Improved Application Support in v11.50

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word logoVersion 11.50 of SuperNova, Hal and LunarPlus provide a range of enhancements to significantly transform Dolphin's support for Microsoft Word.  The performance and functionality improvements result in a more productive and pleasant experience when using recent versions of Microsoft Word including: 2007, 2003, 2002/XP.

Faster and more reliable, the Architecture in version 11.50 has been substantially reengineered to be more responsive and robust when working with applications supporting the document object model (DOM) such as Microsoft Word. Editing and navigating large and complex documents using Word and Dolphin access software version 11.50 is much quicker and more consistent than ever before.

Over 20 new quick navigation hotkeys for moving around inside a document.  Hotkeys to jump to next/previous document elements of various types, similar to the keys provided in Internet Explorer. It is not necessary to change to any special mode to use these keys, simply press the Dolphin Key (normally CAPSLOCK) in conjunction with various alphabetic characters to move to the next element of a particular type. Add the Shift key to jump to the previous element.

  • CAPSLOCK + A = Bookmark
  • CAPSLOCK + B = Button
  • CAPSLOCK + C = Comment
  • CAPSLOCK + D = Different style paragraph
  • CAPSLOCK + E = Editable form field
  • CAPSLOCK + F = Footnote or endnote
  • CAPSLOCK + G = Graphic
  • CAPSLOCK + H = Heading (of any level)
  • CAPSLOCK + I = List item (within same list)
  • CAPSLOCK + L = Link
  • CAPSLOCK + M = Text frame
  • CAPSLOCK + N = Normal style paragraph
  • CAPSLOCK + O = Object
  • CAPSLOCK + P = Paragraph
  • CAPSLOCK + R = Revision
  • CAPSLOCK + S = List of items
  • CAPSLOCK + T = Table
  • CAPSLOCK + X = Checkbox form field
  • CAPSLOCK + Z = Section
  • ALT + CONTROL + Arrow keys navigates by cell within tables.

Intelligent Tab key announcements.  Pressing TAB announces the horizontal position of the cursor in the preferred Word measurement units, i.e. inches or centimetres. The announcement takes account of whether the cursor is in a table or protected document or even if the user is not in the document at all, in which case the normal function of the TAB key will apply.

In addition version 11.50 of SuperNova and Hal users will also gain:

New meaningful announcements for approximately 50 Microsoft Word hotkey functions. These keys are obtained dynamically from Microsoft Word so the actual keystrokes depend on the language being used. Supported functions include the hotkeys to change font weight, letter case, text alignment, font size, heading style, indent text, Italics, text justification, line spacing, over-type, strike-through, subscript/superscript, toggle ribbon, underline and view. To look up the Microsoft Word keys for your version of Word in your local language, visit the Microsoft Word homepage.

Spell checker support improvements. Upon entering the spell checker dialog and when moving to a new spelling error, the screen reader announces:

  • The context of the spelling error. The "context" is the line of text up to and including the misspelt word. In the case that the misspelt word is the first word on the line, the previous line (if available) is read together with the spelling error.
  • The label of the spelling error window.
  • The spelling error itself (read and spelt out).
  • The first suggestion in the list of suggestions (read and spelt out). When a spelling error or suggestion is spelt out, the voice speed is slowed down.

Microsoft Outlook

Performance improvements:

  • When composing a new message the Focus appears in the "To" field more quickly.
  • When working in the body of emails in Outlook 2007, your Dolphin software is faster and more reliable thanks to the DOM improvements outlined previously.
  • Reading HTML emails in Outlook 2003 and earlier is more robust as it uses the Internet Explorer DOM.
  • Bug fixes resulting in quicker opening of email attachments.
  • New Calendar support improvement. While navigating around in the Outlook Calendar, version 11.50 automatically announces whether a selected day has appointments and how many.
  • New Automatic speech during send/receive. Version 11.50 now automatically announces sending/receiving status when this information is displayed in the Outlook status bar.  This also includes notifications such as 'Unable to connect to the Exchange Server', etc.

Tip: to read the Outlook status bar at any time, using the default desktop hotkey set press NUMPAD 2.

Microsoft Excel

Hal and SuperNova version 11.50 include flexible features for controlling how and when column and row headings are announced in Excel spreadsheets.  You can change the detection method used to recognise headings and adjust the search margin beyond the range of visible cells. 

Heading detection methods available include:

  • Bold Text
  • First Text Cell In Row/Column
  • Different Cell Colour Background
  • Different Cell Pattern
  • Underlined Text
  • Italicized Text
  • Different Sized Text
  • Different Coloured text

Tip: To change these settings open the Excel script configuration dialog by pressing CAPS + X while running Excel 2003 or Excel 2007.

Tip: You can toggle whether headings are automatically announced in Excel using LEFT CONTROL + CAPS + H.

Internet Explorer

Building on Dolphin's screen magnifier and screen reader support for Internet Explorer 8, version 11.50 introduces the following improvements:

  • Page progress announcements.  While a web page is opening, Supernova and Hal will report the percentage progress of the page as it is downloaded from the web server.
  • Download progress announcements. While a file is being downloaded from a web page the progress will be announced automatically.

Tip:  You can change whether numbers are announced as digits, pairs, or whole numbers from Speech > Text Style Announcements.

Windows Live messenger

A screenshot of Windows Live Messenger in action.Version 11.50 fixes issues preventing the conversation window of Windows Live Messenger 2009 from being read reliably and also includes some performance improvements.

  • Windows Live Messenger 2009 is fully supported by Supernova, Hal, Lunar and LunarPlus under Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
  • The Windows Live Messenger Dolphin Map and Dolphin Script have been rewritten to address issues with entering text in the input field of the conversation window.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Version 11.50 will now read the default text in Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 slide placeholders. Text such as "Click to add Title" will now be read when the user TABS between any new placeholders.


Skype logoVersion 11.50 of the Dolphin Access range introduces support for Skype version 4. 

  • The Skype contact list and instant messaging windows are now read as expected by Hal and SuperNova.
  • Online status information is now automatically announced.

Tip: The last message in a text conversation window can be read out by pressing CAPS LOCK + L.

These are new features found in Dolphin's v11.50 Access Tools, read what's new in v11.50 to find out about other features of these products.