Scheme through Documents and Web Pages with Speech and Sound Schemes

If you missed Brad Dunse’s article on Text Analyzer, I recommend you check it out either before or after you read this article. Today I’ll be focusing on another feature in JAWS that most don’t know about. It is called Speech and Sound Schemes.

What is Speech and Sound Schemes?

This is a feature in JAWS that can help make editing documents quicker and easier. You can also have some fun with many different voices by using the Web RentACrowd scheme … but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with a simple example. When you’re editing a document and you want to make sure your quotations are correct, JAWS has a preset scheme that can help you do just that. Once you activate the Classic with Quotes scheme, your quoted text will be read in a different voice. This way, you can quickly determine where your quoted text is without turning on all the punctuation settings and driving yourself crazy! These schemes can also use sound to indicate things. As an example, some people don’t like to hear the word Link all the time on the web. If you could have a scheme play a sound whenever a link was encountered, whenever you heard that sound, you’d know there was a link to be activated.

Accessing JAWS Schemes

To see the list of all of the built-in schemes, press ALT+INSERT+S. Note: you will need to replace CAPS LOCK with INSERT if you are using the Laptop Layout of JAWS.

Once you do this keyboard shortcut, you will get a list of all schemes created for JAWS. Now just arrow to the scheme that you want to activate and press ENTER. You can also use first letter navigation to jump to a scheme of your choice, such as pressing W for the web schemes.

Once you press ENTER on a scheme, you will be placed back into the window or program that you were in before, bringing up the Select a Scheme Dialog”. If you want to return JAWS back to the standard behavior, simply bring up the Scheme dialog box again and select the Classic scheme. Note there are several schemes with the name Classic in them, so be sure that you select only Classic without anything extra in the name to return JAWS back to its normal reading mode. Also, if you are in word, you will probably want to select the Word Classic scheme, as it has special features set up to read various formatting information in Microsoft Word that is helpful when attempting to proofread documents.

Scheme On!

Well, we’ve reached the end of this short article. Before I sign off, I would like to mention that it is possible to edit, delete, and even create your own schemes. This is done within the JAWS Settings Center. If there is enough interest, I will do a part 2 and cover these topics. I have created a few other schemes for my customers, such as schemes to read text that is bold, underlined, and/or italicized.


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