A copy of this help file can be viewed in-game using the "help screenreader" command.
What is a screen reader?
A screen reader is a program to help blind and partially-sighted users to use a computer display, providing a number of features including audibly reading the contents of the text displayed.
This document is a guide to configuring a screen reader to work well with New Moon.
Screen Readers and your MUD client
You must first consider which screen reader you're using. Window-Eyes doesn't currently work well with MUDs, so those who use it will have to resort to reading the screen with the mouse. If that is no problem for you, game on.
However, if you're a JAWS user, you have some options. The two best-supported MUD clients for JAWS users are GMud and Monkey Term, both of which have JAWS scripts that can be easily searched for. Refer to the JAWS help files regarding script installation.
GMud no longer has an official download page but can be found at:
If that URL doesn't work you should be able to refer to the client downloads section of the New Moon website at:
Monkey Term, as well as scripts that make it work very well with screen readers, can be acquired from:
The installation for Monkey Term is a bit different, but help is provided on the site.
Once you have everything installed, things should be read to you automatically.
If you prefer not to get into the installation of scripts and such, you can simply press Insert S until JAWS says the word "all." This will mean JAWS is in "say all" mode, and will speak everything every time there is a change. This, of course, can cause problems. It may end up reading the entire screen every time something new pops up. Still, if you want to avoid trying to install scripts, it is a viable option.
Configuring New Moon
New Moon has a number of features that "don't work so well" in a screen reader. A number of these can be turned off however.
Firstly, I recommend that when you're asked if your client supports ANSI colors, during the character creation process, you say "no" regardless of whether it does support them. This will make sure they are not used. I don't personally know for certain if they would cause a problem, but I have heard of cases where things like coloring and formatting can cause screen readers to simply not read at all.
If you've already answered "yes" to this during the character creation, you can use the "term dumb" to put New Moon into dumb-terminal mode, which prevents colour codes being sent.
If you're a spellcaster, I recommend the use of the command "options display.help-borders off". This will turn off the ASCII-art scrolls drawn around the help files for spells.
I found this to be only a minor inconvenience, but even I breathed a sigh of relief once I used this command.
Doing "options display.tables off" will turn off the display of tabular data in commands like "skills", producing a format that's much better for screenreaders.
You also may wish to experiment with turning off New Moon's built-in long-text paging by doing "automore off".
If you find that combat contains too much information, you can reduce the messages that get sent to you with the "combat" command ("help command combat" for more details), the following commands should disable most messages that won't get you killed:
- combat all
- combat my-damage
- combat my-command
- combat my-major
- combat my-flanking
As you get used to the way the combat system works and what the different combat message types mean, you will probably want to revisit these settings to suit your play style.
Thanks to Korivon for the core of this document and insight into making New Moon more accessible to those using a screen reader.