You Ask, We Answer: 4 Questions About Transitioning to the Edge Chromium Browser

Microsoft Edge is the default Windows 10 web browser. It is compatible with modern websites, and works well with screen readers such as JAWS. This post answers four common questions, and provides tips to make your transition to Edge smoother.

Are familiar navigation features available when using Edge and JAWS?

The latest version of Edge employs the same Chromium technology used in Google Chrome. All the powerful JAWS web navigation features offered in other supported browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer are available in Edge. They include:

  • Navigation Quick Keys for moving to specific web elements
  • Table navigation
  • Auto and Semi-Auto Forms Mode
  • Keyboard commands for displaying a list of links, headings, and form controls
  • Set and move to PlaceMarkers
  • The ability for JAWS to detect language changes on a web page and automatically switch to the appropriate voice if available

If you are transitioning from Internet Explorer to Edge Chromium, some of the methods for accessing browser features like favorites and history will be different. However, JAWS-specific commands will remain the same.

How can I confirm the most recent Edge browser is installed on my computer?

You may already have the latest Edge browser installed on your computer through Windows Automatic Updates. Check this by launching Microsoft Edge and pressing INSERT+Q to verify the current JAWS settings.

If you are running JAWS 2020 or later and this keystroke displays the message, “Microsoft Edge with Chromium settings are loaded,” the latest version of Edge is installed. If you are still running Edge Legacy, you will receive the message, “Microsoft Edge settings are used in the Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge application.”

How can I update to the Edge Chromium browser if I’m running the older version?

If you are still running the older version of Edge, manually check for updates on your PC to install Edge Chromium. You can also visit the Microsoft Edge page to download it directly.

How do I read PDF documents in Edge Chromium?

You can use Edge Chromium to read PDF files accessed from the web or your computer. By default, when you visit a link to a PDF, the file will open in the Edge PDF viewer. If Adobe Acrobat is not installed on your computer, PDF files will open in Edge when accessed from File Explorer.

Navigate The document using the JAWS Virtual Cursor just like you would a web page. There is a toolbar at the top containing several items including: the number of pages in the document, controls for adjusting the zoom level and rotating the view, options to print or save the document, and more.

Press DOWN ARROW to navigate past the controls and locate the document text. If the PDF is properly tagged with headings and other elements, you can use Navigation Quick Keys to move to specific sections of the document.

Want to learn more about transitioning to the Microsoft Edge Chromium browser? Visit this page for tips on transitioning to Edge.

Register for our webinar on Exploring the Edge Chromium Browser with JAWS and join us on Thursday, September 17 at noon Eastern Time. Watch the blog for a post providing more information about what we’ll cover in the training.

Ask a Question

This Q&A blog post is part of a monthly series. If you have questions about the applications you use at home, school, or work, share them with us.

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