macOS High Sierra

Set up or turn off cursor tracking

By default, the VoiceOver cursor and keyboard focus are synchronized—set to follow (or “track”) each other. This is called “cursor tracking.” You can also set the VoiceOver cursor and the mouse pointer to track each other.

It can be useful to turn off cursor tracking, and use the keyboard, mouse pointer, and insertion point independently. For example, in Messages you can move the VoiceOver cursor to the message portion to hear incoming messages, while the keyboard focus remains in the text field to type outgoing messages.

Note: VO represents the VoiceOver modifier.

Turn on cursor tracking for the mouse

  • Open VoiceOver Utility (press VO-F8 when VoiceOver is on), click the Navigation category, click the “Mouse pointer” pop-up menu, then choose a behavior for the mouse pointer:

    • Follows VoiceOver cursor

    • Moves VoiceOver cursor

Turn off cursor tracking

  1. Open VoiceOver Utility (press VO-F8 when VoiceOver is on), click the Navigation category, then deselect “Synchronize keyboard focus and VoiceOver cursor.”

  2. Click the “Mouse pointer” pop-up menu, then choose “Ignores VoiceOver cursor.”

To temporarily turn cursor tracking on or off while you’re working, press VO-Shift-F3. This command doesn’t change the settings in VoiceOver Utility; it just switches them on or off until you press the command again.

Work with cursor tracking turned off

  • Move the VoiceOver cursor to the keyboard focus: Press VO-Shift-F4.

  • Move the keyboard focus to the VoiceOver cursor: Press VO-Command-F4.

  • Move the VoiceOver cursor to where the mouse pointer is focused: Press VO-Shift-F5.

  • Move the mouse pointer to where the VoiceOver cursor is focused: Press VO-Command-F5.