JAWS Scripts For Skype - Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Support for these scripts is primarily provided in the following places, most preferred first:

SkypeEnglish Mailing List
Public forum in which blind Skype users can help each other.
@dlee_code on Twitter
The script author's low-traffic Twitter account for project (including script) announcements and limited technical support.

This page is laid out for easy navigation via JAWS:

This page is laid out with questions as headings and answers below them, so JAWS users can use h to skim through questions.

Why does Skype not recognize that JAWS is running?

This is an issue mostly specific to a Skype 4.1 beta version released in May of 2009. The issue and its solution are explained on a separate Screen Reader Not Detected page.

How should Skype 3.x be configured for maximum accessibility?

The following settings are recommended. This is based on Skype 3.5 and 3.6: For current information on how to configure Skype 4.x versions for maximum accessibility, refer to the Configuring Skype 4.0 For Use With JAWS section of the JAWS Scripts For Skype 4.x documentation.

Why is this part of Skype 3.x now missing?

If one of the following items seems to have been taken out of Skype, or at least it's not possible to find it anymore, check that it is enabled in your View menu. Each of these items has a checkbox there to turn it off or on:

To make sure you see one of these, make sure its View menu option is checked. To remove one of these from view, uncheck its View menu item. To check or uncheck a View menu item, just press Enter on it.

Why does SkypeWatch not work

If you are running a Skype 4.1 beta version, Skypewatch is only capable of reporting incoming calls, not sign-ins, birthdays, incoming new chats, etc. The rest of this section is written for Skype 3.x and 4.1 production release users, though it and the next section may also apply to you if you are running a Skype 4.1 beta version and are not hearing names of callers.

Note: If SkypeWatch stopped working after a JAWS update or repair, skip to the next section.

The following checklist is meant to catch most of the problems seen so far with SkypeWatch installations.

  1. Go into Skype, Type JAWSKey+V to open the JAWS Verbosity Settings for Skype, and see if the option called "SkypeWatch messages" is in the list. In JAWS versions before 9.0, it generally appears right before the "User Verbosity" option. Starting in JAWS 9, where the verbosity options are a tree, it appears just before the "General Options" category. If you do not see the "Skypewatch Messages" option, SkypeWatch scripts are not running, and you probably need to follow the Script Installation Instructions to load them properly. If you do see this option, continue with the next item.
  2. Make sure SkypeWatch Messages are turned On, not Off, in the Verbosity Settings. If they are Off, turn them On and see if that helps. If not, continue.
  3. If you are using a Skype script revision 442 or later, make sure the Skype alerts for items you want reported by SkypeWatch are turned on in Skype's Options dialog. They are all under Notification Settings: This also applies to users of Skype 4.1, but not Skype 4.1 beta. Option names may vary slightly by Skype version from those indicated below.
    • To hear incoming calls, set the first option, which should be called something like "When someone calls me," to "Show Windows tray alert." The other option, "Show Skype call alert," will not work with SkypeWatch. Note: In at least Skype 3.5.0.107, it seems to be necessary to use the JAWS cursor to check the "Show Windows tray alert" radio button if it is not already checked. Attempting to use arrows moves focus to a "Show an example" link and does not change the setting.
    • To hear contacts sign in, check the box that says, "Display a notification in the Windows tray when someone comes online." If JAWS is having trouble reading field labels on this screen, the option may just be called "Comes online."
    • To hear the contact name and part of the chat line when someone sends you a chat, check the box called, "Display a notification in the Windows tray when someone starts a chat with me." You should then start hearing chat notifications as they appear. Keep in mind, though, that a chat notification will only appear if the corresponding chat window is not already open. If you have set up Skype to pop open chat windows automatically as chat lines come to you, you will therefore hear an alert message for only the first chat message sent to you by each person.
    There are several more possible notifications you can choose from that are not listed here. If you are sure you have enabled the appropriate alerts, continue.
  4. If you are using a Skype 4.1 version, skip the next step, because it only works for Skype 3.x versions.
  5. Test specific Skype alerts by causing them to happen when you have turned Screen Echo to All, which can be done temporarily by typing JAWSKey+S until JAWS says "All." (Remember to return this setting to "Highlighted" when done.) For example, to test the Skype tray alert for an incoming call, set Screen Echo to All, then have someone call you, and see if you hear text that sounds like "so and so is calling you." Try this from within any application in which it seems incoming call messages are not working. (Some users have reported incoming call message problems when they are in one application but not when they are in another.) If you do not hear these alerts from within any application, chances are the Skype alert is not turned on correctly; see the previous step. If you only hear the alerts in some applications but not others, report to the SkypeEnglish mailing list which applications do and do not work, so we might be able to figure out a pattern. If you hear the alerts in all applications you test, continue.
  6. If you reached the "Continue" part of every step above, and SkypeWatch still does not work, consult the SkypeEnglish mailing list for assistance.

Why does SkypeWatch no longer work after a JAWS repair or update?

Those who set up SkypeWatch by modifying the original default.jss file from Freedom Scientific will find that a JAWS repair or update will disable SkypeWatch. This is because the line added to default.jss is lost when default.jss is replaced during the repair or update.

Note that the recommended procedure for installing SkypeWatch was changed on June 2, 2007. Those who installed SkypeWatch using the newer procedure and who use JAWS version 6.0 or later should not have problems with SkypeWatch after a JAWS repair or update. If SkypeWatch stops functioning after installation via the newer procedure, reapply the new procedure to reinstall SkypeWatch. See the Script Installation Instructions page for details.

For users of Skype script revisions older than revision 442 who installed SkypeWatch via the older procedure of modifying the original default.jss file, the following procedure should be sufficient to restore SkypeWatch after a JAWS repair or update:

  1. From within Skype, type JAWSKey+0 (the 0 above the p key, not the 0 on the number pad) to open the JAWS Script Manager. Skype.jss will appear in the Script Manager window.
  2. Type Ctrl+Shift+D to open default.jss. You should find your cursor on a semicolon at the top of that file.
  3. Type the following line exactly, or paste it in from this page:
    use "skypewatch.jsb"
  4. Type Ctrl+S to compile default.jss. You should hear, "compile complete." SkypeWatch should also activate at this point.
  5. Type Alt+F4 to close the JAWS Script Manager.

Why does SkypeWatch announce my status every five seconds when I try to use the Windows Calculator?

This is a somewhat complex problem applying to JAWS 8 and older but not to JAWS 9. The problem description, as well as a workaround and a proper solution, can be found here.

What can one do with a phone number edit ("phed" in Braille) control?

Edit like normal, or type Alt+DownArrow to open a list of country codes. Choosing a country code will prefix the number in the edit box with the code chosen. Warning: Pressing Enter from a country code list will save and close the entire page, not just close the drop-down list. To close the list and return to the page, press Tab or Shift+Tab instead.