JAWS Scripts For Skype - Manual Script Installation Instructions

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 describes how to install the Skype scripts manually, including the SkypeWatch feature. These instructions are written for the scripts for Skype 6.x but should also apply to the scripts for newer Skype versions.

Table of Contents

Basic Script Installation

By far the easiest way to install the JAWS scripts for Skype is to run the installer, either directly from the web site or after downloading a local copy. The scripts will be installed and compiled automatically.

If you instead prefer to install manually, unpack the scripts into the appropriate JAWS settings\enu directory using 7Zip or a compatible archive handler. This directory is most easily found by going to the Start menu, then All Programs, then the appropriate JAWS version, then Explore JAWS, and finally Explore My Settings. Be sure to use "My Settings," not "Shared Settings." JAWS versions older than 12.0 are no longer supported as of September 17, 2013. The installed files should include compiled .jsb files already, so the scripts should not need to be recompiled manually. If you wish to recompile manually, type Ctrl+Shift+C from within Skype after installing.

If you do not need the SkypeWatch features, you can stop here. Everything below concerns how to handle SkypeWatch.

SkypeWatch Installation The Easy Way

The installer for the Skype scripts automatically sets up SkypeWatch, so the information in the next section is no longer necessary for most users.

Setting Up SkypeWatch

Because these scripts are meant to modify JAWS' default behavior, they must be installed such that they take effect ahead of the normal default JAWS scripts in default.jsb. The procedures outlined below will accomplish this.

Note that the recommended procedure was last changed on September 17, 2013. The procedure described here only works in JAWS 10 and later. If you attempt the below procedure in JAWS 9 or older, you will lose the ability to use JAWS on your computer.

The procedures below will look complicated to a lot of people, but they really amount to writing a short new default.jss file in the JAWS user folder and compiling it. The complexity below is simply to spell out a set of steps that should work reliably for people with varying degrees of experience managing files and folders in Windows.

Warning: The below procedures should work if followed correctly, but if not followed correctly, they can destabilize JAWS and result in a very difficult situation to escape without sight. If you use these instructions, you do so at your own risk. Rather than bore the gentle reader with a raft of legalese, I'll just do this: On loading and using Skype itself, you agreed to a license that includes disclaimers of liability. By using the below instructions, you agree to hold me liable for absolutely nothing and to regard the disclaimers of liability in the Skype license agreement as applicable to these instructions as well in the event any legalese must be used to disambiguate my meaning of "nothing."

SkypeWatch Installation For JAWS 12.0 and Later

The below procedure should only be necessary once. No further attention to SkypeWatch will be required after a JAWS repair, unless you have modified the original JAWS default.jss for some other reason.

Important: Be sure to follow the below procedure carefully. Failure to follow the procedure correctly can result in an unusable JAWS installation. The point at which this becomes possible will be clearly indicated in the procedure.

To install the SkypeWatch system under JAWS 12.0 or later:

  1. If you already installed SkypeWatch by adding a line to the original JAWS default.jss from Freedom Scientific (this was the procedure before June 2, 2007), reverse this as follows before proceeding:
    1. Type JAWSKey+0 from within any application to open the JAWS Script Manager.
    2. Type Ctrl+Shift+D to open default.jss.
    3. Find and remove the line that says
      use "skypewatch.jsb"
      Make sure to avoid removing anything besides this line.
    4. Type Ctrl+S to recompile default.jss, then Alt+F4 to close the Script Manager. SkypeWatch will be unloaded at this point.
  2. Open the JAWS user folder by going to the Start menu, then All Programs, then your JAWS version, then Explore JAWS, and then Explore My Settings. Leave this folder open as you go to the next step. We will refer to this folder window as the User folder from now on.
  3. Check for a default.jss file in the folder just opened. If you find it, and it is small, meaning less than 50 K in size, open it by typing JAWSKey+0 to open the Script Manager, then Ctrl+Shift+D to open the custom default.jss file, then skip to step 11. If you find it but it is a big file, meaning over 200 K in size, delete it and continue with the next step. This situation occurs when the JAWS original default.jss gets modified but saved in the user folder, which became JAWS' default behavior at some point. If you do not find default.jss in the User folder, continue to the next step.
  4. Open the JAWS shared folder by going to the Start menu, then All Programs, then your JAWS version, then Explore JAWS, and then Explore Shared Settings. Leave this folder open as you go to the next step. We will refer to this folder window as the Shared folder from now on.
  5. If you are running JAWS 12 or 13, Type Alt+D to move focus to the Windows Explorer address bar, then type Ctrl+C to put the address on the Windows clipboard. If you are running JAWS 14 or later, skip this step.
  6. Type JAWSKey+0 to open the JAWS Script Manager, then type Ctrl+N and then Enter to open a blank screen within the Script Manager.
  7. Enter the following code, by typing or pasting from this document as you prefer:
    Use "default.jsb"

    void function _filler()
    The dummy function is necessary to avoid possible problems compiling default.jss.
  8. Verify that the code you entered looks exactly as shown above. Failure to enter this code correctly can cause the next step to disable all JAWS keystrokes. If that happens, it will be necessary to find a way to delete default.jsb from this User folder before JAWS will work again.
  9. If you are running JAWS 14 or later, skip to the next step. Otherwise, find the "d" of "default.jsb" on the line reading
    Use "default.jsb"
    and type Ctrl+V to paste before the "d" the file path copied to clipboard in step 5. Place a backslash (\) between the end of this value and the "d" you just pasted before. Finally, move back to the beginning of this line and scan through the line one character at a time, adding a backslash (\) after every existing backslash, so that every backslash in the line is doubled. The resulting line should look similar, though not necessarily identical to the following line:
    use "C:\\ProgramData\\Freedom Scientific\\JAWS\\15.0\\Settings\\enu\\default.jsb"
  10. Save the new custom default.jss file and recompile it. Do this by typing Ctrl+S and, when prompted, entering the name "default.jss" (without the quotes) and pressing Enter. You should hear JAWS say "Compile complete." If you get an error message instead, press the OK button, then go back and check the code and recompile as necessary. If you get a warning like "This file already exists, do you want to replace it?" choose Yes. This will probably happen to several people, because the old SkypeWatch installation procedure can create a copy of default.jss in the JAWS user folder. By saying Yes here, you will not be replacing the original JAWS default files.
  11. Whether you reached this step from step 10 or from step 3, you should still be in the Script Manager with the custom default.jss file loaded. Add this below the Use "default.jsb" line:
    Use "skypewatch.jsb"
  12. Recompile the default.jsb file with the JAWS Script Manager to make the new code immediately take effect. Do this by typing Ctrl+S. You should hear JAWS say "Compile complete." If you get an error message instead, press the OK button, then go back and check the code and recompile as necessary.
  13. Close the JAWS Script Manager, the Shared folder window if open, and the User folder window, each with Alt+F4.

Notes On JAWS Upgrades

There should be no unusual issues upgrading from a JAWS 14 or later version to a still later one. However, if you need to upgrade from JAWS 12 or 13 to a later JAWS version after installing SkypeWatch scripts, not the following carefully:

The above notes do not apply if you are upgrading from JAWS 14 or later because those JAWS versions do not include a full file path in the "Use" line for default.jss.

JAWS 12.0 and Later Recovery Procedure

The following procedure was worked out, tested, and reported to me by Roy Nickelson. Thanks much to Roy for this. This procedure applies if JAWS stops functioning due to a mistake in the above JAWS 12.0 and later installation procedure.

  1. Type Windows+U to run Microsoft Narrator so you'll have speech during this procedure. If Windows+U does not work on your system (a rare but possible problem), instead type Windows+R, then the word Narrator, then Enter.
  2. Type Windows+R, then the word JAWS12 or JAWS15 or the appropriate command for your JAWS version, then Enter. Because JAWS is already running, this will bring up the Context menu for JAWS rather than running it again.
  3. Type Alt+Shift+F4. This will bring up the "Exit JAWS?" dialog. The "shift" part of that command gets around any possible script attached to a plain Alt+F4.
  4. Press Enter to close JAWS. The keyboard will now become fully usable.
  5. Launch the user settings folder by going to the Start menu, then All Programs, then your JAWS version, then Explore JAWS, and finally Explore My Settings. Be sure to use Explore My Settings, not Explore Shared Settings.
  6. From the folder just opened, delete default.jsb. This will restore JAWS' default behavior.
  7. Close Narrator by Alt+Tabbing to it and typing Alt+F4.
  8. Restart JAWS in your normal fashion.

Table of Contents