Using the JAWS Scripts For Skype for Windows Desktop 8 (Electron)
Last Revised August, 2018
This Guide provides tips for using Skype for Windows Desktop version 8 with JAWS For Windows and these scripts.
These scripts and this documentation apply to Skype for Windows Desktop 8 (an Electron app).
In this document, this Skype version will be referred to simply as Skype 8.
When the scripts are installed and Skype 8 is open and focused, this document can be
opened via a double press of JAWSKey+F1 (or Insert+F1).
Table of Contents
These scripts require
JAWS 17.0 or greater. (JAWS versions prior to 17.0 do not support web site specific scripts,
and Skype 8 runs inside a Google Chrome window.)
To install these scripts on a new system:
- Load JAWS if this has not already been done. This will require
administrative privileges on the computer.
- Run JAWS as the user for whom the scripts are to be installed.
This and the following steps must be performed for each user of the computer
who will be using JAWS with these scripts.
- Download and run, or run directly, the installer for these scripts; and follow the on-screen
directions. Be sure to install the scripts in the currently running
JAWS version if a JAWS version list is presented.
- To verify successful installation, type Ins+Q while
Skype 8 is in focus. Part of the JAWS spoken response should be a revision number. If
you do not hear a revision number, the scripts are not correctly loaded.
This section and its subsections provide tips for using Skype 8 with JAWS and these scripts.
Skype 8 provides several keyboard shortcuts. These work with or without JAWS or these scripts.
Microsoft maintains a list of the native shortcuts on
the "What are hotkeys and how do I use them in Skype?" page,
which also lists hotkeys for other Skype versions on Windows and other operating systems.
Be sure to select the correct tab ("Hotkeys in Skype for Windows Desktop") for this Skype version. Tabs are located under the hotkey table near the bottom of the page.
Most Skype 8 script commands are key sequences rather than multi-key combinations. This is to avoid collisions between script commands and
native application keystrokes.
All such key sequences start with a common prefix key, a left bracket ([) by default.
Users can change the prefix key if necessary by typing [ followed by JAWSKey+C or Ins+C. The change will
survive across script and JAWS updates.
In this document, the prefix key will be called Command; thus, by default, Command e means type [
followed by e.
The scripts provide the following commands:
Note that the Alt+1 script for focusing the Conversations list was removed on July 17, 2018, in honor of Microsoft properly implementing that functionality in the app by version 8.25. Alt+1 now works with
and without these scripts.
- Command e moves focus to the chat input edit box for the displayed conversation, if there is one.
- Command h moves focus to the displayed conversation's chat message history list.
- Command t announces who is typing in the displayed conversation.
- Command w opens the home page for these scripts in the default web browser.
- Ins+F1, typed twice in quick succession, opens this document in the default browser.
The scripts also provide the following features:
- The JAWS virtual cursor is turned off each time Skype 8 takes focus, to simplify navigation. Use Ins+Z while in Skype if you want to turn the virtual cursor on or back off manually.
- JAWSKey+B, the standard JAWS command for reading a dialog in tab order, works with most if not all Skype 8 screens.
- JAWSKey+Q, along with announcing the active configuration name, will announce the revision number of these scripts.
- The JAWS
SayWindowTitle command, Ins+T, includes the number of unread messages when displayed, and also the name of the active conversation if there is one, or "Home" if not.
When a conversation is displayed and such information is available, the conversation contact's presence information and/or mood text is also included.
When a call arrives in Skype 8, signaled by the incoming call sound, focus Skype and then Tab to see caller information and buttons for handling the call.
Use Alt+1 to focus the conversation list.
This was Alt+2 in the classic Skype for Windows Desktop.
Press Enter on a conversation in the conversation list to display the conversation and place focus in the input edit box for it.
In the event focus does not land in the input box, use the scripted Command e sequence to move focus there.
Use Alt+2 to pop open the contact list. This was Alt+1 in the classic Skype for Windows Desktop client.
Since the contact list is searched by the "Search Skype" box (quickly reachable with Ctrl+F), it may rarely be necessary to
open the contact list directly.
A fast way to start a new conversation:
- Type Ctrl+F to focus the "Search Skype" box.
- Type the name or partial name of your intended contact, then Tab several times to reach the search results.
- Use Up and Down arrows to find your intended contact.
If at first you do not find the contact, go through the results again as the list may be updated over time as more matches are found.
- Press Enter to open a conversation and focus the input edit box.
If focus does not land in the input box, use the scripted Command e sequence to move focus there.
- To call the contact immediately once the conversation is displayed, type Ctrl+Shift+P for a voice call or Ctrl+Shift+K for a video call.
Warning: The Ctrl+Shift+P and Ctrl+Shift+K hotkeys for making voice and video calls will call the
displayed contact, not the contact whose entry is focused in the conversation list if that is a different contact. To be sure you are
calling the correct contact while navigating the conversation list, press Space
or Enter before making a call.
Issues shown in this section may be fixed in future script and/or application
revisions but are not addressed as of this writing.
There is not the usual system in these scripts for navigating among chat messages. Historically this has been done with Alt with
numbers to read recent messages, and Alt with arrows, Home, End, and NumPad5 to read
sequentially while keeping track of a current position. Skype 8's chat message list does not appear to afford this type of navigation.
At least in older Skype 8 and/or script revisions,
commands such as Command h for jumping to specific controls may sometimes focus the wrong control. If this occurs, try the command again after typing JAWSKey+T twice in quick succession, which clears the
script's notions of where controls are located so it will scan anew for this information.
This problem has not been seen recently as of May, 2018 and Skype 8.25.
Opening this document from within Skype 8 by typing Ins+F1 twice in quick succession may leave the JAWS virtual cursor inactive. Use Ins+Z to turn the virtual cursor back on if this occurs.
This is the revision history of these scripts, most recent revision first:
- Revision 60, August 31, 2018, tested against Skype 8.28
- Fixed a bug resulting from changes to support the August JAWS 2018 update: Changing the Command key from its default of [ to another key works again.
- Revision 59, August 22, 2018, tested against Skype 8.28
- Updates to improve support for the August update to JAWS 2018, and a few general improvements:
* These additions are adapted from the Skype 8 scripts that shipped with the August update to JAWS 2018.
- Fixed notification announcements like "Message sent" for the August JAWS 2018 update.
- Avoided double loading of scripts caused by a change in how JAWS 2018 loads scripts for Electron apps. This change may cause JAWS to say "Reloading" once after any update to these scripts is installed.
- Braille and the
SayLine command work in chat history lists.*
- JAWS does not say "region" on every chat history list entry as the user arrows among them.*
- Command h works in an active call when the chat area is shown.
- Revision 47, August 14, 2018, tested against Skype 8.27 and 8.28
- The standard JAWS command for reading dialogs in tab order, Ins+B, should work on most if not all Skype dialog screens.
- This Guide includes the script revision history.
- Revision 45, July 23, 2018, tested against Skype 8.25
- In addition to the conversation name when a conversation is shown, the JAWS
SayWindowTitle command, Ins+T, will say the active conversation contact's presence information and/or mood text when available.
- Arrows that were inappropriately silent during navigation with the virtual PC cursor should now speak normally.
- JAWS should no longer repeat "Skype Preview" and "file://Index.html" during navigation with Tab and Shift+Tab.
- A small typo in the script users guide that may have caused some text to be displayed in an unusual font is fixed.
There are also two typos fixed in commands in the "Useful Tips" section of the guide; thanks to Michele Barbi for catching those.
- Revision 39, July 17, 2018, tested against Skype 8.25
Skype 8 users should upgrade to Skype 8.25 if not already done before downloading this script update. Changes:
- Command h, the command to move to chat history, works in Skype 8.25.
- Alt+1 works properly and natively in Skype 8.25 and is therefore no longer scripted. The command now works with and without these scripts.
- Ins+T includes the displayed unread message count and also the name of the active conversation if there is one, or "Home" if not.
- The user guide for these scripts now calls this Skype version "Skype 8," as Microsoft seems to do, rather than "Skype Electron."
- Up and down arrows no longer say 'blank' sometimes before reading the next/previous entry in a chat history list.
SayAppVersion (Ctrl+JAWSKey+V) says the full Skype version including the build number.
- the installer will try drives D and E along with C for location of JAWS program when unable to read the registry.
(This was prompted by an actual event at a corporate work site.)
- Revision 28, April 20, 2018, tested against Skype 8.19
- The Alt+1 command for moving to the conversation list works in Skype 8.19, though a Tab is necessary after this command before arrows will navigate the list.
- Translators: Translate the
sutil___scConvList value in
skypeelectron.jsm into the name of the conversation list to make the above feature work. Be careful to preserve letter casing.
- Revision 21, February 26, 2018, tested against several Skype Electron versions up through 8.16
Fixed Ins+T's ability to name conversations in many cases.
- Revision 20, February 25, 2018, tested against several Skype Electron versions up through 8.16
This is the first release of these scripts.