Are you ready to take your web browsing skills to the next level with JAWS? In this quick guide, we will provide you with our top tips to perfect your web browsing.
Use Quick Keys for Efficient Navigation
Quick keys are a set of keyboard shortcuts in JAWS that allow for rapid navigation to specific webpage elements like headings, buttons, checkboxes, and more.
Familiarizing yourself with these quick keys can provide instant access to various webpage elements. The less time spent navigating, the more time available for exploration, making quick keys a powerful tool.
Some of the most commonly used quick keys are:
|H||Move to the next heading.|
|B||Navigate to buttons with various web forms and applications.|
|E||Move to edit fields (text inputs).|
|V||Jump to visited links of a web page.|
|F||Navigate to form fields to interact with input elements.|
|P||Move to paragraphs with the main textual content of a page.|
|R||Navigate to landmarks, specific sections, or menus on a web page.|
|T||Move to tables for comprehending tabular data and through complex data tables.|
|G||Move to graphics (images) on a page.|
Bonus Key: The links list feature in JAWS allows you to quickly access and navigate through all the links on a webpage. Press Insert + F7 to activate the links list and efficiently move between different links without having to navigate through the entire page.
Leverage Form Navigation
Online forms can be cumbersome to navigate, but JAWS alleviates this by offering specific commands to help navigate through form fields. Utilizing the Tab key to move forward and Shift + Tab to move backward between form fields streamlines the process.
This streamlined navigation is particularly useful when filling out lengthy forms or when dealing with forms that require precise information.
Take Advantage of Tables Navigation
Tables are a common way to organize data on webpages. JAWS provides commands to navigate through tables. The combination of Ctrl + Alt + Arrow keys (up, down, right, left) can be used to navigate individual cells within the table.
This feature is important when interacting with data-intensive webpages, enabling a systematic approach to navigating through rows and columns.
Enable Virtual Cursor
The Virtual Cursor feature in JAWS emulates screen reader navigation, allowing for a seamless browsing experience. By pressing Insert + Z, you can toggle the virtual cursor on and off.
This feature significantly enhances readability and navigation, making web browsing a less daunting task for individuals who rely on screen readers.
JAWS also offers an invaluable feature called Screen Sensitive Help that provides real-time assistance as you navigate web pages. To activate it, press the Insert + f1 keys.
Screen Sensitive Help is like having a virtual guide at your side. When activated, it offers context-specific information about the element your cursor is on, such as links, buttons, headings, and more. This feature can be a game-changer for users who want to understand a webpage's layout and functionality quickly.
Customize JAWS Settings
When it comes to customizing your JAWS experience, there's a world of possibilities to enhance your browsing experience. This section will guide you through the process of fine-tuning various settings, such as voice speed, verbosity, and navigation options.
Accessing Settings with Keyboard Shortcuts
Before diving into the settings, it's essential to know how to access them efficiently. JAWS provides keyboard shortcuts that make it easy to reach the customization options you need. Two commonly used shortcuts are:
- Insert+V: This combination opens the Quick Settings dialog, providing quick access to a range of essential options.
- Insert+6: On the other hand, Insert+6 takes you straight to the Settings Center, where you can explore a more comprehensive set of customization choices.
It's worth noting that voice speed or rate isn't directly available from these shortcuts. To fine-tune your voice speed to your liking, follow these steps:
- If you're using JAWS with its own window, open the JAWS window. Alternatively, if JAWS is set to run without its own window, access it from the system tray.
- Navigate to the Options pull-down menu.
- Within the Options menu, locate the Voices submenu.
- Finally, select Voice Adjustment. Here, you'll find the controls to adjust your voice speed and other related settings.
Keep JAWS Up to Date
Regular updates to your JAWS ensure that you are utilizing the latest features and improvements. The latest 2023 version includes new features, security improvements, and addresses bug fixes to browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc.), Windows OS, MS Office.
Stay up to date with the latest version upgrade by visiting Freedom Scientific What's New in JAWS 2023 Screen Reading Software page.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Mastering web navigation with JAWS is a matter of practice. Regular exploration of different websites, utilizing JAWS commands, and familiarizing yourself with various navigation techniques is crucial.
Practice helps in building muscle memory for JAWS commands and shortcuts, making navigation feel more natural and less cumbersome over time.
The more you practice, the more confident and proficient you'll become, turning web navigation from a chore into a seamless process.
Learn more from the makers of JAWS with JAWS Training for Teachers and AT Instructors website by Freedom Scientific.
|Insert + F7||Activates the links list, allowing quick navigation through webpage links.|
|Insert + F3||Activates the Virtual HTML Features list, use the arrow keys to select items in the list.|
|Tab||Move forward between form fields when navigating online forms.|
|Shift + Tab||Move backward between form fields when navigating online forms.|
|Ctrl + Alt + Arrow keys||Navigate through tables, helping to explore and access table data.|
|Insert + Z||Toggle the Virtual Cursor, emulating screen reader navigation.|