locked Re: NVDA versus JAWS

erik burggraaf <erik@...>


On May 21, 2019 9:04:07 PM "Aine Kelly Costello" <ainekc@...> wrote:

Hi all,

New here and my apologies if this topic has been well-covered before but I’ve not found an efficient ways to search group archives yet!

This topic gets bogged down in politics anyway and it's a personal favourite of mine.

I’m switching back to Windows after using a Mac for a couple of years, as I’ll be studying investigative journalism and am fairly sure I’ll find any software we need to use etc. to work better on Windows than Mac (still getting info on that).

I think that's a gross generalization. If I could use mac for everything, I would. Windows is OK for the asics, especially if you have a good means of flashing back to a known good configuration, but I don't like it for the high performance applications I need.

My question is: can you tell me about anything that springs to mind that NVDA does particularly poorly that JAWS does well? In the domains of MS Word, excel and web browsing, in particular.

Interesting turn of phrase. I'm biassed but in my experience the reverse is true. I just started a training for a customer using jaws that wanted to learn flipp. I didn't think it would be an issue, since I had just used flipp in chrome with nvda very well. With jaws, it was just really clunky and gross. The customer got so frustrated. I tried chrome and edge with flipp and with other more basic sites and wasn't really pleased with any of it. Speaking of webpage summaries was very random. Some webpages loaded on screen but not in virtual buffer. It was discouraging.

I did have to turn a formula bar setting off in NVDA so that I could use inline editing for cells in excel spreadsheets last term. I forget where the setting is now, but could find it if needed. Other than that, I haven't had any problems in word or excel using nvda. I've done some complex reports with tables of content, heading structures, and bibliographies and have never had trouble getting formatting information and finding the options I need.

On the other hand, I went out to do a training for a college student using jaws for an excel course, and it was brootal. He had some intermitant focus issue where he couldn't navigate cells. Then he would restart the computer and things would work for a bit. Then it would poop out on him. In the spring I went out to do a jaws training and the customer had his authorization fail. List indexes aren't being reported properly. The mail app that comes with windows 10 is doing screwie things, and jaws loses focus in html content such as webpages and emails.

OK, these are small sample sizes, but it seems to me as though jaws screws up all the time nowadays. I figure, if something goes wrong with NVDA:
*Odds are good it'll be fixed in months rather than years.
*I haven't paid anything out of pocket.
*There's a strong support community and excellent documentation.

Honestly, I don't see what you would get out of jaws that you wouldn't get from either nvda or voiceover.

I imagine JAWS is well-ahead of NVDA in OCRing by now, for instance, but perhaps there’s enough free software around to do this efficiently now that that’s not a big deal any more … thoughts?

OCR is a nonstarter. Everything does it now. Just pull out your phone and get'er done. Realisticly, almost all daily computing such as email, web, simple word processing and document reading can and probably should be done on mobile anyway. I have 4 email accounts on my phone, and only one on each of my development machines, and I'm writing this email from my phone where I'm sitting comfortably on a bus with a work table in front of me.Thanks very much in advance,

Best wishes,


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