Running Programs Guide

A guide for Jaws users, written by Chorlton Workshop for hsbp.

Start a program

The easiest way to start a program is to use the Start menu, which is described in a separate guide. ( Press the WINDOWS KEY to open the Start menu. )

Stop a program

The easiest way to stop a program is to press ALT + F4.

Switch between running programs

At any time, there can be only one active program, that is the program with which you can interact with using the keyboard. However, there can be a number of programs that are running at the same time. If you are using Jaws, and are running Microsoft Word, then you are already running two programs.

Apart from Jaws, it is often useful to have more than one program running, so that you can easily switch between them. For example, if you are using a program, and you also have a document containing instructions for that program.

You can switch between programs using the ALT and TAB keys as follows:

  1. Start holding down the ALT key
  2. Each time you press the TAB key, Jaws reads the title bar of a running program. When you get to the program you want, release both keys, and this will now be the active program.

Note that when you switch between programs, both Windows and Jaws remember where you were in the programs.

In the method of switching above, the first TAB selects the previous active program, the second TAB, the active program before that, etc.. If you carry on TABBING, then you wrap round to the current active program.

Because of this order, you can switch back and forward between two programs just be pressing ALT + TAB.

Kill an unresponsive program

Sometimes a program freezes — it stops responding to user input. This can also cause the Start Menu not to open, stopping you shutting down in the usual way. To kill ( close ) an unresponsive program:

  1. To open the Windows Task Manager, press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC.
  2. The Windows Task Manager dialog is a multi-page dialog. On the Applications page, there's a list of programs which also gives their status. If you use DOWN ARROW to read the list, Jaws only reads the name of the program. To read the status as well, either read the current line, or use read all. Select the unresponding program, and press the End Task button.
  3. An End Program dialog opens. Press the End Now button.
  4. Press ESC to close the Task Manger dialog.