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Accessibility: Edit

WIRIS editor using Keyboard only or JAWS

The WIRIS editor popup window has multiple areas, one below the other. You can navigate between areas using the usual Tab and Shift+Tab keys. Use Tab to move down, and Shift+Tab to move up. You can navigate inside the areas using the arrow keys.

To write formulas, you usually need mathematical symbols that do not exist in the keyboard. WIRIS editor provides a toolbar with lots of buttons to insert these symbols. There are so many symbols, that they are grouped in tabs. There is only one active tab at a time, and only the symbols of that tab are shown.

The areas of WIRIS editor are, from top to bottom:

  1. The address bar of the browser.
  2. A link to a help page.
  3. The tab list, to choose one tab to activate.
  4. The symbols area, to choose a symbol of the active tab.
  5. The content area, to write the formula.
  6. The Accept and Cancel buttons, to exit.
  7. More links to help pages.

You can navigate areas up and down using the Tab and Shift+Tab keys, and inside the areas using the arrow keys.

TAB key sequence

First steps

Every time you activate the WIRIS editor it shows up in a popup window, and gets the focus. This window, after some seconds of loading time, is titled WIRIS editor.

The WIRIS editor popup window has:

  1. The content area, where the focus is initially placed. You can start immediately to type a formula.
  2. Below this area (one Tab key away), there is the Accept button, to save the formula.
  3. Two Tab keys away, there is the Cancel button.

After that, there are a couple of links to help pages. And if you keep going forward, you will jump to the top of the window, to the Address bar of the browser.

You can open the WIRIS editor, write a formula, and save it (after one Tab), or discard the changes (after two Tabs).

The toolbar

WIRIS editor has a toolbar with lots of symbols for your formulas. When you activate a symbol in the toolbar, it gets inserted in the content area, at the cursor. Because there are lots of symbols, they are grouped into tabs.

Let's detail the usual action of inserting a symbol from the toolbar using only keyboard.

  1. You are in the content area, and need a symbol.
  2. Go to the tab list; go up two times (do the combo Shift+Tab twice).
  3. Move in the list, using left and right arrow keys.
  4. Ok, you found the right tab. Enter inside, by going down once (one Tab key).
  5. Navigate inside the tab to find the symbol you want.
  6. Buttons inside a tab are not a list but an array; so you have to use the left and right arrow keys, but also the up and down arrow keys. In fact, a tab is an horizontal list of sub arrays; some of them are 3×3, others 2×4, etc. Symbols in the same array have related meanings; so you can find related symbols both left, right, up, down, and around.
  7. Some infrequently used symbols are hidden into folded sections, that we call extra sections. These sections are unlabeled buttons placed at right of related sub arrays. To access these symbols, first you have to unfold the extra section. You can unfold it with the usual activation keys, and also with the down arrow key. You can exit an extra section using the Escape key, and not the arrow keys.
  8. Once you find the symbol, you can activate it with the usual activation keys (space bar, return or intro keys). When you activate a symbol, it gets inserted in the content area, the focus follows it, and so you are not anymore in the symbols area.
  9. Now you are again in the content area, you can continue to type your formula, or repeat these steps to insert another symbol.

Step 0

¿How to open the WIRIS editor popup window in first place? It depends on the platform you are using; Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, etc. Please see the User manuals.

For example, in Blackboard:

  1. You can make new formulas this way: Activate the WIRIS editor button in the toolbar of the content editor. The WIRIS editor button is actually called Launch math editor.
  2. You can edit existing formulas, two ways:
    • Select the image; place the cursor next to the formula, hold Shift, and go to the other side of the formula. Now activate the WIRIS editor button in the toolbar. You can go to the toolbar with the Alt+F10 keys, and move to the button with left and right arrow keys. Fortunately the toolbar remembers the last button used.
    • Select the image, and simulate right click using the Shift+F10 keys. In the contextual menu, choose Edit equation.
  3. You can use LaTeX: Type your formula inside double dollars $$...$$. If you want to use the WIRIS editor to edit it, place the cursor inside the dollars, go to the toolbar, and activate the WIRIS editor button. Beware that not all LaTeX commands are supported.