Omni Search Results: Issue and Alternatives

Date: December 16, 2022

Problem description

When searching Omni in Chrome, special tags are used to highlight matching keywords that appear in the titles in the search rearch results list. This also has the effect of making Omni very verbose and making the titles difficult or impossible to evaluate. 

Example:

Title: Historical dictionary of censorship in the United States

Omni: end mark Historical dictionary of mark censorship end mark in the mark United States heading level 3 Link

Real example: Omni search results for Censorship United States.

Scope of the problem

This problem has been found using Chrome with JAWS 2022.2207.25 and versions after. It may have been introduced with the JAWS 2021.2103 release. It does not appear on Edge or Firefox.

It appears on the search results page only.

Changing the JAWS' Marked Announcements setting does not have an effect.

Work Around 1: Use Edge or Firefox as a browser until this is fixed

Currently, the issue does not appear with Edge or Firefox. It is unclear why.

 

Work Around 2: Change Speech and Sound Scheme

The  strategy is to alter an advanced JAWS settings called a Speech and Sound Scheme. The technique changes what JAWS says when it encounters the mark tag. It's safe to do, just a little complicated to get there.

If you like to explore first a bit. You can review your existing Speech and Sounds Schemes with JAWS + Alt + S. You can learn from Freedom Scientific about Speech and Sound Schemes.

Limitations:

It will alter what JAWS says whenever it encounters a mark tag on the web.

Need a hand?

Contact mweiler@wlu.ca

Steps to change

  1. In Chrome,
  2. JAWS + Fn + 6 to open the JAWS Setting Center. 
  3. In the edit search box, type: modify. This filters the content of the list box to Modify Schemes.
  4. Tab into the list box of setting labels
  5. Down key until you get to Modify Schemes.
  6. F6 to the other pane. The pane is unlabelled. You’ll land on the Modify Schemes... button.  This pane has a 3-tab cycle that gives an overview.
  7. On Modify Schemes... button, space to open a dialog box. This is the 1st of 2 dialog.
  8. Tab to the Edit Selected Scheme button.
  9. Space to open a dialog box. This is the 2nd of 2 dialogs.
  10. The dialog box has the label Edit Scheme in the title. It follows a tab/tab panel pattern but the keyboard focus is put in a Scheme Description edit on the default open tab, labelled General.
  11. Shift + Tab to the General tab.
  12. Control + Tab or right arrow to change tab panels until you get to the Attributes tab. 
  13. Tab into the Attribute's tab panel and you’ll be in a list view
  14. Press M to advance to the mark entry.
  15. Press tab to leave the list view. This leaves the mark selected but takes you to an area where there is about 5 or 6 input options. The relevant options ends with the Modify button.  These input options lets you decide what JAWS does when it encounters the Mark attribute in a website. You can have it change voices, change what it says, play a sound, or ignore it altogether.  A low sound, like h6b.wav, is not too distracting.
  16. After adjusting, close the Edit Scheme window by tabbing to the OK button
  17. Back on the Modify Schemes window tab to Save Selected Schemes button
  18. Still on the Modify Schemes window, tab to OK button
  19. Back on the JAWS Settings Center window, F6 out of the pane and tab to OK
  20. Test it out with Omni search results for Censorship United States. 

Steps to set back to the original

If you want to go back to the original settings, repeat the steps but in the Edit Scheme window select the option to Speak Attribute radio button.  JAWS will say mark and end mark when it encounters a mark tag.

Long-term Solutions:

We have reached out to Freedom Scientific to report the bug and also to the maker of Omni.

Questions or other problems in Omni?

Concerned or got questions? Want a hand with the workaround? Have a solution we haven't thought of?  Contact Mark Weiler, mweiler@wlu.ca.