Window-Eyes: Performance, Reliability, and Stability
"Unleashing the power of your mind's eye."
(C)1995-2013 GW Micro, Inc. All Rights Reserved
[Please note: The following information can also be found in the Window-Eyes Help menu, under the Documentation pulldown.]
Welcome to Window-Eyes 8.3
GW Micro is proud to announce the release of Window-Eyes 8.3. This maintenance update includes support for Windows 8.1, better support for Windows 8 modern apps, provides numerous speed improvements, and enhances the Window-Eyes 8 feature set. All Window-Eyes 8 customers are strongly urged to install this update to address some performance issues discovered after the release of Window-Eyes 8.2.
Keep reading to learn more about Window-Eyes 8.3, and what it can do for you.
Keeping In Touch
Now that you have the power of Window-Eyes at your fingertips, why not join up with other Window-Eyes users on a GW Micro e-mail list? There are several to choose from: GW-Info for lively discussions of GW Micro products and services, GW-News for GW Micro news announcements only, GW-Scripting for Window-Eyes script developers and users, and many more. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or manage an existing subscription, visit http://www.gwmicro.com/lists. Subscribing is as simple as entering your email address in the email address edit box, selecting the Subscribe/Default radio button, selecting the GW-Info email list from the combo box of available lists, then selecting the Modify button. You will then receive a confirmation message. Select the link provided in the confirmation email, and you will become a member of the largest public network of Window-Eyes users, always eager and willing to answer any questions you may have. Although we encourage all users to help each other with questions and problems, you can take comfort in knowing that the GW-Info list is constantly monitored by GW Micro employees.
You may also contact us directly by using the contact information listed above. Thank You!
Window-Eyes is developed with you in mind. Please feel free to contact us regarding any questions, comments, or suggestions that you may have; we are eager to hear from you. Now read on to learn more about your latest investment, and thank you for choosing Window-Eyes!
The following documentation consists of important information that you need to know before using this version of Window-Eyes.
1. You must already have an existing copy of Window-Eyes 7.5.x or 8.x installed before installing Window-Eyes 8.3.
2. If you are running Windows XP, Vista, 7, Server 2008 or 2008 R2, Window-Eyes 8.3 will not install over a version of Window-Eyes less than 7.5. If you are running a version of Window-Eyes less than 7.5, you will need to upgrade to Window-Eyes 8.3 by contacting our orders department at 260-489-3671, or firstname.lastname@example.org. 3. As of July 13, 2010, Microsoft ended support for all Windows 2000 products. Window-Eyes 8.3, therefore, will not install under Windows 2000, and requires at least Windows XP SP3 to run.
This readme is divided up into various sections. The start of each major section will begin with two plus signs and the start of each minor section will begin with two minus signs. This means that you can search for ++ to move to the start of a major section, and -- to move to the start of a minor section. If you are reading the manual on a Windows PC using Notepad, we recommend maximizing the Notepad window with ALT-SPACE, then X. It is also a good idea to make sure that "word wrap" is enabled. This is usually found under the format menu of Notepad.
++Enhancements between Window-Eyes 8.2 and Window-Eyes 8.3
-- Windows 8
* Window-Eyes 8.3 is now compatible with all Intel-based editions of the Windows 8.1 operating system.
* If a Windows 8-based machine uses the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), Window-Eyes would act unpredictably. The only solution was to disable the UEFI feature in the system BIOS. This is no longer necessary in Window-Eyes 8.3. With UEFI enabled, Window-Eyes will be unable to speak inside applications launched as a different user. The UEFI feature must be disabled if this is required.
-- Browse Mode
* If the "automatically read" option found in Verbosity -> Browse Mode -> New Page Information 1 was set to "Program," Window-Eyes would ignore the program-specific setting and always use the global preference. This has been fixed.
* If a word in Browse Mode contained multiple font or attribute changes, Window-Eyes would insert a space at each change. This has been corrected.
* The continue mouse search command (Insert-F by default) would not always work if you closed Internet Explorer or Firefox and then reopened it. This problem has been fixed.
* Radio buttons which have been labeled with the "ARIA-Label" tag are now voiced correctly.
* In Firefox 20 and newer, Window-Eyes would report an incorrect number of ARIA landmarks if the ARIA region contained embedded elements (such as list items). This has been corrected.
-- Internet Explorer
* Window-Eyes 8.3 now supports Internet Explorer 11.
* The spell checker included with Internet Explorer 11 is now supported via the IE Enhanced app. Use Alt-Comma and Alt-Period to traverse through spelling errors, and press the Speak Summary command (Control-Shift-S by default) to hear a summary of any errors that have been found. This feature is presently supported only in Windows 8.1.
* Braille was not functioning properly when using Java-based applications. This problem has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes would sometimes crash when unselecting text in Java edit controls. This has been corrected.
* End-of-line characters were being identified as "Unicode 0." Window-Eyes now dings when moving past line boundaries as it does in other edit control types.
* The Mouse to Focus command (Insert-Numpad-Plus by default) now works if a cursor is present.
* The Unicode/Attribute hot key (Control-Numpad-Delete by default) now works when a cursor is present.
* The Highlighted Block command (Control-Shift-M by default) now works when a cursor is present.
* Read-To-End (Control-Shift-R by default) now works in controls with a cursor.
* Window-Eyes now reads as you navigate through spreadsheets in OpenOffice and LibreOffice Calc.
* Leaving and then returning to OpenOffice and LibreOffice Writer could cause extra speech every time a key was pressed. This has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes would say "edit box" when traversing multi-line edit controls in OpenOffice/LibreOffice Writer. This has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes would not read the rules in the rules list as you navigated it with the Arrow keys. This has been fixed.
* The conversation view in Outlook 2013 now speaks correctly.
* Window-Eyes is now compatible with the 64-bit edition of PowerPoint.
-- Remote Assistance
* There were some rare circumstances where attempting to launch the remote assistance utility from the Window-Eyes Help menu would fail. This has been fixed.
* When composing a message in Thunderbird 17.0.7 and newer, it was necessary to Shift-Tab away from, and then Tab back to, the message body before it could be read with the Arrow keys. This has been fixed.
* The focused item would not always display correctly in Braille while at the Windows 8 start screen. This has been fixed.
* If Braille was active inside Word and you pressed an attribute toggle command (such as Control-B for bold), the setting would become active but then immediately turn off. This has been fixed.
* If your cursor was on a bulleted list item in Word while Braille was active, the cursor's position would often times be inaccurate. This has been fixed.
* The shortcut and accelerator information found in the Office ribbon is now shown in Braille. Previously this information was only spoken.
* Braille mouse tracking has been improved.
* The braille information order verbosity is now used when displaying ARIA landmarks.
* If an exception dictionary did not end with a hard return, Window-Eyes would misinterpret the last line in the file and become unstable. This has been corrected.
* When reading Unicode characters which had the high bit set, Window-Eyes would not use its built-in character dictionary to describe the symbols. This problem has been fixed.
* A problem where Window-Eyes would sometimes fail to read the selected item in WPF-based tree views found in some Microsoft system management applications has been fixed.
* Reading the screen with the mouse review hot keys could be sluggish on some computers. This problem has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes is now faster in UIA list views, such as those found in WPF applications and in Windows 8.
* To increase responsiveness in Windows Explorer in Windows Vista and up, the first column is read now rather than the entire row. You can use the Left and Right Arrow keys to traverse individual columns, and the Speak Summary command (Control-Shift-S by default) will read the entire row as it always has. To restore the previous behavior, open the Window-Eyes control panel, navigate to Apps -> Windows Enhanced, and activate the item labeled "Speak all columns in Windows Explorer detail view." Note that a Window-Eyes restart is required for this change to take effect.
* If video support was unavailable, it was necessary to press the read window command (Control-Shift-W by default) two times to hear the contents of the active window. This has been corrected.
* Message boxes and dialogs are now read automatically (if configured to do so) even if video support is absent.
* Windows 8.0 and 8.1 use a pop up dialog that looks like a blue ribbon across the center of the screen. Previously Window-Eyes would speak the title of this "dialog" and the focused control only. Now Window-Eyes reads this as if it were a message box.
* Google Chrome would crash while Window-Eyes was running. While Chrome support is still pending, the crash has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes now supports accessible QT 5 applications in addition to providing better support for QT 4.x-based programs.
* Window-Eyes would sometimes fail to communicate with IA2 controls when they were initially focused. This has been fixed.
* Some IA2 password edit boxes were not identified as such. Now they are.
* The commands to read user windows 0 through 9 (Alt-1 through Alt-9 respectively) have been undefined in the default global settings.
* An option to register Window-Eyes has been added to the Help menu.
* The "tip of the day" text has been updated.
* Other stability problems submitted via the Window-Eyes error reporting feature have been resolved.
* There were problems communicating with the 64-bit Office COM interface. These issues have been resolved.
* On some machines, apps would be unable to find certain windows even though they were present. This issue has been fixed.
* The hot key enumeration to move to the next paragraph, formerly labeled hkNextParagrah, has been renamed to hkNextParagraph. The former name has been deprecated but remains for backwards compatibility.
++Enhancements between Window-Eyes 8.1 and Window-Eyes 8.2
-- Adobe Reader
* Due to a regression in Adobe Reader XI, Window-Eyes was not reading the menu bar correctly. This problem has been resolved.
* A problem where Adobe Reader would crash or fail to load a document with Window-Eyes in memory has been fixed.
* When viewing a PDF one page at a time, it was necessary to refresh Browse Mode after navigating to a new page. This has been fixed.
-- Browse Mode
* The page navigation dialog could become excessively chatty when navigating through the category radio button group. This has been fixed.
* When navigating through Browse Mode, Window-Eyes would either ding, speak nothing, or part of a line, and a screen redraw was necessary to read the page correctly. This problem has been fixed.
* In some non-English versions of Window-Eyes, new page information would become truncated. This has been fixed.
-- Internet Explorer
* When arrowing to the end of an Internet Explorer edit box, the Braille cursor would mistakenly blink underneath the final character rather than past it. This has been resolved.
* Some web sites, such as chase.com, would not load in Browse Mode when using Internet Explorer 9 and newer. This problem has been resolved.
* Some users reported problems when accessing combo boxes in Internet Explorer 9 and above. These issues have been corrected.
* When activating a same-page link on some websites, Window-Eyes would return the cursor to the top of the Browse Mode buffer. These issues have been fixed.
* When returning to a previously-visited website, Window-Eyes would often times place the Browse Mode cursor at the top of the page rather than at the previously active position. This has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes now supports the older (legacy) Java Access Bridge in addition to the 32 and 64-bit versions of the modern access bridge.
* The Find dialog would no longer speak in Window-Eyes 8.1. This has been fixed.
* If you tabbed to a link on the help page from the backstage of an Office 2010 application Window-Eyes would speak the link but go completely silent while the link had focus. This has been fixed.
* This update includes updated MathPlayer support in Microsoft Word.
* If Braille was tracking the mouse in Microsoft Word, Window-Eyes would become sluggish. This has been fixed.
-- Open Office
* When Tabbing through an Open Office dialog with multiple combo boxes in a row, Window-Eyes would only read the first one. This has been fixed.
* When using the Outlook Enhanced app, the Attachments and View in Browser hotkeys would not work in non-virtualized messages. This has been resolved.
* When the Office Enhance app was running, an "unspecified error" would often appear when closing Outlook. This has been fixed.
* The TB Enhance app which adds accessibility features to the Thunderbird email program has been updated. This update includes the following changes:
Support for autocompleting addresses when composing new messages. Removal of custom character and key label dictionaries. These are now handled by Window-Eyes set files, as most people are accustomed to. Made attempts to work around the Mozilla bug where the column menu (Control-Alt-C) no longer reads. Added folder list dialog (Control-Y) to quickly access folders. Added a tone that will play when things have settled, and the hot keys are ready to use. You can turn this off under the Tb Enhanced pull-down in the Window-Eyes Apps menu. The app runs globally on launch, and then it removes itself from the global scope, but there was a case where it could continue running globally. This version fixes that. Added support for the Keyboard describer The .WE file was shipping with English help text, so the localized help text was never getting installed.
* The Window-Eyes user interface has been updated to use list views rather than list boxes. Searching for specific items in these lists (such as in the page navigation dialog) is now much easier.
* When the speak blank lines setting was enabled, Window-Eyes would sometimes say "blank" after voicing items in lists such as the Windows XP Add/Remove Programs dialog. This problem has been fixed.
* In many terminal applications (such as TeraTerm, PuTTY, etc) where a speak window was configured, Window-Eyes would not read the last line in the window containing the cursor. This has been fixed.
* Some Browse Mode key assignments were incorrect when using Hebrew or Arabic keyboard layouts. These have been corrected.
* Some long-standing instability problems which could occur with the Window-Eyes off-screen model in applications such as Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, etc. have been fixed.
* If the progress indicator was set to play a custom sound when a marquee bar appeared, the selection was never used. This has been fixed.
* Using the mouse navigation keys to review right-to-left text was very difficult. This problem has been fixed.
* Issues with processing composition characters in the Window-Eyes off-screen model for languages such as Arabic and Hebrew have been resolved.
* If a process was selected in the Processes tab of the Windows Task Manager, and the user brought up a context menu, Window-Eyes would constantly read the status line as it was updated. This has been fixed.
* A Window-Eyes hang which resulted from certain combinations of right-to-left text has been fixed.
* When punctuation is enabled and Window-Eyes encountered certain symbols (such as a period), it would insert a pause in addition to voicing the symbol. This behavior has been changed so that the symbol name is spoken, but no pause will be added unless it occurs at the end of a word.
* If Window-Eyes is copy-protected and the "get more voices" option was opened from the Help menu, both the voices web page and license manager would open. This has been resolved.
* The Window-Eyes license manager can now be accessed under the Help menu for 60-day evaluation versions, everlock-protected copies, and lease-to-own versions.
* Inserting large amounts of text into a tree view could cause Window-Eyes to crash. This has been corrected.
++Enhancements between Window-Eyes 8.0 and Window-Eyes 8.1
-- Adobe Reader
* When Tabbing through Adobe forms, Window-Eyes would not speak the contents of edit boxes. This has been fixed.
* In some PDF documents, typing into an edit box would immediately reactivate Browse Mode. This has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes would not always speak the active selection when arrowing through combo boxes in Adobe forms. This has been fixed.
* Support for the BraillePen 12 has been added.
* Due to a severe stability issue with how Firefox and Flash interact, Window-Eyes no longer includes any Flash content in its Browse Mode buffer by default. This means that while Browse Mode must be turned off to interact with Flash, loading videos and other content should no longer cause Firefox to hang. To re-enable the display of Flash content in Firefox, use the Firefox Enhance app (which is now included with Window-Eyes). Note that doing so will re-introduce the stability problem which this solution prevents. More details about this problem are described at https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=781971.
-- Internet Explorer
* A problem where Internet Explorer would get stuck using 100% of the CPU has been corrected.
* If a line with multiple text attributes was reached in Browse Mode, Window-Eyes would run the words of that line together. This has been fixed.
* When using Braille, the position of the cursor was not always reported correctly in multiline edit boxes in Internet Explorer 9 and newer. This has been corrected.
* ARIA Live in Internet Explorer 9 and newer was not working correctly. This has been fixed.
* Preliminary support for Office 2013 has been added.
* A problem where monitor cells would not speak in Excel if the Windows user account control was active has been fixed.
* Math Player support for Word has been added.
* The Mailings -> New Address List and Mailings -> Match Fields dialogs now read correctly in Microsoft Word.
* Window-Eyes now speaks descriptions for the default bullets inside the bullets ribbon item in Word 2007 and above. Previously, this information was reported as numbers and font names.
* A problem where Outlook would freeze when sending mail has been corrected.
* Message virtualization should work much more reliably in Outlook 2007.
* The message virtualization feature relies on some components from Microsoft. If you attempt to virtualize a message and the required components are missing, Window-Eyes will now direct you to download them.
* The Alt-1 through Alt-7 hot keys should now consistently read Outlook information when inside a virtualized message.
* You can now add contacts via the context menu after focusing the desired item with the Alt-# hot keys.
* Pressing Control-F from within a virtualized message would open the Find dialog rather than forward the active email. This has been fixed.
* The Insert -> Outlook Item list view now reads correctly in Outlook 2010.
* If the main Outlook window could not be found, the Outlook Enhanced app would stop running. This has been fixed.
* It is now possible to overwrite attachments in Outlook 2010 when using the Outlook Enhance attachments dialog.
* There was a problem where pressing the status line key inside Outlook would cause the information to repeat several times. This has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes now correctly speaks the checked state and calendar name of items in the Outlook 2010 calendar.
* Preliminary support for software utilizing the QT 5 GUI framework has been introduced.
* Reading and editing HTML messages in Thunderbird would sometimes yield dings, blank lines, or inaccurate character feedback. These issues have been corrected.
-- Visual Studio
* Compiling large projects in Visual Studio 2010 and above would often hang, and the process would never complete. This has been fixed.
-- Windows 8
* Several problems related to the speaking of items in the Windows 8 Start Screen have been corrected.
* Several problems related to stability have been corrected thanks to error reports from our customers.
* A problem where Window-Eyes would continuously try to run every few seconds after a scripting error was displayed has been corrected.
* For lease-to-own copies of Window-Eyes, the license manager is now accessible via the Window-Eyes Help menu.
* There was an issue where a valid copy of Window-Eyes could turn into a demonstration version when it launched. This has been fixed.
* Read-To-End now works fully in Java applications, UIA edit boxes, and IA 2 controls (such as the Thunderbird composition window).
* A problem where the Insert Key Layout could unintentionally become active when running the Quick Start Wizard has been fixed.
* Group names were not reading in Windows Explorer for Windows 7. This has been fixed.
* Some issues related to how Window-Eyes handles UI Automation which could cause Internet Explorer and other UIA-related applications to crash has been fixed.
* Most non-English Vocalizer voices would say "a" at the end of lines during Read-To-End and when the voice was first activated. This has been fixed.
* Vocalizer would often times stop short during a Read-To-End. This has been fixed.
++New Features in Window-Eyes 8.0
-- Windows 8
Window-Eyes 8.0 provides full, comprehensive support for Microsoft's latest Windows operating system for Intel-based computers. While the process for installing Window-Eyes onto a Windows 8 PC is identical for computers running Windows 7, the Windows 8 interface is significantly different than anything that has come before it. Thus, we are including the following information to help orient you to this new environment.
When Windows 8 starts, you will be on the Modern Desktop Start screen, which will be referred to here as the Start screen. The Start screen is composed of tiles. These tiles represent programs and modern apps. Modern apps are similar to programs. You will typically be able to tell the difference between a program and a modern app as most apps do not have menu systems while most programs still contain the familiar menu system. If you are connected to the Internet, some tiles will present information that Window-Eyes will read as it is provided. For example, there may be a tile that has the latest news. If focus remains on the tile, Window-Eyes will read the information as it becomes available. The Windows Enhanced app (which is now included with Window-Eyes 8.0 ) enables you to move logically through these tiles with the following keystrokes:
Insert-Down Arrow: Moves to next Tile in Group or next logical item in a Modern app Insert-Up Arrow: Moves to previous Tile in Group or previous logical item in a modern app Insert-Right Arrow: Moves to next Group Insert-Left Arrow: Moves to previous Group Insert-Home: Moves to first Tile in Group Insert-End: Moves to last Tile in Group
While you may elect to use the above keystrokes to move between items within a group, the Windows Enhanced app also enables you to list all groups and tiles in an easy to navigate dialog by pressing Control-Insert-Tab. This dialog presents a tree view of the groups with items, an Activate button, Focus button, Select button, and a Close button. You may use this dialog to easily interact with the tiles and groups on the Start screen.
You may still use the Desktop interface via the standard keyboard methods, such as Windows Key-D and Windows Key-M. One of the biggest differences between the Desktop in Windows 8 versus Windows 7 is that the Start menu no longer exists. When you press the Windows key, the Start screen will appear and populate your computer screen with the tiles mentioned above. Pressing the Windows key a second time will return you to your previously running application.
You may search for apps, files, or settings on the Start screen by typing the name of the item you are looking for. After you have typed in your search term, you can press the Up or Down Arrow keys to start moving through each search result. If you wish to search for items other than Apps, you will need to press Tab until you reach the list box of available search items which begins with Apps. You may then select between Apps, Files, or Settings with the Arrow keys and press Enter to change the search type to that specific category. If you continue to Down-Arrow, you will also discover a list of your most recently searched items. Pressing Enter on a recently used app will launch it if it is not already running. Remember that you can always Tab to reach the search box, the list of results, and the categories list. In addition, other categories may be available depending on the apps you have installed.
There are many hot keys available for Windows 8. While not all of them can be listed here, we are including a selection of the most common commands you are likely to require below:
Windows Key - Switch between Modern Desktop Start screen and the last accessed application Control - Plus: Expand the currently selected group on the Start screen Control - Dash: Collapse the currently selected group on the Start screen Windows Key - C: Access the charms bar Windows Key - Tab: Access the Modern Desktop Taskbar Windows Key - I: Access the Settings charm Windows Key - H: Access the Share charm Windows Key - K: Access the Devices charm Windows Key - Q: Access the Apps Search screen Windows Key - F: Access the Files Search screen Windows Key - W: Access the Settings Search screen Windows Key - P: Access the Second Screen bar Windows Key - Z: Brings up the App Bar when you have a Modern Desktop App running Windows Key - X: Access the Windows Tools Menu Windows Key - O: Lock screen orientation Windows Key - Period: Move the screen split to the right Windows Key - Shift - Period: Move the screen split to the left Windows Key - V: View all active Toasts/Notifications Windows Key - Shift - V: View all active Toasts/Notifications in reverse order Windows Key - Print Screen: Takes a screenshot of the screen and automatically saves it in the Pictures folder as Screenshot Windows Key - Enter: Launch Narrator Windows Key - E: Open Computer Windows Key - R: Open the Run dialog box Windows Key - U: Open Ease of Access Center Windows Key - Ctrl - F: Open Find Computers dialog box Windows Key - Pause/Break: Open the System page
More hot keys are available from the MSDN blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/hyperyash/archive/2012/08/28/windows-8-shortcuts.aspx.
To use Window-Eyes 8.0 on Windows 8, you must use a full installer which is available on CD. If you are eligible to use Window-Eyes 8.0 and you require a Window-Eyes 8.0 CD, one can be purchased for $20. Please contact our orders department at (260) 489-3671 or via email at email@example.com for more information. Please do not attempt to install anything less than Window-Eyes 8.0 on Windows 8 as this will fail.
Java is a programming language invented by Sun Microsystems in the mid 1990's that is now maintained by Oracle. One of Java's strengths is that programs written in this language can run on multiple operating systems including Windows. Thus, it is very popular (especially in educational and enterprise environments). As of Window-Eyes 8.0, graphical Java applications which take advantage of Oracle's own Swing control set or use Java's accessibility API are now fully accessible via the Java Access Bridge for both 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows.
When the Window-Eyes 8.0 setup is first run, it will automatically detect any Java runtime environments (JREs) that are registered on your computer and offer to install the Java Access Bridge components for you. If you answer "Yes" to this question, then any program which uses the existing JRE will also include the accessibility features provided by the Java Access Bridge and Window-Eyes. You must install the Java Access Bridge for any other JREs that are installed after Window-Eyes 8.0. To do this, simply run the "Install Java Access Bridge" shortcut from the Window-Eyes Advanced Options pulldown in the Start menu. As before, you will be given an option to install accessibility support for any newly installed JREs or remove the Java Access Bridge entirely.
Note that it is imperative that any graphical Java applications you intend to run are built using controls which take advantage of Java's accessibility API (such as Oracle's own SWING components or IBM's SWT controls); other frameworks have not been evaluated.
-- Internet Enhancements
The internet has become an integral part of the computing experience, and customers like you have provided much in the way of constructive feedback regarding Window-Eyes' internet support. GW Micro has listened, and we are pleased to bring you the following internet enhancements:
* Support for Internet Explorer 10 Window-Eyes 8.0 includes full support for Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 as well as both the desktop and modern apps in Windows 8.
* WAI-ARIA Compliance WAI-ARIA, the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite, defines a way to make web content and Web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. The standard (defined at http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/aria.php) is becoming more common in today's dynamic web. As of Window-Eyes 8.0, ARIA is now supported outside of Browse Mode in Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. As a consequence, most of today's dynamic web applications which have been designed to take advantage of ARIA which did not function in older versions of Window-Eyes now work beautifully in Window-Eyes 8.0. Note that this support includes ARIA control navigation, landmarks, and live regions.
* Updated Tab Handling To improve general website navigation, presses of the Tab and Shift-Tab keys are now passed directly to the underlying browser. Therefore, any dynamic web applications which use ARIA controls or that specify a custom Tab order will now work seamlessly when you are in or out of Browse Mode.
* Automatic Form Interaction Window-Eyes 8.0 now includes an option to automatically turn Browse Mode off whenever a form element is reached via the Tab or Shift-Tab keys. Thus, you need no longer worry about having to disable Browse Mode to type text into an edit box, arrow through combo boxes, or work with a specialized ARIA control. Simply Tab through web pages and let Window-Eyes take the guess work out of turning Browse Mode on and off for you. Note that you can always re-enable Browse Mode by pressing Control-Shift-A or, new in Window-Eyes 8.0, with the Escape key. It is important to remember that the automatic toggling of Browse Mode only applies when you are Tabbing through web sites. Navigating by any other means (such as with the Arrows or dedicated Browse Mode element keys) will leave you in browse Mode as they always have.
If you would prefer that Window-Eyes act as it did in previous releases and not automatically enable and disable Browse Mode as you Tab through web pages, open the Window-Eyes control panel, navigate to the Verbosity/Browse Mode/Autoload settings group, and change "Allow Automatic Form Interaction When Browse Mode is Enabled" to "no." You may also disable the "Use Escape to Re-Enable Browse Mode" option.
* Updated Browse Mode Indications In previous versions of Window-Eyes, the Browse Mode state was always announced via speech or Braille whenever it changed; e.g. you would hear "Browse on" or "Browse off." Now, you can choose how changes in the Browse Mode state are announced by navigating to the Verbosity/Browse Mode/Autoload settings group and changing "When Browse Mode is Toggled On or Off." The available choices are "do not indicate," "indicate with speech," "indicate with tones," and "indicate with speech and tones." By default, "indicate with tones" is selected. If you wish to adjust the sounds which are played when the Browse Mode state changes, you can do so within the sounds applet of the Windows control panel.
* General Browse Mode Improvements:
- In general, web pages load much more quickly into browse Mode in Internet Explorer and Firefox.
- Field names are read much more accurately in both Internet Explorer and Firefox when Tabbing through web forms.
- When arrowing through combo boxes and list boxes, the selected item is now read correctly regardless of the browser in use. In addition, the expanded or collapsed state of the drop down is voiced.
- Typing and navigating in Internet Explorer 9 and 10 edit boxes is much faster and more accurate.
- Reactivating Browse Mode in Internet Explorer and Firefox no longer causes your position to reset to the beginning of the web page buffer. Now, your position is restored when possible. In addition, if you Alt-Tab away from an open browser window and later return to it, your position will be retained (assuming the web page did not change in the mean time).
- If your Browse Mode focus was on a form element such as an edit box, pressing Enter would deactivate Browse Mode and focus the control so you could interact with it. However, pressing Control-Shift-A would only deactivate Browse Mode. Now, both keys will disable Browse Mode and ensure you are focused on the control. In addition, clicking on an edit box or similar control with the mouse will cause Browse Mode to deactivate so that you can begin working with the control immediately.
- The content of password edit boxes would sometimes appear empty in Braille for Internet Explorer 8 through 10. This has been corrected.
- The route mouse to focus command now works 100% of the time in Firefox and Internet Explorer. In addition, if the element to which the mouse is routed was not previously visible on the screen, it is scrolled into view for the benefit of sighted users.
- Window-Eyes was not reading HTML message boxes generated by Firefox 4 and newer. This has been fixed.
* It is now possible to navigate by specific form elements in Browse Mode. In addition, some default Browse Mode key assignments have changed. The new commands are as follows: - Next Button: B - Prior Button: Shift-B - Next Combo Box: C - Prior Combo Box: Shift-C - Next Edit Box: E - Prior Edit Box: Shift-E - Next Radio Button: R - Prior Radio Button: Shift-R - Next Check Box: X - Prior Check Box: Shift-X - Next Form Control: F - Prior Form Control: Shift-F - Next Form: Undefined - Prior Form: Undefined - Next Field Set: Undefined - Prior Field Set: Undefined - Next Text: N - Prior Text: Shift-N - Control Search Mode Forward: Slash - Control Search Mode Back: Shift-Slash - Automatic Form Interaction Toggle: Control-Slash
* It is now possible to navigate via ARIA landmarks in Internet Explorer and Firefox. Either use the next/prior landmark keys (Semicolon and Shift-Semicolon by default) or select your desired landmark inside the Window-Eyes Page Navigation dialog accessed with Insert-Tab. Additionally, a verbosity option to speak the number of available landmarks when a web page loads has been added to the Verbosity/Browse Mode/New Page Information 2 settings group in the Window-Eyes control panel. Note that unlike Window-Eyes placemarkers, the presence and placement of ARIA landmarks is controlled by web content authors.
* In Internet Explorer, you can now select text and preserve its formatting. To do this, first locate the section of the web page you want to select in Browse Mode and press Control-Shift-C. Next, move to the end of the desired area and press Control-Shift-C a second time. A dialog will then open asking you whether you want to copy only text or also text with images. Once you have made your choice, the selection will be copied to the Windows clipboard. Again, this feature is available only in Internet Explorer.
++Enhancements Between Window-Eyes 188.8.131.52 and Window-Eyes 8.0
-- Remote Assistance The Window-Eyes remote assistance feature introduced in version 7.5 has proved to be wildly successful, and Window-Eyes 8.0 includes more enhancements and improvements to make this tool even more useful.
There are now two versions of remote assistance: legacy and modern. The legacy version is included to allow connections to and from Windows XP as well as to anyone running Window-Eyes 7.5.2, 7.5.3, 7.5.4, or 184.108.40.206. The modern implementation acts just like the legacy client but takes advantage of features available under Windows Vista and newer to provide new features and significant performance improvements. It however, is only functional on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 and can connect only to other Window-Eyes 8.0 users. Take note, too, that due to restrictions in Windows 8, there is presently no way to establish a remote assistance session with a Windows XP user. Note, too, that the modern client requires version 4 of the Microsoft .Net Framework. If .Net 4 is not installed, Window-Eyes will prompt you to install it before the modern Remote Assistance client can be used.
If the above sounds confusing, just keep in mind that some of the new remote assistance features discussed below will not work under Windows XP, and Windows XP and Windows 8 remote assistance connections are not possible. In addition, Window-Eyes will automatically choose the appropriate version of remote assistance based on the versions of Windows on both ends of the connection. For instance, if you are running Windows 7 and help someone on Windows XP, the legacy client will be used. Or, if you help someone on Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8, the modern client will be used instead.
* It is now possible to copy and paste text via the clipboard inside the modern client.
* Using the physical mouse in the legacy remote assistance client was very slow. While this symptom still exists in the legacy client, it has been corrected for the modern one.
* Speech generated on the computer providing assistance would sometimes be transmitted to the helping machine. This has been fixed.
* If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7 and ask for help, you will see a "use legacy helper" checkbox. Check this option if the person providing assistance is running Windows XP; if you do not, the legacy helper running on the helper's machine will be unable to connect to you. The "use legacy" checkbox will not appear on Windows XP or Windows 8 machines.
* The modern client now detects whether you are trying to connect to someone on your local network or to a party located elsewhere. Thus, when using Windows Vista and newer on both ends of the connection, you do not need to specify what type of network (local or otherwise) is being used. However, if the legacy helper is involved at either end of the connection, then you must specify the network type as before.
* File transfers between remote assistance participants has been implemented for the modern client. To transfer a file from the machine receiving help to the helper, open the "Send File" option from the File menu, select the file to be downloaded, and click the "Open" button. Similarly, to send a file from the helper's machine to the person receiving help, open the Helper menu and select "Send File." As above, select the file to upload, click "Open," and the file will be sent. Since all file transfers are handled on the machine receiving help, simply use its client to initiate transfers in either direction. You do not need to exit the session to transfer files. Note that only one file can be transferred at a time. In addition, this feature is unavailable in the legacy helper.
* If multiple monitors are active on the machine receiving assistance, the "Smart Sizing" option under the Helper menu will allow the person providing assistance to view the entire contents of the remote computer's desktop. When smart sizing is disabled, only the contents of the primary monitor will be visible. This feature will only benefit sighted users; it will not impact the performance of remote assistance in any other way.
* Newer versions of Thunderbird do not properly set your focus to the inbox when the program opens. The TB Enhance app which ships as part of Window-Eyes 8.0 corrects this problem.
* There were rare occasions when Windows Live Mail would enter Browse Mode when it should not have done so. This has been fixed.
* There was a problem when selecting text in Windows Live Mail. This has been fixed.
* The Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Messenger about dialogs could not be read with the Read Active Window command. This problem has been resolved.
* Window-Eyes did not speak when backspacing in the quoted text area of a message in Thunderbird. This has been corrected.
* When using the extended selection command in Word 2007 and 2010, pressing any of the arrow keys would clear the selection. This has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes would sometimes say "pane" when navigating the Office 2007 and 2010 installers rather than read the installers' window contents. This has been fixed.
* Outlook 2007 and 2010 users have long been confronted with difficulty when reading HTML-based emails. The primary cause for such frustration is that only Microsoft Word can be used to render emails in these versions whereas one could pick among several message viewers in 2003 and earlier. If a complex HTML message was received that Word failed to display properly, the user could previously only either try to read it as plain text or use the client's "view in browser" option. However, thanks to the updated Outlook Enhance app which accompanies Window-Eyes 8.0, HTML messages can now be read using traditional Browse Mode commands directly inside Outlook. Please consult the Outlook Enhance documentation for more details.
* There were some problems when trying to read the Rules dialog in Outlook 2010. These have been fixed.
* If "show all characters" or "show paragraph symbols" was enabled in Word, Window-Eyes would sometimes speak and display the paragraph symbol twice. This has been fixed.
* The name for the Focus display in the list of supported Braille displays has been changed to "Focus Blue / Focus Classic." The support for this display is otherwise unchanged from Window-Eyes 220.127.116.11.
* Window-Eyes would not always display the correct cursor position in Braille when editing Thunderbird messages. This has been fixed.
* There were some reports of problems using Braille with UIA combo boxes and edit boxes. These have been resolved.
* The Handy Tech drivers have been updated.
* Support has been added for the Handy Tech Basic Braille display.
* New copies of Window-Eyes 8.0 now ship with the Nuance Vocalizer speech synthesizer instead of DECTalk Access 32. Customers upgrading from previous Window-Eyes releases will still have access to DECTalk, but a license must be purchased in order to use Vocalizer. Similarly, new Window-Eyes 8.0 customers who wish to use DECTalk Access 32 will need to purchase a license for that synthesizer. For more information, please visit www.gwmicro.com/voices. Note that both versions include the Eloquence synthesizer.
* The default backup synthesizer has been changed to Eloquence.
* If the Window-Eyes video driver was missing or could not be installed, previous versions would speak an error message and exit. In Window-Eyes 8.0, however, an error tone will sound when Window-Eyes starts, and the program will continue to run in limited mode. In addition, the Window-Eyes Help/About dialog will alert you that the video driver is missing. While in limited mode, programs to which Window-Eyes can talk directly will speak just as they always have, but because there is no off-screen model at this point, some other applications will read differently or not at all. Therefore, GW Micro recommends installing video support where possible to provide the best screen access experience. One advantage to limited mode, however, is that mobile installations can now speak without first requiring the presence of the Window-Eyes video support driver.
* Window-Eyes can now be run in Windows safe mode. To enable this support, open the Window-Eyes control panel, choose the Apps menu, select Windows Enhanced, and press Enter on "Enable Audio Support in Safe Mode." Note that this option is unavailable if Window-Eyes is running in demonstration mode.
* When it starts, Window-Eyes will now un-mute the master volume if it is muted, and set the volume level to 50% if it is set to 0. This behavior is controllable under the General/Startup Options settings group.
* The Windows Enhanced app which is now included with Window-Eyes 8.0 provides a convenient hot key to mute or unmute your default sound card. By default, this command is assigned to Control-Windows-M.
* Many areas of Window-Eyes have been optimized to provide much snappier responsiveness when navigating through Windows as a whole.
* Window-Eyes 8.0 includes full support for right-to-left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. If an Arabic or Hebrew synthesizer is installed, Window-Eyes is now able to send text to it in the proper order. In addition, Arabic and Hebrew Braille translation tables are now included.
* The Window-Eyes check for updates dialog accessed via the Help menu is now able to download and run updates directly. While you may still visit the GW Micro upgrade website to download your updates, this step is now optional.
* The Office Enhance app (which provides better access to the Microsoft Office spell checker) and WEDiag app (which provides Window-Eyes diagnostic information) are now included by default.
* If you are behind a proxy or firewall, Window-Eyes can now be configured to use it instead of trying to access the internet directly. The proxy address (and optionally any login credentials) can be specified in the General/Internet Options area of the Window-Eyes settings tree when advanced options are enabled. Note that if the proxy address is empty, Window-Eyes will access the internet as it always has in prior versions.
* The mouse drag and drop hot key (Insert-Numpad-Delete by default) did not work correctly. This has been fixed.
* There were some instances where Window-Eyes would return the wrong module name for the active application. This has been fixed.
* Using the Keyboard Voice Rotor hot key (Insert-2 by default) would cycle through only 6 out of the 8 possible choices. This has been fixed.
* An issue which could cause Xplorer 2 to crash has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes' number processing has been improved to correct potential pronunciation issues with Eloquence, Vocalizer, and likely other synthesizers.
* While you could select multiple apps to encrypt in the Window-Eyes App Management pull-down, only the first app would be recognized. This has been corrected so that you can select only one app at a time to encrypt.
* If you deleted document-specific settings until there were no more to remove, keyboard focus remained on the "Delete" button even though it was disabled. This has been fixed.
* There were some cases where opening the Windows 7 Event Viewer would cause the CPU activity to jump to 100%. This has been corrected.
* Window-Eyes 8.0 now includes the Insert Key Layout. This set of keyboard commands (which ships as an app) provides hot keys which will be familiar to users of other adaptive products. By default, the layout is disabled but can be toggled on and off with Control-Alt-0. For a full set of available commands, open Window-Eyes, go to the Apps menu, choose "Insert Key Layout," and press Enter on "Help."
* Window-Eyes 8.0 can automatically place the mouse pointer over balloon tooltips (under Windows XP, Vista, and 7) or on toast messages (found in Windows 8). It is consequently much easier to acknowledge and interact with these previously elusive messages; simply press the left mouse button hot key (which is Numpad-Slash by default). This behavior can be enabled and disabled by going into the Window-Eyes control panel, opening Apps/Windows Enhanced/Toasts and Balloon Tips, and pressing Enter on "Automatically Route Mouse to Toasts and Balloon Tips."
* The "read window" hot key accessed with Control-Shift-W has always read the entire contents of windows and dialog boxes (when available). However, if the window contents are garbled or do not appear in the Window-Eyes off-screen model, a second press of this hot key will cause Window-Eyes to read the window using its available accessibility data instead.
* When a password edit box is encountered, Window-Eyes will now identify it as a "secure edit box."
* There was a problem where Window-Eyes would sometimes stop announcing Desktop icons when navigating via the Arrow keys. This has been resolved.
* Window-Eyes 7.5 introduced support for Microsoft's UI Automation technology (which enables screen readers to speak inside applications built with Microsoft's Windows Presentation Foundation technology). However, some older programs will not function correctly or shut down if UI Automation is active. Therefore, an option to enable or disable Window-Eyes UIA support has been added to the General/Other settings group in the Window-Eyes control panel. Note that Window-Eyes must be restarted for this change to take effect. Note too, that by disabling UIA support, any program which relies on UIA to convey accessibility information (such as Internet Explorer 9/10, Visual Studio 2010/2012, and possibly others) will no longer speak.
* A new section called "Autoload" has been added to the Verbosity/Browse Mode settings group of Window-Eyes. The automatic Browse Mode toggle settings are located here, and the "automatically load Browse Mode buffer" setting has been relocated to this group.
* As links can exist in places other than the web, the "Speak Link" verbosity option is now located under the Verbosity/Common/Focused settings group of the Window-Eyes control panel.
* Window-Eyes would freeze if the read sentence hot key was pressed while focus was inside a UIA edit box. This has been fixed.
* Modifying the behavior of the backspace cursoring key definition would sometimes cause Window-Eyes to either assign a second action to the key, or the cursor delay would be reset to 0. Both of these problems have been fixed.
* If the Window-Eyes control panel was opened directly into the "Cursor Keys" settings group, the first and second action combo boxes would sometimes become out of sync with the item selected in the "Keys" listview. This has been fixed.
* With certain fonts in Notepad, Window-Eyes would not speak anything when arrowing to a carriage return. This has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes now recognizes the progress bars in Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials.
* Depending on one's punctuation settings, the speak line command (executed in Notepad) would occasionally voice only a few characters rather than the entire line. This has been fixed.
* Window-Eyes' built-in support for speaking changes to the CWAccess window in Sonar (which was removed in Window-Eyes 7.5.2) can now be re-enabled by adding "EnableCWAccess=1" to the "misc" section of wineyes.ini. The Basic Sonar app (for Sonar 8.5 and earlier) is no longer required.
* The Read to Me and Voice Rotor apps have been updated to support the new Vocalizer synthesizer.
* A link to GW Micro's training services has been added to the Documentation pull-down of the Help menu.
* An option to reach the GW Micro voices web page has been added to the Help menu.
* When executing mouse-related hot keys through scripting, Window-Eyes would voice the command being activated. This has been fixed.
* Added Application.UseAlternateResource to allow you to use either the native English interface or a custom resource when Window-Eyes restarts. When set to True, the alternate resource is used. If set to False, the English resource is used. This feature is only beneficial for users running Window-Eyes in a language other than English.
* When the active engine is a JScript interpreter, Window-Eyes now takes advantage of the 5.8 feature set instead of defaulting to version 5.7. Among other benefits, Window-Eyes can now take advantage of JScript's built-in JSON support. More information about the updated engine is available at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jscript/archive/2009/04/17/versioning-language-features-in-jscript.aspx.
* When multiple scripts attempt to register the same hot key, the first to do so would keep the assignment. This has been changed so that the last script to register the key wins.
* Keyboard.Registerhot keyEx has been added to allow you to assign priority levels to each of your script's hot keys. It works just like the original Keyboard.Registerhot key method but includes an optional priority level as its final parameter. You can specify a value from the newly added hot keyPriority enumeration (hpLow, hpMedium, and hpHigh). For example:
Dim myhot key : Set myhot key = Keyboard.Registerhot keyEx("F12", "DoSomething", , , , hpHigh)
This would register f12 as a high priority keystroke. If anybody else registered a low or medium priority hot key to F12, the high priority would win; thus, pressing F12 would still call the "DoSomething" function.
When handling multiple hot keys registered to the same key, Window-Eyes will use the most recently registered key at the highest priority level. Thus, anything registered at a high priority level will override anything registered at a medium priority. If there is no high priority registered then the last medium priority key will win. If there is no medium priority then the last low priority key will win. Note the Keyboard.Registerhot key method still exists, and any key registered with it is assigned a priority level of hpMedium.
* A read-only property called "Priority" has been added to the Registeredhot key object to allow you to query any registered key for its respective priority level. A hot keyPriority enumeration will be returned.
* Calling the Application.Dialog() method could introduce a buffer overrun error. This has been fixed.
* If Application.Menu was called with a UNC filename passed as the path to the menu's XML, Window-Eyes would claim the file did not exist. This has been fixed.
* BrowseModeLinkVerbosity.Indication now always returns bliNone and has been deprecated.
* BrowseModeMiscVerbosity.AutoToggle and BrowseModeMiscVerbosity.ModeIndicator properties have been added.
* The FocusedVerbosity.BrowseModeLinkIndication and FocusedVerbosityScope.IndicateLink properties (which indicate when or if links are announced) have been added.
* The BrowseModeNewPageVerbosity.NumberOfLandmarks and BrowseModeNewPageVerbosityScope.NumberOfLandmarks properties (which specify whether Window-Eyes announces the number of landmarks on new pages) has been added.
* The BrowseModeMiscVerbosity.QuickReview and FocusedVerbosityScope.QuickReview properties (which indicate whether pressing the Escape key re-enables Browse Mode when it is disabled) has been added.
* StartupOptions.UnMute and StartupOptions.StartupMessage properties have been added.
* The smNone, smWindowEyes, and smWindowEyesWithVersion enumerations have been added for use with the StartupOptions.UnMute and StartupOptions.StartupMessage properties.
NOTE: Please refer to the updated scripting manual for detailed information about all new objects, properties, methods, and enumerations.