macOS High Sierra

Navigation category

Use the Navigation category in VoiceOver Utility to customize navigation settings, such as those related to using the VoiceOver cursor, interaction with areas and groups, and fast searching.

To open VoiceOver Utility, press Command-F5 to turn VoiceOver on, then press VO-F8.

Note: VO represents the VoiceOver modifier.

Initial position of VoiceOver cursor

Click the pop-up menu, then choose the initial position of the VoiceOver cursor in a new window: “Keyboard focused item” or “First item in window.”

Grouping behavior

Choose whether VoiceOver requires an action to interact with items in a content area (such as a scroll area) or a group (such as a toolbar):

Standard: VoiceOver requires an action. You must press VO-Shift-Down Arrow to start interacting with the items in an area or group, and VO-Shift-Up Arrow to stop interacting with the items.

When this option is selected, VoiceOver may automatically interact with some groups on webpages, to streamline navigation. If you don’t want VoiceOver to automatically interact with a group, press VO-Shift-Right Arrow or Left Arrow. If Quick Nav is enabled, press Shift-Right Arrow or Left Arrow.

Bookend groups: VoiceOver identifies the start and end of an area or group as you navigate its items, but no action is required to interact with them.

Announce groups: VoiceOver announces when you enter or exit an area or group, but no action is required to interact with its items.

Ignore groups: VoiceOver doesn’t identify or announce areas or groups, and no action is required to interact with its items.

Note: Some areas (such as tables) always require interaction, regardless of the setting you choose. This prevents you from having to navigate potentially large numbers of items, such as thousands of items in a Mail inbox.

Synchronize keyboard focus and VoiceOver cursor

Make the keyboard focus and the VoiceOver cursor follow each other whenever possible.

When this option is deselected, VoiceOver cursor tracking is off.

Mouse pointer

Click the pop-up menu, then choose how you want the pointer to follow the VoiceOver cursor: “Ignores VoiceOver cursor,” “Follows VoiceOver cursor,” or “Moves VoiceOver cursor.”

The default setting is “Ignores VoiceOver cursor.”

Allow cursor wrapping

Wrap the VoiceOver cursor up, down, left, and right in a continuous loop when you’re navigating.

Skip redundant labels

Hear duplicate labels only once.

Automatically interact when using tab key

Interact with items you tab to without first having to use VO-Shift-Down Arrow.

Enable fast searching

Quickly search for the next or previous element on the screen that begins with a specified letter. Click the pop-up menu, then choose the Left Command key or the Right Command key for fast searching.

For example, to search for the next element that begins with the letter S, you could press Left Command-S. To search for the previous element, you could press Left Command-Shift-S.