New Features in JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion

New Features in JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion

The information below has been taken directly from Freedom Scientific. Check out my brief comments in the All Wrapped Up section, after the new features are listed. Updates are separated by headings making it easy to jump to your software of choice. Note that some of the features may overlap between JAWS, Fusion, and ZoomText as they routinely share features among the three products.

Enhancements in JAWS 2022.2202.38 and Fusion 2022.2202.8 (February 2022)

The following is a list of improvements made between the December 2021 release and the February 2022 update.

To download the latest Fusion release, visit the Downloads web page. You must be logged on as an administrator to install this software.

Changes to Sentence Navigation Keystrokes in Desktop Layout

When using the JAWS Desktop keyboard layout, you can now press ALT+NUM PAD PLUS or ALT+NUM PAD MINUS to read the next or prior sentence in a document. This allows ALT+UP or ALT+DOWN ARROW, previously used for sentence navigation, to work as intended by specific applications. For instance, using ALT+UP or ALT+DOWN ARROW in Teams moves between open chats. The command to read the current sentence, ALT+NUM PAD 5, is still the same.

New Vocalizer Expressive Voices and Languages Now Available

The Add/Remove Voices utility in JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion now offers 27 new voices and 6 new languages. The new languages include:

  • Belgian French – Aude
  • Farsi – Dariush
  • Malay – Amira
  • Slovenian – Tina
  • Ukrainian – Lesya
  • Vietnamese – Linh

The new voices for existing languages are:

  • Arabic – Mariam
  • Cantonese – Sin Ji
  • English British – Stephanie
  • English United States – Evan
  • English United States – Noelle
  • Hindi – Kiyara
  • Japanese – Koharu
  • Japanese – Nozomi
  • Japanese – Seiji
  • Korean – Minsu
  • Korean – Nuri
  • Mandarin Chinese – Bo Bo
  • Mandarin Chinese – Lan Lan
  • Mandarin Chinese – Lilian
  • Mandarin Chinese – Lisheng
  • Mandarin Chinese – Sha Sha
  • Mandarin Chinese – Shan Shan
  • Mandarin Chinese – Tao Tao
  • Mandarin Chinese – Ting Ting
  • Spanish Argentinian – Isabela
  • Spanish Columbian – Ximena

These new voices will only be listed in the Add/Remove Voices utility for version 2022 or higher. Existing voices that worked in version 2021 of our products will continue to be available for use. If you look at the Add/Remove Programs list in Windows, you will notice that previous Vocalizer Expressive voices are listed with a version 2.2 while the new voices are listed with a version 21. Note that some of the new voices include an “ML” description as part of the name. This was done by Cerance, but can be ignored, and has no impact on how the voice sounds.

Other Changes

  • In response to customer feedback, you can now quickly restart JAWS or fusion using the new layered command INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by F4. You can also speak a voice command like “Hey Sharky, Restart Program” at any time to restart JAWS or Fusion.
  • When pressing ALT+WINDOWS+S in Zoom to silence alerts during webinars or meetings, they now only remain silent for the current JAWS session. The next time you restart JAWS, you will once again receive alerts. To permanently turn off Zoom alerts, press INSERT+V while focused in Zoom to open Quick Settings, and then toggle the Announce alerts option.
  • Pressing INSERT+TAB in a Windows Save or Open file dialog box now announces the current file save location.
  • If you choose to show the clock in the status cells of your braille display, dots 7 and 8 are no longer displayed in order to help make it easier to read the time.
  • In addition to improved navigation in Word documents and Outlook messages introduced in the initial 2022 release, JAWS and Fusion users should now also experience improved performance when navigating Excel spreadsheets.
  • When composing a message in Gmail using the Basic HTML view, resolved a reported issue where JAWS would constantly say “message body” while reviewing with the ARROW keys.
  • Resolved an issue in Google Docs where JAWS was not indicating tables when navigating by paragraphs (CTRL+UP ARROW or CTRL+DOWN ARROW) with Braille Support enabled.
  • When using Google Docs with Braille Support enabled, resolved an issue where JAWS was not indicating a new line while navigating by character.
  • In Google Docs, as well as Word and editable messages in Outlook, JAWS no longer reads the entire contents of a table cell when navigating with the ARROW keys. For example, if you are moving through a table using DOWN ARROW and you move to a different cell, JAWS now only reads the current line with focus instead of the entire cell. JAWS only reads the entire cell when using the table reading commands (ALT+CTRL+ARROW keys).
  • When navigating dialogs in certain web-based applications, resolved an issue where JAWS would sometimes read the dialog title instead of the label for the current control.
  • Resolved an issue where JAWS was not properly indicating indeterminate progress bars on web pages, which indicates that an operation is occurring, but specific progress time is not available.
  • Resolved an issue where using first letter navigation to move to specific items in the Links List (INSERT+F7) was not working as expected in some situations.
  • Resolved a reported issue where JAWS would unexpectedly close if ALT+TAB was pressed while focused in the Search field of the Windows 11 Start menu.
  • Added support for the Orbit Reader 40 braille display from Orbit Research.
  • When using Mouse Echo, JAWS and Fusion no longer announces blank spaces as you move the mouse around the Desktop and only announces each icon as you move to it. Additionally, while JAWS and Fusion will speak the first time the mouse moves to an element such as a control in a dialog box or ribbon, Mouse Echo now remains silent until you move away from the current element to a different one.
  • Improved support for Windows 11 SE, a simplified version of Windows installed on specific devices and intended for use in the classroom.
  • Addressed issues with the Italian version of JAWS where certain keystrokes entered from a braille display such as the Focus were being incorrectly treated as English keystrokes.
  • Updated many emoji names for several languages and added new ones.

Enhancements in ZoomText 2022.2202.36 (February 2022)

The following is a list of improvements made between the December 2021 release and the February 2022 update.

  • JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion now offer 27 new Vocalizer Expressive voices and 6 new languages. For more information, see new Vocalizer Expressive voices as described earlier in the JAWS and Fusion February 2022 enhancements.
  • You can add a delay for when the mouse pointer moves from one desktop to another when using multiple monitors. This delay is now enabled and set to 0.25 seconds. You can change the delay using the “Keep the pointer from crossing the border” setting found in Multiple Monitor Options.
  • Stability and performance have improved when using ZoomText with the following applications:
    • Microsoft Edge
    • Microsoft Excel
    • Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)
    • Agent Ransack file search utility
    • Antidote 11 and Antidote 10 writing assistance software
  • ZoomText now installs and runs on Windows 11 SE operating system and devices.
  • Resolved several issues with focus enhancement that occurred when navigating combo boxes in Outlook 365/2016 and Word 365/2016.
  • Resolved an issue where ZoomText would close when switching between Contacts and Tasks in Outlook 365/2016.
  • Resolved an issue with keyboard echo (when set to Words) not working properly in various edit fields in Firefox.
  • Resolved an issue with the cursor enhancement becoming distorted and not tracking correctly when typing in Google Docs.
  • Resolved an issue where AppReader had trouble reading numbered lists..

All Wrapped Up

That’s it for JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion this time around.

What I like:

This time around I like the new Google web application improvements. I also really like the zoom alerts feature. Many of my customers forget that they turn off the alerts so not making that the default is an improvement I believe.

I also like the restart command in JAWS. I’ve often wished for a command like this, so it is welcome for me and many of the customers I work with.

Getting the Updates

If your version of JAWS hasn’t offered the update to you yet, go to the JAWS help menu, then arrow to Check for Updates.

If your ZoomText/Fusion hasn’t offered the update to you yet, go to the ZoomText/Fusion menu, navigate to Manage Licenses, then Check for Updates. Note, because this is a new version entirely you will need to manually download JAWS, ZoomText, or Fusion.

Qapla

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