macOS High Sierra

Text commands

Use these commands to perform actions such as reading and editing text and tables. Before you can use most of these commands, you must interact with text in a text area. VO represents the VoiceOver modifier.

Note: When VoiceOver is on, you can enter VoiceOver commands by using the Fn and number keys with the VoiceOver modifier, as an alternative to using the function keys (F1 through F12). For example, to open VoiceOver Utility you can press Control-Option-Fn-8 (instead of Control-Option-F8).

If you use the function keys (F1 through F12), you may need to press and hold the Fn key, depending on how you set the behavior of function keys in Keyboard preferences.

Read the contents of the VoiceOver cursor


Select all text in the VoiceOver cursor


Start and stop text selection in a text field (text selection tracking must be on)


Speak text attributes


Jump to a hot spot in text

VO-[hot spot number]

For example, VO-1 or VO-9.

Read the paragraph in the VoiceOver cursor


Read the next paragraph

VO-Shift-Page Down

Read the previous paragraph

VO-Shift-Page Up

Read the sentence in the VoiceOver cursor


Read the next sentence

VO-Command-Page Down

Read the previous sentence

VO-Command-Page Up

Read the line in the VoiceOver cursor


Read the next line

VO-Down Arrow

Read the previous line

VO-Up Arrow

Read the word in the VoiceOver cursor


Spell alphabetically the word in the VoiceOver cursor


Spell phonetically the word in the VoiceOver cursor


Read the next word

VO-Right Arrow

Read the previous word

VO-Left Arrow

Read the character in the VoiceOver cursor


Read phonetically the character in the VoiceOver cursor


Move to the first visible word


On a portable Mac, press VO-Fn-Left Arrow.

Move to the last visible word


On a portable Mac, press VO-Fn-Right Arrow.