JAWS Commands Search


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While there are certain commands that are used by most JAWS users daily, such as reading the current line (INSERT+UP ARROW) or reading the current window title (INSERT+T), there are numerous commands that even the most experienced users do not use regularly and may need to be looked up. Certain types of commands can be especially difficult to remember as some of them require pressing several keys at once. The JAWS Commands Search feature enables you to enter a full or partial description of a command whose keystroke you do not remember. JAWS displays all commands that match your search criteria, the description of the feature, and all the associated keystrokes, including braille commands if a refreshable braille display is currently connected.

For example, you may need to locate a keystroke for working with comments in Excel. Instead of opening the JAWS help topic for Excel and searching through all the available keystrokes, or starting Keyboard Help (INSERT+1) and pressing various keystroke combinations until you find the correct one, you can open the JAWS Commands Search window while focused in Excel, type "comment" in the search edit box, and then view a list of all keystrokes related to working with comments.

Starting the JAWS Commands Search

There are a couple of ways to open the JAWS Commands Search:

Try this in Microsoft Excel. Open Excel on your computer, and then do the following:

  1. Start Commands Search now with the layered command INSERT+SPACEBAR. You hear a "pop" sound indicating that the layered mode for JAWS is on.
  2. Now, press the next keystroke, J, for JAWS Commands Search. When you start JAWS Commands Search, an HTML window opens with focus in an edit box. If Forms Mode is set to Auto or Semi-Auto, Forms Mode is activated when the edit box gains focus.
  3. Begin typing the description of the command you are looking for and the results area in the lower part of the window automatically updates. As you type, the first result in the list is spoken automatically. Type "comment" without the quotes in the edit box.

Navigation in the JAWS Commands Search Window

Since this is an HTML window, you can use standard reading commands to review the results. Each command name along with the most common keystroke to perform it is displayed as a heading so you can quickly move between the results using the H and SHIFT+H Navigation Quick Keys.

  1. Since Forms Mode is on, press NUM PAD PLUS to exit forms mode, and then press the letter H.
  2. When you locate the command you want, press DOWN ARROW to move to a brief description of what the command does, and any additional keystrokes that can be used to perform the command.

This includes non-layered, layered, and braille keystrokes. If a particular command offers a braille keystroke, but a braille display is not currently connected when you performed the search, the braille keystroke is not listed.

Each JAWS command name and its associated keystrokes are also displayed as links. This allows you to press ENTER on the command name heading, or any of the associated keystroke links to close the JAWS Commands Search window and activate the command. You can also exit the JAWS Commands Search window by pressing ALT+F4, or the ESC key.

NOTE: When performing a JAWS Commands Search, the search results only contain JAWS keystrokes. Microsoft Windows keystrokes, such as CTRL+A for selecting text, are typically not included in the search results.

Please allow [02:51] to watch the short instructional demonstration of JAWS Commands Search before continuing to the next topic.

Freedom Scientific, a Vispero brand

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