Using the JAWS Scripts For Skype for Windows Desktop 8 (Electron)
Last Revised February, 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 Electron. (It is also known as Skype for Windows Desktop and Skype 8.) When the scripts are installed and Skype Electron 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 Electron 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. Run 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 Electron 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 Electron With JAWS and the Scripts

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

Native Skype Electron Keyboard Shortcuts

Skype Electron 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 Electron 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:

* The Alt+1 command initially did nothing in this Skype version. In later revisions of this Skype version, it focused the button for filtering the conversation list. In still later versions (through 8.19), it focused the Search button but did nothing if focus was on the "My Info" button.

The scripts also provide the following features:

Useful Tips

When a call arrives in Skype Electron, 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. It may be necessary to Tab once after this command before using arrows to navigate the list.

Press Enter on a conversation in the conversation list to display the conversation and place focus in the input edit box for it.

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 Electron's chat message list does not appear to afford this type of navigation.

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.

Opening this document from within Skype Electron 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.