macOS High Sierra

Navigate using Quick Nav

With Quick Nav, you can navigate apps and webpages using only the arrow keys, navigate webpages using single keys, and navigate apps and webpages using the Quick Nav rotor.

Note: VO represents the VoiceOver modifier.

Turn Quick Nav on or off

  • Press the Left Arrow and Right Arrow keys at the same time.

    If you deselected the option to toggle Quick Nav using the arrow keys in the Quick Nav Commander in VoiceOver Utility, this command won’t work. Instead, press VO-H-H to open the Commands menu, type “quick” to search for the Toggle Quick Nav On or Off command, then select it.

Navigate apps and webpages using arrows

To navigate some items, such as a table of contents with different levels, you must first interact with it.

  • To start interacting with an item, press the Right Arrow and Down Arrow keys at the same time.

  • To stop interacting with an item, press the Left Arrow and Down Arrow keys at the same time.

  • To move left, right, up, or down, press an arrow key. With Quick Nav, these keys function the same as pressing the VO modifier with arrow keys.

  • To perform the default action on the item in the VoiceOver cursor, press the Down Arrow and Up Arrow keys at the same time.

Navigate webpages using single keys

  • If you enabled single-key webpage navigation in VoiceOver Utility, you can use single keys to navigate webpages. For example, press b or B to navigate to the next or previous button, or 1 or ! to navigate to the next or previous Heading 1.

    To change the default single-key assignments, and add your own key assignments, use the Quick Nav Commander pane of the Commanders category in VoiceOver Utility.

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

Navigate apps and webpages using the Quick Nav rotor

You can use the Quick Nav rotor to navigate items using categories that are based on the current context. For example, in a Mail message, you can use the Quick Nav rotor to navigate a message by sentence or to move between the message headers and body, or move between messages.

  • To open the rotor, press Left Arrow-Up Arrow or Right Arrow-Up Arrow.

  • To go to the next category (such as Characters), press Right Arrow-Up Arrow.

  • To go to the previous category (such as Content Chooser) in the rotor, press the Left Arrow-Up Arrow.

  • To navigate items in the current category, press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key. The VoiceOver cursor moves as you navigate items.

The Content Chooser category is especially useful for previewing messages in Mail. When the VoiceOver cursor is in a message preview, press the Quick Nav keys to go to the Content Chooser category, then press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key. The VoiceOver cursor remains in the message preview as you move up and down in the messages list, making it possible to hear the email messages without having to first navigate to them.

When Quick Nav is on, the Quick Nav arrow and single-key commands are included in the Commands menu. For more information, see Find commands using the Commands menu.