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Read Bookshare Books using Microsoft Word with JAWS

Word enables users to customize text for even more accessibility!

This post was originally two SC listserv emails shared/written by Nancy Irwin, who gave permission to Paths to Technology to re-post.

Benetech, the company who owns Bookshare sent an email today discussing how to read books in Microsoft Word. This might be a good option for students who have tried FSReader and the files consume too much computer resources.

Some highlights from the email are:

Bookshare books can now be downloaded in Word and read with any compatible editor or reading tool. This is a common, easy-to-use format that allows members to customize the book’s text to meet their reading needs. Members can do the following with Word:

How to access Books in Word

Here are the steps for accessing Bookshare books in Word:

  1. Log in to Bookshare
  2. Select a desired book
  3. Select “Word” from the drop-down menu next to “Download” and follow the steps to complete the download process
  4. Find the zipped file in your “Downloads” folder
  5. Extract the zipped file

Once the file has been extracted, you can open it with a compatible editor or reading tool.

Here is the original Bookshare post about downloading a book to Word.

Nancy’s observations about downloading the books to Word

I downloaded a book in Word earlier today and thought I would share some observations.

Files open in “protected view”  

As a JAWS user, I do the following, press F6 twice, because the first time it takes you to the navigation payne of your document.  JAWS will say “Be careful, files from the internet can contain viruses that may be harmful to your computer…” I simply press the right arrow and press enter on the “enable editing” button.  
JAWS is sometimes able to read the document when in protected view but I have found that simply enabling editing makes it easier to read without having to fuss with any keystrokes.

Books have structure such as a table of contents

To navigate to the table of contents, I press “Jaws key” F6 My jaws key is the caps lock but others may have the number pad 0 as their jaws key.  The jaws key f6 command brings up a list of all available headings in the book.  From this box all the student has to do is navigate with the up and down arrows to the chapter they would like and press enter on the chapter they’re looking for.  
They will be placed on the title of the chapter and inside the document so they can simply begin reading

What about going to a specific page? 

I found the easiest way for me to do this was to perform the “find” command (Control F)     In my version of word, I typed the page number I was looking for then pressed enter.  If a page was not available in this volume of the book, jaws gave me a message about spell checker.   If I heard the “Find next” option, I knew the page had been located.  It is important to note that the page number that bookshare gives and the actual page in the word document will be different.

To navigate to the result, I pressed Shift F6 and jaws said “Document Payne”.  From here, I navigated down the page until I found what I was looking for and proceeded to use jaws reading commands as normal.

What about getting back to where they were reading?

Unfortunately there are two ways to do this depending on settings.
Example one: after opening the previously-used word document, jaws will say “resume Reading Payne, Resume reading button” hold down shift and press F6 twice.  You will land on the “resume reading” button.  Press space bar to activate the button.
Example two: Press Shift F5, according to  the person I spoke with, you are automatically taken to the last location when reading the document previously.

I know their was a LOT of information in this document so I might suggest saving it.

I hope this was helpful.

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Nancy E. Irwin

Access Technology Specialist

South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, Division of Outreach Services

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