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VoiceOver for MacOS

VoiceOver is a popular screen reader that is free and built in to MacOS.

Install

VoiceOver is built in to MacOS and can be enabled from the System Preferences app.

How to find your version

  1. Open "About this mac"
    • Use search
      1. Press command+space bar to open search
      2. Type "About this mac"
      3. Click "About this mac"
    • OR click the apple icon in the top left corner of the desktop and select "about this mac"
  2. Use the version number listed on the dialog

Guides, Documentation, and resources

Modes

VoiceOver does not have the same concept of modes that many other screen readers have.

Commands

The following are some common commands.

The default NVDA modifier key is set to: Control + Option

Common

TaskCommand
Read next itemVO + Right arrow
Read previous focusable itemShift + Tab
Read previous itemVO + Left Arrow

General

TaskCommand
Activate ButtonVO + space
Activate control (enter)enter
Activate LinkEnter
Open RotorVO + U
Turn OffCommand + F5
Turn OnCommand + F5
Keyboard command while in forms or application mode<keyboard command>

Reading

TaskCommand
Read next focusable itemTab
Read next itemVO + Right arrow
Read previous focusable itemShift + Tab
Read previous itemVO + Left Arrow
start reading from current positionVO + A
start reading from current positionControl

Forms

TaskCommandNotes
Activate ButtonVO + space
Activate control (enter)enter
Activate Form ControlSpace
Read next focusable itemTab
Next Form ControlVO + Command + J
Previous Form ControlVO + shift + Command + J
Perform the default actionVO + space
Read previous focusable itemShift + Tab
enter text<enter text>must be in a form or application context, and this is native browser behavior.
select next optionDown arrowmust be in a listbox context, and this is native browser behavior.
select previous optionUp arrowmust be in a listbox context, and this is native browser behavior.
select an optionEntermust be in a listbox context, and this is native browser behavior.
Keyboard command while in forms or application mode<keyboard command>

Tables

TaskCommand
Move to Next ColumnVO + Right Arrow
Move to Next RowVO + Down Arrow
Move to Previous ColumnVO + Left Arrow
Move to Previous RowVO + Up Arrow
Read Column HeaderVO + C
Read row headerVO + R

Elements

TaskCommand
Next Form ControlVO + Command + J
Previous Form ControlVO + shift + Command + J
Next GraphicVO + Command + G
Next HeadingVO + Command + H
Previous HeadingVO + Shift + Command + H
Next LinkVO + Command + L
Next TableVO + Command + X
Next TableVO + Command + T
Next Visited LinkVO + Command + V