GWKB2017 : Java and OpenOffice Accessibility

Product: Window-Eyes
Author: Jeremy Curry
Date Added: 10/23/2012
Last Modified: 10/23/2012

Java support was introduced with the release of Window-Eyes 8.0 Beta 1.  This means that programs like OpenOffice will work with Window-Eyes. OpenOffice is an open-source suite of programs including a word processor and more. While Window-Eyes supports Java, it should be noted that programs like OpenOffice will only offer accessibility if the developer has developed the program correctly.  While OpenOffice has some accessibility, this does not mean it is 100% accessible. Thus, you may experience some accessibility issues when using OpenOffice.

OpenOffice can be downloaded from When you install OpenOffice, you will also be installing Java if your machine did not already have Java installed previously.

Window-Eyes uses the Java Access Bridge (JAB) to communicate with Java to make it accessible. During the installation of Window-Eyes, you were either prompted to install the Java Access Bridge or it installed automatically.  If you installed Java after installing Window-Eyes, you will need to run the Java Access Bridge installer again. You can do this by performing the following steps (Note: these steps are using the Start menu in Windows 7):

1.    Open the Start menu
2.    Press Up Arrow to get to All Programs
3.    Press Enter
4.    Press Up Arrow to get to Window-Eyes
5.    Press Enter
6.    Press Down Arrow to get to Advanced Options
7.    Press Enter
8.    Down Arrow to Install Java Access Bridge
9.    Press Enter and follow the prompts

Window-Eyes will now be able to communicate with Java to make it accessible.

If you plan to use OpenOffice, there is another step that you will need to take.  OpenOffice does not have accessibility enabled by default. You will need to enable it for Window-Eyes to work with OpenOffice, but you will need sighted assistance to enable accessibility for OpenOffice.  Here are the steps to enable accessibility for OpenOffice:

1.    Open OpenOffice Writer
2.    Press Alt-T to open the Tools menu
3.    Press O for Options
4.    Make sure the node is selected
5.    Open the node by pressing Right Arrow
6.    Press Down Arrow until you are on Accessibility
7.    Press Tab to navigate to the Support assistive technology tools checkbox
8.    Press Space to check the checkbox
9.    Press Enter to accept the changes
10.    You will need to restart OpenOffice

Once you have completed all of these steps, you will be able to use OpenOffice with Window-Eyes.