RACHEL BUCHANAN: Welcome to FSOpenLine, Freedom Scientific’s Global Q&A. This is our show for February of 2023. And before we introduce everyone who’s here with us, just a couple of really quick housekeeping items, if you haven’t joined with us before, and you don’t know how to interact with us.
If you’re listening on YouTube Live or Facebook Live or LinkedIn or Twitter, those are platforms where we’re only streaming, and you’re not going to be able to ask questions. If you’d like to engage with us and pop a queue for the Q&A, you’ll join us on Zoom or Clubhouse. And in one of those two places you can raise your hand, and we will call on you to get your questions answered. You can do that in Zoom on Windows with ALT+Y, Yankee. And then if you’re on the phone, you’ll need to dial *9 back to back to put your hand up, and we will call on you. Please stay on mute until then because it makes it much easier for everyone to hear.
And with all of those little details out of the way, we are joined by Ryan Jones, Glen Gordon, Matt Ater, and Elizabeth Whitaker. Hi, guys.
RYAN JONES: Hey, good evening, everyone.
MATT ATER: Hey, everybody. Great to be back.
RYAN: Hey, Matt.
RACHEL: Hey, Matt. How are you?
MATT: I missed you guys.
RACHEL: Yeah, long time no talk.
MATT: Yeah, I know.
RYAN: Glen, how are you this evening?
GLEN GORDON: I am doing okay. It seems to be a regular thing with OpenLine that I have some kind of technical gremlins up to the very last minute. So it’s a little bit like getting the adrenaline going before we start.
RYAN: It’s trying to make sure you’re awake.
MATT: I just want to know, is the – are you aging yourself by saying “gremlins”?
GLEN: I thought that’s a term of the young. Oh, sorry. Am I out of step a little bit?
RYAN: No, I mean, I just remember the movie, the “Gremlins.”
MATT: You know, they microwaved them, and they multiplied.
RYAN: Definitely an ‘80s movie.
RACHEL: Any recent events we want to comment on or any developments that you all want to kind of set the evening with before we start taking hands? You all, please be thinking of your questions and get ready to put those hands up.
GLEN: I think I would like to at least mention our WhatsApp scripts, which came out as part of the February update. And we’ve gotten, I think, generally favorable response on that. We’ve gotten a couple of things where people have wanted things refined. And so your feedback on those scripts will certainly help us perfect them in months to come. But if you’re wanting to run WhatsApp on Windows, the scripts make it a little bit easier for doing that.
RYAN: I think this is something that’s really good to highlight to people that the updates are not always just about fixing bugs. Right? I mean, we’re able to put in actual features sometimes, like the WhatsApp scripts and other things that are not – features that are not just in the original release that comes out in October, but in these updates that we have every six to eight weeks. We can put in new features then as well. And the WhatsApp scripts are a good example of that.
GLEN: And as the years progress, we’re moving more and more of our features throughout the year. So yes, you’ll get a couple of big things at the beginning of each new major version, but then we continue to space them out, not just because we want to dole them out to you, but because the work needs to get done. And sometimes it can’t all be done by that initial release.
RYAN: Yeah. And the good thing, too, is when we have feedback from people or an idea that comes out for a new feature, we prefer to get it out to folks as soon as possible and not just have to wait till October. So as Glen said, this is more and more a pattern. I mean, if we think about last June, we had the notification history that came out. We have a really exciting feature coming out in a couple of months and in one of the updates, probably the June update for this year. So it’s definitely something I can’t stress enough. And I think all of us at the company, we can’t stress enough why the updates are important.
And there’s so much happening with browser and the operating system. I mean, my Chrome just updated, I think this morning I logged on and it said, “What’s new in Chrome 1.10.” And so every day there’s something being updated; and we’re pushing updates through the software as well that are helping match what’s going on in Windows and Office and the browsers.
MATT: It’s mind boggling to me when I get an email from a company or an agency and they say, “We’re having problems. JAWS 2019 isn’t working with Teams.” And I’m like, “Really? You’re going to talk to me about that?” This stuff is so fast, you get an update to Teams, and you don’t even know it.
RYAN: I always think about 2019, that doesn’t seem that long ago, but that code was written over four years ago. Teams wasn’t even hardly on anyone’s radar four years ago. We barely even probably heard of Teams at that point.
MATT: No, we were using Skype; right?
MATT: I saw the tip on – one of the JAWS tips for Teams, and it was talking about turning on a feature in verbosity. I think it was “control descriptions.”
ELIZABETH WHITAKER: It was a tip for if you had more than a couple of tabs across the top there, and you RIGHT ARROW to navigate among those tabs. And it would read to you the first couple of tabs. And then when you arrowed again, it would indicate that there were more tabs available, but it wasn’t reading all of those tabs. And so this feature or this setting allowed you to turn that on, and then you would hear all of the available tabs, whether it was four or five or however many it was.
RYAN: Definitely something that you should look into to see is that it’s something we should make a permanent change in the Teams settings or not. But we’ve seen with Teams, Glen, you and I, we’ve talked to the Microsoft people a pretty good bit on Teams, and there’s a lot of changes that they’re making. And sometimes we see one change cascade to different areas of Teams and cause other issues. So we are always really careful before we change something in JAWS default-wise to validate that it’s not going to really interrupt somebody in another scenario in Teams.
RACHEL: I already have a long list of hands up. So Danielle Jones, I’m going to ask you to unmute on Zoom.
DANIELLE JONES: I’m a longtime JAWS user. I’ve been using JAWS since the ‘90s. So I’m one of the JAWS certified individuals so I can help you guys with – but I’ve actually had another person who called me with a problem with JAWS with one of the other voices, and I have it up on my computer right now. It doesn’t say the word “her” correctly, H E R. It says “hor,” H O R. And I can show you right now. I have it on my computer. That’s what it says.
RYAN: Which voice are you using?
DANIELLE: It is Susan.
GLEN: We get these voices from – it used to be called Nuance, but they morphed into Cerence. So Cerence provides us with the voices. And we feed the speech to the voices, and it’s up to them to do the pronunciation. So you could absolutely do a dictionary rule for Susan specifically to get to...
DANIELLE: I’ve done that.
DANIELLE: And it doesn’t fix it. I’ve tried on my own computer. I cannot get it to read it correctly.
RYAN: So I think what we can do is probably – we do have folks at Cerence, who makes the voices. We have some contacts there that we work with. So this is something we probably need to bring up to them. If the dictionary can’t change it, then there’s something in the phonetical workings of that particular voice. And that’s something we will definitely – we need to address with Cerence.
DANIELLE: And I’d like to find out from you guys, I do scripting. I’ve been doing scripting now for 15 years. I’m looking for ways of doing it for a job. Because I could even go and join you guys and help you guys out with scripting and stuff. Because I do, I wrote a script the other day to help somebody out, and I wrote it in less than five minutes and tested it out and everything.
RYAN: Excellent. Yeah. Scripting, scripting is a really powerful way to help others and to modify how JAWS works. So that’s excellent that you’re working with it. Thanks for coming on, and thanks for bringing this up to us and telling us about scripting that you’re doing.
DANIELLE: Okay. And you’re welcome.
RACHEL: Yes. Thank you, Danielle.
MATT: So I can bring...
RACHEL: Matt, do you have any hands over there on Clubhouse?
RACHEL: I have several more here.
MATT: I have Abraham174. Abraham, you are up onstage.
ABRAHAM: Okay, thank you for bringing me up. One request to help improve the product is when I call your support line, and I’m having a problem, I’m asked if I can provide a recreate for your team, which if I’m using Salesforce I can’t. So would you be able to add better diagnostics? So if I’m on a call with your support, or if I can do it on my own, I hit Start Diagnostics. It records everything for that specific incident I’m doing, including the speech and diagnostics. And then I can send that to your team so they can actually see what’s going on. Is that a possibility?
GLEN: I think part of the problem is that sometimes the reason we want to see the actual app, and I understand completely that you can’t necessarily show us something that’s proprietary, but the reason that we want to see sort of the app in action ourselves is because there are diagnostics that the developer can do that aren’t really easily translatable into something that you can run. And so we’re not just looking for the speech, but we’re actually looking much more at the actual underlying code of the page, and how that’s appearing, and how things are changing.
ABRAHAM: In addition to voice, can’t you capture what JAWS is actually using to generate the speech and capture the underlying text, I mean code?
GLEN: You can capture the text, but you can’t necessarily capture everything that’s leading up to the point of JAWS deciding to speak a particular piece of text. And it often is that decision logic that’s the reason why you’re not hearing what you’re expecting.
ABRAHAM: Okay. Yeah, the other thing I noticed after upgrading to the latest and greatest, the 2023 version, that in Salesforce, if I have a drop-down menu, I can no longer hit the first letter of the option. I have to manually go down.
GLEN: And if you go back to 2022, does the first letter work?
ABRAHAM: I haven’t tried that. I’ll try that tomorrow.
GLEN: Because, you know, Matt was saying a few minutes ago how you have to keep JAWS up to date because everybody else is changing their software. And I’m not, you know, I’m not trying to throw Salesforce under the bus; but we’re changing, and they’re changing. And so sometimes, you know, knowing if 2022 has the same problem is a really good way to know if it’s something we need to address or needs to be addressed with them.
ABRAHAM: Okay, I understand. I’ve got to – I’ll check with 2022 and see what’s going on. Here’s another longstanding issue I’ve been having is when I go to a link, and I have to, what is it, INSERT+CTRL+ENTER to see the list of hover item menu options, it appears as one long line where I can’t select it. If I switch to narrator, I’m able to select individual options. Is there any tweaks I need to do in JAWS settings to fix that?
RYAN: So what does it do? It’s INSERT+CTRL+ENTER?
ABRAHAM: Yeah. So when you – normally there’s an option where sighted people, if they hover over a link, it gives them a bunch of menu items.
RYAN: I think if it’s a mouseover element...
ABRAHAM: A mouseover.
RYAN: That’s our command to simulate a mouseover event.
MATT: So I’m going to ask a question. This is JAWS, not Fusion, right?
ABRAHAM: Yeah, sorry, it’s Fusion.
MATT: Fusion does a few things differently because you’re doing the low vision stuff too. So I’m wondering if that’s part of the reading.
RYAN: I would actually suggest to try it with just running JAWS if you can, and then let us know if it’s different because I suspect that may be the case, as well.
ABRAHAM: Okay, will do. So I’ve got two actions on my part. Last question is directed at Fusion directly. Now, if I start with JAWS, and I go to a webpage, it reads to me the number of regions, the number of links, and so and so. But in Fusion, I don’t have that option. Is there a tweak, a setting in Fusion I can change to get that same behavior?
MATT: My thinking is that you may have changed the settings somewhere along the way because mine does read that. So I would just check your settings.
RYAN: It’s in Quick Settings.
MATT: It’s in Quick Settings.
ABRAHAM: Okay. I’m asking because I can’t find it. What’s the setting I need to do to change it?
MATT: While we’re talking, because we’ll let the next person come up, I’ll announce what the setting is in a few minutes, once I look it up.
ABRAHAM: Okay, thank you.
ABRAHAM: Yeah, just go ahead.
MATT: Yeah, thank you.
MATT: And I’ll send it back to Rachel to bring somebody up onstage on Zoom.
RACHEL: All right. I’m going to ask Rosemary to unmute.
RYAN: And just to clear while we’re waiting for her, the item in Quick Settings is called “Announce count of links, headings, and other things.” So if you look for the word “announce,” you’ll find it.
ROSEMARY: Okay, now I’m unmuted?
RACHEL: Yes, you are.
RYAN: Hi, good evening.
ROSEMARY: Thank you. Hey, first time I’ve ever come to one of these.
RYAN: Well, excellent. Glad you’re here.
RACHEL: Glad to have you.
ROSEMARY: I’m a longtime JAWS user, as well. I’ve probably been using since Windows 98, I guess, like JAWS 7 or something like that. I have two questions. I have a co-writer. We’re in the process of attempting to write a book. And we use the Slack messenger to, you know, post our pieces and, you know, put them together. And I copy all that off of Slack, and we put it into Word. And I’ve been trying to use the Text Analyzer, and it comes up with these font changes. And I’m using Microsoft Office 2019. And I try to, you know, like to select it all and then, you know, go into the font thing and say, you know, remove formatting. Nothing happens. It’s, you know, it’s still telling me that those format things are there.
RYAN: Which kind of font changes is it telling you are there? Is it just saying the font is different from one word to a different word or...
ROSEMARY: It just says “font change,” and then a couple of things down it says “extended font change.” It doesn’t give me like, say, you know, Calibri or Arial or...
RYAN: Right. And it won’t.
ROSEMARY: It doesn’t identify what the font is.
RYAN: Exactly. Text Analyzer won’t. I don’t know if you ever – this is a good tip. If you want to actually see what the font is where the cursor is, if you press INSERT+F as in font, INSERT+F will have JAWS speak exactly what the font is. So what I would do as a test is I would go to one area. I would press INSERT+F and see, listen to what it tells me, 11-point Calibri, Times New Roman or whatever it is. And then I would go to where Text Analyzer is telling you there’s a font change and press INSERT+F there, as well, see if it actually is different. That will at least tell you is Text Analyzer picking up the right thing, or is it somehow thinking there’s a text or a font change even if there’s not. So that can at least help you see if Text Analyzer is doing what it’s supposed to do. And if it is, if there actually is a different font, then it’s a question around Word and why is it, why is Word not changing the font or removing the font attributes, if that’s what you think that it’s supposed to be doing.
ROSEMARY: Correct. And it doesn’t seem to do that, which is weird. The other question I have has to do with the Slack program. And ‘22 and ‘23 versions, when I go to the box where you type in your post, and then I enter, and then when I go to back to read when the person sends their post, it sends me back like, I don’t know, five or six, seven posts sometimes.
GLEN: So you type a message in, and then what do you do to get to the incoming chat messages?
ROSEMARY: Usually I just have to do an UP ARROW to just get above the box, and it’ll say, you know, the name of the channel that I’m in, and then it’ll read the post. But when I attempt to do that in ‘22 and ‘23, it sends me back sometimes like to the day before, even. So most times if I’m going to work with my co-writer, I just, you know, quit the JAWS 2023 and go into 2021 and use that because it acts more consistently.
RYAN: Well I think this is good to bring up because we as a company don’t use Slack. So like none of us personally necessarily use it a lot. We don’t get a whole lot of feedback actually on Slack, so...
RACHEL: We do have quite a few requests for training.
RYAN: Yeah. And so I think this is a good thing for us to kind of keep up, make sure we’re keeping up with Slack, make sure they’re testing with latest versions. And then Rachel, your team, I know you do, you put some training out sometimes on Slack. So it’s a good reminder for me anyway, that Slack is still very much used.
GLEN: I think we need – we need to dive in. And if you write to firstname.lastname@example.org – sorry to send them your way, Rachel and Liz.
RACHEL: No worries.
GLEN: But if we know more about your scenario, like, you know, when you’re doing something in the browser versus in the Slack app, and when things work and when they don’t, that might help us troubleshoot it a little bit.
ROSEMARY: So that’s email@example.com?
RYAN: Yes. That’s right.
RACHEL: All right. I’m going to hit it back to you, Matt. If you have someone on Clubhouse...
MATT: All right. I do.
RACHEL: And then John on Zoom, you are next up. I do have quite a list of hands.
MATT: And I will bring up Jessica Dale. And Jessica, you have been invited.
JESSICA DALE: My question relates to Brave, the Brave browser. You can send tabs between devices using the share menu, and JAWS, NVDA, or Narrator will not read it. They will not read that menu. All they say is “Use tab to interact,” which does nothing.
GLEN: What does that say to you, the fact that none of them actually work?
JESSICA: That that menu just isn’t accessible.
GLEN: Yeah. I mean, that’s sort of my thought. I mean, you did the work that one of us would have asked you to do. Does it work with something else? And the fact that all three are demonstrating approximately the same symptoms, yeah, I think it likely is something that Brave would need to attend to.
JESSICA: I’m standing next to one of my Linux machines at the moment, and I even tried it on there. And Orca is the screen reader on Linux, and it wouldn’t do it.
RYAN: You have tried it with everything you can think of. That’s pretty impressive. I wondered if, with JAWS, if you’ve tried Convenient OCR.
JESSICA: I didn’t think of that. I could. The only other thing that I haven’t tried yet is my Mac. I have Brave on my MacBook.
GLEN: Well, you could try it on the iPhone, too.
JESSICA: I know it works on the iPhone. I’ve sent things from my phone to my iPad and vice versa before. It just doesn’t work on desktop.
GLEN: That’s really interesting. You’ve gotten my curiosity up now. I will have a look.
RYAN: Glen’s going to try this, I’m sure.
GLEN: Not on this call.
RYAN: But after the call; right.
GLEN: Yes. I have trouble multitasking. I’ll even do it before eating dinner. Not.
RYAN: I believe you.
JESSICA: I’d be curious to know your findings, Glen, once you test it out, because I’m probably at some point going to buy Brian Hartgen’s now-archived Brave Words course.
GLEN: I assume this is a webinar on using Brave?
JESSICA: Yeah, he just finished it, like, last week or the week before.
GLEN: Oh, okay.
JESSICA: It just got archived.
GLEN: Well, good. I don’t know that I can help you decide whether or not to buy it, but at least I’ll try to answer that question, and I will write back to you. Because I know how to find you because we’ve communicated before.
JESSICA: Yes, awesome. Thank you so much.
RYAN: And just one other quick note. I think for anyone listening, we were actually talking the other day, curious about how many people are using Brave with JAWS or ZoomText. So if you’re using Brave, let us know. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us if you’re using Brave. That way we kind of know how many people are out there using it.
MATT: Thank you, Jessica.
RACHEL: Thank you, Jessica. Hi, John.
JOHN: Hi there.
RACHEL: You’re up next.
JOHN: Oh, great. I’m having a Slack problem, as well. What I get is that it just randomly jumps way back in the timeline. It might be a day or two; might be a week. And then gradually it’ll keep going back and back and back and back. It drives me nuts.
GLEN: I have a suggestion for you to try.
GLEN: JAWS has an option. I think it’s called Screen Follows Virtual. Does anyone – can anyone...
RYAN: Yes, I think that’s right.
GLEN: It’s on by default. So you would have had to have explicitly turned it off. And the reason it’s on is, if you’re someone who’s blind and have a sighted person looking over your shoulder, it means that what’s on the screen will track the virtual cursor. I think what may be happening is you have Screen Follows Virtual, which means that, as the virtual cursor moves up, we are scrolling the screen up, and that is causing Slack to say let me bring in a few more older things.
JOHN: Oh, really? Oh, boy.
GLEN: I mean, I don’t know that that’s true, but it’s something to try.
JOHN: Sure. I just hope I can remember to put it back because in all other applications I want it to follow virtual because sometimes I have people connect with TeamViewer and this and that.
GLEN: If you do INSERT+6 on the number row from within Slack, it should actually open up the Slack settings, and you should be able to set this as a Slack-specific setting.
JOHN: Well, that’s really interesting. I never would have thought of that. It’s fairly bizarre.
GLEN: Will you write to me one way or the other and say, you know, you’re on the right track or you’re not?
JOHN: Which address?
GLEN: I’m email@example.com.
JOHN: Ggordon, okay.
JOHN: All right. I will do that. I’ll try because that drives me nuts, actually.
GLEN: I’ll keep all my digits crossed.
JOHN: Okay. You do that. Thanks a lot.
RYAN: Thank you, John.
RACHEL: Good luck, John.
MATT: All right. I have...
RACHEL: All right. Matt, you got someone? Next up is Marsha on Zoom after our Clubhouse questioner.
MATT: Perfect. And I’m going to try to do this. Alternative Ash, you’ve been invited up to the stage on Clubhouse. And it’s Ashley.
ASHLEY: It is Ashley, yes.
MATT: Well, welcome onstage.
ASHLEY: Thank you. So, all right. So ever since I upgraded to Windows 11, say I need to write a note real quick or whatever, I’ll open Notepad to write a note. Well, it seems ever since I updated Windows 11, it opens up, reads what the default font is even though there’s nothing written in it, and then it freezes JAWS for like 30 seconds. I can’t do anything. I can’t ALT+TAB. I can’t, like, absolutely nothing. And I have the latest version. I’ve used other versions. I have Windows 10 at work, and I don’t have that issue.
RYAN: Yeah, that’s funny because I use Notepad daily. I’m actually using it right now taking notes.
RYAN: It’s a very commonly used application.
ASHLEY: It’s just when I open it.
ASHLEY: Okay. It’s when I open a new instance of it. If I open one that’s already been saved, I don’t have that issue. It’s just when I open a new instance.
RYAN: And how do you open it? Do you press WINDOWS+R and type it in, or go to the start screen?
ASHLEY: I go to the start screen, type “note” and let it finish, press ENTER, and then it just kind of says the default font. And then if I go to type, it just – JAWS stops working for about 30 seconds.
GLEN: It might be worth switching to defaults temporarily. And if I remember right, it’s JAWS Key+SPACE followed by Z, is that correct, to switch?
MATT: That is correct.
RYAN: That’s correct, yes.
MATT: It’s one of the favorite keystrokes that Ryan and I pushed for years ago.
GLEN: So Ashley, I would try doing that. It’ll say something like, you know, loading default scripts or something, which means the scripts that we ship JAWS with. And if you’ve sped up your voice and other things, they’ll all go back to the default. But the question is, if you do that, does Notepad come up quickly? And if it does, it gives us a whole new area of exploration.
RYAN: And then don’t forget after that to press INSERT+Z, or sorry, INSERT+SPACE and then Z again to go back to regular settings. So it’s a toggle.
ASHLEY: The JAWS Key+SPACE+Z did work. However, how do I get that to keep, and not have to toggle it on and off?
GLEN: Go to Help in JAWS. And under Help you’ll find FS Support Tool.
GLEN: If you run FS Support Tool, enter your email address when it’s asked, upload that, and that will show us all the scripts that you have in your per user settings. And now that we know it has something to do with user, we’ll be able to look. But once you’ve done this, send me email because otherwise this will go into the great void. No one just looks at Support Tool uploads. Usually it’s done by Support, and they ask someone, and they track it down by the user ID. So if you write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, once you’ve uploaded your Support Tool, I will have a quick look at your per user files and see if I can offer any insight.
ASHLEY: All right, perfect.
GLEN: All right.
ASHLEY: I also do have another question.
ASHLEY: I haven’t got the website. I just now thought about this. So if I wanted to learn how to script JAWS – because I am literally the first blind person that my job’s ever hired in 90 years, and a lot of things don’t work. And we had somebody from the state come in and script, and he recommended me taking the C++ class so I can kind of get the basics because it would help me to learn JAWS scripting. Are there – like I said, I haven’t checked. I didn’t think about it till just now asking, to check, like, tutorials on how to script JAWS? Or is it just something you play around with?
RYAN: So there are tutorials. There is some basic training on how to do scripting. But I would ask a different question for you first. Do you even think you like programming, or have you done it in the past? Because if you don’t really enjoy programming, then scripting to the level that you might need to do it to improve things at a worksite may be more than you want to take on potentially.
ASHLEY: Right. Well, that’s why he had recommended me taking the C++ class. And I’m halfway through the semester, and I’m already liking it. So that’s why.
RYAN: So, well, then good. Then if you’re actually liking it...
RYAN: That’s a good thing. That means scripting is not necessarily a very – to learn scripting there’s a lot of layers to it. But my point was, if you find out you hate programming, and you hate code, then you don’t want to try to learn scripting.
RYAN: Now, if you do like it, then scripting, what I would suggest to start with on the freedomscientific.com website, if you go under Documentation, there’s something called the “Basics of Scripting Manual.”
RYAN: And that’s going to give you the real fundamentals of scripting, and then you can kind of take it and continue to learn from there. But that’s what I would suggest to start with.
RACHEL: And we actually have a more advanced scripting manual, too. Both of them are slightly out of date. But what I’ve heard is that people still get a lot out of them. So if you send an email to email@example.com, we can send you those.
ASHLEY: Okay, perfect.
MATT: Thank you, Ashley. And I am going to send it over to Zoom. And I have Abraham back on deck when you get done with the next person on Zoom.
RACHEL: All right. I am going to now ask Lionel Luis Morales to unmute.
LIONEL LUIS MORALES: First of all, Happy New Year to all of you. And this is the first time I’m doing this post-Eric Damery era. So wherever you are, Eric, I hope you’re enjoying retirement, buddy. We miss you.
I noticed in the last few days a lot of people have written you guys in the various channels about you guys as a company joining Mastodon. And I just want to throw my voice out there. I really encourage you. I can’t stress enough. You guys really, really, really need to consider joining the Fetaverse to gain/garner support for your products.
And my comment is when are you guys going to give us a little bit of more fine control, if possible? To me, the audio ducking, a little too low, and this has started since 2022. You know, when I’m playing a newscast or something on video or anything, audio, whatever, I would like to see us have better fine control. I want to duck only this much, not to where it’s currently at right now. Thanks.
RYAN: So Glen, the audio ducking, do we control how much it ducks down, basically? Do we have that set somewhere?
GLEN: We do not. This is a Windows thing. All we can do is say, “We’re a screen reader. Please duck the other audio when we’re talking.” But Windows decides when to duck, and when to not duck, and how far to bring the other audio level down. So sadly, it’s not something we control.
RYAN: I wondered because, like, the iPhone does the same thing, and I was kind of afraid that we don’t have any control over it.
GLEN: No, we don’t, sadly.
RYAN: And just to go back to your first comment about Mastodon, it’s actually something we’ve been in conversations on, looking at how we would get set up and how we would leverage that platform. So don’t have exact timeframe, but it’s definitely something we’re working on.
RACHEL: I’m going to ask Ravi, ask you to unmute.
RAVI: Hi there. I’m running Fusion 2023 on Windows 11. Is there a way to suspend JAWS while I’m running Fusion? The trouble I have is when I’m zoomed in, and JAWS is speaking, it moves the screen. So it’s hard for me to keep track where the mouse is.
MATT: Yeah, I can see where the problem is now that you’re talking about it, just because I can see where I’m going to launch Chrome and then I’m focused on my mouse, but then all of a sudden something starts to read on the page and it jumps to where that reading is. And as soon as you move your mouse, your mouse is now tethered to wherever that text was on the screen, not to where you were. Because we tether to wherever you’re visually looking at that point, which has been moved by JAWS starting to read.
GLEN: So we have this option that I mentioned earlier in terms of Slack where screen follows virtual. I wonder if turning that off would help at all. And that means that JAWS will begin to wander around. And when it goes past the bottom of the screen, you won’t see that on the screen. But it sounds like that may be what you want in some cases.
MATT: And it’s called Screen Tracks.
MATT: Virtual cursor now follows just a...
RAVI: Screen Tracks, okay. Thank you for that. One more question or request. Any chance of getting the natural voices from Microsoft into JAWS at any time in the future?
RYAN: The question is, is there any chance? Yes, there is a chance. Is it going to happen? I can’t say for sure, and I don’t know when. But there is a chance, yes. We’re always looking at what voice options are out there and where we could leverage other voices from. So it is something that could be a possibility.
RAVI: Okay, great, thank you.
MATT: The Screen Tracks Virtual Cursor did work for me. So you definitely want to go play with that. I turned that off, and it doesn’t jump around.
RAVI: Great. Thank you so much.
RACHEL: We are going to go ahead and ask Alex to ask your question.
ALEX: Hello. How are you doing, guys?
RACHEL: Good. How are you?
ALEX: Nice. Thank you. I just want to start having a quick comment about the Notepad issue and the Word issue. It appears that sometimes, just not on launch, but when saving a document, so let’s say we open a blank Notepad or a blank Word document on Windows 11, hit CTRL+S, type in a name, and then it seems to be happening more often when pressing TAB until the SAVE button and press ENTER. Then most part of the time it will freeze. We can ALT+TAB, but we’re not going to be able, let’s see if we go back to the Notepad to write any text or even to read the text. Well, we’ll be able to write, but it’s not going to be announced.
GLEN: In Windows 11 only.
ALEX: Yeah. Yeah. And this is happening with both 2022 and 2023. But this one, I was able to reproduce it with some other screen readers. So that doesn’t seem to be only a JAWS thing.
RYAN: But this is happening in Notepad, as well?
ALEX: Notepad and Microsoft Word. So basically Microsoft 365.
RYAN: And it happens when you use the save, like you tab to the SAVE button to activate it?
ALEX: Yes. Most part, this is what we observe, yes. If I just press ENTER on the filename, seems to be better.
RYAN: Right, it’s fine, okay.
ALEX: But some users are pressing TAB until they get to the SAVE button and push ENTER. And sometimes then this is where this happens. Other things, I’d like to suggest you may be modifying a little bit the features to avoid speech cutoff when using Bluetooth headsets or some sound cards. I have some headsets here that, even if we put in some complete silence, they will still go to sleep. I don’t know if there might be a way we can just either put a different sound or just put a really, really, really, really small white noise in background. That might be pretty helpful.
GLEN: That’s a really good idea. Have you done any kind of experimentation like played an audio file at the same time to keep the device awake?
ALEX: I used Silencio and put a white noise instead of the default silence there. And it was perfect.
GLEN: Let me ask you one more question.
GLEN: Can you tell us at least one headset that experiences these symptoms so we can acquire one and know that we fixed the problem?
ALEX: Yup, sure. The Plantronics Voyager. I’m sorry. It’s either B825 or A25B. I can’t remember it by heart. But yeah, this is it.
GLEN: And who’s the manufacturer?
ALEX: Oh, Plantronics.
MATT: Plantronics Voyager.
ALEX: Plantronics Voyager. Exactly.
GLEN: Great idea. Thank you. Thank you very much.
ALEX: You’re welcome. Do we still have a bit of time?
GLEN: Yeah, go for it.
ALEX: Awesome. Sometimes Windows 10 and Windows 11, just want to mention, I don’t know why this is happening at least since 2022. Out of nowhere – and I got this behavior yesterday several times. You know when JAWS is running in the taskbar, you press INSERT+J, and let’s say you arrow down, you should hear the JAWS version. Sometimes the JAWS window is blank. There’s nothing. And it’s not just a question of not getting the version. It’s a question that, when this happens, the JAWS cursor is not working at all. If, let’s say, we try to route JAWS to PC in any kind of application, so let’s say whatever it could be, then no reaction, blank, blank, blank, blank, blank everywhere.
RYAN: How frequently does this happen? Because I have seen this myself, but very, very infrequently.
ALEX: I would say on my work computer, sometimes maybe once a week. On this Windows 11 computer yesterday, or I think it was on Wednesday, I think I rebooted the computer maybe four or five times in a row just to get rid of that. It was all the time doing it. I was just, oh man. It’s only a Lenovo 13 inches and a Dell 13 inches.
GLEN: But sometimes they work. Sometimes they work, except when they don’t.
ALEX: Right, right.
ALEX: And when it starts, then you’re stuck.
RYAN: Until you reboot, usually.
ALEX: Or you go to switch user or try to lock screen.
GLEN: Well, I think probably we should move on. And if you find any more clues on this, we would be very interested in hearing.
ALEX: I’m trying. I’m trying.
GLEN: All right. Thank you very much.
RYAN: Thanks, Alex.
RACHEL: All right, Barrett?
BARRETT: Hi, can you hear me?
RACHEL: Great. Yes, we can, thank you.
BARRETT: Great. All right. So firstly, thank you so very much for allowing me to ask the question. Actually it’s not a question, it’s just a request. A couple of FSOpenLines away, I requested for the WhatsApp to be provided with some sort of scripts. I’m very grateful it got done. And, yeah, it’s working. Thank you so much.
But there’s something which I would like to draw your attention to, which is when we go in there, it announces, JAWS announces that we need to press INSERT+H to get to know the commands that are available. But when I do that, nothing actually happens. It just says “blank.” And when I turn on the keyboard help by pressing INSERT+1, I get to know that the command for as in pressing INSERT+H is reserved for reading by sentence or something. I’m using the laptop layout.
RYAN: Ah, yes.
BARRETT: So that doesn’t...
RYAN: You’re probably pressing CAPS LOCK+H.
BARRETT: That is correct.
BARRETT: Because I don’t – it’s a 14-inch HP laptop that I have.
RYAN: Yeah, so it doesn’t have an actual INSERT key. What you would press is CTRL+SHIFT+CAPS LOCK+H. Because CAPS LOCK+H, as you saw, is a command that’s been around for, I don’t know, decades for people who don’t have a numbers pad. So CAPS LOCK+H was already – it’s been assigned for a long time. So if you are in laptop mode, CTRL+SHIFT+CAPS LOCK+H will bring up the JAWS hotkey help.
BARRETT: I’ll definitely do that. The only concern I have is that pressing INSERT+F1 twice quickly also says that there is no help available.
RYAN: Rachel or Liz, you can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t know that we have an actual help topic in the help system yet for WhatsApp and JAWS.
LIZ: Not yet, but we will.
RYAN: So that’s why INSERT+F1+F1 is not finding something.
BARRETT: All right. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. It’s working. Thank you.
RYAN: Good. You’re welcome.
RACHEL: Veteran Doc, I’m asking you to unmute.
VETERAN DOC: I was having trouble, and I haven’t checked it the last few days. On a spreadsheet going into the header, JAWS would not talk. I tried to edit, and I couldn’t tell where the cursor was to delete part of it and retype in. So the only thing I could do is to delete everything and have to retype the whole words.
RYAN: Is this in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets?
VETERAN DOC: Excel.
GLEN: Do you mean the header, like the header cells? Or do you mean like the header, you know, like you setting up a running header for the page or something?
VETERAN DOC: Like a header, you know, using header/footer.
RYAN: How do you – how do you get to the header?
VETERAN DOC: Oh, I’m sorry you asked that because I can’t remember right now.
RYAN: Leave it to me to ask that question.
RACHEL: I have not played with headers in Excel recently.
RYAN: Yeah, I have not either. That’s why I was trying to remember how do you even get there?
VETERAN DOC: Yeah, I can’t remember how I jumped up there. That was no small task in itself.
RYAN: I think maybe the best thing, can you email training, let them know what you’re doing? And then Rachel or Liz and their team can look at this and see if there’s actually, if there’s an issue with JAWS, and we’ll get it in to be fixed.
VETERAN DOC: Okay. And just one last comment. Is there any way, like on a Zoom platform or something where there’s a chat box, is there any way to turn the chat volume clear off?
GLEN: Yes. I just can’t remember the keystroke.
RYAN: WINDOWS Key+ALT and the letter S as in Sam. That will stop Zoom from – it’s a toggle. You press it once, and you’ll hear “Alerts disabled,” and then you won’t hear those automatic speaking of Zoom messages.
VETERAN DOC: That’s turning off chat.
RYAN: It’ll be chat, and like when people come in and out of the room, like it might say “Glen Gordon has entered the room” or whatever, it’ll turn that off.
VETERAN DOC: INSERT+ALT+SAM?
VETERAN DOC: Oh, WINDOWS+ALT+SAM.
VETERAN DOC: Okay. Thank you very much. That’s been a nuisance to me.
GLEN: All right. Thank you very much.
VETERAN DOC: Okay. Keep up the good work.
GLEN: Thank you.
RYAN: All right. Thank you.
RACHEL: I think we had some good questions, and you guys definitely gave some great answers. So we’ll be following up on the training email. It sounds like we have a lot of follow-up items.
RYAN: We do. This was a good, good evening.
GLEN: And we’ll be back in May; right?
RACHEL: That’s right. The last Thursday of May we will return for FSOpenLine. All right, guys. Well, thank you very much. It’s been a good FSOpenLine, and talk to you soon.
RYAN: Thanks, everyone.