JAWS Scripts For Dell Update and Dell Command Update (DCU)
Doug Lee
Last Revised March, 2024

This document describes the JAWS scripts for the Dell Update and Dell Command Update (DCU) applications and provides tips for using these applications with JAWS. This document can be opened from within the application via a double press of JAWSKey+F1 (or Insert+F1) when the scripts are running.

Table of Contents

System Requirements For JAWS Users

In addition to any system requirements for the applications, the following apply for JAWS users:

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 Insert+Q from within the application. 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. In some cases, restarting JAWS may fix this issue.

Script Commands and Features

This section lists the effects of running these scripts, which will serve as a quick reference for users who are already familiar with how to use Dell Update or Dell Command Update. For a gentler introduction to using the applications, see also the next section.

These scripts provide the following features and commands beyond those provided by the application itself:

Application Usage

The following information is based on Dell Command Update unless otherwise noted. Dell Update is similar but contains less material; for example, there is no Settings button in Dell Update.

On first opening with the scripts running, Dell Command Update should place focus on the Settings button. From there, Tab will move past Minimize, Maximize, and Close buttons and into a small group of buttons that can be used to obtain more information about the system or about updates and activities. The first of these buttons, Update History, will include in its JAWS announcement a few basic pieces of information as well, such as the service tag number for the machine. After these buttons, there is a "Give us your feedback" button which would open a website for feedback entry, then the Check button that is used to start a scan for updates. After this, there are a link for downloading drivers, a checkbox for determining what to do when a system restart is required by an update, and finally a control that calls itself a button but merely provides more information about the checkbox.

Press the Settings button to view or change Dell Command Update settings. These appear in various tabs, and the tabs appear in a list navigable with Up and Down arrows (not Left and Right arrows in this application). Note that it is common for controls to be unavailable and skipped by Tab on these pages. Use JAWSKey+B or the standard window virtualization command, Alt+JAWSKey+W, to review these controls if necessary. The functionality of Alt+JAWSKey+W may vary among supported JAWS versions.

On the main Dell Command Update screen, pressing Update History, System Information, or Activity Log buttons will open a dialog containing the requested information in a table. Focus should land directly in this table except in the case of Activity Log, where it will land on a combo box that allows selection of how much time to cover in the table. In the tables, Up and Down arrows will read the rows. These controls and tables are not available in the Dell Update application. Instead, that application may include a Licenses button that opens a dialog containing one tabbable control of information which JAWS should read automatically.

On the main screen of both Dell Command Update and Dell Update, pressing the Check button will initiate a scan for updates. There may then be a short pause, perhaps about five or ten seconds, during which the application is busy enough to prevent JAWS from saying anything. After this, JAWS should begin speaking progress bar percentages as they update as well as small messages indicating what the application is doing. When the scan is complete, the results will appear. If you did a scan very recently, the results may appear almost immediately without a scan being performed.

If an Ok button appears after a scan for updates, this usually if not always means that there are no updates. Use JAWSKey+B to verify this. Pressing Ok will close the "This system is up to date" notice and remain in the app, while pressing Close will close the app entirely.

When there are updates, Tab will move through a high-level overview of the updates. After this, there will be a View Details button, which will open a dialog that includes a more thorough breakdown of the updates available. In this screen, Tab will move through the updates, which appear as checkboxes. There will finally be a Close button to close the details view and return to the update scan results, where the Install button can be found to get the update installation started.

While on a checkbox for an update in the details view, type Ctrl+Shift+D to open a website that shows more information about that specific update. (The button that opens the website is not reachable via the Tab key at this writing.) In this script author's experience, the best way to navigate this information on the website is

  1. Type the number 1, from the number row not the number pad, to move to the first top-level heading.
  2. Use the Down arrow to read through the initial information about the update, until you reach a level 2 heading.
  3. Type H a few times until you reach a " "Fixes and Enhancements" heading. The remaining information about this update will appear below this heading.
  4. Close the browser window and return to Dell Command Update. If you only have one browser tab open, Alt+F4 should be sufficient; otherwise, you may need to Alt+Tab back to Dell Command Update to avoid closing unrelated browser windows.

Known Issues

The following issues are known and may be encountered during use of these applications with these JAWS scripts. These issues may be fixed in future script or application updates.

The final announcement when there are no updates, "This system is up to date," may not occur automatically, depending on whether the application sends an alert for it that JAWS manages to catch. If uncertain of scan results, use JAWSKey+B to check the screen for messages.

Dell Command Update makes heavy use of invisible controls that are made visible only when needed and applicable to the current screen. (This may also be true of Dell Update, though this theory was not tested before script release.) Unfortunately, the JAWS Touch cursor often stops on these controls, which could confuse users into thinking they apply when they don't. For example, using touch navigation on the main screen is likely to encounter "System Restart Required" even when this message is not actually shown. The JAWS Insert+B command for reading the entire screen will not include such invisible controls, nor will the Alt+JAWSKey+W command for presenting the screen in a virtual view.

Depending on system activity and speed, pressing the Check button to start an update scan in Dell Command Update may unexpectedly cause announcement of the feature for downloading a device driver library. A similar surprise may be possible in the Dell Update application. This happens when the update progress dialog takes too long to appear and the JAWS scripts try to fix the loss of focus before it does. The update scan will still occur and its results may still be reached via Tab and read via JAWSKey+B.

Braille support is not well tested and is likely incomplete.

Revision History

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

Revision 38, released March 12, 2024

Revision 37, released March 2, 2024

This script revision was tested against the following applications and versions:

Dell Command Update (DCU)
Versions and
Dell Update