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 2022.2204.20 and Fusion 2022.2204.7 (April 2022)

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

• Added a new keystroke, INSERT+SHIFT+Z, to Temporarily suspend Navigation Quick Keys. This is useful if you need to use conflicting keystrokes provided by a website, but you do not want to completely turn off the Virtual Cursor. Navigation Quick Keys resume if you move focus away from the current browser window or navigate to a new page. While this new keystroke is the primary way to access this feature and is referenced in Command Search, the old command, CTRL+INSERT+N, still works for those users who may still press it out of habit.

• When Speech On Demand is active (INSERT+SPACEBAR, S) and you press INSERT+SPACEBAR, V, C to activate the Sound Cards layer, you will now hear speech as you use UP or DOWN ARROW to select a different sound device.

• Addressed an issue reported by some users where speech would unexpectedly be lost after starting JAWS.

• Addressed a reported issue where capitalized words were not being read correctly when JAWS was configured to indicate capitalization when reading by word. This only occurred when using Eloquence.

• Improved JAWS support for tables on web pages that scroll to visually show additional rows as you navigate with the ARROW keys.

• Addressed a reported issue where pressing CTRL+INSERT+R to list all regions on web pages was not working in Forms Mode.

• When switching between open document tabs in Google docs, resolved a reported issue where the name of the current tab was not announced if multiple tabs had the same name.

• In Google Docs, removed the JAWS commands for moving to the start or end of a table row (ALT+CTRL+SHIFT+LEFT or RIGHT ARROW) so Google can make use of these keystrokes in an upcoming release.

• Added a new Quick Settings option to help improve JAWS performance when navigating large spreadsheets in Excel for Office 365. If JAWS appears to be sluggish as you navigate a particular spreadsheet, open Quick Settings (INSERT+V) and turn off Allow performance impacting features. This turns off features known to impact performance including named title regions, multiple region detection on worksheets, and auto detection of row or column totals on spreadsheets where no formulas exist for totals calculation. These features tend to result in a slower response time with very large spreadsheets.

• In Office 365, JAWS now correctly indicates when a cell in an Excel workbook contains a note or comment. You can then press ALT+SHIFT+APOSTROPHE to read the note or comment for the current cell. Note that if a comment contains a thread of replies, this keystroke only reads the initial comment in the thread. To review the entire comment thread for a cell, or see all cells with comments, use F6 or SHIFT+F6 to cycle to the Comments pane. If this pane is not currently visible, press ALT+R to access the Review tab and select Show Comments. To list all cells with notes, press CTRL+SHIFT+APOSTROPHE.

• When opening the Outlook Scheduling Assistant, the JAWS Virtual Viewer no longer appears as it interfered with a sighted ZoomText or Fusion User’s view of the window. JAWS users can still navigate the contents of the Scheduling Assistant using the ARROW keys.

• Resolved an issue where group headers in menus were not being announced in Microsoft Office apps.

• Updated the help text for the Announce alerts option in the JAWS Quick Settings for Zoom to mention the ALT+WINDOWS Key+S keystroke for temporarily toggling alerts.

• The Convert Currency lookup source is once again available for Research It.

• When focused on ARIA content and ALT+INSERT+M is pressed to move to a target element, JAWS now reads the current line that gains focus.

• The Liblouis braille translator used by JAWS and Fusion has been updated to version 3.21.0.

• Resolved an issue with the Italian version of JAWS where various emoji symbols were not being announced as expected.

Enhancements in ZoomText 2022.2204.21 (April 2022)

The following items have been addressed in the April 2022 update.

• Resolved an issue where CAPS LOCK+V was not switching between monitors when running ZoomText with multiple monitors.

• Resolved an issue with mouse echo when running ZoomText or Fusion with the ARC console application.

• Resolved an issue where the Scroll commands were not working on magnified screens.

• Resolved an issue where voice settings were not being saved after restarted international versions of ZoomText.

• Resolved an issue where the Quick Access Bar was not launching when running international version of ZoomText.

• Resolved an issue where it was difficult to read magnified text in the Chrome address bar.

• Resolved an issue with Excel 2016 and Excel 365 where the correct character was not echoed when navigating through cells and the formula bar.

• Improved focus enhancement performance when navigating cells in an Excel file.

• Resolved an issue where the cursor enhancement would disappear in some Word menus.

• Resolved an issue with iTunes where it would crash when trying to edit the name of audiobooks.

• The Display Adapter settings are now located under ZoomText > ZoomText Support instead of ZoomText > Preferences.

All Wrapped Up

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

What I like:

This time around I like the performance enhancement settings. Many of my customers have complained about slow performance in Excel especially, so this should help mitigate those issues in the majority of cases.

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.


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