VoiceOver Keyboard Shortcuts on a Mac
Screen reader keyboard shortcuts > VoiceOver on a Mac
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VoiceOver for macOS, first introduced in Mac OS X 10.4 in 2005, is a screen reader program that comes on new Mac computers. A variation of VoiceOver is also available on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.
VoiceOver works best with Safari. If you try to use it with any other browser, it may work for some things, but not as consistently as with Safari.
Keyboard Accessibility on a Mac
Keyboard accessibility is NOT enabled by default on a Mac. Your accessibility and screen reader test results will be inaccurate if you do not enable keyboard accessibility in the following two places:
- System Settings: Keyboard > Shortcuts > Full Keyboard Access > All controls
- Safari Settings: Advanced > Accessibility > Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage.
Command + F5 starts the VoiceOver program. VoiceOver uses the Control and Option keys before each command. The combination is referred to as VO in the tables. The VO keys can be locked so that they do not need to be pressed to perform VoiceOver commands by pressing VO + ;.
|Start (or stop) VoiceOver||Command + F5|
|VoiceOver Activation keys (or VO keys)||Control + Option (referenced as VO)|
|Lock (or unlock) VO keys||VO + ;|
|Repeat last spoken phrase||VO + Z|
|Open rotor (see explanation below)||VO + U|
|Start reading||VO + A|
|Read next item||VO + Right Arrow|
|Read previous item||VO + Left Arrow|
|Read paragraph||VO + P|
|Read sentence||VO + S|
|Read word (press W multiple times to spell words alphabetically and phonetically)||VO + W|
|Read from top to current location||VO + B|
|Jump to top of page (using desktop keyboards)||VO + Home|
|Jump to top of page (using laptop keyboards)||VO + Fn + Left Arrow|
|Jump to bottom of page (using desktop keyboards)||VO + End|
|Jump to bottom of page (using laptop keyboards)||VO + Fn + Right Arrow|
|Navigate table cells||VO + Arrow Keys ( or or or )|
|Select speech setting option (speaking rate, voice, pitch, etc.)||VO + Command +
Right Arrow / Left Arrow
|Modify the selected speech setting||VO + Command + Up Arrow / Down Arrow|
The following shortcuts will help you navigate common page elements. You can press the Shift key with these commands to move to the previous occurrence.
|Go to next/previous focusable item (link, button, input, etc.)||Tab / Shift + Tab|
|Next link||VO + Command + L|
|Next visited link||VO + Command + V|
|Next heading||VO + Command + H|
|Next form element||VO + Command + J|
|Next table||VO + Command + T|
|Next list||VO + Command + X|
|Next graphic||VO + Command + G|
|Activate a link or form control||VO + Space Bar|
|Go to previous (heading, table, etc.)||VO + Shift + Command + (H, T, etc.)|
|Interact with (go into/out of) objects (like iframes, menus, application regions, etc.)||VO + Shift + Down Arrow / Up Arrow|
You can navigate tables in text areas by row and column, and sort by column.
|Read column header||VO + C|
|Read row from VO cursor location to end of row||VO + R|
|Read column from VO cursor location to bottom of column||VO + R + C|
|Move up or down in a column||Up Arrow or Down Arrow|
|Move across a row||Left Arrow or Right Arrow|
The VoiceOver "rotor" feature helps users to do some frequently performed navigation actions quickly and easily. You can choose which element types are viewable in the rotor by opening the VoiceOver Utility with VO + F8, then going to Web > Web Rotor.
Open the rotor by pressing VO + U, then use the Left Arrow and Right Arrow keys to choose between element types (availability varies depending on the content of the web page, and whether the element type is enabled for viewing in the rotor), such as Links, Headings, Tables, Frames, Images, Auto Web Spots (automatically generated list of structural and significant items on the page), Web Spots (user-identified page areas), Form Controls, Landmarks, Visited Links, and Non-Visited Links. Once a page element type is selected, use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow to select a particular element and Enter to activate it. Escape exits the rotor.
Within the rotor, you can begin typing to filter the available elements. For example, with the Headers rotor open, pressing "2" will filter to second level headings. Typing "nav" will filter to the headings that contain those characters.
Apple provides VoiceOver user information at www.apple.com/voiceover/info/guide/.