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

System Requirements For JAWS Users

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.)

Script Installation Instructions

To install these scripts on a new system:

  1. Load JAWS if this has not already been done. This will require administrative privileges on the computer.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Using Skype 8 With JAWS and the Scripts

This section and its subsections provide tips for using Skype 8 with JAWS and these scripts.

Native Skype 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

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.

JAWS Script Commands and Features

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.

The scripts also provide the following features:

Useful Tips

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:

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.

Known Issues

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.

Revision History

This is the revision history of these scripts, most recent revision first:

Revision 60, August 31, 2018, tested against Skype 8.28
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.
Revision 47, August 14, 2018, tested against Skype 8.27 and 8.28
Revision 45, July 23, 2018, tested against Skype 8.25
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:
Revision 28, April 20, 2018, tested against Skype 8.19
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.