Last updated: April 6, 2008

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**April 6, 2008:** Jason Kiss has published results of his own testing of character references with more recent versions of JAWS (8.0) and Window-Eyes (6.1); highly recommended reading: JAWS, Window-Eyes and Character References | Accessible Culture

Testing how various screen readers read out a selection of HTML character entity references and numeric character references following a discussion on Accessify Forum:

- testing most common "named" character entity references
- testing their equivalent numeric character references
- testing mathematical formulae (see discussion of MathML, Mathspeak and Fire Vox support)
- initially test with JAWS, Home Page Reader and Window-Eyes
- further tests with JAWS and Window-Eyes should be made with adjusted verbosity settings for punctuation
- further tests may be made in Fangs, FireVox, Opera with Voice

**Important:** These tests are made with screen readers in their default settings. Most screen readers will speak quite a bit of punctuation by default.
However, the tests performed here with Window-Eyes 4.5 resulted in a very minimal number of characters being spoken.
Newer versions of Window-Eyes may behave differently, but some versions seem to require users to change the punctuation settings to enable general punctuation and mathematical symbols to be spoken (many thanks to Priti on Accessify Forum for that information).

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Expected output: "times (by)" or "multiplied by", Suspected output: "times" or "multiply". Results for Test 1

**Character entity reference:** ×

**Numeric character reference:** ×

Expected output: "divided by", Suspected output: "divide". Results for Test 2

**Character entity reference:** ÷

**Numeric character reference:** ÷

Expected output: "degrees", Suspected output: "degrees". Results for Test 3

**Character entity reference:** °

**Numeric character reference:** °

Expected output: "plus or minus", Suspected output: "plus minus". Results for Test 4

**Character entity reference:** ±

**Numeric character reference:** ±

Expected output: "squared" (most cases), Suspected output: "squared". Results for Test 5

**Character entity reference:** ²

**Numeric character reference:** ²

Expected output: "cubed" (most cases), Suspected output: "cubed". Results for Test 6

**Character entity reference:** ³

**Numeric character reference:** ³

Expected output: "one quarter", Suspected output: "one quarter". Results for Test 7

**Character entity reference:** ¼

**Numeric character reference:** ¼

Expected output: "one half", Suspected output: "one half". Results for Test 8

**Character entity reference:** ½

**Numeric character reference:** ½

Expected output: "three quarters", Suspected output: "three quarters". Results for Test 9

**Character entity reference:** ¾

**Numeric character reference:** ¾

Expected output: [unknown], Suspected output: "slash". Results for Test 10

**Character entity reference:** ⁄

**Numeric character reference:** ⁄

Expected output: "greater than" and "minus", Suspected output: "greater" and "minus". Results for Test 11

**Character entity reference:** a − b > c

**Numeric character reference:** a − b > c

Expected output: "greater than" and "minus", Suspected output: "greater" and "minus". Results for Test 12

**Character entity reference:** a - b > c

**Numeric character reference:** a - b > c

Expected output: "squared", Suspected output: "squared". Results for Test 13

**Character entity reference:** E = mc²

**Numeric character reference:** E = mc²

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The test characters below are links for easy tabbing through the test. The links do not lead anywhere.

**Named:**×**Numeric:**×**Named:**÷**Numeric:**÷**Named:**°**Numeric:**°**Named:**±**Numeric:**±**Named:**²**Numeric:**²**Named:**³**Numeric:**³**Named:**¼**Numeric:**¼**Named:**½**Numeric:**½**Named:**¾**Numeric:**¾**Named:**⁄**Numeric:**⁄**Named:**a − b > c**Numeric:**a − b > c**Named:**a - b > c**Numeric:**a - b > c**Named:**E = mc²**Numeric:**E = mc²

Quick Test ends.

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Test/Character | Expected Result | JAWS 7.10 with Internet Explorer 6 | JAWS 7.10 with Firefox 1.5 | Home Page Reader 3.04 with Internet Explorer 6 | Home Page Reader 3.04 with Firefox 1.5 | Window-Eyes 4.5 with Internet Explorer 6 | Window-Eyes 4.5 with Firefox 1.5 | ||||||
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Named | Numeric | Named | Numeric | Named | Numeric | Named | Numeric | Named | Numeric | Named | Numeric | ||

1: Multiplication Sign (×) | "times (by)" or "multiplied by" | "times" | "times" | "times" | "times" | "times" | "times" | "times" | "times" | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] |

2: Division Sign (÷) | "divided by" | "divided by" | "divided by" | "divided by" | "divided by" | "divided by" | "divided by" | "divided by" | "divided by" | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] |

3: Degree Sign (°) | "degrees" | "degrees" | "degrees" | "degrees" | "degrees" | "degrees" | "degrees" | "degrees" | "degrees" | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] |

4: Plus-Minus/Plus-or-Minus Sign (±) | "plus or minus" | "plus or minus" | "plus or minus" | "plus or minus" | "plus or minus" | "plus or minus" | "plus or minus" | "plus or minus" | "plus or minus" | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] |

5: Squared/Superscript Two (²) | "squared" (most cases) | "superscript two" | "superscript two" | "superscript two" | "superscript two" | "superscript two" | "superscript two" | "superscript two" | "superscript two" | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] |

6: Cubed/Superscript Three (³) | "cubed" (most cases) | "superscript three" | "superscript three" | "superscript three" | "superscript three" | "superscript three" | "superscript three" | "superscript three" | "superscript three" | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] |

7: Fraction One Quarter (¼) | "one quarter" | "one fourth" | "one fourth" | "one fourth" | "one fourth" | "one fourth" | "one fourth" | "one fourth" | "one fourth" | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] |

8: Fraction One Half (½) | "one half" | "one half" | "one half" | "one half" | "one half" | "one half" | "one half" | "one half" | "one half" | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] |

9: Fraction Three Quarters (¾) | "three quarters" | "three fourths" | "three fourths" | "three fourths" | "three fourths" | "three fourths" | "three fourths" | "three fourths" | "three fourths" | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] |

10: Fraction Slash (⁄) | [unknown] | "slash" | "slash" | "slash" | "slash" | "slash" | "slash" | "slash" | "slash" | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] | [not read] |

11: Maths phrase 1 (a − b > c) | "greater than" and "minus" | "a [pause] b greater c" | "a [pause] b greater c" | "a [pause] b greater c" | "a [pause] b greater c" | "a [pause] b greater than c" | "a [pause] b greater than c" | "a [pause] b greater than c" | "a [pause] b greater than c" | a b c ("uh-bee-see") | a b c ("uh-bee-see") | a b c ("uh-bee-see") | a b c ("uh-bee-see") |

12: Maths phrase 1 (variation with dash) (a - b > c) | "greater than" and "minus" | "a dash b greater c" | "a dash b greater c" | "a dash b greater c" | "a dash b greater c" | "a [pause] b greater than c" | "a [pause] b greater than c" | "a [pause] b greater than c" | "a [pause] b greater than c" | a b c ("uh-bee-see") | a b c ("uh-bee-see") | a b c ("uh-bee-see") | a b c ("uh-bee-see") |

13: Maths phrase 2 (E = mc²) | "squared" | "e equals m c superscript two" | "e equals m c superscript two" | "e equals m c superscript two" | "e equals m c superscript two" | "e equals m c superscript two" | "e equals m c superscript two" | "e equals m c superscript two" | "e equals m c superscript two" | e m c ("ee-em-see") | e m c ("ee-em-see") | e m c ("ee-em-see") | e m c ("ee-em-see") |

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