How to Access Everything on Your Mac with Voiceover

We continuously gaze at our device screens, sometimes not realizing how precious our eyes are. Every element that appears on our screens is so crystal clear and so enjoyable. However, there are many of our friends who are not as fortunate as us.

As per a report from Word Health Organization, there are at least 2.2 billion people who have near or distance vision impairment. And, while there are screen readers that can assist visually impaired people in accessing computers, the Mac has a native screen reader called “VoiceOver”.

In this post, we’ll talk about how you can turn on VoiceOver on Mac and help a friend with partial or complete blindness to use their Mac effectively.

What Is VoiceOver On Mac?

It is an advanced screen-reading technology that comes inbuilt into Macs with macOS X and above versions. It offers a rich set of Mac VoiceOver commands and gestures that helps users with visual disabilities to control their Macs.

Here we will talk about the basics of how to use VoiceOver on Mac to help you get started. You can directly jump to different sections as per your needs.

How to Turn on VoiceOver On Mac

To begin with, let’s have a look at the steps to enable the VoiceOver on Mac –

STEP 1 – Click on the Apple menu button at the top left corner of your screen.

STEP 2 – Click on System Preferences. You can also open System Preferences from the dock.

STEP 3 – Click on Accessibility.


STEP 4 – Click on VoiceOver.

STEP 5 – Click on the checkbox next to Enable VoiceOver. Initially, when you’ll enable VoiceOver, a narrator will welcome you and tell you to press either the V key or Spacebar depending on whether you have used VoiceOver before or not.

Enable VoiceOver

STEP 6 – You can also use the Command + F5 key on your keyboard to enable the VoiceOver

Training The VoiceOver

The VoiceOver

Getting used to VoiceOver on Mac may take some. To learn the basics of VoiceOver, commands that will help you navigate, and other aspects, you can open VoiceOver Training or The VoiuceOver Quick Start guide. 

1. Click on Apple menu.

2. Click on System Preferences and then click on Accessibility.

3. Click on VoiceOver and select Open VoiceOver Training.

4. To navigate through the tutorial press the right arrow key and practice the various VoiceOver commands or press Continue.

Change VoiceOver Voice

There might be times when you would want to change the narrator’s voice or change the speaking rate if the narration speed is way too fast or slow. Here is how you can tweak such aspects –

STEP 1 – Open VoiceOver as shown in the above steps.

STEP 2 – Head to Accessibility and open VoiceOver.

STEP 3 – On the bottom right, click on VoiceOver Utility.

VoiceOver Utility

STEP 4 – Click on Speech. Here you can change the narrator’s voice, speech rate, and other elements by further clicking on the Edit button that you can see on the right.

 Edit button

STEP 5 – The VoiceOver Utility also has options for Verbosity, Braille displays, and many other aspects. Depending on the requirements, you can adjust the settings accordingly.

Some Common VoiceOver Commands on Mac

Start (or stop) VoiceOver    Command + F5
VoiceOver Activation keys (VO) Control + Option
Lock VO keys VO + ;
Read descriptions VO + F3
Read the last phrase VO + Z
Read the current date and time VO + F7
Read the battery status of your Mac. VO + F7 + F7
Select all text in the VoiceOver cursor VO+Shift+A
Read the contents of the VoiceOver cursor VO + A
Speak text attributes VO + T

How To Turn Off VoiceOver

If you accidentally enabled VoiceOver or don’t need it anymore, you can turn it off by following these steps:

Way 1

Hold down the Command + F5 key combination. This combination is also used to turn off the VloiceOver on Mac, so be careful.

Way 2

If in case you have accidentally disabled the command + F5 key combination, here is how you can turn off VoiceOver on Mac.

  1. Click on Apple logo
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Select Accessibility.
  4. Uncheck the checkbox that says Enable VoiceOver

Are You Ready to Use Voiceover on Mac?

Now that you know how to turn on and use VoiceOver on Mac, you could help a friend or a loved one in need of this feature.

And, if you found the information helpful, do let us know in the comments section below. For more such content, keep reading WeTheGeek. You can also reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Also Read: How to Clear Duplicates in Photos on Mac

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