VoiceOver for Mac: VoiceOver overview

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

VoiceOver is a full-featured screen reader built into macOS that speaks the text in documents and windows, and describes aloud what appears on your screen. To turn on VoiceOver, press Command-F5; to turn it off, press the keys again.

With VoiceOver, you control your Mac primarily with a keyboard, refreshable braille display, or trackpad. You use the VoiceOver cursor—which appears as a dark rectangular outline—to move around the screen, select buttons and other controls, and to read and edit text. The keyboard focus and mouse pointer work with the VoiceOver cursor in a variety of ways.

The VoiceOver cursor—a dark rectangular outline—focused on the word “Accessibility” on screen.

You use VoiceOver commands to navigate and interact with items on the screen. You enter the commands by holding down the VoiceOver modifier along with one or more other keys. For example, to use the VoiceOver command VO-M (where VO represents the VoiceOver modifier you’re using), you press the VoiceOver modifier and M keys together.

You can assign VoiceOver commands to numeric keypad keys, keyboard keys, braille display input keys, and trackpad gestures, so you can use the commands with fewer keystrokes.

You can customize VoiceOver with VoiceOver Utility. For example, you can change the voice, set options to make it easier to use your favorite apps, enable the Trackpad Commander so you can use VoiceOver gestures, and set up braille devices.

Ask Siri. You can use Siri when you have VoiceOver turned on. In fact, you can use Siri to turn VoiceOver on or off—say something like “Turn VoiceOver on.” Learn more about Siri.

Published Date: Sep 20, 2017