Getting JAWS 6.1 to recognize "exotic" Unicode symbols
Update on JAWS 13
A revised post with complete instructions for JAWS 13 is now available on this blog.
Although Unicode is a great standard, it isn't always interpreted accurately on screen readers (e.g. Phonetic symbols /sɪmbl̩z/ are rendered as "?" or skipped altogether)
This article from a Caroll Tech accessibility blog explains how users of JAWS 6.1+ can tweak their symbol (.sbl) files so that certain code points are pronounced accurately. For instance, you could program /ŋ/ (U+014B) to be pronounced as "engma" (FYI - /ŋ/ is the "ng" sound in "sing, song").
Carroll Tech provides a sample .sbl list for math at http://www.carrolltech.org/pub/math.txt
For other Unicode characters, tables can be found at:
- http://www.alanwood.net/unicode/index.html#links (Alan Wood Test Pages by block)
- http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/bylanguage/index.html (Penn State, By Language (Partial))
- http://www.unicode.org/charts/charindex.html (Symbols & Blocks)
- http://www.unicode.org/Public/UNIDATA/UnicodeData.txt (Full list by number)
Postscript: .sbl file for Phonetics
An .sbl file is available for Phonetic characters at
Other files may also be available online via a Google search.