Welcome to Window-Eyes 4.0
“Unleashing the power of your mind’s eye.”
October 16, 2000
Welcome to Window-Eyes 4.0, the latest version of the most “Rock Solid” screen reader available. We have come a long way since Window-Eyes 3.1, and appreciate everyone who assisted us during the public beta process.
The following is a list of some of the major enhancements and fixes between Window-Eyes 3.1 and Window-Eyes 4.0. To jump directly to the Braille features, search for ****.
Window-Eyes 4.0 – Performance, Reliability, and Stability
Window-Eyes is now much, much faster in MSAA mode. On a Pentium II 333Mhz, 128MB RAM, a web page that once took seven minutes to load, now takes 12 seconds. It is important to note that this is the MSAA load time, not the download time. If your connection to the Internet is slow, then you will experience a longer delay before MSAA begins loading than someone with a faster connection. The MSAA load time, however, will be noticeably faster. NOTE: Due to a Microsoft bug (that they are aware of and are working with us to solve), this speedup will only be noticed in Internet Explorer 5.5. You will also notice the speed improvement if you are using Internet Explorer 5.0 or 5.01 in anything but 256 colors. We strongly suggest you upgrade your version of Internet Explorer to version 5.5 if at all possible.
To download the latest Internet Explorer 5.5, follow these steps:
1. Go to: http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/ie/
2. Click on the link titled "Download Internet Explorer 5.5."
3. Click on the button labeled "Download Now."
4. In the download dialog, select the radio button titled "Save the program to disk."
5. Press enter.
6. Choose a location to save the file, and press enter.
7. Once the file has downloaded, find it in the folder that you specified in the save file location, highlight it, and press enter.
8. Follow the prompts to download and install Internet Explorer 5.5.
The system tray hotkey is much faster. Pressing the INSERT-S hot key will now provide you instantly with a list of all of the icons presently in the system tray. In fact, because Window-Eyes' system tray access is so fast, we were able to remove the recalculate button in the system tray dialog. If Window-Eyes can't find the systray or items in it the systray, it will always speak "system tray unavailable" rather than either beep or do nothing.
The auto label graphics function is much faster in standard tool bars. In many applications you will find similar toolbars that contain graphics like new, open, save, print, etc. Because these graphics are so widely used, Window-Eyes can now label them much faster than previous versions.
We officially no longer support Windows 3.1. With the advancements of the Microsoft Windows operating system, we are no longer able to provide many of the features used in Window-Eyes in the older Windows 3.1 OS. For example, the Window-Eyes install won't function under Windows 3.1, and MSAA is not available under Windows 3.1. As you can imagine, these are very important features of Window-Eyes, and strong enough reasons to no longer support Windows 3.1. We have, however, included support for Windows Millennium.
Combo boxes are now more accurate and faster, and will also provide you with the index of the currently selected item.
We have added the Read Paragraph Style option to the screen menu. This setting defaults to auto, which will eliminate line pauses for the 12 prior, current, and next mouse and caret sentence and paragraph keys and the read-to-end key. Turning this setting off will restore all line pausing and turning the setting on will eliminate all line pausing all of the time. This only applies to DEC Access32, DEC PC, DEC Express, and SAPI.
Reading lines, words, or characters is now twice as fast.
Speak summary now always gives the current and total index for list boxes, list views, tree views, and radio buttons regardless of the verbosity setting in miscellaneous for current index.
The spell alphanumeric option was added to the screen menu. When this option is on Window-Eyes will spell items such as ham sign calls that contain both letters and numbers.
The split mixed case words option was added to the screen menu. When this option is on Window-Eyes will say the word "FileOpen" as "File Open" which should help when reading programming code. When this option is on with acronyms, words such as IBM will be spelled out like I B M.
Window-Eyes will now speak words that are split in to different clips due to changes in font, font size, font style, or color correctly when reading by word, line, sentence, paragraph, or window.
Window-Eyes now says, "dialog" for buttons that end with dot dot dot to indicate that pressing them opens a dialog.
The Read-to-End feature has been enhanced. Window-Eyes will now go back to the last line that was read when you cancel the Read-to-End by hitting ESCAPE.
You can now type letters in succession to get to a synthesizer in the synthesizer selection list box.
We have implemented the notify on clip, window, and line change options in the mouse verbosity dialog. Please refer to Section 5.5 in the Window-Eyes manual for more information.
The mouse attribute/ASCII hotkey will now say "not on a clip" when you are not on a clip or not on a text clip when you press it the first time and the second time it will say "pixel rx gx bx" (where x equals a number) to announce the color under the pixel.
The mouse position hotkey will now give the coordinates relative to the mouse boundary setting (full screen, active window, user window, or focused window).
We no longer lock SAPI engine files if SAPI isn't being used as the synthesizer. This will allow you to update SAPI files without having to reboot and will also use less memory.
We added support for the TripleTalk PCI synthesizer. Our TripleTalk driver is now a 32-bit driver so it works in Windows ME and no longer requires the TripleTalk ttalkdos.com TSR. This change will, however, prevent the TripleTalk from reading the control-alt-delete dialogs and GPF dialogs.
Our DEC Access32 driver now uses the maximum volume for volume 9. Note that if you lower your Window-Eyes volume that the wav volume of your sound card will also get lowered.
We have converted WEFixSet to a Windows application, instead of a DOS application. You can run WEFixSet from the Window-Eyes File, Convert Set Files to Current Format menu option. Any time you copy in set files older than Window-Eyes 4.0, you will need to use the WEFixSet utility to convert your old sets to the new set format.
You can now install and uninstall set files from the set file selection dialog. Also, a read-only edit box will show the readme.txt file for the group of sets that are selected or if there is no readme.txt file it will say, "no information is available."
We have added the Window-Eyes Update option that currently takes you to our Window-Eyes update page where you can register and upgrade your copy of Window-Eyes online.
We have added the copy settings from window button to the select user window, select hyperactive window, user window definition, and hyperactive window definition dialogs. In the select user window and select hyperactive window dialogs you can enter a window number from 0 to 49 or a to z and the coordinates from this window will be copied to the current window. If only one of the windows is float then only the coordinates will be copied, but if both windows are float then all values relating to float windows will be copied. With the user window definition and hyperactive window definition dialogs you can enter window numbers 0 to 49 for the user window definition and a to z for the hyperactive window definition and all definition settings excluding coordinate settings will be copied to the current window.
The Mouse pointer identification options in the mouse menu have been
Edit dictionaries dialog’s has been fixed up so that streamlines UI.
We have changed the alt-home and alt-end top and bottom of frame MSAA mode keys to insert-home and insert-end to avoid a conflict with alt-home, which IE uses to take you to your home page.
We have added a MSAA verbosity dialog to the verbosity and global verbosity menus. This dialog includes the following options:
* Identify MSAA controls defaults to unchecked. If this option is on Window-Eyes will say "m" before a MSAA control. For example "m check box."
* The auto load check box defaults to checked. You can also toggle this feature with the 'a' key while in MSAA mode. If auto load is on Window-Eyes will turn MSAA mode on when a new page loads (NOTE: this will not work in versions of Internet Explorer earlier than 5.5). When auto load is off, Window-Eyes will not automatically load a new page.
* Announce progress messages while loading page defaults to checked. If this option is on Window-Eyes will say the "downloading page" "loading page" "load done" "looking for visible line" "visible line found" and "previous position found" messages and if the option is off none of these messages will be spoken.
* Identify visited links defaults to checked. If this option is on Window Eyes will identify visited links.
* Identify links during read-to-end defaults to checked. If this option is on Window-Eyes will identify links during read-to-end and if it is off Window-Eyes will not identify links during read-to-end.
* Read entire page when load complete defaults to unchecked. If this option is on Window-Eyes will do a read-to-end when the page finishes loading and if it is off Window-Eyes will read the first 24 lines in the MSAA buffer.
* The next text minimum line length edit box defaults to 1 meaning that the alt-insert-up and alt-insert-down arrows will go to the next line of text. You can set this from 1 to 255 meaning that the line will have to be x characters or longer for Window-Eyes to go to it.
* The next text consecutive lines edit box to the MSAA verbosity dialog.
This defaults to 1 and ranges from 1 to 255. The alt-insert-up and alt-insert-down arrow commands will look for the number of text lines that you set in this dialog to appear in a row and once they find this number or more they will go to the first line if you are going down or the last line if you are going up in the group of text lines.
Window-Eyes will now say "MSAA mode not available" if you try to use MSAA mode in a place where it isn't applicable.
We now read the tooltips in MSN Messenger. When you have the messenger window closed, and someone sends you a message, Window-Eyes will speak the message. The same will be true is someone in your contact list logs on; Window-Eyes will speak their name and tell you that they have signed in.
You can no longer position the MSAA cursor on the names of controls, the top and bottom lines, or any other special text such as "frame" that we insert in to the MSAA buffer. This text is also no longer copied to the clipboard when selecting text.
The Window-Eyes 4.0 User’s Guide (or manual) is now in 32 bit help format instead of the older 16 bit format. Simply arrow down through the topics, press ENTER on the one you want to read, and press F6, which will load MSAA, allowing you to read the manual just like a web page. Pressing F6 again will toggle you back to the list of topics.
Many of the Window-Eyes set files now have graphics labeled in 256, 16 bit, high contrast black 256, and high contrast black 16 bit colors for both Windows 98 and Windows Millennium.
Window-Eyes now offers more enhanced support for the following applications:
AOL 6, Access 2000, Access 97, Adobe 5, Cakewalk 9.01, EZ CD Creator, Eudora, Excel 2000, Excel 97, Firetalk, Forte Agent, Fox Pro, Internet Explorer 5.5, Juno 4, Juno 5, Lotus Notes 5, MSN Messenger, Media Player 6.4, Media Player 7.0, Music Match Jukebox, MS Config, Norton SystemWorks, NoteTab, Outlook 2000, Outlook Express, PMMail, Sound Forge, WinAMP, Windows phone dialer, Word 2000, Word 97, WordPad, WordPerfect 8, WordPerfect 9, Zone Alarm, as well as applications created by Borland Delphi, Visual Basic 5 and Visual Basic 6.