New Features in both ZoomText 2019 AND Fusion 2019

Faster Startup with Grace Period Authorization

Fusion 2019 and ZoomText 2019 introduce a new concept to help ease the delay in response when Fusion and ZoomText first launch and look for authorization. In prior versions, Fusion and ZoomText would not fully start until proper authorization was found. Since Authorization can include searching for a network license, the amount of time before Fusion or ZoomText started speaking could be significant. While it is not possible to speed up this period directly, the authorization process will now be completed simultaneously to startup. As Fusion and ZoomText search for authorization, it enters a new “grace period” authorization state which provides limited functionality, similar to what is available on the logon screen, so you can use speech and braille while authorization discovery takes place. Once the authorization check has finished, Fusion and ZoomText then use the correct feature set based on the license.

Favorite Zoom Levels

Fusion 2019 and ZoomText 2019 allow you to zoom in and out faster using the new “Favorite Zoom Levels” feature. With Favorite Zoom Levels, you select the levels that are useful to you and unselect the levels that are not.
You can enable and select Favorite Zoom Levels by doing the following:

  1. On the Magnifier toolbar tab, select the Zoom Windows button, which appears in the lower-right corner of the Zoom Windows group.
  2. Select the Magnification tab.
  3. In the Use these zoom levels combo box, choose Favorite Zoom Levels Only.
  4. Navigate to the Favorite Zoom Levels list box. Check the levels that you want to use and uncheck the levels you do not want to use.
  5. Click OK.

When Favorite Zoom Levels are enabled, you can zoom in and out using the standard Zoom In and Zoom Out commands, mouse wheel zooming, or the Zoom Level spinbox on the Magnifier toolbar.

Improved Remote Desktop Support in Fusion

When a Fusion installation is activated with a license that includes the Remote Desktop Add-on; Fusion, ZoomText and JAWS can be used in remote sessions running under Citrix XenDesktop/XenApps or Windows Remote Desktop Connection. The following improvements ad fixes have been made in ZoomText’s Remote Desktop Support.

  • After exiting Fusion or ZoomText on the client machine, if Fusion or ZoomText were still running on the server machine the server machine could become unstable. This instability could include screen corruption and inability to control and exit Fusion on the server machine. This problem has been fixed.
  • When the client and server instances of Fusion or ZoomText were both configured to use the Overlay zoom window, both Overlay windows would be simultaneously displayed. Only the Overlay window for the active desktop is now displayed.
  • When using AppReader on the server machine, extraneous text would be spoken at the end of each spoken sentence. The extraneous text is no longer spoken.
  • When adjusting Fusion settings on the server machine, some adjustments would not take effect. These settings are now properly applied.
  • When starting AppReader Text View in an instance of Microsoft Word running on the server machine, extra text and menus would appear on top over the Text View. This problem no longer occurs.
  • When running Microsoft Word on the server machine, the instance of ZoomText running on the client would not track the text cursor in Word. The Word text cursor is now reliably tracked.

 

New Features in ZoomText 2019

Home Annual License

Home Annual Licenses for ZoomText Magnifier/Reader are now available to customers in the United States for $80 per year. The Home Annual License is available for purchase in Freedom Scientific’s online store.

Improvements in Chrome and Firefox

  • In Chrome and Firefox, the text cursor and program focus are now tracked, highlighted and echoed with greater accuracy and reliability.
  • In Chrome and Firefox, AppReader’s Next Paragraph command (UP arrow) and Previous Paragraph command (DOWN arrow) are now working.
  • In Chrome and Firefox, Mouse Echo is now working in more areas.

Improvements in Microsoft Office 2016 and Office 365

  • In Word documents, AppReader now skips over text that is marked as deleted.
  • In Word documents, startup time for AppReader Text View is now 2 seconds or less.
  • In Word documents, ZoomText now reliably tracks to the text cursor when the document receives focus.
  • In Word’s Review pane, ZoomText now displays a Cursor Enhancement on the text cursor.
  • In Office applications, ZoomText now reliably tracks to the program focus after closing menus and dialog boxes.
  • In Office applications, ZoomText now saves and applies Application Settings reliably.
  • In Outlook, when opening email ZoomText would announce the email differently depending on how the email was opened, that is, by using the mouse or using the keyboard. The announcement of email is now consistent regardless of how the email is opened.

Improvements in Adobe Reader DC

  • In Adobe Reader, AppReader’s Next Page and Previous Page commands are now working. Press PAGE DOWN to navigate to the next page and PAGE UP to navigate to the previous page.

Improvements in Skype

  • In Skype, the text cursor and program focus are now tracked, highlighted and echoed with improved accuracy and reliability.
  • In Skype, Mouse Echo now reads the item under the pointer in Skype’s Suggested list of contacts.

Improvements in WordPad

  • In WordPad, AppReader start up and navigation is much faster and more responsive. AppReader also highlights the complete spoken word.

Improvements in Twitter PWA

  • In the Twitter Progressive Web App for Windows 10 (also known as Twitter PWA), ZoomText now tracks and echoes the text cursor when typing a tweet.

Support for Enhanced Vision’s Transformer Camera and Software

  • Enhanced Vision’s Transformer camera and software can now be used with ZoomText’s Camera feature.

Improved Remote Desktop Support in ZoomText

When installed as part of a Fusion product that includes the Remote Desktop Add-on, ZoomText can be used in remote sessions running under Citrix XenDesktop/XenApps or Windows Remote Desktop Connection. The following improvements ad fixes have been made in ZoomText’s Remote Desktop Support.

  • All of ZoomText reading features now work in the instance of ZoomText that is running on the server machine.
  • The voice used by the instance of ZoomText running on the server machine is now determined by the voice selected in the instance of ZoomText running on the client machine. Note: This requires that the selected voice is installed on both the client and server machines.
  • When using AppReader in an application running on the server machine, if you paused AppReader in the middle of a line of text and then resumed reading, AppReader would start reading at the beginning of the line of text instead of where reading was paused. AppReader now resumes reading at the word where reading was paused.
  • When using AppReader in applications running on the server machine, if you pressed the Tab key to switch between App View and Text View while AppReader was reading, the view would switch but reading would pause. AppReader now continues reading when switching between App View and Text View.
  • In a remote desktop session, if ZoomText was exited and restarted on the client machine, the instance of ZoomText running on the client machine would fail to connect with the instance of ZoomText running on the server. The instances of ZoomText running on the client and server machines now reliably reconnect.
  • Application Settings a now be saved and applied in the instance of ZoomText and applications running on the server machine.

Miscellaneous Improvements and Fixes

  • In list views, ZoomText now announces the correct column title when navigating across the columns for each line item.
  • On certain systems, when starting ZoomText the screen would turn black. This problem was related to specific graphics cards and drivers. This problem has been fixed.
  • In Windows 10, when the Windows Settings dialog was open, ZoomText’s Mouse Echo feature would not work. This problem has been fixed.
  • On multiple monitor systems, ZoomText would sometimes announce the incorrect Zoom Level. This problem has been fixed.
  • On multiple monitor systems, when running in the Windows 10 Lock Screen, using the Zoom In and Zoom Out commands would cause ZoomText to restart. This problem has been fixed.
  • On a multiple monitor system, when using ZoomText’s Next Sentence and Previous Sentence text reading commands, ZoomText would erroneously switch the active window between monitors. This problem has been fixed.
  • In CHM help systems, ZoomText Focus Enhancements now follow the focus when navigating between links in Help topics.
  • In CHM help systems, when expanding and collapsing books in the table of contents, ZoomText now announces the name of the book and the expanded or collapsed state.
  • .TMP files are no longer left behind in the C:\users\{user}\Music folder when using the ZoomText Recorder.

 

New Features in Fusion 2019

Screen Shade for Additional Privacy

First introduced in JAWS 2018 release, we have added this feature now for Fusion 2019. For additional privacy, use the Fusion Screen Shade to prevent others from seeing what you are typing or reading by turning the screen black. This feature is available in Windows 10 and Windows 8.

To turn on the Screen Shade, press INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by the F11 key, or triple tap with three fingers on a touch screen. Alternatively, Screen Shade can be toggled on or off using Quick Settings (INSERT+V). Once enabled, the contents of your screen can no longer be seen. The Screen Shade remains active until toggled back off, or Fusion is restarted. Screen Shade can also be turned off by doing a right mouse click.

Note: Screen Shade is strictly a privacy feature and will not increase the battery life on a laptop or tablet.

Separation of Office Scripts

The JAWS scripts used as part of Fusion for Microsoft Office support for Word, Outlook, and Excel have been separated into different script sets which now load depending on the version of Office currently running. This makes it much easier to make continued improvements to Office 365 support going forward without the risk of breaking Fusion functionality in previous versions of Office for users who still rely on these older versions. If you are running Office 2016 or Office 365, and the version number includes a build number of build 10000 or higher, the newly created Office settings for Word, Outlook, and Excel should be loaded when you run those applications. If you are running earlier Office versions, Fusion should load the Word Classic, Outlook Classic, or Excel Classic settings.

To verify the version and build number of office you are using, press CTRL+INSERT+V. This command will also indicate if you are running a retail or subscription version of Office. To verify which Fusion settings are loaded, press INSERT+Q.

Improved Performance in Office 365 Applications

With the changes made to separate the Office 365 support from the scripts for previous Office versions, we are now able to take advantage of more UIA functionality provided by Microsoft. There is also much less decision making that needs to be done in the scripts since there are no longer other office versions to be considered. As a result, users should notice greatly improved performance and responsiveness when using current versions of Word, Excel, and Outlook. A few areas where users may notice increased responsiveness include:

  • Navigating large documents in Word that contain a lot of markup such as footnotes, endnotes, comments, tables, and so on.
  • Editing data and formulas in Excel.
  • Navigating large message folders in Outlook.

For braille users, document spacing and formatting are now more accurately indicated on the braille display. This includes indents, outdents, and tab stops. We have also addressed several issues with the braille cursor not always being positioned where expected, which made it difficult to sometimes edit using braille.

If you are using a braille display with status cells, it will now also be easier to tell if text is centered or right justified by displaying “cj” or “rj” in the first two cells when focused on the line containing the centered or right justified content.

Notification of Spelling Errors in Word 365

JAWS was the first screen reader to introduce Spelling error detection in Microsoft Word around 1998. This feature indicated when the cursor moved into or out of a spelling or grammatical error while navigating and was also able to count the errors on the current line. These errors could also be marked in Braille with dots 7 and 8. However, the ability to count the errors and mark them in braille adversely affected the responsiveness of navigating the document and was turned off by default.

The improvements to this feature in JAWS 2019 and Fusion 2019 now offer the following above and beyond the prior functionality:

  • Play a buzzer sound during typing, when you press SPACEBAR after entering a misspelled word.
  • Reliably underline errors in braille or count the errors on the line navigated to without any decrease in responsiveness.
  • Detect advanced proofing issues, not just spelling and grammar errors.
  • Read the error in-line with the text as you navigate by line, similar to how Fusion indicates other text attributes such as bolded text, indicating the error with speech, sound or voice change (using the Speech and Sounds Manager).

To configure whether or not the buzzer sound is heard when SPACEBAR is pressed after mistyping a word, open Quick Settings (INSERT+V) from Word or Outlook and select or clear the “Spelling buzzer on mistyped words” check box. This option is available when using Fusion with Office 365 versions higher than 16.0.10000.

The other Spelling options in the Microsoft Word Quick Settings, “Spelling error detection” and “Grammatical error detection,” currently remain the same. They allow you to cycle Spelling and Grammar options between off, hearing spelling/Grammar errors as you navigate by character, word, line, or Say All, or hearing spelling/Grammar errors plus count.

Speak Character Phonetically After Pause During Character Navigation

As you navigate by character, Fusion will now speak the phonetic representation of letters if you pause for a brief period of time. This enables you to immediately hear a letter spoken phonetically without the need to perform an additional command.
By default, Fusion speaks the character phonetically after a one and a half second pause. To change the amount of time Fusion waits before the phonetic announcement, or to completely turn off this feature, do the following:

  1. Press INSERT+6 on the number row to open Settings Center.
  2. If you want changes to only apply to a particular application, select it from the Application list. Otherwise, press CTRL+SHIFT+D to load the default settings file.
  3. Type “Phonetic.”
  4. Press DOWN ARROW to move to “When pausing after character navigation, speak character phonetically,” then press SPACEBAR to cycle through the available options.
  5. Select OK to exit Settings Center.

Fusion also offers a manual option to speak phonetics continuously as you navigate by character. Pressing the Say Character Keystroke (NUMPAD 5) twice quickly toggles this feature on and off. If you are using the manual option for all letters, the pause announcement will not occur.

Audio Ducking Support for Windows 10 version 1803 and Higher

The Fusion Audio Ducking feature is now supported in the Windows 10 Spring 2018 Creators update (version 1803) and higher. Audio Ducking causes the volume of other programs to be lowered while Fusion is speaking. For example, if you are listening to music and Fusion begins talking, the volume of the music will be slightly lowered so you can comfortably hear Fusion and then raised back to its current level when Fusion stops talking.

By default, audio remains at the same level as Fusion speech. To enable Audio Ducking, open the Startup Wizard from the JAWS Help menu and select the “Lower the volume of other programs while Fusion is speaking” checkbox located on the Speech Settings page. Alternatively, Audio Ducking can be turned on through Settings center by doing the following:

  1. Press INSERT+F2, and select Settings Center.
  2. Press CTRL+SHIFT+D to load the Fusion default settings.
  3. In the Search edit box, type “volume” without the quotes.
  4. Press DOWN ARROW to move to “Lower the volume of other programs while Fusion is speaking” in the filtered search results in the tree view.
  5. Press SPACEBAR to toggle this option.

You can also press INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by D to quickly toggle Audio Ducking on or off. The current setting will remain in effect until you press the layered keystroke again or restart Fusion.

TAB Key No Longer Echoed

For users who leave Typing Echo enabled, Fusion will no longer announce the TAB key by default. This means you will not constantly hear “ALT+TAB” while switching between applications or hear “TAB” spoken each time as you move through links on web pages.

Note: If you prefer to have the TAB key spoken, or you would like to mute other keys such as SPACEBAR, ENTER, or ESC, open Settings Center and search for “manage key labels”. For more details, refer to this support article on using the Manage Key Labels feature.

Announce Multi-line Edit Fields

Fusion 2019 can now indicate when focus moves into a multi-line edit field. To enable this announcement, select the new “Announce multi-line edit” option located in the Miscellaneous group in Settings Center.

New Support for Grade 1 Braille Input

Fusion now supports grade 1 literary braille input for languages such as English that offer more than one type of braille output. For example, if you open the Braille Translation group in the JAWS Settings Center and set the output to Unified English Braille Grade 1, you will now be able to choose between computer braille or Unified English Braille Grade 1 for input.

Skype

Skype now offers three options on Windows 10.

  1. You can continue using Skype Classic which is version 7 and works very well with Fusion. Note that Skype Classic is expected to be retired at some point not yet known.
  2. You can download and install the new Desktop version 8, which is now supported in Fusion. See details below.
  3. You can install the Universal App from the Microsoft Store. However, this is the least accessible at this time and we recommend you install Skype 7 or 8 for the best support.

For users moving to Skype 8, please be certain to download the version referred to as “Skype for Windows” which works well on Windows 10. Note that the Universal App we are not recommending is referred to as “Skype for Windows 10”.

For those using Skype version 8, we have added some additional keystrokes to help with navigation since these options are not offered in Skype. These commands are:

  • Move to the chat entry field: CTRL+INSERT+E
  • Move to the chat history list: CTRL+INSERT+Y
  • Move to the conversations list: CTRL+INSERT+N

You can also use the Fusion commands INSERT+W and INSERT+H while focused on Skype for a list of most of the keyboard commands you would want to know when using Skype. For a full list from Microsoft, please visit the Skype Hotkeys Web Page.

Tip: You can assign a keystroke such as ALT+CTRL+S to the Skype icon on the Desktop to quickly open Skype to answer an incoming call. If you are in another application and you receive an incoming call alert, you can press your shortcut keystroke to open Skype, press INSERT+UP ARROW or INSERT+TAB to read the caller information, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+P or use TAB to choose Answer or Decline.

Help Improve Freedom Scientific Products

Fusion 2019 includes a new option which allows us to collect anonymous usage information that is generated as you use the software for your daily tasks. This data helps us continue to make improvements as well as more easily locate and address problems. Collected data includes the Fusion version, operating system version, language, country, as well as information on various Fusion settings such as the current synthesizer, braille display, and braille table.

If you choose to participate, no spoken or braille content is collected and no data is shared with any parties outside of Freedom Scientific. The data we collect strictly helps us better understand how our software is being used in the field so we can quickly make enhancements to features being used the most by our customers. If you choose not to participate, then no usage data is collected and transmitted.

You can change your selection at any time by doing the following:

  1. Press INSERT+6 on the number row to open Settings Center and press CTRL+SHIFT+D to load the default settings file.
  2. Navigate to Miscellaneous in the tree view and press RIGHT ARROW to expand the group.
  3. Use the SPACEBAR to select or clear the “Submit Anonymous Usage Data” check box.
  4. Press ENTER to save your change and close Settings Center.

You can also choose whether or not to participate in this program through the Startup Wizard located in the JAWS Help menu.

Enhancements in both ZoomText 2019.1909.26 and Fusion 2019.1909.11 (September 2019)
 

The following changes are in the latest ZoomText 2019 and Fusion 2019 September releases.
•We continue to make improvements to both Fusion and ZoomText. You will see better performance when running these apps on older, less powerful computers.
•For single-user perpetual licenses, Fusion 2019 and ZoomText 2019 now check to see if an update to your license is available when the software first starts. For instance, you recently purchased or renewed a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA). You will then have the option to update the license on your local computer. This allows you to install major releases in the future that you are licensed to run without having to go through the authorization process after the install.
•While browsing the web, Fusion no longer announces "Clickable" by default as you move to various content.
•You will no longer hear the message "Press JAWS Key+ALT+R to hear descriptive text" as you navigate form controls and certain other elements on the web.
•Resolved a reported issue where Fusion and Word would become unresponsive when attempting to edit a long comment.
•By default in Word and Outlook, Fusion no longer announces "ALT SHIFT F10 to adjust Auto Correction" when you move to something that was auto corrected previously.
•The AutoCorrect Detection option, previously only available in the Quick Settings for Word, can now also be changed in the Quick Settings for Outlook (INSERT+V).
•Fusion no longer announces the count of all objects, misspellings, grammatical errors, and so on when a document is opened in Word. This allows documents to load faster, including very large documents containing a lot of these items. You can always press INSERT+F1 for an overview of what the document contains.
•For more Fusion issues related to JAWS speech, see the JAWS release notes.

 

Enhancements in both ZoomText 2019.1907.79 and Fusion 2019.1907.6 (August 2019)

  • ZoomText and Fusion performance and stability improvements improved have been the main focus with the August update.
  • ZoomText and Fusion now includes a new feature for Windows 10 computers with more than one video display adapter. ZoomText will now determine the best option at runtime and select that option but the user will have a choice to modify this option from the ZoomText or Fusion menu, select Preferences and then Display Adapter.
  • Fixed a font smoothing problem in the Start menu that made it difficult to read menu items at high magnification levels.
  • Fixed an issue where the cursor enhancement was not following along with the cursor when scrolling in a Word document.
  • Fixed an issue in Outlook where the cursor enhancement would remain in an edit field after navigating to other edit fields in a dialog box.
  • Fixed an issue where the focus enhancement covered the entire Inbox as you navigated the list of email messages in Outlook.
  • Fixed a problem where focus tracking was not working when navigating the Contact list in Outlook.
  • Fixed an issue where program echo was not working properly in Word.
  • When switching languages, ZoomText now shuts down and restarts using the newly selected language.
  • ZoomText now correctly echoes deleted characters when pressing BACKSPACE in Notepad.
  • The CAPS LOCK key is used in many ZoomText and Fusion hotkeys. If the CAPS LOCK key is not working when typing hotkeys, refer to "What if my ZoomText hotkeys do not work when CAPS LOCK is on?" for a workaround.
  • For Fusion issues related to JAWS speech, see the JAWS release notes.

 

Enhancements in both ZoomText 2019.1906.15 and Fusion 2019.1906.8 (June 2019)

The following items are changes made in the latest ZoomText 2019 and Fusion 2019 June releases. You must be logged on as an administrator to install this software.
• ZoomText performance and stability improvements improved have been the main focus with the June update.
• Work has been ongoing with respect to UIA and MSAA refactoring within ZoomText.
• Improvements have been made in the area of properly unhooking from the system when ZoomText is shut down each time.
• Startup time of Chrome while ZoomText is running has improved.
• We have done optimization work in the area of Mouse movement and Mouse speech to avoid overwhelming resources
• Resolved issues where Fusion and ZoomText (Utilities Shortcuts) would remain in Start Menu searches, after uninstalling the software.
 

Enhancements in Fusion 2019.1906.8 (June 2019)


The following items are additions to the latest Fusion 2019 June release.
 

Enhance Support for Accessing Comments and Revisions in Braille


For users who primarily use braille when navigating Word documents, the following changes greatly improve the experience when attempting to access various document features like comments, revisions, footnotes, and endnotes from the braille display.
When the cursor is on a comment, the letter C is now displayed in the last status cell. In addition, as with previous versions, R is still displayed to indicate revised text, and if Track Changes in Word is configured to display all markup, the letters i and r will be displayed to indicate inserted text and the letters d and r will be displayed to show deleted text.
As you read a document, text to which a comment has been applied, text revisions, and footnote and endnote references are underlined using dots 7 and 8 in the main document pane. Pressing a cursor router twice quickly on the underlined text displays a flash message containing details about the comment, revision, footnote or endnote. For example, if you press a cursor router on a revision that includes deleted text, JAWS and Fusion displays a message telling you that the following text has been deleted, and shows the deleted text. Pressing
INSERT+TAB while the cursor is on commented text, text revision, footnote or endnote reference will speak this information as well.
If you press a cursor router twice quickly on any text in the document not underlined in braille, then only font and attribute information such as bold, italic, and underline is displayed. This is similar info to what is spoken when pressing
INSERT+F.
 

Support for Reading Math Content in Kindle Books


You can now use JAWS and Fusion to study math equations included in Kindle books opened in the Amazon Kindle for PC app using both speech and braille. For braille users, math expressions are shown using the Nemeth braille code, which is a system exclusive to English.
Reading math in the Kindle app works very similar to accessing math on web pages. When you encounter Math content in a Kindle book, JAWS describes the expression, followed by the message "math content." If you are using a braille display and JAWS is configured for one of the English Contracted Braille modes, the message "Math" is displayed followed by the expression.
Pressing
ENTER while focused on the math content opens the Math Viewer where you can explore the expression in greater detail in both speech and braille by doing the following:
• To move between parts of the expression, use the
LEFT and RIGHT ARROW keys.
• To focus in on a partial expression, press
DOWN ARROW.
• To return to the whole expression, press
UP ARROW.
• To read all the partial expressions at the current nesting level, press
INSERT+UP ARROW.
• To read the current partial expression, press
NUM PAD 5 or INSERT+NUM PAD 5.
• From within the Math Viewer, press
ESC or ALT+F4 to exit.
 

Changed How JAWS and Fusion works with the Access Bridge for Java Applications
 

Now that Oracle has changed the licensing terms for the Standard Edition of the Java Platform, many customers are looking for alternatives. One of these alternatives is the AdoptOpenJDK.
Previously, JAWS would only load the WindowsAccessBridge DLL from the Windows System32 directory. This worked with the Oracle Java Runtime Environment because it always installed the WindowsAccessBridge DLL in that location. The alternative Java Runtime Environments do not install the WindowsAccessBridge DLL in that location.
JAWS has been modified so that it uses three different strategies for locating the WindowsAccessBridge DLL.
1. The path to the WindowsAccessBridge DLL can be specified by the Windows Registry. It looks for a registry entry named WindowsAccessBridgeDllPath in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Freedom Scientific\JAWS\Common and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Freedom Scientific\JAWS\Common. If the registry entry exists and the file indicated by the registry entry exists, JAWS will load the WindowsAccessBridge DLL from that location.
2. If strategy 1 did not succeed, JAWS will search for the WindowsAccessBridge DLL in the Windows System32 directory.
3. If strategy 2 did not succeed, JAWS will search for the WindowsAccessBridge DLL in the directories listed in the PATH environment variable.
 

Other Changes


• In Adobe Acrobat Reader, resolved a reported issue where the virtual buffer was empty after opening a PDF document and the Adobe options to "Enable Protected Mode at startup" and "Run in AppContainer" were selected.
• Addressed known issues where it was sometimes necessary to configure JAWS to use the classic settings for some retail versions of Office 2016 and 2019 in order for certain features like spellcheck and autocomplete to work as expected.
• When the cursor is on a revision in a document such as inserted or deleted text as well as a comment, pressing
INSERT+TAB now speaks additional details about the revised text.
• Similar to Word, if you move the cursor to AutoCorrected text in an editable message in Outlook, JAWS and Fusion now speaks the message about pressing the Office command,
ALT+SHIFT+F10, to open the menu of AutoCorrect options.
• In the Outlook Calendar, addressed issues using JAWS and Fusion with the Schedule View.
• In the most recent updates to Outlook 365, resolved issues where the
ALT+1 through 4 commands were not reading message headers and braille was not working as expected in the To, CC, and BCC fields.
• Resolved a reported issue where the setting to allow web application reserved keystrokes was not working in Chrome. When this option is enabled in Settings Center or Quick Settings, JAWS keystrokes that are also defined as keyboard shortcuts on certain websites like Facebook are passed directly to the web application instead of performing the JAWS command.
• When composing a message in GMail using Chrome, addressed an issue where a Say All (
INSERT+DOWN ARROW) was not working.
• Removed extraneous "clickable" announcements when reading various web pages in Chrome.
• Updated the Keyboard Help and Commands Search descriptions for the
INSERT+A keystroke to correctly state that when pressed twice quickly in Chrome or Firefox, the address of the current web page is displayed in the Virtual Viewer. Note that you can press ALT+D in all browsers to move focus to the address bar to enter a website address.
• If you encounter an element on a web page with a defined ARIA controls relationship, JAWS will no longer say "use
JAWSKEY+ALT+M to move to controlled element" by default. In most cases, the target of the controls relationship is adjacent to the element or does not provide any useful information.
• When domain-specific scripts such as Google Docs are loaded and
INSERT+Q is pressed twice quickly to display information in the Virtual Viewer, resolved a reported issue where the wrong configuration information was displayed.
• If focus is in a web dialog box in Chrome and you perform an action that opens a second dialog box, resolved an issue where focus was not automatically placed into the new dialog box.
• Resolved several issues using JAWS and Fusion with the Notepad++ text editor. Some key improvements include: reading selected text using
INSERT+SHIFT+DOWN ARROW, indicating autocomplete suggestions in speech and braille, correctly reading line numbers, and correctly reading spaces and tabs when navigating by character.
• Improved how JAWS works with the PuTTY and SecureCRT SSH and Telnet applications. Command output is now properly echoed and caret tracking is much more accurate.
• Resolved an issue introduced with a change in the April Update, where group names in the Windows Start menu and Windows Explorer were not being shown correctly in braille.
• The Liblouis braille translator used by JAWS and Fusion has been updated to version 3.9.0.
• Added a new Dictionary entry for "S M E) without the spaces so that JAWS and Fusion will correctly pronounce "Subject Matter Expert."
 

You must be logged on as an administrator to install this software.
 

Enhancements in both ZoomText 2019.1904.80 and Fusion 2019.1904.22 (April 2019)

The following items are additions and fixes made in the latest ZoomText 2019 and Fusion 2019 April releases. You must be logged on as an administrator to install this software.
• ZoomText performance and stability has improved when running it with Excel (available in Office 365, Office 2016, and Office 2013).
• Existing shortcut keys created to start ZoomText were deleted after installing a ZoomText update. This problem has been fixed.
• Changes were made in ZoomText to fix problems where it would become sluggish and require a restart after a few hours of use. This was problematic in Outlook and other Office applications.
• You will notice better performance when using focus enhancements and various echo options when running Outlook 2016.
• Fixed a problem where pressing ALT+TAB would change saved settings for the current application.
• Fixed a problem in ZoomText and Fusion where the CAPS LOCK+CTRL+S hotkey was not saving application settings. This was observed when running Chrome, Internet Explorer, File Explorer, Notepad, and other applications.
• Performance has improved when using the ZoomText Finder in Word 2010.
• When performing monthly updates of JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion, the shortcut keystrokes used to start the application are no longer removed.
• Resolved several issues concerning installation and language support of international versions of Fusion.
• Issues related to JAWS speech in Fusion, after responding to a Windows UAC notification, have been resolved.
 

Enhancements in Fusion 2019.1904.22 (April 2019)

The following items are additions to the latest Fusion 2019 April release.


Support for Reading Math content in Word Documents
You can now use JAWS or Fusion to read and study math problems in Word documents created using the MathType software from Design Science. To use this feature, you must do the following:
• Make sure you are running the April 2019 release of JAWS or Fusion along with Microsoft Word from Office 365.
• Install MathType from Wiris.com and activate the software as a trial or actual license.
• In Settings Center, make sure the "Use Accessibility Driver for Screen Capture" check box is selected.
When you encounter a math equation or formula in a document, JAWS reads the problem and then says "Math Content." You can then press INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by EQUALS to open the JAWS Math Viewer so you can study the equation in greater detail.
Once the Math Viewer is opened, you can navigate individual parts of an equation like variables, terms, coefficients, exponents, etc. As you navigate to the various components, pressing DOWN ARROW will let you drill down into and navigate within that level of the equation using LEFT and RIGHT ARROW. Pressing UP ARROW will move you back to the prior level. In addition, if you have a Braille display and JAWS is set to United States English or Unified English Braille Grade 1 or Grade 2, the math equation or formula will be displayed in Nemeth Braille. Pressing ESC will close the Math Viewer and return to the document.


See our MathType Sample Demonstration document for examples of how JAWS and Fusion can enable students to access math content.
 

Visit the Design Science website for more details about MathType.
 

New Consolidated Setup Package for Fusion 2019

Starting with the Fusion 2019 April release, there is now one link to download and install Fusion for all supported operating systems and languages. You no longer have to choose the correct setup executable based on your system as well as which language you need. When you begin the setup, the installer automatically detects whether you are using 32 or 64-bit and installs the correct components. If you are doing a new install and you want to use a different language other than the default for your operating system, select the Options button on the first installation screen and then choose a language. If you are updating an existing installation, the Options button is not available as Fusion detects the language already installed and updates using the same language.
 

Improved Heading Navigation When Using the Numbers Row
 

In the past, JAWS and Fusion users have been able to use 1 through 6 on the numbers row to move to specific heading levels on web pages. For instance, 1 for level 1 headings, 2 for level 2 headings, 3 for level 3 headings, and so on. However, this type of navigation only allowed you to move to headings equal or lower than the level you were trying to move by. For example, if you attempted to move to a level 3 heading, but the very next heading was a level 2, you would hear: "No more headings at level 3 in this section," and would not move past the level 2 heading.
 

Beginning with the April 2019 update of JAWS and Fusion, you can now move to any given heading level on a page and if it is under a different higher precedence heading, the immediately higher precedence heading will be read so you know that the new heading belongs to a different section. For example, if you attempt to move to a level 3 heading which causes you to jump past a level 2 heading, JAWS will announce the level 2 heading prior to announcing the level 3 heading so you know you have moved into a new section. You can also choose to have JAWS play a sound to indicate when you move into a new section or you can switch back to the prior behavior which restricted heading navigation to the current section.
To configure how JAWS and Fusion navigates headings when using the numbers 1 through 6, open Settings Center (INSERT+6 on the numbers row), type "heading" into the Search edit box, select the "Heading Navigation Using 1-6" option, and then use the SPACEBAR to choose the setting you want. Alternatively, open Quick Settings (INSERT+V) from your browser and configure the "Heading Navigation" setting.


Easy Access to Answer or Disconnect From a Skype Call Using the Desktop Application Version 8.42 or Later

In Skype for Desktop 8.42 and later, JAWS or Fusion now provides keystrokes for answering or disconnecting a call from any application as well as moving focus into the Skype main window. Note that these keystrokes are only available in the Skype for Desktop application. They will not work in the Skype for Windows 10 universal app from the Microsoft store or the Skype for Business app.
To answer an incoming call, press INSERT+SPACEBAR, Y followed by UP ARROW. To disconnect from a call, press INSERT+SPACEBAR, Y followed by DOWN ARROW. To move focus directly into the Skype window, press INSERT+SPACEBAR, Y followed by S.
 

Other Changes

• In the Amazon Kindle app, JAWS and Fusion now support reading and navigating inside tables using the keyboard.
• Resolved an issue where you could not use the keyboard to interact with the controls in the Display Options dialog box of the Amazon Kindle app.
• If Track Changes is turned on in a Word document, you can now use INSERT+SHIFT+R to list revisions in footnotes, endnotes, and comments in addition to the main document. Note that this command only lists revisions in the currently active pane. For example, pressing INSERT+SHIFT+R from the Document pane will list revisions in the main document while pressing this keystroke from the Comments pane will only list revisions in comments.
• If a word document contained more than 150 revisions, resolved an issue where the number of revisions was not being reported correctly when using INSERT+SHIFT+R.
• The "Document and Web Pages Automatically Read When Loaded" option in Settings Center is now enabled by default in PowerPoint. When you start a presentation and move to the next or previous slide, JAWS automatically begins reading the current slide.
• In Excel, JAWS and Fusion now indicates in both speech and Braille if a cell contains a data type.
• Resolved an issue where pressing INSERT+E was not announcing the default button in a Chrome dialog box.
• Addressed reported issues where JAWS and Fusion was not consistently reading elements that use the aria-describedby" or title attributes while tabbing through a page.
• If you are inside a table in a Google Docs document and you press INSERT+SPACEBAR, Q to activate the Quick Nav mode, you can now use the ARROW keys to move to each cell. You can also use CTRL+UP/DOWN ARROW to move to the top or bottom of the current column, CTRL+LEFT/RIGHT ARROW to move to the beginning or end of the current row, and CTRL+HOME/END to move to the beginning or end of the table.
• For users of the Focus Blue Braille Display, you can now press a Selector button along with the Left or Right NAV Mode button to toggle speech on or off for the corresponding NAV Rocker. When enabled, JAWS will speak as you scroll by line, sentence, or paragraph. This setting is off by default for both NAV Rockers.
• In Microsoft Teams, addressed issues with reading chat messages as well as removed extra speech that was heard when attempting to join a meeting.
• Added support for the latest Remote Desktop Terminal Services client from Microsoft.

 

Enhancements in both ZoomText 2019.1903.19 and Fusion 2019.1903.57 (March 2019)

•If Windows ClearType was enabled on your computer before starting ZoomText or Fusion, it would be disabled after closing these applications. This has been fixed, and ClearType is enabled again when you close these applications.
•Resolved a reported issue where anti-aliasing was being disabled even when ZoomText or Fusion was not running.
•ZoomText tracking would intermittently stop when running Outlook. This has been fixed.
•The "Enable Smooth Panning" check box (on the Panning tab in the Navigation Settings dialog box) is now cleared by default. As a result, the magnified view is more responsive when using keyboard commands to navigate or switch between applications. For example, you will see better performance when opening the Start Menu with the Windows key, or switching applications with ALT+TAB.
 

Enhancements in ZoomText 2019.1903.19 Only (March 2019)

•Addressed an issue where several ZoomText UI controls were visible and available on the Windows Lock screen.
•Recent changes to the installation process make it faster to update ZoomText.
 

Enhancements in Fusion 2019.1903.57 Only (March 2019)


The following items are additions and fixes made in the latest JAWS 2019 March release, and also apply to Fusion 2019.
 

Picture Smart for Describing Images with JAWS and Fusion


Picture Smart allows you to choose a photo and submit it to be analyzed. A description of the image is then displayed in the JAWS Results Viewer window. Descriptions might include details such as the number of people in the photo, recognizable landmarks, landscape details such as "outdoors with a blue sky and green grass," if there are vehicles such as automobiles or trains, and more. If there is text in the picture, it will OCR the text and provide that as well.

To use Picture Smart, press INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by P. Once the Picture Smart layer is active, the following keystrokes are available:
A - Open the Picture Smart dialog box where you can acquire an image from a flatbed scanner or the Freedom Scientific PEARL camera.
F - Describes the currently selected image in File Explorer. Supported images include BMP, JPEG, GIF, TIF, or PNG.
C - Describes an image associated with the current control. For instance, a graphic on a web page or in an email message.
B - Describes the contents of the Windows Clipboard if it contains an image.
QUESTION MARK - Displays help for the Picture Smart layer.

JAWS now also creates a new PictureSmart folder which is located in your user documents folder under My Pictures. If a single image is saved to this folder, JAWS will automatically submit it for analyzing and display the resulting description.

To use Picture Smart, the "Submit Anonymous Usage Data" option must be enabled in Settings Center. This sends encrypted information to Freedom Scientific. (To select this option in Settings Center, see Help Improve Freedom Scientific Products mentioned earlier on this page.) The images from Picture Smart are then submitted to the various services (such as Microsoft and Google) which analyze the images and returns the descriptions back to us. These descriptions are then displayed in the Results Viewer. If you attempt to use Picture Smart and this setting is off, a message displays prompting you to turn it on.

Note: Picture Smart is currently only available while in the English Language UI of JAWS and Fusion as the services that perform the image analysis do not currently support international languages for descriptions of images. For users of localized versions of JAWS running in versions of Windows other than English, you must switch the JAWS UI language to English to try out this feature.
 

Selecting and Copying Content in Chrome

 
After working closely with developers at Google, we are pleased to announce that starting with Chrome version 74.0.3717, an update scheduled for release by April 2019, selecting and copying text using the keyboard will now include the HTML markup as we have done in Internet Explorer for years. The functionality is included for all users of JAWS and Fusion 2019, providing the ability to copy live links, lists of items, and even tables from the Chrome browser and pasting them into Email messages or Documents without losing the formatting.
 

Virtual Cursor Support in PowerPoint Presentations


When you press F5 to start a slide show in PowerPoint, you can now use the Virtual Cursor to navigate slide content just like a web page. This enables you to do the following:
•Navigate the slide show and read all content, including text, labeled graphics, and other objects.
•Use TAB or SHIFT+TAB to move to links and activate them with ENTER or SPACEBAR.
•Use Navigation Quick Keys to move to various object types such as headings.
•Use the JAWS table reading keystrokes (ALT+CTRL+ARROW keys) to navigate in tables.
•Obtain lists of objects including links, headings, tables, and graphics from a running slide-show and be able to activate or move to the desired item in the list.
•Use the INSERT+F or INSERT+5 (on the number row) commands to check the format and color info of text on a slide.
 

Filter Consecutive Duplicate Links Now Off in Chrome and Firefox


Frequently, web page authors will create a graphical link and a text link that appears to look the same. Visually, sighted users think of this as one link, but it is really two different links that point to the same location on the web. For screen reader users, you end up having to read the link twice with no real benefit. For years, to help stream line the reading experience, JAWS has offered a feature in Settings Center called "Filter Consecutive Duplicate Links," which is enabled by default. As a result, when reading web pages with the Virtual Cursor and you encounter consecutive links that point to the same location, one graphical and one text, only the text link is announced.

Beginning with the March 2019 update, this setting is now off by default in Chrome and Firefox due to visual tracking issues when using TAB or SHIFT+TAB on a page. The visual PC focus that moves as you TAB can get out of sync with the virtual focus that is following, especially in Chrome and Firefox. This could cause confusion for anyone looking at the screen or using JAWS in conjunction with screen magnification software like Fusion. For users of Chrome or Firefox who are willing to accept the possible confusion because of the visual aspect described above, you can always open Settings Center (INSERT+6 on the number row), search for "Duplicate", and enable this feature. This setting is still on by default in Internet Explorer.
 

Other Changes

•In Speech On Demand (INSERT+SPACEBAR, S), all sounds played by Fusion are now muted. This includes the sound you hear when pressing INSERT+SPACEBAR to enter Layered Keys mode as well as the sound heard when completing an address in Outlook.
•The options for configuring spelling and grammar error detection have been expanded and are now available in Settings Center. You can find these settings under the new Proofing group in Text Processing.
•JAWS spelling error detection now works when editing slides in PowerPoint.
•Resolved a reported issue with Braille where the display was blank when first starting a PowerPoint slide show.
•Resolved a reported issue where Track Changes was not working correctly with JAWS in the retail version of Word 2016.
•In Word, addressed a reported issue where JAWS was not announcing the word count in a document when pressing the Word keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+G.
•Addressed a reported issue where JAWS would close unexpectedly when scanning a document with Adobe DC Pro.
•It is no longer necessary to restart JAWS, ZoomText, or Fusion when installing or removing voices through the Add/Remove Voices utility. Voices are immediately available when installed and no longer displayed when removed.
•A description of the layered keystroke to copy the speech history to the clipboard (INSERT+SPACEBAR, CTRL+H) has been added to the layered help (INSERT+SPACEBAR, QUESTION MARK).
•Addressed a reported issue where JAWS was not saying "Not Selected" when using CTRL+SPACEBAR to unselect an item.
•JAWS now reads subtitle information for items in Windows Settings (WINDOWS Key+I). This information is automatically spoken for the Beginner verbosity level and is off by default for the Intermediate and Advanced verbosity levels.
 

Enhancements in both ZoomText 2019.1901.114 and Fusion 2019.1901.79 (January 2019)


New Add/Remove Vocalizer Expressive Voice Utility

This new utility, which is included in the latest releases of ZoomText, Fusion, and JAWS, lets you sample, install, and remove Vocalizer Expressive 2 voices used by all three products. This avoids the need to download anything from external pages and makes the entire process easier across all products. Once voices are set up for one product, there is no need to install them again for the other products.

In the Fusion and ZoomText UI, you access the new utility from the Reader tab using the Voice pull down menu. In that menu, select the new menu item called Add/Remove Voices.

This utility includes:
• Language specific list of currently available Vocalizer Expressive 2 Premium voices.
• Ability to select and Install as many voices as you would like right from the list.
• See what voices are already installed as you review the list.
• Hear a sample of the currently focused voice in the list before deciding if you want to select it to be installed. To play a sample, press ALT+P while focused on the voice name in the list.
• Option to uninstall one or more voices.
• Option to uninstall all voices.
• Option to uninstall only the compact voices that had been previously installed.

Note: If you remove a voice that is in use when running Fusion, ZoomText, or JAWS, the software will continue to speak using that voice until you restart the software or reboot the computer. Once you restart, it will default to the next profile available. If there are no more Vocalizer Expressive Voices available, Fusion and JAWS will default to Eloquence. ZoomText will fall back to the Microsoft voices available in the current language.

In Fusion and JAWS, after installing a premium voice, a profile is created for each of those new individual voices which can be further customized using the Voice Adjustment dialog box. You can also quickly switch between all the new voices by pressing CTRL+INSERT+S to open the Select a Voice Profile dialog box, pressing the first letter of the voice you want to use, and then pressing ENTER.

In ZoomText, you can switch to any of the installed voices in the settings option of the Voice Menu pull down as you have in previous versions.

If you find that compact voice collections had previously been installed, there is also an option to remove all compact voices. This is especially beneficial for users of Fusion or ZoomText 2018 or later which installs dozens of the compact voices by default. If you do not need all of these voices and languages, this makes it easy to remove all compact voices at once.

Toolbar buttons now indicate feature enabled/disabled state
• On the Fusion and ZoomText toolbars the feature buttons now remain highlighted when the associated feature is enabled.

Faster enabling and disabling of Fusion and ZoomText
• Fusion and ZoomText now respond faster when they are enabled and disabled.

Improvements in Edge web browser
• In the Edge web browser, the ZoomText Finder now navigates reliably to the previous search result when invoking the Previous Item command or clicking the Previous button.
• The ZoomText Finder no longer lands on items that do not match the search string.

Miscellaneous Improvements
• In the Windows 10 Clipboard History feature, Fusion and ZoomText now track when navigating between controls and other elements.
• In the Windows 10 Settings dialog, mouse echo now reads the text beneath the tiles.
 

Enhancements and Fixes in ZoomText 2019.1901.114 Only (January 2019)

Improvements in Microsoft Office 2016 and Office 365
• In Word, AppReader’s next and previous sentence commands are now working properly when reading sentences containing a comma.
• In Excel, tracking and the focus enhancement are now working properly when entering and exiting the list of suggested contacts.
• In Excel, when pressing F2 to edit the contents of a cell, ZoomText now echoes “Edit Cell”.
• In Outlook, AppReader’s next and previous sentence commands are now working properly after reading to the end of an email.

Improvements in Skype
• Mouse Echo now echoes all elements in the Skype menus and dialog boxes.

Improvements in Chrome web browser
• In Chrome, AppReader now reads paragraphs containing links without unexpected pausing or repeating lines of text.
• In Chrome, Mouse Echo now reads controls that the mouse moves over in the browser toolbar and webpages more reliably.
• In Chrome, controls are now reliably tracked and highlighted in the Chrome settings.
• In Chrome, a problem that caused the focus enhancement to get stuck on the screen after closing “Customize and control Google Chrome” menu has been fixed.
• In Chrome, when using a system with multiple monitors the focus enhancement would sometimes drift outside of the Chrome browser window onto an adjacent monitor. This problem has been fixed.

Miscellaneous Improvements
• In the Windows 10 Settings dialog, mouse echo now reads the text beneath the tiles.
• In Notepad, ZoomText tracking of the text cursor is now more responsive.
• In Cmder console emulator (and other console applications and console emulators), ZoomText now provides improved tracking of the text cursor.