Use accessibility features on Mac
Accessibility comes as standard with a Mac. Whether you have difficulties with vision, hearing or physical mobility, macOS includes a variety of features to help you work in alternative ways — and make your Mac even easier to use.
Use the built-in screen reader called VoiceOver
VoiceOver is the built-in screen reader that describes aloud what appears on your screen and speaks the text in documents, web pages and windows. Using VoiceOver, you control your Mac with the keyboard or trackpad gestures. You can also connect a refreshable braille display to use with VoiceOver.
To turn VoiceOver on or off, press Command-F5 (or if your Mac has Touch ID, press and hold the Command key, then quickly press Touch ID three times).
To customise VoiceOver using VoiceOver Utility, press Control-Option-F8 (when VoiceOver is on).
To learn how to use VoiceOver, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, click VoiceOver, then click Open VoiceOver Training.
For help with VoiceOver, choose Help > VoiceOver Help while VoiceOver Utility is open.
Make content on the screen larger
You can use your mouse or use your trackpad to zoom and make the entire screen larger or just an area of it. If you’re using a second display with your Mac, you can choose which display to zoom — or zoom both.
You can use Hover Text to zoom whatever is under the pointer — text, fields, menu items, buttons and more — in high resolution in a separate window.
Reduce motion on the screen
If motion on the screen of your Mac is problematic, you can set an option to reduce motion when using certain features, such as Spaces, Notification Centre or the Dock.
Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Display, then click Display.
Select Reduce motion.
Use a physical keyboard or an onscreen keyboard
Set options that make it easier to press keys on a physical keyboard or bypass a physical keyboard altogether and use the onscreen Accessibility Keyboard instead.
Control the pointer and mouse actions using alternative methods
When you enable Mouse Keys, you can control the pointer using the keyboard or a numeric keypad.
When you enable alternative pointer actions, you can perform mouse actions (such as a left-click or drag-and-drop action) using keyboard shortcuts, assistive switches or facial expressions (such as a smile or an open mouth).
When you enable head pointer, you can move the pointer based on the movement of your face or head, as detected by the camera that’s built into or connected to your Mac.
To enable these options, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Pointer Control, then click Alternative Control Methods.
Use Voice Control and text to speech
With Voice Control, you can use spoken commands to open apps, choose menu items and more on your Mac. macOS provides a standard set of commands and you can create your own commands. See Control your Mac and apps using Voice Control.
You can have your Mac speak the text in dialogues and alert messages, and notify you when an app needs you to do something, such as accept a Messages invitation. See Have your Mac speak text that’s on the screen.
Change how your keyboard, mouse and trackpad work
You can set various options to customise how your keyboard, mouse and trackpad work while using your Mac. For example, you can adjust the speed at which the pointer moves across the screen when you move your finger across the trackpad.
To set options for your keyboard, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Keyboard.
To set options for your mouse, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Mouse.
To set options for your trackpad, including gestures, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Trackpad.
Control your Mac with assistive devices
With Switch Control, you can use one or more adaptive accessories to enter text, interact with items on the screen, and control your Mac. Switch Control scans a panel or user interface until a switch is used to select an item or perform an action.
When you use the Accessibility Keyboard, you can use Dwell with a tracking device to control the pointer so it’s easier to enter text, interact with items on the screen and control your Mac. With Dwell, you can dwell for a specified amount of time on a control to perform a mouse action.
You can easily check which accessibility features are on, right from the menu bar: select the tickbox at the bottom of Accessibility preferences to show accessibility status in the menu bar.
You can use the Accessibility Options shortcut panel to quickly turn some options on or off. To select the options that are included in the panel, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, then click Shortcut.
In some apps, you can have your Mac speak text by choosing Edit > Speech > Start Speaking. This functionality might not be available for all languages.