Google Docs Redux

Google docs

In a previous post, I wrote about open source alternatives to Microsoft Office applications, Microsoft Office Alternatives.  However, with the student in question, I thought it would be a good idea for the student to use the online (cloud) storage features and convenience of Google apps and Drive. Since he had never really used Google apps, I searched for tutorials to get the student started. I found a few, notably one on the JAWS site since the student is a JAWS user. Unfortunately, the tutorial was not up to date and some of the instructions were invalid, notably the shortcuts to create new documents. When we tried to create a new document, the keyboard shortcuts for doing so listed on this link Keyboard shortcuts for Google Drive on the web, did not work. I discovered that Google had changed the shortcuts for new items in Google apps Fall 2018 to shortcuts that had to be entered as a URL and then a user could save them as bookmarks to be invoked whenever desired. An incomplete list of the new shortcuts that are entered into a browser bar as URLs includes:— opens new Google document— opens new Google Sheets spreadsheet— opens new Google presentation— creates new Google sites website— creates new Google form

Adding bookmarks for desired shortcuts for new app appropriate items appears to be the new method of creating them in Google docs.

During the search for these shortcuts, I also found these webpages that may be helpful to users of Google Drive and Docs. The online aspects of Google drive and docs do offer a mobility and changeable device advantage. One can also create a Microsoft Live account and have a similar web interface for Office products.

The below links have instructions and shortcuts for using Google Docs, however, as mentioned in this article, some may be outmoded/obsolete:

Keyboard shortcuts for Google Drive on the web

Jaws Instructions for Google Docs

This screenreader settings sheet for Google Docs  is invaluable for setting for most devices, PC, Mac iOS, Android: 

Google Docs New shortcuts:  

Alt / to get to menus

F6 to move through frames quickly


Posted by MagicManMay 22, 2019

I have never tried this, but wonder if you have tried to go to drive and press the letter c with virtual cursor off (Jaws user) then down arrow to open sheets, docs, ETc. I noticed that sometimes Docs gets wierd and the create new document does not always come up when using Jaws.  I have found that opening docs from drive works well and takes students right into a new blank document.     

Posted by George ThompsonMay 22, 2019


yes thank you I forgot to mention the installation of Google Drive app, we did do that on the student's computer. This link, Jaws Instructions for Google Docs posted above provides step by step instructions for installing the Google Drive app with JAWS.


George S. Thompson