sounds to indicate when things change as you’re moving through text.

So, for instance, when you are reading on a web page, when you come across something that is a link, you actually hear the word “link” spoken.  Now, Speech and Sound Schemes can be used to change that so that, instead of hearing the word “link,” you would hear a sound to help indicate that you just passed over a link.  Or you might hear the link spoken in a different voice or with a different pitch.  So that’s kind of what Speech and Sounds is all about.  But that’s a little more advanced than I think what you’ve looking for.  I think Text Analyzer is probably the place you want to be.

ALVARO:  Okay.

GLEN:  Now, I hate to admit it, I spend most of my time in Outlook when it comes to Office products.  And Outlook recently changed the spelling checker, at least in the 365 version I’m running, where they will point out grammar errors and also extra spaces.  So I find that really useful in Outlook.  Does anyone here know, is something similar available in Word?

MATT:  Well, so I just want to point out that I think by default we have it turned off.

GLEN:  Oh, I’m talking about F7.  I’m talking about F7 where you check your document after the fact.

MATT:  Oh, okay, good.  Yeah, yeah.  But, like, when you’re reading through it, Word’s going to underline things that are misspelled, and it does say those misspelled in Word and in Outlook.  But when you hit a grammar check, we’re ignoring that we’re not announcing those by default.  You have to enable that in Settings Center is what I believe.  This came up about six to eight months ago.  And I think we left it in the off mode.  But someone’s going to have to correct me on that, if I’m wrong.

GLEN:  No, I think you’re correct.  Interestingly, Google requested that we have it on for Google Docs.  So at the moment it’s on for grammar as well there.  So if you’re a Google Docs user, and you think that’s a terrible default, you should tell us.  But there is at the moment that difference.

MATT:  So I would say that specifically to grammar because I don’t think the Text Analyzer is word grammar stuff.  It’s more a punctuation, font, spacing, things of that nature.  If you’re going to look for actual grammar checking, you need to go turn on – you can type the word “grammar” inside Settings Center and find that setting.

ALVARO:  Thank you so much.

MATT:  Thank you.

GLEN:  I have Elizabeth Campbell onstage on Clubhouse.

ELIZABETH CAMPBELL:  Hi, everybody.  Thank you so much.  I’m so glad I just was browsing through Clubhouse and saw the FSOpenLine, so I thought, I’m going to check into that.  And I’m really glad that I did because I learned some new things.  I have two quick questions.  The first one is about the kiosks.  And I heard the FSCast where the demo of the kiosk at McDonald’s was done.  And I thought that was great.  Is there a way that we can find out which McDonald’s locations, I mean, is there a listing of which ones...

MATT:  It’s not a – it’s kind of it’s every month it changes because more get added.  So the easy way is to just email training and give us like a city, and we can pop in some lists for you.

ELIZABETH:  Oh, okay.  Great.  Great.  Are they available at other places, as well?  Or is McDonald’s the first test site, if you will?

MATT:  McDonald’s is the first fast food that’s done it.  You’ll find them on Carnival Cruise Lines in their Internet cafés.  You’ll find them at some banks on the West Coast.  So there’s some different places.  It’s moving along.

ELIZABETH:  Right.  My other question actually is about the grammar option in Google Docs because when the gentleman was asking about the grammar in Word and all of that, and how best to utilize that function, I definitely use it all the time in Word, but I haven’t figured out how to access the suggestions in Google Docs.  I hear them, but I can’t figure out how to actually get to where, you know, I’m being prompted to look at a spell check or look at a grammar error.

MATT:  Can you shoot us an email at training, and we’ll see what the method is?  I know they’ve done some training on Google Docs, and we just may have to dig back in.

ELIZABETH:  Okay, that’s, yeah, that’s fine.  Because honestly I write for a living, and so I tend to use Word more for actually creating my stories and so forth.  And then I have to send my information to my editor in Google Doc format.  So sometimes Google Docs will catch things that I may not have gotten in Word.  So that’s why I was just wondering.  And also we use the Gmail...

RACHEL:  Yeah.

ELIZABETH:  And also we use the Gmail.  We use the Gmail platform all the time, too.  And so that also pops up in Gmail.

RACHEL:  Right.  And we do have some training on those.  Maybe not specifically the grammar checker, but if you write us at training we can give you some more.


RACHEL:  And that’s another application that changes a lot.

ELIZABETH:  And what is that email address again?  Training?

RACHEL:  Yeah, it’s training at Vispero, that’s V I S P E R O, dot com, Vispero [].

ELIZABETH:  Okay, great.  Well, thank you very much, everybody.  I appreciate that.

ERIC:  Thank you, Elizabeth.

RACHEL:  I am going to ask Tedros to unmute.

TEDROS:  I would like to talk about the JAWS volume setting.  And it’s really a great word you guys have done, and thank you very much.  So what drives me nuts the most is when I plug external soundcard such as Zoom Trak P4.  And to the best of my understanding, JAWS uses different lines for the synthesizer as well as the JAWS sound.  I want to lower all the click-clock and the ding and what have you that comes with JAWS.  And I usually, you know, bring it down to 20% or so while JAWS is, you know, the Eloquence volume is up to 80% or sometimes 100%.  It depends.  So I was just wondering whether if you can add to the layered keyboard, to the volume setting like, you know, WINDOWS+SPACE+VS, then that can, you know, lower or raise the JAWS sounds.

GLEN:  Separate from the synthesizer.

TEDROS:  Yes, correct.

GLEN:  Got it.

TEDROS:  Yeah, another thing, just if I may say quickly, and this is about the Zoom, I’m not sure whether the JAWS scripts for Zoom are being updated.  But it would be good if you can add a feature, you know, where it lets us just to indicate the state, whether we are muted, whether our hands are raised or lowered.  Sometimes it really gets confusing, and I was wondering if it’s in the pipeline.  Or sometimes, you know, I start speaking when I am muted.  JAWS doesn’t tell me that I am muted.  And other people tell me.  So it would be good if you can think about this.  Or if there’s a feature that I don’t know, I can configure.

GLEN:  So you want a keystroke, no matter where you are in the Zoom interface, that will tell you if you’re muted.


GLEN:  Well, thank you.

TEDROS:  Yeah, you are welcome.  Okay.  Thank you guys.

RACHEL:  Yeah, thank you for the suggestions.  I have a mic that when I’m muted it says, if I start to talk, a little voice says “muted.”

MATT:  That’s creepy, actually.

ERIC:  Mine does that, too.  I love it.

RACHEL:  I do, too, because I’m like, oh, oops.  Charlie, you’ve got your – you’ve had your hand up a long time.  I know your arm’s tired.

CHARLIE:  Oh, good.  Am I unmuted?

RACHEL:  You are.

CHARLIE:  Oh, good, excellent.  So here’s an interesting thing.  So whenever I get something – I use Vocalizer Expressive, the U.S. voices.  They pronounce Gmail as  Is there any way that that can be corrected?  Or if I could just go into the Dictionary Manager and type in “Gmail,” and then type “Gmail.”

MATT:  I’ve actually never heard this.

GLEN:  I have heard this.  Someone wrote to me.  Maybe it was Charlie.  Was it you, Charlie?

CHARLIE:  Yes, yes, yes, it was, yes.

GLEN:  So the N has not gone from one to two.  The N has gone from one to one.

CHARLIE:  Yes.  So is there anything can be done?  And also is there any way you can, like, in a document, when reading a document, JAWS doesn’t have to say “level one,” “level two,” “level three”?

MATT:  It’s actually a setting.  I’m not sure if it’s in Quick Settings, Eric, or if it’s in Settings Center.  But I think you can...

ERIC:  Yeah, I can’t recall.

MATT:  If you type the word “level,” I actually think you’ll see it.

CHARLIE:  So, now, is there anything you can do about this pronouncing...

RACHEL:  Yeah, what voice are you using when you hear that?  Because I’ve never...


RACHEL:  Tom?  Oh, I...

CHARLIE:  Tom, yes.

MATT:  And she’s now going to tell you she’s never used Tom.

RACHEL:  And I really haven’t.

MATT:  She told us once...

RACHEL:  [Crosstalk] married.  I don’t need any more.

MATT:  She told us once she doesn’t need a man to talk to her.

RACHEL:  I really don’t.  I just go with Ava.  She’s my girl.

CHARLIE:  Ava.  Well...

RACHEL:  I’m going to experiment with Tom a little bit.  But you should write us at training.  Yeah, and then maybe just consider switching to a female.

CHARLIE:  Okay.  All right.

GLEN:  Or creating a dictionary rule.  I don’t know which is easier.

RACHEL:  And it wasn’t a serious solution, sorry.

ERIC:  Keep that comment in the recording, Glen.

CHARLIE:  So also in a Zoom meeting I don’t have the option to raise my hand.  I just have – I just have where it says click the button where it says Reactions.  It says Raise Hand, Lower Hand.  I don’t, when I hit ALT+Y in Zoom, it doesn’t say Hand Raised, Hand Lowered.  JAWS doesn’t say that.

MATT:  Do you have your alerts turned off?

CHARLIE:  I am – no, where can I find it?



MATT:  ...S will turn on and off your alerts.  And if your alerts are off, then it will not speak.

CHARLIE:  So how do I – so can you say what you need to do?


RACHEL:  Make sure your Zoom window’s in focus.

CHARLIE:  I don’t have JAWS on.  I turned off JAWS.

MATT:  Oh, well, that’s not going to do anything for you.

RACHEL:  That will...

MATT:  So this is why you’re not hearing raise and lower hands.

CHARLIE:  I know, I know.  Here we go.  Oh, here we go.  Perfect.  Okay.  So ALT+WINDOWS+S.  Hand raised.  Hand now lowered.


CHARLIE:  Yup, yup, yup, it worked.

RACHEL:  So now you’re hearing those notifications.  And if you – so now you’ll hear JAWS speak a lot of notifications.  And if you – like people entering and leaving the room, or people talking in the chat.  And if you don’t want to hear that, you just do ALT+WINDOWS+S again.

CHARLIE:  Okay.  All right.  All right.  Thank you very much.

RACHEL:  All right.

ERIC:  All right.

RACHEL:  Thanks.  I’m really sorry to those of you who we didn’t get to, but we are going to wrap up for tonight.

CHARLIE:  Thank you very much.

RACHEL:  Yeah.

MATT:  So thanks for everybody for joining FSOpenLine.  This is Matt.  We have Rachel, Glen, and Eric onstage.  And I want to thank everybody who joined us on Clubhouse and Zoom.  Also you may have found us on YouTube Live or Facebook Live.  I don’t know, you guys, you thought it was good?  All good?

GLEN:  That was great.

RACHEL:  Good to go, yeah.

ERIC:  Good night.

MATT:  Excellent.

GLEN:  It’s always nice to talk to this wide array of folks.

MATT:  If we’re not talking to the customers, then we’re not building the products you need.  So just keep the suggestions coming, and feedback.  And we like the good and the bad, and we’ll go to solve for you.  And in two weeks we have an update coming, so pay attention to that.  Get the download and the update.  And we want to wish everybody a Happy Holidays.

  •  12/12/2021  •