Re: New Subscriber Contemplating Switching from NVDA to JAWS with A Few Questions

Orlando Enrique Fiol

Hi, Lanie.

>I've been playing with JAWS 2022 for a little while now. I'm a
>long-time user of NVDA and like it, but I'm interested in some of the
>features JAWS
>provides that NVDA doesn't, and I'd like to start using Braille more
>since I love Braille and am autistic and sometimes have periods of
>sensory overload
>with all my screen readers going off around me and other noises in my
>environment. I know JAWS provides better Braille support, and I'm hoping
>to get a
>Braille display soon.

I don't use JAWS with a Braille display because I don't own one, but
I can speak to its other features, since I took to JAWS, kicking and
screaming from Windows-eyes after my beloved screen reader was un
ceremonially massacred by then VFOGroup.
To me, JAWS' most powerful features include voice aliases,
speech&sound schemes and easily loaded voice profiles. With
speech&sound schemes, you can assign specific voices or sounds to
control types and states. If you wanted, for instance, you could have
checked and unchecked sounds, so that when you tab past rows of check
boxes, you wouldn't have to await the reeding of each box's state.
You can assign specific sounds and voices to color attributes or
fonts, for easy proofreading. You can even customize the strings JAWS
speaks for each control or attribute it reports. Some folks identify
check boxes as tick boxes, with their states as being ticked and un
ticked. In a speech&sound scheme, they could have JAWS report check
boxes as tick boxes and checked/unchecked as ticked/un ticked.

>I have a few questions though. Are there any
>resources for finding scripts? I'm used to looking for add-ons in one
>location, like
>the NVDA add-ons website.

I've never encountered such a resource. Most JAWS script writers have
websites listing their scripts and providing download links, but
Vispero doesn't seem to oversee a scripts repository, since all
scripts it produces come packaged with JAWS anyway.

>Also, is there a way to make JAWS speak
>passwords? With NVDA, I have an add-on that does this.

This is unfortunately still impossible, much to the consternation of
those of us who don't want to hear our passwords spoken as stars. If
an application/website doesn't have a password-showing option,
there's just no way to hear it spoken except by turning on keyboard
character and word echo, so you can at least hear as you type.

>Does anyone know of any training
>resources for people who already know how to use a computer, advanced
>computer users, or people who have used other screen readers? I looked
>at the basic training materials, but they seemed a little basic for
my needs.

That's also my frustration.Truth is, advanced users don't need the
same kinds of training materials as basic users, since we need much
less explanation than they do. So, it's often enough to consult
references for, say, hotkeys, commands or configuration settings,
since it's assumed that we'd knnow how to implement them.

>Finally, is there anyone who has made this switch and might be able to
>give me some tips on switching? Thanks.

I switched from Window-eyes, but have never been much of an NVDAa
user, since it seems almost equivalent to Narrator in terms of
functionality (or lack thereof).
When II began using NVDa, I learned, to my horror, that Ii couldn't
customize the order in which control types and states are read. this
is, to me, a basic screen reader capability. so, upon asking on the
NVDA list about this, I was told that its coders hadn't bothered
dealing with this. That and other things put me off using NVDA as my
primary screen reader. I couldn't return to system-wide voice
profiles after having different voices load with Window-eyes setfiles
or specific applications in JAWS.
I also think NVDA's screen/cursor review interface is awkward and
clunky. With the touch and JAWS cursors, I just invoke their hotkeys
and they're active; I don't have to toggle or cycle through menus to
determine whether there are objects in the window, then expand each
object to see if there are others nested within it. This information
should be revealed through navigation. You shouldn't need the extra
step of choosing the cursor review mode, then navigating within it.
For that reason, Ii find NVDA's mouse echo superior any JAWS or
Narrator equivalent. With its directional tones within the stereo
field, I can immediately tell when the mouse is moving left or right.
Up and down are represented by pitch changes, which is cleverly efficient.
I'm glad to compare notes and share any resources I have with you.
Good luck, and keep in touch,

Orlando Enrique Fiol
Charlotte, North Carolina
Professional Pianist/Keyboardist, Percussionist and Pedagogue
Ph.D. in Music theory
University of Pennsylvania: November, 2018
Home: (980) 236-8685
Mobile: (267) 971-7090

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