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VoiceOver Utility (Mountain Lion): About VoiceOver

About VoiceOver

VoiceOver is a full-featured screen reader built into OS X that describes aloud what appears on your screen. VoiceOver speaks the text that’s in documents and windows. To turn on VoiceOver, press Command-F5.

When you connect a supported refreshable braille display to your Mac, VoiceOver detects the display and sends it information about what’s on the screen using contracted or uncontracted braille. If you’re using a Multi-Touch trackpad, you can use VoiceOver gestures to navigate and interact with what’s on the screen. Using VoiceOver, you control your Mac primarily with a keyboard, braille display, or trackpad, instead of the mouse.

When VoiceOver is on, you can use VoiceOver commands to navigate and interact with items on the screen. You enter VoiceOver commands by holding down the Control and Option keys together, along with one or more other keys. The Control and Option keys are called the “VoiceOver keys,” or “VO keys” for short. They are shown in commands as VO—for example, to use the command VO-F1, you press Control, Option, and F1. You can assign VoiceOver commands to numeric keypad keys, keyboard keys, braille display input keys, and trackpad gestures, so you can use the commands with fewer keystrokes.

You use the VoiceOver cursor to move around the screen and hear descriptions of the items in the cursor. You use it to select buttons and other controls, and to read and edit text. The keyboard focus and mouse pointer work with the VoiceOver cursor in a variety of ways. You can configure them to follow each other, or use them separately to move in different apps at the same time.

The first time you start VoiceOver, you can choose to take the Quick Start tutorial, an interactive tour of VoiceOver navigation and interaction basics. When VoiceOver is on, you can start the tutorial at any time by pressing VO-Command-F8.

You can customize VoiceOver to best suit your needs using VoiceOver Utility.

Last Modified: May 1, 2013
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  • Last Modified: May 1, 2013
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