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What’s new in JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion 2023?

The 2023 updates for JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion are about to be released. This is always a much-anticipated update so here we go through some of the key features so you can see what’s in store with new features, issues resolved and additional changes.  

Next week on Webinar Wednesday, we will be joined by a panel of special guests from Vispero to go through these features in more detail so please register here and join us on 2nd November at 14.00.  

Smart Glance 

The new Smart Glance feature analyses the page and ranks content in reverse order based upon the infrequency of its color, text attribute or font usage on the page. Colors, fonts, or attributes used least will rank highest as potential points of interest, referred to as glance highlights.

Notification History Improvements 

JAWS and Fusion 2023 offer several improvements to managing notifications based on feedback from customers.

One key enhancement focuses on email notifications. If you receive a lot of emails and you do not want JAWS automatically speaking the notification each time you receive a message, instead of creating a rule, you can use the keystroke INSERT+SPACEBAR, followed by CTRL+N to quickly silence all of these announcements. Notifications will still be added to the history, so you can still review them if necessary. 

Solution for Dell Waves Max Audio Issues 

If you’re a Dell computer user and previously disabled the Waves Max application to resolve performance issues, you can now reenable it, particularly if you want your computer to automatically begin using a specific audio output device as soon as you connect it, such as headphones. 

Improved ILM Authorization Access 

The file location for the JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion ILM authorization files have been moved to a location where users no longer need administrative permission to authorize on their own system. 

New Tables Only Option for Smart Navigation 

Our existing Smart Navigation feature offers a more efficient way to navigate web-based applications. In JAWS and Fusion 2023, there is now a new Tables option which only enables Smart Navigation when you are focused inside a table. The new Tables option offers the same Smart Navigation experience inside tables as it does when set to Controls and Tables while keeping our regular Navigation outside tables. 

ARM64 Support 

Support for ARM64 is now officially provided in JAWS 2023 (not ZoomText and Fusion).  

Additional Changes 

  • Liblouis braille translator used by JAWS and Fusion has been updated to version 3.23.0 and is now selected by default. 
  • The JAWS and Fusion About box now includes a System type field which shows whether you are using X64 or ARM64.
  • Outlook Scheduling Assistant, JAWS now reads as expected in the All Attendees field when reviewing the status of meeting attendees.
  • When encountering an element or entering a region on a web page that has a details relation, JAWS now says “has details” when you first move to the element.  

Resolved Issues: 

  • JAWS Virtual Cursor no longer unexpectedly moving back to the top of a web page on pages containing advertisements that constantly update.  
  • In Edge and Chrome JAWS was not properly reading table headers defined by using the “ID” and “header” attributes.  
  • When navigating through a list where the Virtual Cursor is off, such as a list of chat messages in Teams or Slack, list items containing a lot of content are now fully read without speech stopping in the middle of the text. 
  • Removed the Reuters Top News Stories Research It lookup source due to changes to the Reuters website which no longer allows us to retrieve information. 

ZoomText 2023 Features  

Tethered View in ZoomText and Fusion 

Tethered View is a new feature available in ZoomText and Fusion. When using higher magnification levels there is often an activity that occurs on the screen that is outside of the magnified viewing area. Tethered View opens a new window inside the magnified area that brings the activity into view.  

Windows Start Menu Search and Tethered View 

When you use the search box in the Windows Start menu, you may notice that you cannot see the top search result in the magnified view. With Tethered View enabled, the best match appears in a window next to the search box. You can click the result or move through the list to see other items. 

Excel Formula Bar and Tethered View 

In Excel, a similar scenario occurs when working with formulas. Excel displays the formula related to a cell in the formula bar located at the top of the worksheet. This position is far away from the actual cell. The Tethered View brings the formula to you and displays it next to the cell that has focus. 

Microsoft Word Comments and Tethered View 

If you distribute a Word document for review, others may add comments to the document. In Tethered View, each comment is placed next to the text where it is inserted, eliminating the need to move across the screen, find and read the comment, and then return to the text.  

Fusion Links List and Tethered View 

When reading a web page while running Fusion, you can press INSERT+F7 to display a list of links that are on the page. With Tethered View, as you move through the list, the current link’s URL appears next to the item in the list. You can click or press ENTER to select the link.