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Tween is a simple, lightweight application for twitter. A relatively recent version can be downloaded, with optional add-ons for accessibility purposes, from here. Features include, but are nowhere near limited to:

  • Realtime streaming of all of the primary buffers (home timeline, mentions, direct messages)
  • Nearly realtime updating of any other timelines you elect to open (an individual user's timeline, or a search tab)
  • Keeps track of what you've already read across tabs, so if the same tweet should appear in multiple tabs, it's marked as read in all of them when you see it
  • Minimal impact on system performance
  • Can optionally sit in your system tray until summoned
  • Limited support for multiple accounts (can be worked around)
  • Already mostly accessible, with support built into the latest NVDA and scripts, available in the zip file linked above, for the latest Jaws for Windows--no specific data as of yet on useability with Window Eyes
  • Can be run portably withvirtually no issues, as all settings are XML configuration files
  • Entirely open source, so can be easily modified provided you have experience with visual basic (note: source code is not available from the above download link)


Either unzip the file or download the installer from the Tween website. Once you've either extracted it to a directory or installed the program, run it. It will prompt you to add an account, or create one if you don't have one already, for Twitter. The client, per Twitter's policies, uses OAuth in order that it doesn't hold on to your account password, but instead is asigned an access token by Twitter once you've allowed the application access. Virtually all of its settings are then available to you from file > settings, or in the dialogue you find yourself in after you've authenticated an account. Most of the settings are relatively self-explanatory, but information can and will be added should items of some confusion crop up.

A Note On Sounds

Some have run into issues when attempting to enable sounds in versions of Tween that support it. Of note, the following must be taken into consideration when configuring Tween for sound:

  • All of the sound files you intend to use must be in .wav format. As far as current information is available, no other format is supported by Tween.
  • The intended files must be placed in your program data folder.
    • If you're running a portable instalation (extracted the zip file above), it will be in the same directory as the Tween program itself.
    • If you're running an installed version (downloaded an installer from the Tween website and ran it), this will be a tween folder within %appdata%.
  • There are no specific naming criteria for these files, just that they be in .wav format.
  • Sounds are configured on a per-tab basis, and provided the option in the configuration dialogue has been selected to enable them. In each tab for which you want sound notifications, go into the tab menu. There is a combo box in that menu. If Tween can see your wav files, they will appear in that combo box. select the file you want, then either escape out of the menu or tab to leave the combo box and return you to the menu proper. Pressing enter on the file you want will do nothing.

Keyboard Shortcuts

This will be a work in progress. If you wish to help with this work in progress, contact me.

The following is a fluid list of shortcut keys and their confirmed results. This list will change, be added to, etc as new information becomes available and old is corrected.

You Type You Get
Tab move from the list of tweets to the edit field for a new tweet, or back to the list (note: Pressing enter after composing a tweet will move you to the list automatically)
space Next unread tweet, or next tab with unread tweets
control+R Reply to the selected tweet
shift+control+R Reply to the selected tweet, mentioning all users
control+M Direct Message (DM) the author of the selected tweet
alt+R Retweet, new style, the selected tweet (with limitations)
shift+alt+R retweet, old style (with comment), the select tweet (with limitations)
control+S Add the selected tweet to your favourites list
shift+control+S Remove a tweet from your favourites list
control+D delete the selected tweet, assuming it belongs to you
control+E Opens a URL, or handles any number of miscellaneous interactions (see: control+E usage)
shift+control+E Opens your events list, which displays important things that have happened with your account since you last ran Tween (for example, new followers)
G Show related tweets (a sort of conversation view), which allows you to see anyone who has contributed to the conversation surrounding an originating tweet
U Refresh the current tab, should it not be streaming and your update interval is overly long
control+U Bring all of the selected user's updates into their own tab (individual timeline view) control+T Brings up a list of hashtags you've used in previous tweets, presumedly confined to the client's history (will verify) Control+shift+L Repost Link; what the client officially calls Twitter's new quoting feature

A word On Control+E

While you'll likely mostly use control+E to open a URL, the shortcut will work for interacting with any external content posted by the selected user. What it does with that content depends on the situation.

  • If a user mentions someone else on Twitter, control+E will bring up the mentioned user's timeline in its own tab.
  • If the user employs a hashtag, that hashtag will gain its own tab when Control+E is used.
  • Multiple mentions, hashtags, URLs or combinations of the above will prompt control+E to show you a list box with every possible connection Tween can act on, giving you the option of choosing one.

Known Limitations

Unfortunately, no program is perfect. There's only one real limitation that seems to be specific to Tween; the rest that I'm aware of are largely to comply with Twitter's terms of service.

Multiple Accounts

Tween has very limited support for multiple accounts. You can, if you select the account in file > settings, tweet to a secondary account. However at present, you cannot to my knowledge pull the relevant timelines for a secondary account. This has been a bug in Tween since at least, though there is as yet no ETA on a fix. Tween does, however, permit you to run multiple instances--particularly if you run portably. Simply insure the instalations are in different directories, configure them as per normal with account details as appropriate, then run the separate programs. Fortunately, the performance issues are such that even if you have 3 or 4 instances open you shouldn't notice a hit. And they'll all hide in your system tray until needed.

Protected Accounts

New rules introduced in late 2012 placed restrictions on the things you could do with protected accounts. Some clients chose to allow you to work around those rules. Tween, however, in standard configurations does not. The following limitations have been noted:

  • You cannot retweet, either officially or otherwise, a tweet originating from a protected user. The client won't let you, nor will Twitter's website.
  • You can't copy a tweet posted by a protected user. Again, this is in line with Twitter's rules as of late 2012, although to my knowledge they don't prevent you from doing so via the website.
  • You can neither copy nor retweet a direct message. This is again by design, and to my knowledge complies with Twitter's rules. (Update 2016-03-22: now possible to copy direct messages)