Windows 8 with JAWS

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

The Start screen

When you press the WINDOWS Key, the Start screen opens. This replaces the Start menu from prior versions of Windows. Each program is represented by a tile.

Navigation of the tiles of the Start Screen is supported. As you navigate with the ARROW keys, you will hear the name of the tile gaining focus, the row and column of the tile, and expanded state of the tile. Expanded means that the tile takes up twice the space as a standard tile. This is necessary because columns may be skipped when navigating when a tile is twice the width of a standard tile. If you navigate to another group of tiles, JAWS plays a sound to indicate when you have switched groups. You can also simply begin typing the name of the application you want to quickly move to it.

Unlike menus, the rows and columns of the Start screen do not wrap. This means when you get to the edge of a row or column the focus will not cycle back around to the beginning of the row or column. Press INSERT+TAB and JAWS will announce coordinates of the row and column where the cursor is currently located.

Finding a list of all programs

Perform the following steps to find the list of all available programs installed on your computer.

  1. Press the WINDOWS Key to open the Start screen.
  2. Press CTRL+TAB to switch to the list of all programs.
  3. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the list of items.
  4. The list is divided into groups. The first group is the list of Windows 8 apps followed by standard Desktop apps. JAWS announces each group as you move between them.
  5. Begin typing letters to quickly narrow down the list of items.

Searching for programs and settings

Just like with Windows 7, you can still use a powerful search feature to quickly find programs, files, settings, and more.

Press the WINDOWS Key to open the Start screen and begin typing to start the search. If you hear the item you are looking for, press ENTER to open it or scroll down to find other top matches. Alternatively, press TAB to move to a list of categories that contain items that match your search. Press ENTER on any of the items in the category list to display those matches.

For example, perform the following steps to find the Windows Notepad application using the search feature.

  1. Press the WINDOWS Key to open the Start screen.
  2. Type the first few letters of the word "Notepad" (without the quotes) and when you hear JAWS say "Notepad" press ENTER to activate the item and start the Notepad application.
  3. Perform the above steps again but this time type the first three letters of "Notepad" and instead of pressing ENTER, press the TAB Key to move to the list of categories that match the letters you typed.
  4. As you scroll through the list JAWS will announce the category name along with the number of items in the category. Press ENTER on any of the categories to display a list of all the items.
  5. Press ESCAPE at any point to close the search screen.

Accessing the Charms bar

Press WINDOWS+C to move focus to the Windows 8 Charms bar. This is a new feature of Windows 8 that allows you quick access to common features such as Devices, Settings, Search, and Share. Press the arrow keys or TAB to cycle through the items and press SPACEBAR to activate an item.

NOTE: The Settings group in the Charms bar contains options for the system volume as well as shutdown options. Press WINDOWS+I as a shortcut to move directly to the settings group in the Charms bar.

Windows shutdown options

The shutdown options can be found in the Settings group of the Charms bar but an easier way to access them is to move to the Desktop and press ALT+F4. The standard shutdown dialog box will appear with the options available for your particular computer.

Internet Explorer

Windows 8 currently has two versions of Internet Explorer. By default when Internet Explorer is launched from the Start screen or from a metro app, it opens in a form that is optimized for mobile devices. This version is slimmed down and does not have a menu bar or many other functions such as the favorites list. It is recommended that you run the Internet Explorer from the Desktop which behaves like all previous versions and includes a menu bar. Perform the following steps to configure Windows to always open Internet Explorer from the Desktop.

  1. Press WINDOWS+R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type "" without the quotes and press ENTER to open Internet Explorer for the Desktop.
  3. Press ALT+T to open the Tools menu and activate the Internet Options item in the menu.
  4. Press CTRL+TAB to move to the Programs page of the Internet Options dialog box.
  5. Your cursor will be on the "Choose how you open links" combo box. Scroll down to the "Always in Internet Explorer on the Desktop" option.
  6. Press TAB to the "Open Internet Explorer tiles on the Desktop" check box and press SPACEBAR to check it.
  7. Press ENTER to close the Internet Options dialog box and save your changes.

Internet Explorer for the Desktop will now open when ever you activate links or icons from the Start screen, Desktop, or from within other applications.

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