Speech and Sounds Manager

NOTE: For those of you participating in the live Webinar, the following link will open the documentation in a new browser window.

Introduction

The default behavior of JAWS is to speak all text using the same voice. JAWS does not distinguish between different types of fonts or font attributes such as bolded or underlined text. Many people don't realize however that there is a powerful feature of JAWS that can alert you to many different types of font information and even the type or state of Windows controls. Use the Speech and Sounds Manager dialog box, found in Settings Center, to customize how JAWS provides you with different types of information. Information is communicated by different JAWS voices or even audible sounds. For example, a scheme could be created to have JAWS speak any blue text using a particular voice or play a certain sound to indicate that a check box is checked. Some of the types of information that can be configured are:

Selecting a Scheme

JAWS version 14 currently has 21 built-in schemes that can be used for a wide variety of reading environments as well as a starting point for creating a custom scheme. To switch schemes press INSERT+ALT+S to activate the Select a Scheme dialog. Use the UP or DOWN ARROW keys to move through the list and press ENTER on the scheme you wish to activate.

Using the Select a Scheme dialog to switch schemes will only change the scheme for the active application. As soon as focus changes to another application, the default scheme specified in Settings Center will become active. When focus moves back to the original application though, the new scheme you selected will become active again. This behavior is similar to many other JAWS settings that are application specific.

The following table lists the built-in schemes that come with JAWS along with a short description. Note that the default scheme that is active when JAWS is installed is the Classic scheme.

Scheme Name Description
Attributes and Colors JAWS will announce attribute and color changes as you navigate text.
Classic JAWS will behave like prior versions with Format and Text options switched off.
Classic (Attributes and Font Info) JAWS will behave like prior versions with Format and Text options set to Speak attributes and font information.
Classic (Attributes) JAWS will behave like prior versions with Format and Text options set to Speak attributes.
Classic (Attributes, Font and Color) JAWS will behave like prior versions with Format and Text options set to Speak attributes, font and color information.
Classic with Quotes JAWS will behave like prior versions except that quoted text is spoken using the quotation voice.
Colors JAWS will announce color changes as you navigate text.
Indent (tab is 0.125 inches Script Manager) JAWS will announce tab stops as you cursor up and down using the default Tab Size in Script Manager. Indentation is announced as tab 1, tab 2, tab 3 and so on. Flush left is announced as Left Edge.
Indent (tab is 8 spaces) JAWS will announce tab stops as you cursor up and down through lines of code using the eight-space Tab setting in your code editor. The Indentation is announced as tab 1, tab 2, tab 3 and so on. Flush left is announced as Left Edge. Note that you may need to adjust the left margin setting in Settings Center under Advanced if this scheme doesn't work as expected.
Indent (tab is 4 spaces) JAWS will announce tab stops as you cursor up and down through lines of code using the four-space Tab setting in your code editor. The Indentation is announced as tab 1, tab 2, tab 3 and so on. Flush left is announced as Left Edge. Note: You may need to adjust the LeftMargin setting in the Settings Center under "Advanced" if you get unexpected results.
Indent (tab is 2 spaces) JAWS will announce tab stops as you cursor up and down through lines of code using the two-space Tab setting in your code editor. The Indentation is announced as tab 1, tab 2, tab 3 and so on. Flush left is announced as Left Edge. Note: You may need to adjust the LeftMargin setting in the Settings Center under "Advanced" if you get unexpected results.
ProofReading (Attributes and Font Info) JAWS will indicate text with various attributes and fonts using different voices.
ProofReading (Attributes)
ProofReading (Attributes, Font Info and Color) JAWS will indicate text with various attributes and fonts using different voices. Color will also be announced.
SayAll Text Only JAWS will not indicate the type of control when HTML elements such as links and headings are spoken.
SayAll Text with Sounds JAWS will play a sound when HTML elements such as links and headings are spoken.
Visual Studio .Net Microsoft Visual Studio .Net Default Scheme
Visual Studio .Net (Colors) Microsoft Visual Studio .Net Color Identification and Usage Scheme
Visual Studio .Net (Indent) Microsoft Visual Studio .Net Indentation Scheme
Web RentACrowd JAWS will bring the Web alive by reading headings, links and graphics using different voices.
Word Classic JAWS will behave like prior versions with Format and Text options switched off, except that subscripts and superscripts are suppressed.

Example 1: Selecting a Scheme

Perform the following steps to switch to a scheme in Internet Explorer that will read quoted text in a different voice. Use the example text below to test the scheme.

  1. From within Internet Explorer, press INSERT+ALT+S to open the Select a Scheme dialog.
  2. Press UP ARROW once to the Classic with Quotes item and press ENTER to activate it. JAWS now switches to the Classic with Quotes scheme.
  3. Read the following text and notice that JAWS switches to a slightly different voice when reading the text inside the quotation marks.

"It's time to go to the store," said Mary. "We've got a lot of supplies to pick up for our trip."

  1. Press INSERT+ALT+S to activate the Select a Scheme dialog box and choose Classic to return to the Classic scheme.

Creating a Custom Scheme

Along with the built-in schemes provided in JAWS, you can create custom schemes to account for your own unique reading environments. The easiest way to create a custom scheme is to modify the classic scheme to make JAWS read the desired text attributes and then save the scheme with a new name. You cannot modify and save the classic scheme without giving it a new name. This insures you will always be able to switch back to the default classic scheme.

Example 2: Creating A Custom Scheme

Perform the following steps to create a custom scheme to find red or underlined text in the Saint Pete practice document.

  1. Use the link above to open the Saint Petersburg practice document. The document will open in Microsoft Word or WordPad.
  2. Review the text and notice that JAWS speaks everything using the same voice.
  3. Press INSERT+F2 to open the list of JAWS managers.
  4. Select Settings Center from the list and press ENTER.
  5. Your cursor will automatically be placed in the search box. Type the letters SCH and a list of search results will appear.
  6. Press DOWN ARROW until you reach Modify Schemes and press SPACEBAR. The Modify Schemes dialog box appears and your cursor is in the list of currently available schemes.
  7. Press UP ARROW to move to the Classic scheme.
  8. Press TAB to move to the Edit Selected Scheme button and press SPACEBAR to activate it.
  9. The Edit Scheme multi-page dialog box opens and focus is on the General tab.
  10. Press CTRL+TAB to move to the Attributes tab. We are going to specify that underlined text be spoken using the underline voice alias.
  11. Press TAB to move to the Add button and press SPACEBAR to activate it.
  12. A series of check boxes is displayed with various font attributes. Press TAB to move to the Underline check box and activate it with the SPACEBAR.
  13. Press ENTER to activate the Next button.
  14. Your focus is now on a radio button that allows you to choose what action will take place when the underlined text is found. Press DOWN ARROW to move to the Speak Item Text Using Voice radio button and press ENTER to activate the Next button.
  15. Your focus is now in a list of voice aliases that can be selected to speak the underlined text. Press U to quickly move to the voice alias that has already been created for underlined text and press ENTER to activate the Finish button.
  16. The rule has now been created and focus lands on it in the list of created rules.
  17. Press CTRL+TAB to move to the Colors tab where we will add a rule to have a sound played when JAWS encounters red text.
  18. Press TAB to move to the Add button and press SPACEBAR to activate it.
  19. In the Select Foreground color combo box, press R to move to red and press ENTER to activate the Next button.
  20. In the Select Background Color combo box, select the first item ("Anything") and press ENTER to activate the Next button.
  21. Your focus is now on a radio button that allows you to choose what action will take place when the red text is found. Press DOWN ARROW to move to the Play Sound radio button and press ENTER to activate the Next button.
  22. Focus is now in a list of available sounds that can be played. Use the arrow keys to move through the list and the SPACEBAR to hear the sound. Press B to select Blatt1 and press ENTER to activate the Finish button.
  23. The rule has now been created and focus lands on it in the list of created rules.
  24. Press ENTER to activate the OK button and close the Edit Scheme dialog box.
  25. Focus returns to the Modify Schemes dialog box. Press TAB to move to the Save Selected Scheme As button and press SPACEBAR to activate it.
  26. Type in the name RedAndBold and press ENTER to accept it.
  27. Press TAB to move to the OK button and press SPACEBAR to activate it.
  28. Answer Yes when you are asked if you want the RedAndBold scheme to be the active scheme for Microsoft Word.
  29. Focus now returns to Settings Center. Press TAB to move to the OK button and press SPACEBAR to activate it.
  30. Settings Center closes and your changes are saved. Switch to the Saint Petersburg practice document and begin reading it with normal JAWS reading commands. Notice what happens when JAWS encounters red or underlined text.

When finished with this exercise be sure to switch back to the Word Classic scheme by pressing INSERT+ALT+S and choosing it from the list. This will insure JAWS returns to its default reading behavior in Microsoft Word.

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