Actually, Jaws has the ability to fully customize what punctuation is
read, but it is buried very deep in the Jaws configuration manager.
Unless you are a highly skilled or advanced Jaws user you will never
find or be able to configure the punctuation exactly the way you want in
a game or any other application. That's actually one of the screen
reader's major short comings. The configuration manager has a lot of
advanced and powerful features, but most of the Jaws users I know or
have met aren't aware of what features are actually in the configuration
manager, and a few are a bit intimidated about the amount of options in
there. You know, "I better not mess with it or I'll break it," type fear
people have about any piece of complicated software. I think it is too
complex and overly bloated for your average home user when it comes to
actually using the configuration manager.
Window Eyes is much more user friendly in that from the Window Eyes
control panel you have various pulldown menus along the menu bar such as
File, Screen, Mouse, Keyboard, Global, etc that are easy to find and
just as easy to configure. When done just save the set file. There is no
need to dig through a complicated configuration manager just to find a
certain check box, or a series of check boxes, to do this or that.
Anyway, I'm sure a few Jaws users are about to hang me out to dry for
knocking their beloved screen reader, but I'm merely calling them as I
see them. I've found Window Eyes a much easier product to configure for
interactive fiction games, muds, whatever than Jaws. It seams every time
I want to specifically configure the punctuation to speak these symbols
and not these symbols I have to plow through an endless amount of dialog
boxes and check boxes to get it setup correctly for my needs. That's why
I find it a more unwieldy and overly complex screen reader for my tastes.
That is probably true Bryan, I've noticed that some people tend to
assume every person using a screen reader will automatically use Jaws.
I was for instance a trifle irritated when during one of my first
experiments with muds, I wrote to the admins of Alterean to get things
working, ---- and they sent me a link to some Jaws script files,
despite the fact that i'd clearly stated in my E-mail I was using Hal.
i must confess, during my one try out with jaws, I wasn't a fan, but
given the amount of time I've used Hal that's not surprising, ---- and
I'm fairly certain there are people who would say the same thing upon
trying Hal after using another screen reader.
One option I missed for instance, ---- was Hal's ability to customize
what punctuation is read when.
i have Hal for instance set to read all punctuation when reviewing via
arrow keys, ---- sinse that's what I use when editing, ---- some
punctuation when typing so i can remember sentence structure, ---- and
none at all when i'm reading using continuous document read, ----
sinse the last thing I want to here in a text adventure, story, --- or
even someone's post or E-mail is constant repeats of period comma or
I was a litle bothered that Jaws didn't have these options, sinse I
rely on them for a lot of things i do involving text, --- in fact
without them I'm not sure if I would be quite as much a fan of text
adventures and gamebooks as I am now.
As I said this isn't intended as a Jaws bash, or a Hal promo, ----
merely noting things I've got used to having in hal which I'd miss in
Beware the grue!
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