macOS High Sierra

Navigate the Finder

Use VoiceOver commands or gestures to open and navigate Finder windows, and use Finder shortcuts to work with files and folders.

Before you start, make sure the keyboard focus and VoiceOver cursor are synchronized. For more information, see Set up or turn off cursor tracking.

Note: VO represents the VoiceOver modifier.

Open a Finder window

Do one of the following:

  • Move to the Dock by pressing VO-D, or double-tapping near the bottom edge of the trackpad. Navigate to the Finder, which is the first item in the Dock. If a Finder window isn’t already open, press Return.

  • Move to the menu bar by pressing VO-M, or double-tapping near the top edge of the trackpad, then use the Right Arrow key to navigate to the Finder menu.

  • Open the Application Chooser by pressing VO-F1-F1, or double-tapping near the left edge of the trackpad. Choose Finder in the Application Chooser.

    You can also use the macOS shortcut of holding down the Command key and pressing Tab repeatedly until you hear “Finder.”

Navigate a Finder window

  1. In a Finder window, press VO-Right Arrow or VO-Left Arrow to move through the window until you hear “toolbar,” then interact with the toolbar.

  2. In the toolbar, press VO-Right Arrow until you hear “view radio group,” then interact with that control. Press VO-Right Arrow until you hear the view (such as Icon or List) you want to use.

  3. When you have selected a view, stop interacting with the view radio group and the toolbar, then press VO-Right Arrow to move through the window until you hear “sidebar.”

  4. Interact with the sidebar, then move down the list of items in the sidebar by pressing VO-Down Arrow. When you hear the item you want, press VO-J to jump to it in the view browser, where you can interact with it.

    To jump if you’re using VoiceOver gestures, keep a finger on the trackpad while you press the Control key.

  5. Move to and select the item you want to open, using the method for the view you’re in:

    • Icon view: Use the arrow keys to move to the item you want.

    • List view: To move down the list rows, press VO-Down Arrow. To expand and collapse a folder, press VO-\. To move the VoiceOver cursor across a row and hear information about an item, press VO-Right Arrow. Or press VO-R to hear the entire row read at once.

    • Column view: To move down the list until you find the folder or file you want, use the Down Arrow key. To move into subfolders, press the Right Arrow key.

    • Cover Flow view: To flip through the items in the top section and move automatically through the corresponding list rows in the bottom section, press the Left Arrow or Right Arrow key.

  6. When you find the file or folder you want to open, open it using the Finder shortcut Command-O or Command-Down Arrow.

    VoiceOver announces when you have selected an alias or a file or folder you don’t have permission to open.

Use Finder shortcuts

  • To open the selected item, press Command-O or Command-Down Arrow.

  • To move to the parent of the selected item (such as the folder that contains a subfolder you selected), press Command-Up Arrow.

  • To add the selected item to the Finder sidebar, press Control-Command-T.

  • To add the selected item to the Dock, press Control-Shift-Command-T.

You can temporarily hide the toolbar and sidebar in a Finder window to make it easier to navigate. To hide or show the toolbar, press Option-Command-T. To hide or show the sidebar, press Option-Command-S.