Window-Eyes: Performance, Reliability, and Stability
"Unleashing the power of your mind's eye."
(C)1995-2015 Ai Squared. All rights reserved.
E-Mail: wesupport@aisquared.com
Phone: 802-362-3612
Released: 7/27/2015

[Please note: The following information can also be found in the Window-Eyes Help menu, under the Documentation pull-down.]

Welcome to Window-Eyes 9.2

Ai Squared is proud to announce the release of Window-Eyes 9.2. In addition to all of the enhancements presented in Window-Eyes 9.0 and 9.1, this version introduces support for Windows 10, compatibility with Adobe Reader DC, preliminary support for the Office 2016 preview, and numerous under-the-hood improvements.

Keep reading to learn more about Window-Eyes 9.2 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 an Ai Squared e-mail list? There are several to choose from: Talk for lively discussions of Window-Eyes, News for Ai Squared news announcements only, Apps for users of Window-Eyes apps, and many more. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or manage an existing subscription, visit http://www.gwmicro.com/lists.

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!

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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 8.x or 9.x (including 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 9.0, or 9.1) installed before installing Window-Eyes 9.2.

2. Window-Eyes 9.2 will not install over a version of Window-Eyes less than 8.0. If you are running a version of Window-Eyes less than 8.0, you will need to upgrade to Window-Eyes 9.2 by contacting our orders department at 802-362-3612, or sales@aisquared.com.

3. As of Window-Eyes 9.2, all legacy Windows XP support has ended. If you wish to use Window-Eyes 9.2 and you are still running XP, you must upgrade to a more modern operating system.

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.

++Windows 10

Window-Eyes 9.2 provides support for Windows 10: the latest operating system from Microsoft. Windows 10 behaves much like previous versions, and the learning curve should be small, especially if you are transitioning from Windows 8 or newer. The following are a few notes on what to expect in the new version of Windows. This list is by no means exhaustive, however, and Ai Squared will be creating in depth training materials for Windows 10.

-- The New Start Menu

The Start Menu in Windows 10 behaves much like the Start Menu in Windows 7 and the Start Screen found in Windows 8. if you are accessing your machine with a keyboard and mouse, Windows will display a Start Menu that resembles the same control from Windows 7. If you are using a tablet and do not have a mouse or keyboard connected, a Windows 8-style Start Screen will appear instead. The following information pertains to the Windows 7-style menu, as it is most likely what will be encountered.

When you first launch the Start Menu via the Windows key, your keyboard focus lands in the "Search' edit box. Here, you can type the name of a program, document, Windows shortcut, location on your hard drive, internet search term, etc. Window-Eyes will announce the search results as they appear, and you can use the Up and Down Arrow keys to navigate among them.

As you Tab through the Start Menu, you will encounter several groups of related items, such as the Cortana search assistant, recently used programs, frequently accessed locations on your hard drive, recently viewed documents, and possibly more. In any of these categories, you can Arrow among the items and activate them with the Enter key. Because the Start Menu is very customizable, the number of groups you find with Tab may vary.

As with previous versions of Windows, it is possible to navigate through all of the apps installed on your computer from within the Start Menu. To accomplish this task:
1. Open the Start Menu with the Windows key. Focus is placed on the "Search" edit box.
2. Press the Up Arrow to land on the "All Apps" button, followed by Enter to activate it.
3. You are next placed in a list of apps organized into alphabetical groups. The Up and Down Arrow keys will move between each app, and Window-Eyes will announce when you enter a new letter group. Note that unlike standard list views, first-letter navigation will not work here. If you wish to navigate to a specific letter group, Tab one time to move to the list of groups, Arrow to the letter you desire, and Shift-Tab back to the apps list and continue navigating.
4. If you hear that an item in the apps list is a folder, Window-Eyes will also announce whether it is open or closed. You can open and close folders by pressing Enter. Once a folder is open, you can Down Arrow into it to access the items it contains.
5. If Window-Eyes reports that an app has a jump list, and you wish to access it, press the Right Arrow to move to the "Jump List" button, followed by Enter to activate it. Jump lists typically link to recently used documents associated to the program in question; e.g. Microsoft Word's jump list would hold a list of recent Word documents, and Notepad would link to text files.
6. To exit the "All Apps" screen, Tab to the "Back" button and press Enter to activate it. Its caption will change to "All Apps," and you can Down Arrow one time to return to the "Search" box.

If you wish to access the power options, e.g. to restart your computer, put it to sleep, or lock it via the Start Menu:
1. Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu.
2. Press the Up Arrow twice to access the "Power" button, followed by Enter to activate it.
3. A menu will open. Use the Up and Down Arrow keys to select the item you wish, and press Enter to execute your choice. Pressing Escape will close the menu.
Note that it is still possible to press Windows-D to move to the Desktop followed by Alt-F4 to open the classic "Windows Shutdown" dialog.

-- The Microsoft Edge Browser

Microsoft Edge is a new web browser that ships with Windows 10. Due to accessibility issues with Edge, Microsoft recommends to "Set your default web browser to Internet Explorer for a more accessible web browsing experience." Change your default browser by doing the following:
1. Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu.
2. Type "default browser" into the "Search" box.
3. A result labeled, "Change Default Web Browser" should appear. If not, use the Up and Down Arrow keys to locate it, followed by Enter to open the default browser settings screen.
4. Your focus will next land on the "Default Browser" button. If Edge is your default browser, then press Enter. Otherwise, press Alt-F4 to close the settings window.
5. You will next be placed in a group of buttons representing the browsers currently installed on your computer. Tab until you hear, "Internet Explorer," and press Enter.
6. Press Alt-F4 to close the settings screen.

if you encounter any usability problems with Windows 10, or require assistance changing your default web browser, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk. In North America, call (1) 800-936-5900. Contact details for other countries can be found at http://support.microsoft.com//answerdesk/accessibility for contact information.

++Office 2016 Preview

Window-Eyes provides preliminary support for the Office 2016 preview. This latest edition of the Office suite behaves much like Office 2013. If you wish to try the 2016 preview, we welcome your feedback on what works and which features do not.

++Changes between Window-Eyes 9.1 and Window-Eyes 9.2

-- Adobe Reader

* A problem which caused Window-Eyes to provide little or no access to documents opened in Adobe Reader DC has been corrected. DC is now as usable as previous version of Adobe Reader.

-- Browse Mode

* A new hot key has been added to make it easier to work with highly interactive dynamic web pages. This command, dubbed "Web Application Mode," can be toggled on and off with Control-Insert-A. When Web Application Mode is active, all Browse Mode hot keys (excluding the Up, Down, Left, and Right Arrows) will be passed directly to the browser. Thus, you can use the hot keys provided by a web application, such as Facebook or Google Docs, and still be able to navigate the page to read its content. note that this is a global hot key, meaning that if you enable Web Application Mode in one browser, it will remain enabled for all other open browser windows. Web Application Mode will always be disabled, however, when Window-Eyes launches, so that you will not accidentally lose access to your Browse Mode hot keys.

* If "Speak Tables" was set to "Off" in Browse Mode, none of the table-related hot keys would function. Now they do.

* A case where the wrong column headers could be read when navigating tables has been fixed.

* The "Read Current Cell" hot key was not functioning in the new Browse Mode system. Now it does.

* If you have the Verbosity -> Browse Mode -> Tables -> Speak Row and Column Numbers setting enabled, Window-Eyes will announce the row and column number of each cell as you navigate with the Arrow keys. Previously you would hear row and column coordinates only when moving via the Insert-Arrow keys.

-- Firefox

* A case where Window-Eyes would not drop out of Browse Mode when encountering tree view controls, such as those on drive.google.com, has been fixed.

* A scenario where the Window-Eyes find feature would take a long time to complete on the Yahoo Finance site has been fixed.

-- Internet Explorer

* If Internet Explorer becomes unresponsive, Window-Eyes is now more likely to resume speaking whereas it would remain hung until the IE process was terminated.

* A long-standing issue where characters could be dropped when typing into Internet Explorer edit boxes has been resolved.

* When moving back and forth through web pages, Window-Eyes would not always announce the summary data for the newly-loaded document. This has been corrected.

* A problem where Window-Eyes could lose its position on constantly-changing web pages, such as Ebay, has been fixed.

* Sluggishness which could be found on sites which embed many inline frames, such as the Facebook share widget, has been fixed.

* Support for combo edit boxes on web pages in Internet Explorer, such as the search field on www.google.com, has been improved when speech and Braille are active.

* ARIA menus, such as those found in Google Docs, are spoken and Brailled more reliably.

-- Office

* The combo edit controls in Office, such as the font name and size fields in Office 2010, and the Outlook email suggestions list, now read correctly.

* When pressing Backspace or Delete in Word, and Window-Eyes was set to "character before," not all characters would be voiced. This issue has been resolved.

-- Windows Live Mail

* An issue where Window-Eyes would not speak or Braille the message count along with the expanded/collapsed state of the folder tree in Windows Live Mail has been corrected.

-- Miscellaneous Changes

* Window-Eyes performance in modern versions of Windows, especially Windows 8 and above, has been significantly improved.

* Synthesizer responsiveness has been vastly improved, especially when software devices (like the Microsoft Speech Platform) are used.

* If Windows displayed a dialog asking for a password, Window-Eyes would often times read each character as it was entered. This problem has been fixed.

* The Windows User Account Control dialogs are now much more responsive.

* In Windows 8, if high DPI was enabled, reading text via the Window-Eyes off-screen model would most likely fail. This problem has been fixed.

* A rare crash which could occur when backspacing within the Window-Eyes package manager has been fixed.

* An issue where mouse buttons would not always speak when clicked has been fixed.

* A new verbosity option to speak a control's state has been added to the Verbosity -> Common -> Miscellaneous group in the Window-Eyes control panel. When this option is disabled, information (such as the checked state of a check box or the depth in a tree view) will not be voiced.

* The Browse Mode option has been removed from the General -> Document-Specific Settings group in the Window-Eyes control panel as it is no longer relevant.

* Window-Eyes app stability has been improved, especially with those which present their own user interface dialogs and add themselves to the Window-Eyes Apps menu.

* A timing deadlock which could occur when you stop and start Window-Eyes apps quickly when there are shared objects involved has been fixed.

* If checking for Window-Eyes updates failed, a generic error message would appear. Now, if a problem occurs, a more detailed description of the problem will display on screen.

* If Window-Eyes is restarted by activating its Desktop or Start Menu shortcut, it will remove its icon from the notification area to minimize the number of duplicate "Window-Eyes" entries in the Windows taskbar. Note, however, that this removal process will succeed only if Window-Eyes is restarted. It will not work if the Window-Eyes process is manually terminated by a third-party utility such as the Windows task manager.

* Physical mouse buttons can now be used as part of Window-Eyes hot key definitions.

* Reading text with the physical mouse pointer in modern applications, such as Internet Explorer 11, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Java-based software has been improved.

* A case where the Window-Eyes sounds could become undefined has been fixed.

* If Window-Eyes was not registered, a dialog asking you to register would appear. If you declined to do so, the dialog would open when Window-Eyes launched again. A check box has been added to tell Window-Eyes not to ask you to register when it loads. Note that you can still register your copy of Window-Eyes from the program's Help menu.

* The Window-Eyes context-sensitive help text that appears when F1 is pressed when navigating the program's settings has been updated.

-- Braille

* When Alt-Tabbing into a program which uses Browse Mode, the current line would not always appear in Braille until you navigated with the Arrow keys. Now the current line appears as it should.

* In some cases, command prompt, putty, and Alpine windows were not working with Braille correctly. This issue has been resolved.

-- Scripting

* When working with scripting dialogs, it is now possible to specify a control's font size and style. If no font attributes are supplied, the dialog's attributes will be used.

* The following dialog events have been added and will be passed to a dialog callback:

- dialogSizing
- dialogSized
- dialogMoving
- dialogMoved
- dialogShowing

* The LVN_ITEMCHANGED and LVN_ITEMCHANGING events are now passed asynchronously to improve the performance of scripting dialog list views when navigating with the Arrow keys. Apps which rely on these events may require modification.

* If the AppUpdate dialog is called from scripting, it will automatically check for updates, and then close, subsequently closing the AddRemove dialog that opened it. This means that when an app update notification from the GWToolkit appears, you can say yes, and have app updates installed with a single keypress instead of having to navigate dialogs. If you want to do it manually, you can still use the AddRemove dialog through the Apps menu.

* The WEDialogs.Main method has been added. This allows you to not only bring up the main Window-Eyes dialog but also set the default node in the tree view by specifying one of the options from the new PropertyPageClass enumeration.

* The Window.Visible property is now read/write, meaning that if you set it to false, it will hide the window. If you set it to true, it will show the window. Previously this was read only.

* When attempting to alter the MiscShortcut setting through scripting, the MenuShortcut property would change instead. This problem has been fixed.

* When manually loading a SET file via Window.LoadSet(), the associated OnSetFileActivate event would not fire. Now it does.

* If a combo box was created and then moved, its options would not always become visible when the control was expanded even though speech and Braille were correct. This issue has been fixed.

* The BrowseModeActionsVerbosity and BrowseModeActionsVerbosityScope properties have been added.

* The ControlState verbosity property has been added to the Verbosity.Miscellaneous group.

* The KeyboardLayouts and KeyboardLayout objects have been added to allow you to enumerate through existing Window-Eyes hot key layouts and change them.

* All MSAA events which were not implemented in previous versions of Window-Eyes scripting have been added, with the exception of MSAA create and destroy.



++Changes between Window-Eyes 9.0 and Window-Eyes 9.1

-- Browse Mode

* In some circumstances, pressing F8 to copy text would cause Window-Eyes to mistakenly say that the copy was unsuccessful even though the selection had been copied. This has been fixed.

* All known cases where F8 selection was reported to fail have been fixed.

* An option to copy only plain text from Browse Mode has been added to the F8 selection dialog, and it has been made the dialog's default button. Using this will omit any formatting, images, hyperlinks, and other HTML markup from being copied to the clipboard. Unlike the choice which copies formatting exactly as shown in the browser, the plain-text method will include hidden text, image descriptions, and other content visible to screen readers but which may not be shown on the screen.

* Because Mozilla-based applications provide no mechanism to copy anything other than text, the "Copy with Formatting" button will be disabled when working with Mozilla software.

* When performing a search with Control-Shift-F, Window-Eyes would read the title of the web page before announcing the new Browse Mode position. This has been fixed.

* In some cases, Browse Mode would remain on even if an interactive HTML element gained focus. All known occurrences of this problem have been resolved.

* The ]S and ]T commands to move to the end of lists and tables have been modified to move to the very end of each element, rather than the beginning of the last list item or table cell. This matches with how Browse Mode behaved in Window-Eyes 8.4 and earlier.

* The Element Properties hot key and place markers are once again available starting with Window-Eyes 9.1. Both functions are provided by the Browse Mode Enhance app which is installed automatically with this update.

* Window-Eyes now supports the ARIA grid role.

* An issue where Window-Eyes would not announce the ARIA toolbar role has been fixed.

* The aria-busy attribute is now supported.

* The ARIA selected state is now supported.

* Window-Eyes now supports the ARIA tablist role.

* ARIA spin buttons are now supported.

* Window-Eyes now announces when an ARIA application container has been entered or exited regardless of whether Browse Mode is active.

* When Browse Mode is enabled, the Space Bar can now be used interchangeably with Enter to activate items such as links.

* Cases where P and Shift-P to navigate by paragraph could stop moving at the top or bottom of web pages have been fixed.

* When moving to a blank line in Browse Mode with Braille enabled, the display would show a question-mark. This problem has been fixed.

* If the option to speak unlabeled graphics was disabled, and an item with an unlabeled graphic along with a text label was encountered, Window-Eyes would announce "blank" rather than the text of the label. This has been fixed.

* If an item has an unlabeled graphic and no alternative description, Window-Eyes will now announce the graphic's filename regardless of whether the option to announce unlabeled graphics is active.

* Cases where Window-Eyes would read web page contents even if the setting to automatically read them was disabled has been corrected.

* If a web page changed rapidly, quick navigation commands could stop functioning properly. This issue has been addressed.


-- Chrome

* In addition to Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, Window-Eyes now includes support for the Google Chrome browser. As the Window-Eyes Chrome support is brand new, please report any problems to Ai Squared using the contact methods listed above.


-- Firefox

* Firefox performance has been further optimized, especially in cases where specific large web pages could cause the browser to hang.

* An issue where the check boxes on sites like the Adobe Reader download page were not visible in Browse Mode has been fixed.

* A problem where Window-Eyes would not identify the button labels on the "new tab" page in Firefox has been fixed.

* If the setting to read entire dialog boxes was enabled, Window-Eyes would voice the contents of Firefox and Thunderbird windows when they became active. This has been resolved.


-- iTunes

* In newer versions of iTunes, it was necessary to manually refresh Browse Mode if a page in the store changed. This problem has been fixed.

-- Internet Explorer

* Cases where the Up and Down Arrow keys would yield different behavior on pages using IE 7 compatibility mode have been fixed.

* If a tab item was encountered while Browse Mode was disabled, Window-Eyes would call the control a "tab item" but would call the same control a "tab" when Browse Mode was active. Now it is called "tab" in both cases.


-- Outlook

* If the Office security updates for December, 2014 were installed, the Outlook Enhance app hot keys would stop functioning. This issue has been resolved.

* If message virtualization was enabled and Control-D was pressed to delete the active message, it was necessary to Alt-Tab back to the Outlook main window to continue working. This problem has been fixed.

* An issue where "WebBrowserRegion" would sometimes be spoken when traversing forwarded emails in the Outlook message list has been fixed.

-- Skype

* A problem where Skype Enhance could display an error message when receiving a voice or video call has been fixed.

* For optimal accessibility, please use the Skype desktop client version 7.1 or newer.


-- Thunderbird

* A problem where the hot key to read the status line in the most recent versions of Thunderbird has been fixed in the TB Enhance app.

* If the option to include field names in Braille was disabled, Window-Eyes would not speak field names for edit boxes, such as the "to," "subject," and similar items in Thunderbird. This has been fixed.

* A problem where lines could repeat when Arrowing through quoted text in Thunderbird has been fixed.


-- Windows Live Mail

* A problem where Browse Mode would engage when composing new messages in Windows Live Mail has been fixed.

* Backspacing at the end of Windows Live messages or in other areas designated as "content editable" would cause Window-Eyes to ding. Now it announces the deleted character as expected.

* Selecting text in Windows Live Mail, along with other areas designated as "content editable" now works correctly when Browse Mode is disabled.

* When composing messages, Window-Eyes would sometimes announce single letters when blank lines were encountered. This issue has been resolved.


-- Miscellaneous

* If the Backspace key was pressed and text in an edit box scrolled, Window-Eyes would read the wrong character. This has been fixed.

* The updated Browse Mode system would not function when using a mobile Window-Eyes installation. Now it does.

* A problem where the Window-Eyes control panel could not be brought to the foreground after using the Factory Settings dialog has been fixed.

* A case where Browse Mode-related commands would not function when the Insert Key Layout was already active when Window-Eyes loaded has been fixed.

* U and Shift-U have been added to move by link in the Insert Key Layout.

* The Insert Key Layout has been updated to work with Chrome.

* If a Window-Eyes app encountered an error and the author's email address resided at gwmicro.com, the report would fail to send. The GW Toolkit app has been updated to correct this problem.


-- Scripting

* A new event, Application.OnHotkey2, has been added which includes the key which preceded the hot key. For example, the number preceding certain Browse Mode commands can be intercepted using the OnHotkey2 event.

* The BrowseMode2.PlaceMarker property has been added. This read/write value allows you to retrieve or set the Browse Mode position to an existing placemarker.

* A read-only property, BrowseMode2.URL has been added.

NOTE: Please refer to the updated scripting manual for detailed information about all new objects, properties, methods, and enumerations.


++New Features in Window-Eyes 9.0

-- General Enhancements

* Window-Eyes is more trusting of MSAA-based applications. This means that programs such as Windows Media Player, Classic Shell, the native Outlook calendar, and other programs which took advantage of MSAA to convey accessibility information previously did not speak now work beautifully with Window-Eyes.

* The traditional Window-Eyes off screen model, which allowed you to review text with the mouse pointer, no longer worked when using programs which took advantage of newer video display technologies like Direct2D. Now, even if an application uses modern techniques to improve video performance, mouse navigation will work as long as the program also supports the UI Automation text pattern. Software such as Internet Explorer 9 and newer, for instance, are once again usable via the mouse navigation keys.

* Window-Eyes now hooks the keyboard at a lower level. This provides improved speed across the board, especially in Office applications. In addition, hooking at a lower level finally eliminates a common problem when attempting to use the Control-Alt-Arrow keys to adjust speech settings on the fly when an Intel video card was used. Rather than video card utilities intercepting the keys before Window-Eyes sees them, Window-Eyes now intercepts the keys first and can act appropriately before passing them on to the underlying application. Navigating the Office ribbon, moving through the Internet Explorer address bar, and even pressing the backspace key are all just a few examples of benefits provided by the lower-level keyboard hook.

* If Window-Eyes was running and you attempted to launch it again either with Control-Alt-W or the Desktop shortcut, a dialog would appear saying that Window-Eyes was already running. Now, the existing copy of Window-Eyes is closed and a new one is launched in its place.

* Preliminary support for the Windows 10 preview has been added. Be cautioned that as Windows 10 is still under development, we recommend testing it on a dedicated, non-critical computer. In addition, be aware that Ai Squared will not provide any technical support for Windows 10 until it is officially released by Microsoft. We do, however, welcome feedback on what works and what needs improvement from Windows 10 testers. Please send any feedback using the contact methods listed above.

-- Internet Enhancements

Window-Eyes now includes a brand new Browse Mode system which has been completely re-written to fully support today's modern, dynamic web. The new Browse Mode currently works with Internet Explorer and Mozilla applications like Firefox and Thunderbird. Even though the underlying nature of Browse Mode has been redesigned, the way you interact with it is very similar to previous versions of Window-Eyes. Keep reading to find out what has changed:

* The Browse Mode buffer is gone

- When a web page loaded, Window-Eyes would convert a snapshot of the page into a speech-friendly document (known as the Browse Mode buffer) which could be navigated with the Arrow keys. While this worked well for web pages whose content did not change, sites with dynamically changing content did not function well. For instance, Browse Mode either would not update with what appeared on screen, it would constantly reload in the background, or the page would use web elements that Window-Eyes did not understand. Now, the content you hear as you navigate web pages reflects the site's content in real-time, and the snapshot or buffer no longer exists. This means that even if a web page changes, Window-Eyes is able to keep up without requiring that Browse Mode be refreshed. Note that even though the buffer is gone, you can still use the same navigation commands as before to move, such as Control-Home, Control-End, the Up and Down Arrows, etc.

* Text selection changes

To select text in the new Browse Mode system, first locate the spot where you want selection to begin, and press F8. Window-Eyes will say, "selection start." Next, move to the location where you wish selection to stop, and press F8 again. This time, a dialog box will open containing three buttons:

- Copy -- When activated, copies the selection to the clipboard. You can then paste it into another application, such as Notepad or Microsoft Word. Note that pasting into a simple text editor like Notepad will merely cause the text of the selected content to appear, whereas pasting into a full-fledged word processor like Microsoft Word will retain all text formatting and images that are contained in the selection.
- Reset Selection Start -- When activated, sets the start of the selection to the current Browse Mode location.
- Cancel -- When activated, closes the dialog without doing anything.

Note that this new selection command mirrors how a fully sighted computer user would highlight text with the mouse. In fact, the selection will be visible on screen just as if a physical mouse was used rather than F8. Note that in Thunderbird, selecting text works identically to Internet Explorer and Firefox except that there is no visual indication that one has taken place. This hot key, which is called "Select Content," can also be changed in the Hot Keys -> Browse Mode section of the Window-Eyes control panel. In addition, Control-Shift-M will speak the current selection. Finally, be aware that Window-Eyes will announce whether the copy operation was successful.


* Browse Mode line length

In prior versions of Window-Eyes, the length of a line in Browse Mode was set at an arbitrary 80 characters (essentially to approximate a line on the screen). Now, however, the length of a line in Browse Mode is based on the actual length of the line shown on the computer screen. For example, a line will contain more information on it if the browser window is maximized, and not as much if it has been sized to be small. Not only does this help provide a more true-to-life rendering of the page contents, but also helps when working with someone sighted who can see what you are reading.

The only exception to this rule applies to links. A link in Browse Mode will always appear on a single line regardless of how much content it contains.

* Element Description Changes

Another important change in the Window-Eyes web support reflects how web page elements are described in Browse Mode. The most notable is that element descriptions, such as those for headings, lists, block quotes, landmarks, and other similar types with a start and end are no longer described on their own lines. Instead, the beginning and end text is spoken on the same line as the web page content itself. As an example, if you navigated to a list of five items, you might have heard "list with five items" when Arrowing through Browse Mode in Window-Eyes 8.4. Now, you will hear "list with five items" along with the text of the first item.

On a related note, websites, such as search engines, which embed links inside headings are considerably easier to deal with. Rather than finding the heading level on one line and the embedded link below it, the two now occupy the same space. Thus, you can press Enter immediately when the heading and link are spoken to activate them.

The speech for entering and exiting web page elements has also been shortened. Window-Eyes will either say "element" or "end element" rather than "element" and "element end." In addition, since web content is dynamic, Window-Eyes no longer identifies each web element type by number, such as "list 1," "list 2," "table 1," or "table 2" as the number of elements can change at any given moment. Instead, when working with items that include additional information, such as lists and tables, Window-Eyes merely speaks "list with X items" or "table with X rows and Y columns."

* Mouse-Overs and Clickable Objects

Window-Eyes now recognizes mouse-overs along with items that web page authors can designate as clickable. As one would expect, Window-Eyes will speak the item's text along with either "mouse-over" and/or "clickable" where appropriate. To activate the item, press Enter. Note that it is up to the web author to determine what happens when activating a mouse-over or clickable element. In many cases, mouse-overs and clickable items behave like links. Similarly, anchors with JavaScript associated to them (such as in many JQuery applications) will be placed on their own Browse Mode lines so that they can be more readily identified and acted upon with the Enter key.

An option to control whether clickable or mouse-over items are announced has been added and can be adjusted in the Verbosity -> Browse Mode -> Actions settings group of the Window-Eyes control panel.

Note, also, that compared to Window-Eyes 8.4, "onclicks" are now called "clickable," but they along with mouse-overs are no longer navigable with the next and prior link hot keys (which are L and Shift-L by default).

* Improved WAI-ARIA and HTML 5 support.

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. In Window-Eyes 8.0, ARIA support was added for use outside of Browse Mode for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. This preliminary support which included ARIA control navigation, landmarks, and live regions has been expanded to include recognition of ARIA control types in Browse Mode along with roles and states. In other words, web sites which take advantage of ARIA are now fully usable with Window-Eyes. ARIA-specific element types, such as menus, tree views, sliders, dialogs, alerts, and most other ARIA controls are identified in Browse Mode and can be used as you would expect. Like ARIA controls, Window-Eyes also recognizes and supports the newer HTML 5 control types. Regardless of which method is used to define a control type (ARIA, HTML 5, or legacy HTML), you can be confident that Window-Eyes can handle it to allow you to use the page as its designers intended, rather than having to focus on the technology behind-the-scenes.

In addition, sites which use the ARIA application role, such as Microsoft Office online and Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, are now also supported. When you Tab into an area that has been designated as an application, Browse Mode will automatically turn off so that you can interact with the content directly. It is also possible to activate an item contained within the application boundary while Browse Mode is enabled to interact with it. Be aware that Browse Mode will always disengage if you Tab into an ARIA application container regardless of whether automatic form interaction is enabled.

When navigating by landmarks with the next and prior landmark hot keys (Semicolon and Shift-Semicolon by default), Window-Eyes will now move to HTML 5-specific regions as well such as figures, sections, asides, banners, articles, etc. in addition to the ARIA regions which were already supported in Window-Eyes 8.

* Changes to table navigation.

Tables on the web are now easier to use than ever before. While you could always use the Up and Down Arrow keys to move through a table one cell at a time, a special table mode had to be activated in order to move more efficiently through the cells. As of Window-Eyes 9.0, table mode is no more. As soon as you enter a table, you can press the Insert-Left and Insert-Right keys to move left and right by column, Insert-Up and Insert-Down to move up and down by row, along with all of the other table mode-specific commands that have been available in previous versions of Window-Eyes. Window-Eyes will also announce when you enter the table header and body elements. The accuracy of the cell movement commands has also been improved to account for complex tables with merged cells, providing the best table navigation experience possible on the web. Note, too, that because table mode no longer exists, you can still navigate to all other web page elements without having to exit this navigation mode first.

Furthermore, if a table has no specified column headers, Window-Eyes will now begin from the first row and continue down with anything that looks like header material and use it. For example, if a table's first three rows are headers and row 4 is data, Window-Eyes will use the first three rows based on the spanning used in the potential header cells. The same is true for row headers. Thus, if Window-Eyes is configured to speak column or row headers but none exist, the program will now make an educated guess as to what should be voiced, even if the headers span multiple cells.

Finally, the Verbosity -> Browse Mode -> Tables group in the Window-Eyes control panel has been updated. First, the "Attribute Only" and "Row Number, column Number" options from the hot key rotor and the "Default Header or Row" combo box have been removed. A group of radio buttons called "Speak row and column number" has been added which allows for this information to be set independently of whether column or row headers are spoken. Thus, you can more easily tell Window-Eyes whether you want to hear your position within a table regardless of the column or row header preference. Note: if the user's column or row header preference was set to one of the removed choices, Window-Eyes will default to "column or row."

* Navigation keys wrap.

When pressing a Browse Mode navigation command, such as H or Shift-H to move by heading, Window-Eyes would speak "no heading" if there were no more items to find in the direction you were moving. Now, Window-Eyes will wrap around to the top of the page when moving forward, or the bottom of the page when moving back, and continue the search. For example, if you were viewing a page with headings on it but your Browse Mode position was passed the last heading, typing H will now cause Window-Eyes to wrap around to the top of the page and locate the very first heading.

A new option has been added in Verbosity -> Browse Mode -> Miscellaneous called "Allow wrap around for Next/Prior hot keys." When enabled (which it is by default), Window-Eyes will wrap as described above. If disabled, Window-Eyes will not wrap and act as it did in version 8.4.

* Changes to file controls

File controls are used to allow you to upload one or more files to a website. In the past, Window-Eyes displayed them as two separate items: a read-only edit box containing the filename, and a Browse button which, when activated, allowed you to pick the file to send. Now, it is identified as a single item in Browse Mode called "file control." When activated with Enter, the "browse for file" dialog appears as expected. Because this is a hybrid control, you can use the next and prior button commands (B and Shift-B by default) and the next and prior edit box commands (E and Shift-E by default) to jump to them.

When pressing the Tab key while Browse Mode is disabled, your browser will focus the read-only edit box and Browse button individually. Window-Eyes will speak "read-only" when the edit box is focused, and the name of the upload button when it is focused. Note that if no label exists for the button, Window-Eyes will say "Browse."

* Miscellaneous Browse Mode changes

- The entire contents of headings, list items, paragraphs, and block quotes are now spoken when navigating with the H, I, P, and Q keys.

- A verbosity option which controls whether Window-Eyes announces when you enter or leave an ARIA or HTML 5 landmark/region has been added. It is located in the Verbosity -> Browse Mode -> Landmarks group of the Window-Eyes control panel.

- A verbosity option which controls whether Window-Eyes announces when you enter or leave frames has been added. It is located in the Verbosity -> Browse Mode -> Frames group of the Window-Eyes control panel.

- A verbosity option which controls whether Window-Eyes announces when you enter or leave a menu bar has been added. It is located in the Verbosity -> Browse Mode -> Menu Bar group of the Window-Eyes control panel.

- The Verbosity -> Browse Mode -> Miscellaneous -> speak graphics with no alternative text setting has been changed to ""Speak unlabeled graphics"" as the latter is a more appropriate description.

-- The suspend page refresh option located in the Verbosity -> Browse Mode -> Miscellaneous group has been removed as it is no longer required.

- Window-Eyes now identifies multi-line edit boxes in and out of Browse Mode, and also supports areas designated as "content editable" (which is common in many web editors). Window-Eyes also announces when edit boxes are read-only and/or required.

- When using Read-To-End inside Browse Mode, the text being spoken is now scrolled into view automatically.

- When working with ARIA push buttons, Window-Eyes now announces the button's state (expanded or closed where applicable).

- If automatic form interaction is enabled and you Tab to an ARIA slider, Browse Mode will disengage as it does for other interactive element types. The new state of the slider is announced when changed as well.

- Window-Eyes now recognizes the aria-haspopup attribute. If a list item is annotated with this attribute, Window-Eyes will speak the item as well as indicate that it is a pull down.

- The ARIA dialog role is now recognized and supported.

- When a modal ARIA dialog appears, Window-Eyes now restricts keyboard navigation (including the Arrow keys, Control-Home and Control-End, and element navigation keys) to the dialog's boundaries. Note that Tab and Shift-Tab can still be used to exit the bounds of the dialog, and the Page Navigation dialog (Insert-Tab by default) and Browse Mode search command (Control-Shift-F by default) are likewise unrestricted.

- ARIA toolbars are now identified.

- The ARIA tab role is now supported.


-- The place marker and enhanced control search commands are currently unavailable in the updated Browse Mode system.


-- Braille

* The drivers for the HIMS Braille displays have been updated.


-- IE Enhance

* A problem where IE Enhance could stop reading the notification bar has been fixed.

-- Insert Key Layout

* Control-Alt-Up, Down, Left, and Right Arrow keys have been added to allow for table navigation while in Browse Mode.

* The commands to navigate by radio button have been changed to A and Shift-A.

* R and Shift-R have been added to move by ARIA landmarks or HTML 5 regions.

* When using the new Browse Mode system and Browse Mode is off, the command to activate the focus cursor (Numpad-Plus by default) will re-enable Browse Mode.

* The custom Browse Mode keys which previously worked only for Internet Explorer now work in all places where the new Browse Mode system exists.

* Other miscellaneous issues have been corrected.


-- Microsoft Office

* Window-Eyes now uses UI Automation in many more areas of Office 2010 and 2013 to provide improved speed and accuracy.

* Browse Mode was not working properly when playing presentations in PowerPoint 2010 or 2013. This issue has been fixed.

* Problems related to sluggishness in Office 2010 and 2013 dialog boxes have been fixed.

-- Microsoft Outlook

* Like email messages, it is now possible to read RSS posts and meeting requests in Browse Mode via the Outlook Enhance app. When a virtualized meeting request is open, the following commands can be used to review its information. Press the key once to have Window-Eyes announce the data, and twice to move your keyboard focus to the field in question:

- Alt-1: From
- Alt-2: Date Sent
- Alt-3: Required Attendees
- Alt-4: Optional Attendees
- Alt-5: Location
- Alt-6: Subject
- Alt-7: Attachments
- Alt-8: Start Date/Time
- Alt-9: End Date/Time

The Alt-number keys are also available to review the fields of an RSS post. They are identical to the commands for reviewing email information:

- Alt-1: From
- Alt-2: Date Sent
- Alt-3: To
- Alt-4: CC
- Alt-5: BCC
- Alt-6: Subject
- Alt-7: Attachments
- Alt-8: Status

* Window-Eyes now recognizes and speaks the content of the Outlook information bar when it appears. Typically, the information bar is used to inform you of potential scheduling conflicts when composing an appointment, alerting you that the message to which you are replying may not be the latest in the active thread, and similar helpful tidbits. When text appears, you will hear a chime along with the information Outlook has placed on the screen. To repeat the announcement, or to read the information bar at any time, press Insert-N. To move your keyboard focus to act on the information, press Alt-Shift-N. Settings to adjust whether Window-Eyes plays the chime or speaks the text of the information bar are available in the Outlook Enhance pull-down of the Window-Eyes Apps menu. Additionally, the new hot keys can be changed in the Outlook Enhance hot key manager.

* When creating a meeting with one or more participants, it can be challenging to determine whether everyone is available for the given date and time you have specified. Outlook provides a grid view which updates in real time as you add or remove participants and change the meeting's start and end times, but it is not keyboard-friendly. Due to popular request, a more convenient interface to the same information has been created. While composing a meeting, press Control-Alt-I to cause Window-Eyes to display the names of app meeting participants along with whether they are busy. This convenient dialog, along with alerts displayed in the Outlook information bar, make creating and managing meeting requests easy and effective. Note that Outlook must have access to the attendees' calendar data to determine when they are available for meetings.

* Message virtualization is now enabled by default.

* A hot key to enable and disable message virtualization has been added. From the main Outlook window, press Alt-Shift-V to toggle virtualization on or off.

* Outlook Enhance now works properly within 64-bit installations of Office 2010 and 2013.

* The "OPML Import" dialog (used to import RSS feeds) now reads correctly.

* The "Check Names" dialog now reads correctly.

* The attachments dialog (reached with either Alt-7 or Control-Alt-A when a virtualized message or meeting request is open) now has an option to save all files at once.

* An option to disable the Outlook preview pane has been added, and it is enabled by default.

* The stability of the Outlook Enhance add-in has been improved.

* A problem where an alert stating that message virtualization was disabled even though the feature had been intentionally turned off has been fixed.

* Some Outlook Enhance hot keys were registered globally. They are now registered exclusively to Outlook to prevent conflicts with other programs.

* When message virtualization was enabled and Control-N was pressed, a new browser window would appear. Now, a new message window opens as one would expect.

* An issue where field names in virtualized windows would always appear in English even though a different locale was in use has been corrected.

* A problem where the dimensions of an email and its virtualized counterpart could become out of sync has been fixed.

* The announcement for adding message attachments would sometimes fail to speak. This has been fixed.

* Some virtualized emails contained only the word "image." This has been fixed.

* A problem where links could not be activated from the Window-Eyes page navigation dialog inside a virtualized Outlook message has been fixed.

* .msg and .eml attachments can now be opened as expected.

* An issue where Outlook Enhance speech and Braille feedback could be prematurely silenced has been fixed.

* The number of unread messages in the Outlook 2010 and 2013 folder tree view is now spoken consistently.

* A problem where the body of an email could not be read with the Arrow keys when using Outlook 2007 and newer on 32-bit operating systems has been fixed.

* While it was possible to route the mouse to the focused item in the Outlook 2013 message list, the same command did not work for Outlook 2010. This has been fixed.

-- Microsoft Word

* The Word "Speak Pictures/Objects" verbosity items have been changed to the following:

- Speak ""inline object -- if checked will cause Window-Eyes to speak ""inline object"" when it reads across the line.
Speak description -- if checked will cause Window-Eyes to speak the description of the picture or object assuming one exists.
Speak size -- if checked will speak the dimensions of the picture or object.

If any of the above items are checked, Window-Eyes will also announce the count of pictures and objects when you move to a new line.

* MathPlayer support in Microsoft Word has been improved. Previously If the Word "Speak pictures/objects" verbosity option was unchecked Browse Mode could not be enabled to navigate through an equation. This has been corrected. Note that Window-Eyes always speaks marked up MathPlayer objects when they are embedded regardless of the previously mentioned verbosity settings. MathPlayer version 4.0 is required for the new Microsoft Word functionality to work properly.

* If you arrowed left or right to an inline object Window-Eyes would not speak anything about it. Now Window-Eyes announces the object information (or in the case of MathPlayer, the marked up equation).

* An issue where selected text would not appear in Braille when using Word 2013 has been corrected.

-- QuickBooks

Window-Eyes 9.0 now includes support for QuickBooks Pro 2014 via the new QB Enhance app. QB Enhance currently offers the following features and program enhancements:

- Improved field data reading - A control's field data will be spoken automatically when it gains focus or when selected field data is highlighted on the screen.

- Improved field label reading - A control's field label will be spoken automatically when it gains focus. Field labels have been defined for form controls found in the most commonly used areas of QuickBooks.

- Manual field label utility - If a form control does not have a field label or you wish to change the existing field label, you can attempt to assign a new field label using the manual field label utility and hot key (Control-Insert-F).

- Tab control groups dialog - There are tab control groups found in several different QuickBooks windows. These tab controls can be difficult to interact with because they are not in the Tab order and their keyboard shortcuts are not easily discoverable. The tab control groups custom dialog and hot key (Control-Tab) were created to simplify the process of locating and activating the tab controls.

- Window title announcement - A window's title will be read automatically when it opens or when it gains activation.

- Inline auto complete support - Inline auto completed text will be announced automatically.

- Register account balance - Quickly obtain the current account balance in the register using a hot key (Control-B)

For more details, please consult the documentation available in the QB Enhance pull-down accessible from the Window-Eyes Apps menu while QuickBooks is running.

-- Skype

* If the installed version of Skype supports it, Window-Eyes now announces Skype-related events such as contact status changes, incoming calls, and voicemails. The announcement of incoming messages has also been improved. Note that for full functionality, Skype version 6.21 is recommended as version 6.22 no longer provides the interface needed to allow Window-Eyes to speak the majority of these events.

* Menu items to control whether Window-Eyes speaks incoming messages, calls, or status changes have been added to the Skype Enhance pull-down of the Window-Eyes Apps menu.

* The Skype Enhance app now includes a custom interface to access missed voice messages. Use Alt-Shift-V to open it while a Skype window is active. As above, Skype 6.21 is recommended for this feature to work.

* Keyboard focus is now automatically placed in the typing area of conversation windows when they are opened.

* When pressing Enter on the "Chat Via" combo box inside a conversation, Window-Eyes now reads the resulting menu items that appear.

* The Escape key can now be used to close a Skype conversation window even if your keyboard focus is somewhere other than the typing area or conversation history.

* The option to adjust mood text is now identified when reached via the Tab key in the edit profile window.

* The Skype Enhance app now announces when keyboard focus has reached the conversation history regardless of how you navigated to it.

* Skype Enhance now attempts to keep keyboard focus out of the embedded advertisement frames present in Skype conversation windows and thus present a much more pleasant experience as you Tab and Shift-Tab through them.

* The hot keys to read conversation history are now registered only when a conversation window has direct focus.

* A problem where the links to adjust a conversation's visible history were always reported as "last 7 days" has been corrected.

* A problem where the items in the edit profile window often times were reported as "picture" has been fixed.

* An issue where the group names in Tools -> Options -> Privacy were not being spoken has been addressed.

* When a hot key is checked or unchecked in the hot keys section of Skype's options window, nothing was spoken even though the state changed correctly. This has been fixed.

++Enhancements Between Window-Eyes 8.4 and Window-Eyes 9.0

* All contact information, logos, copyrights, etc. in Window-Eyes and the set of default apps has been changed to Ai Squared.

* If the edition of Window-Eyes for users of Microsoft Office was installed on a computer running Windows 7 and Office 2013, Window-Eyes would run in 30-minute demonstration mode. This problem has been corrected.

* The User Account Control prompt would sometimes not speak in Windows 8. This has been fixed.

* The custom dialog which displays a list of notification icons (accessed with Insert-S by default) showed only the items that were visible in the task bar. Now, through the Windows Enhanced app, the dialog displays all notification area icons regardless of their visibility.

* The Progress Indicator app now defaults to only playing progress tones rather than tones and voicing a progress bar's percentage. Note this can still be changed in the progress indicator options from within the Window-Eyes Apps pull-down.

* MSAA-based progress bars (such as those in Windows 8, QT-based programs, and Firefox) are now recognized.

* The option to automatically route the mouse to toasts and balloon tips in the Windows Enhanced app is now disabled by default.

* When an edit box is encountered, Window-Eyes now speaks just "edit" rather than "edit box."

* A problem where Window-Eyes could crash when editing text in the Eclipse editor has been corrected.

* A hooking error which could occur if other screen readers were set to load at the login screen has been fixed.

* Some WPF-based controls which took a long time to respond to keyboard input would not speak. This issue has been fixed.

* A problem where routing the mouse to a file in Windows Explorer under Windows 7 has been fixed.

* If Window-Eyes mobile was run on a computer with another copy of Window-Eyes already installed, the mobile version would fail to run. This issue has been fixed.

* If McAfee was installed, some Window-Eyes apps would not function properly because of how the antivirus program intercepted calls to the Windows scripting host. This problem has been corrected.

* The Screen -> Punctuation settings group is now accessible when advanced options are not shown. Note that the keyboard punctuation options remain hidden until "Show Advanced Options" is checked from within the Window-Eyes Help menu.

* In some circumstances, Window-Eyes or a Window-Eyes app could become active but would not always do so visually. This has been fixed.

* A problem where an autocompleted address would remain displayed in Braille in Windows Live Mail has been fixed.

* The Help -> Check for updates dialog now checks to see if the active copy of Window-Eyes is registered, and if not, prompts you to register. Previously Window-Eyes would display a connection error.

* Key labels which fell outside the boundaries of ANSI 32-128 were not being saved. This has been fixed.

* If Window-Eyes was configured to speak the characters you typed in secure edit boxes rather than "star," it would not indicate when capital letters were entered. This has been fixed.

* If Window-Eyes was shut down during a Microsoft Remote Desktop session, the machine would crash. The core problem which relates to how the operating system handles the loading and unloading of Mirror drivers has been worked around.

* To minimize confusion, SMA information in the Window-Eyes Help -> About dialog is shown only if the active copy has 1 or more upgrades remaining.

* When performing an alternate help request, the person receiving help will now see the helper's name rather than a generic message.

* A problem where the list of user windows in the User Windows -> Status settings group was off by 1 has been fixed.

* The hot keys to set user and hyperactive window coordinates have been undefined in the updated default global settings.

* A case where Read-To-End could take a long time to begin when the document contained many consecutive blank lines has been fixed.

* Some cases where the Home and End keys could occasionally report the wrong information when pressed in multi-line edit boxes have been fixed.

* While track bars and sliders are not technically the same, their behavior is identical, and consequently Window-Eyes now calls both controls "sliders" to alleviate confusion.

* The Help -> Documentation -> Training Resources menu item now points to the Ai Squared training web site.

* The tip of the day entries have been updated.

* A problem where the Scott Trade application could cause Window-Eyes to become unresponsive has been fixed.

-- Scripting

* A problem where an app would hang when getting the column header in a list view if the column and header orders did not match has been fixed.

* If the Window.LoadSet method was called and passed a Set file with Core Functions -> Voice disabled, Window-Eyes would crash. This has been fixed.

Support for .NET delegates (which includes Dialog, Menu, and Hotkey callbacks) has been expanded to also include ClientInformation.ScriptHelp. Note that this applies only to external apps which hook Window-Eyes events.

* A new object, called BrowseMode2, has been added which allows Window-Eyes apps to detect when the new Browse Mode system is in use as well as obtain information regarding the currently focused item.

* A new Boolean read/write property called SpeakRowAndColumnNumber has been added to the Verbosity.BrowseMode.BrowseModeVerbosity.Tables object. When set to True, Window-Eyes will announce row and column coordinates as the user navigates through a table in Browse Mode. If set to False, row and column information will not be spoken.

* The bthAttributeOnly and bthRxCy enumerations (which are possible values for the BrowseModeTableHeaders property) have been deprecated. These values are now internally treated as bthColumnOrRow.

NOTE: Please refer to the updated scripting manual for detailed information about all new objects, properties, methods, and enumerations.