13-Feb-22 | News

Screen Reading Software

What’s New in JAWS 2022 Screen Reading Software

JAWS 2022 Features

New Layered Keystrokes for Selecting a Sound Card for Speech Output

In some instances, Windows may switch to a different sound device, causing you to lose speech from JAWS or Fusion. A couple examples of this could be when you plug in another sound device which becomes the new default or when you are using a Bluetooth headset and you start a call on Teams or Zoom, causing Windows to switch the sound device.

If these situations occur, you can now press INSERT+SPACEBAR, followed by V, and then C to access the new Sound Cards layer. Once in this layer, use UP or DOWN ARROW to cycle through all sound cards available on your system. JAWS attempts to announce each sound card as you move to it. Once you find the sound card you want to use for speech, press ESC to exit the layer. Note that the list of available devices does wrap, so continuing to press DOWN ARROW, cycles through them all.

Voice Assistant Improvements

  • The default wake word for JAWS is now “Hey Sharky.”
  • When running Fusion, you can now say either “Hey Sharky” or “Hey Zoomy” and the voice assistant knows which features are for JAWS or ZoomText and will do the appropriate action depending on what you asked. Previously, Fusion users could only access ZoomText features using the voice assistant.
  • After selecting text with JAWS or Fusion, you can now say “Hey Sharky, Read Selection” to read the selected content, or “Hey Sharky, Append” to append the selected text to the clipboard.
  • Selecting the Settings option from the Voice Assistant submenu in the JAWS Utilities menu now opens a dedicated Voice Assistant Settings dialog box instead of taking you to Settings Center.

Faster Braille Language Switching for Multi-lingual Users

For users who speak multiple languages as well as students who are learning another language, JAWS has supported manual and automatic speech synthesizer language switching for years. For braille display users needing to switch between languages regularly, the process was not as straight forward., You had to open Settings Center, and select a specific language and translation options each time you wanted to read or enter text using a different language.

Sound Splitter

Earlier in JAWS and Fusion 2021, we introduced a way for users to lower the volume of JAWS speech independently of system audio to help make it easier to hear audio from other applications. Version 2022 takes this a step further by now allowing those using stereo headsets or speakers to route all JAWS or Fusion speech to one ear while routing audio from all other applications to the other ear. This helps make it easier to continue getting work done with JAWS while following along during a Zoom or Teams meeting, a Skype call, or a YouTube video.

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