macOS High Sierra

Read text

VoiceOver provides many ways to read text.

Note: VO represents the VoiceOver modifier.

To read

Do this

From the top (“Read All”)

Press VO-A, or flick up with two fingers. You don’t need to interact with the document.

From the VoiceOver cursor to the bottom

Press VO-A, or flick down with two fingers. You must first interact with the document.

A paragraph

Press VO-P. To move to the next or previous paragraph, press VO-Shift-Page Down or VO-Shift-Page Up.

A line

Press VO-L. To move to the next or previous line, press VO-Down Arrow or VO-Up Arrow.

A sentence

Press VO-S. To move to the next or previous sentence, press VO-Command-Page Down or VO-Command-Page Up.

A word

Press VO-W. To hear the word spelled, press VO-W again. To hear it spelled phonetically, press VO-W again. To move to the next or previous word, press VO-Right Arrow or VO-Left Arrow.

A paragraph, line, sentence, or word using gestures

Press the Command key while touching a finger on the trackpad; repeat until you hear the setting you want to use.

A character

Press VO-C. To hear the character spoken phonetically, press VO-C again. To move to the next or previous character, press Right Arrow or Left Arrow.

If “Use phonetics” is selected in VoiceOver Utility, characters are read phonetically, as in “a alpha n november t tango.”

When you use the Down Arrow key to move from one line of text to the next, VoiceOver speaks the line where the insertion point is located. If you press the Down Arrow key at the first line of a document, VoiceOver won’t read the line because the insertion point has moved to the next line. To hear the first line of text in a document, press VO-Down Arrow.

The orientation commands VO-F4-F4 and VO-F5-F5-F5 can be useful in determining the insertion point’s location in a document.

To assign commands to keys that let you fast forward and rewind text when you use Read All, open VoiceOver Utility (press VO-F8 when VoiceOver is on), then click Commanders.