Every Mac is built with assistive technologies to support people who are blind or have low vision. The VoiceOver screen reader describes exactly what’s happening on your screen. Hover Text lets you instantly magnify a selection of text. And Display Accommodations support color blindness and other vision needs.
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Hover TextGet a quick size boost of what you’re reading.
Hover Text makes it easier to view text on your display. If a paragraph, caption, or headline is too small to read, just hover over it with your cursor and press Command. You’ll get a dedicated window with a large, high-resolution version of your selection. You can even choose the fonts and colors that work best for you.
VoiceOverHear what’s happening on your screen.
VoiceOver does more than tell you what’s happening on your Mac. It helps you make things happen. It gives you auditory descriptions of each onscreen element and provides helpful hints along the way — whether you prefer using gestures, a keyboard, or a braille display. And it supports more than 35 languages, including multiple voice options.
VoiceOverIntegrated throughout macOS and every built-in app.
VoiceOver is unique because it’s not a standalone screen reader. It’s deeply integrated in macOS and all the built-in apps on Mac. And as developers update their apps to take advantage of the accessibility interfaces provided by Apple, their apps can start working with VoiceOver right away.
VoiceOverImproved PDF, web, and messages navigation.
We’ve refined VoiceOver to make it easier to navigate PDFs, websites, and messages. In Safari, improved conformance with HTML5 accessibility standards allows for more consistent navigation of websites. VoiceOver is now better at reading aloud tagged PDFs and email messages. If you start reading a website in a different language, VoiceOver can switch to the voice for that language automatically.¹ And you can add custom commands and workflows to your MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.
Audio DescriptionsHear the details in every scene.
Watch movies with detailed audio descriptions of every scene on your Mac. Movies with audio descriptions are displayed with the AD icon in the iTunes Store.
VoiceOverNavigate VoiceOver with simple gestures.
You can control VoiceOver using many of the same gestures you use with iOS. Touch the trackpad to hear a description of the item under your finger, drag to hear items continuously, and flick to move to the next item. Enable the VoiceOver Trackpad Commander, and the trackpad surface will represent the current window or document, so you can navigate quickly to any corner or edge with a tap.
VoiceOverA virtual controller with customizable commands.
VoiceOver features a virtual control called the rotor. Turning the rotor — by rotating two fingers on the trackpad as if you were turning an actual dial — lets you access an array of fully customizable commands. Use it to browse web pages more efficiently and intuitively. The rotor lists common elements like “headings,” “links,” and “images,” and lets you navigate directly to the element of your choosing.
VoiceOverPlug-and-play support for braille displays.
VoiceOver is the first screen reader to provide plug-and-play support for refreshable braille displays. Plug in or sync one of over 100 compatible displays, supporting more than 80 international tables, and the VoiceOver description is presented to you in braille. You can edit seamlessly in Grade 2 Braille, viewing your edits in the context of the actual line of text. Optimized for fast braille typists, VoiceOver makes working in braille easy and efficient. Converting between braille and text happens automatically so you see only Grade 2 Braille. And for sighted users who sit alongside you, there’s an onscreen braille panel that displays both braille and plain-text versions of the descriptions spoken by VoiceOver.
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Dark ModeWorking hard gets easier on the eyes.
Dark Mode transforms the desktop and built-in apps with a dark color scheme that helps you focus on your work.2 The fine points of your content take center screen as toolbars and menus recede into the background. Light text against darker backdrops in Mail, Safari Reader, Calendar, and more makes everything easier to read in low lighting conditions. And the Accessibility preferences for increased contrast and reduced transparency work with Dark Mode enabled.
DictationYou say it. Mac types it.
Dictation lets you talk where you would type — and it works in over 40 languages. So you can reply to an email, search the web, or write a report using just your voice. Navigate to any text field, activate Dictation, then say what you want to write. macOS also comes with more than 50 editing and formatting commands. So you can turn on Dictation and tell your Mac to bold a paragraph, delete a sentence, or replace a word. You can also use Automator workflows to create your own Dictation commands.
SiriStreamline the things you do every day.
Siri helps you do more with your desktop.³ Ask Siri to send messages, track down files, create reminders, search the web, and even turn on and off VoiceOver and Invert Colors, without interrupting what you’re doing on the keyboard. And because Siri is integrated with VoiceOver, you can ask it to find a file and hear the answer read out loud. If you prefer to communicate by typing, you can easily set Siri to “Type to Siri” mode.
ZoomMake your screen up to 20 times bigger.
Zoom is a powerful built-in magnifier that lets you enlarge your screen up to 20 times, so you can better see what’s on the display. You can zoom using full screen or picture-in-picture, allowing you to see the zoomed area in a separate window while keeping the rest of the screen at its native size. A shortcut key lets you pan the screen without moving the pointer while zoomed in. macOS can also flash the screen for notifications offscreen or speak text under your pointer. The hardware acceleration engine lets you boost the size of anything on your screen — text on a web page, family photos, or a place on a map.
Zoom DisplaySee content up close and at a distance simultaneously.
Now with macOS Catalina, if you have two displays, you can keep one zoomed in close while the other stays at a standard resolution. So you can tackle everyday work or give a presentation more efficiently.
Cursor SizeMagnify your cursor so it’s easier to use.
macOS lets you magnify your cursor so it’s easier to see where you are and follow along as you move around your Mac. Set the cursor size once and it stays magnified even when its shape changes. And when you swipe back and forth on your trackpad or quickly shake your mouse, the pointer grows so it’s easier to locate.
Contrast and Color OptionsInvert colors or enable color filters.
macOS lets you invert colors, enable grayscale, or choose from a range of color filters to support different forms of color blindness or other color vision deficiencies. You can select a common preset or fine-tune the color tint and hue to customize a display setting that works for you.
Reduce MotionDecrease the movement of onscreen elements.
Over Macho Grande Quote
If you’re affected by the motion of screen elements, you can turn on Reduce Motion to decrease movement in areas like Spaces, Notification Center, and the Dock.
Music, Podcasts, Books and TVNavigate and play with VoiceOver.
The Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, Apple Books, and Apple TV apps are compatible with VoiceOver, so you can navigate and play all your content even if you can’t see the screen. Browse the apps as VoiceOver reads out headers, links, and other elements on the page.
Or order an embossed copy of macOS VoiceOver User Guide
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Explore instructional videos with tips on using vision accessibility features in macOS.
Crossover For MacLearn more about the Hadley Institute instructional videos at their website
Join a community of blind and low-vision users of Apple products.Learn more about AppleVis.com at their website
Get information on the use of Apple products by those who are blind or low vision.Learn more about Mac-cessibility Network at their website