Hi Dark,

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.

dark wrote:
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 dash.

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 another program.

Beware the grue!


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