How to Use JAWS on a Laptop

Shortcuts to Use JAWS on a Laptop without a Numeric Keypad

From Technology Tips


Today we’re going to talk about the JAWS laptop keyboard layout. This is a layout that is a little bit “underutilized”, but it’s really important if you have a laptop computer that does not have a numeric keypad.

The numeric keypad is that at least seventeen-key keypad over to the right of your main keyboard that you’ll find on most desktop computer keyboards, and on some larger laptops. Majority of larger laptops, and a lot of people, don’t like to carry around a very big laptop that has a numeric keypad on it.

So, if you are carrying a laptop that does not have a numeric keypad, the laptop layout becomes very important. It’s important because if you need to be able to switch cursors you want to be able to read the current word line or character, and you want to be able to use the touch cursor.

You can only do those things effectively if you have the laptop keyboard layout enabled. To enable to laptop layout, simply

  1. Go to your JAWS window
  2. Open the “options” menu
  3. Select the “basics” dialogue 
  4. Tab to the layout combo box
  5. Arrow to select the laptop keyboard layout

Once you’ve selected that layout, the caps lock key will become your JAWS keyThat’s important for two reasons:

First of all, when you’re pressing and holding that key, the letters on your keyboard from “J” to the right become JAWS function-enabled keys.

And second of all, if you’re in the laptop layout and you actually want to activate the CAPS lock or deactivate the CAPS lock, you need to double tap it.

Once the laptop keyboard layout is enabled, the general functionality of your computer remains unchanged unless you want to use one of the features that was previously talked about.

If you want to enable your PC cursor, you’ll use

Caps Lock + Semicolon (;)

If you want to enable your JAWS cursor, you’ll use

Caps Lock + P

To root the PC cursor to your JAWS cursor, you’ll use

Caps Lock + Apostrophe (‘)

And to root the JAWS cursor to the PC cursor, you would use

Caps Lock + Left Bracket ([)

The other functions– current character, current word, and current line are also available.

For current character, you’ll use

Caps Lock + Comma (,)

Current Word will be

Caps Lock + K

And Current Line will be

Caps Lock + I

To simulate left and right mouse clicks, you use

Caps Lock + 8 for Left

Caps Lock + 9 for Right

And finally, to enable your touch cursor, you’ll use

Caps Lock + Shift + Semicolon (;)

Much of this may sound a little bit counter-intuitive, but it does get easier as you practice. Hopefully, this has been a helpful way to learn a little bit about the JAWS keyboard layout.