Access and Customize VoiceOver Settings on MacOS

Erin Doyle
InstructorErin Doyle

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Published 3 years ago
Updated a year ago

Learn how to access the VoiceOver training and utility preferences on MacOs and how to make customizations to the screen reader.

Instructor: [00:00] To get started with VoiceOver on Mac, you want to go to your System Preferences and then here on Accessibility. One thing you might want to do is clicking this box to show Accessibility status in menu bar. If you click that, you now have this shortcut to get to the preferences if you need to get to them easily later.

[00:26] Then you go to the VoiceOver section. If you're just getting started with VoiceOver, I strongly recommend you go ahead and take their training. This is going to walk you through step-by-step how to properly use VoiceOver.

[00:40] If you were looking to customize VoiceOver, you'll click this open VoiceOver Utility. Some of the things you can do that I found to be really helpful, if you go to Speech, you can actually change the voice. The default that usually comes enabled with VoiceOver might not be the most helpful. There are a ton of voices you can choose from.

[01:01] There are male and female voices for a whole slew of different regions with different accents. You can go through those and pick one that works for you. You can enable a lot of different options that then you can choose from here in this Context menu.

Allison: [01:20] Allison, the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Ava: [01:24] Ava, the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Alex: [01:29] Alex, the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Tom: [01:34] Tom, the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Instructor: [01:38] I'm going to pick Ava.

Ava: [01:39] Ava, the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Instructor: [01:43] Then you can also change how fast the voice speaks. I found that the default was a little fast for me to keep up with. You may have a different preference. You can change that here [inaudible] .

[01:53] You can go really slow.

Ava: [01:55] [slow voice] Rate 29, the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Instructor: [02:01] Or, you could go really fast.

Ava: [02:02] [fast voice] Rate 55, the best way to predict the future is to invent it. [slower voice] Rate 43, the best to predict the future is to invent it.

Instructor: [02:15] That's the rate that works for me. The other thing you can do to customize VoiceOver further is, if you find there are certain characters, words, combinations of characters that it pronounces strangely, you can go ahead and tell it how to pronounce those things.

[02:34] Here's some examples of some things, words, either single characters. When you see this character, it should say Less. For this one, it will say Greater. Or to acronyms or abbreviations, how they should be read. You can add however as many of these as you like.