The New, Good, and Bad for VoiceOver users in macOS 10.13 High Sierra

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hello, High Sierra

Today, Apple released the macOS 10.13 “High Sierra” update. As usual, I won’t cover the mainstream features for the most part, concentrating instead on accessibility.

Please remember to check the section about bugs to see if it’s worth upgrading. There’s no harm in holding off a few weeks or months to let Apple address a problem you may find too disruptive to deal with. In particular, users of the “most” punctuation setting should know that this setting has been removed, leaving just “none”, “some”, or “all”.

Braille users: the AppleVis team members doing testing with High Sierra are not heavy Braille users. Please remember that we can’t say how Braille works in this release at all, so upgrade at your own risk.

New Features

VoiceOver and Zoom haven’t changed much in this release, but there are a few things worth talking about.

Huge PDF Improvements

VoiceOver is, according to Apple, much better able to work with PDFs in High Sierra. If a PDF is accessible, VO will properly read tags and labels. It also better detects headings, links, and so on, and lets you navigate PDFs like webpages. The AppleVis team hasn’t been able to test this feature extensively, as our testers don’t do much with PDFs at all, but what we did test seemed very promising. Those of you who work a lot with PDFs: let us know your experiences in the comments.

VoiceOver Speaks in Tongues

VoiceOver can finally read multi-language content. When it detects a different language, it switches to a synthesizer in that language. This is great for webpages, emails, or documents you may have to work with that aren’t in your native language. Or maybe they are in your native tongue, and you find it annoying to force VoiceOver to or from English.

If you find something where the language is detected incorrectly or not at all, you can use the speech rotor to select an appropriate voice. Add voices you may need in the VoiceOver Utility > Speech section as normal.

The VO Utility has an expanded speech section now. You can use this to customize each language’s speech settings. Simply go to the section, hit the “add language” button, return to the table, and customize the new row in said table. You might want a much slower Spanish voice than your English one, or maybe you want to crank up the speed in German but leave English alone. You can do all this.

Note that manually switching to a foreign voice, rather than having VO do it on its own, still uses that voice’s settings. That is, if your English voice is at 80% and your French voice is at 40%, using the speech rotor to select that French voice will use the 40% speech rate you’d expect. Also note that you can only add one voice per language. That is, you can’t set up two Spanish voices and pick between them, you have to keep just one Spanish voice set up at a time.

Bettering the Braille

In iOS 11, Apple introduced improved support for braille displays. While we don’t have braille testers on our team, we can confirm that the same improvements have arrived on the Mac as part of today’s upgrade. Contracted braille users will be especially happy to get this news, as the experience has been greatly simplified and enhanced. Now, you can edit in contracted braille, without worrying about pausing too long and having your text translated, or expanding a word under your cursor to computer braille before you can edit it. In a way, Apple is making braille closer to the experience of a notetaker, where the contracted braille you feel is what you edit. At the same time, though, macOS is handling translation behind the scenes, meaning that the system is “seeing” the translated text it expects.

Rotor to the mistakes

The VoiceOver rotor now has an option to move by misspelled words, in addition to the rotor items you already have. If you rely on the rotor a lot, you’ll love this new way of spellchecking.

As with the old commands (vo-cmd-e and vo-cmd-shift-e), using this new rotor option will land you on the start of the word. You have to option-arrow to the end to get automatic suggestions, or right arrow to it before you can use the context menu to access suggestions and dictionary options.

A Quick Note on Quick Nav

Quick Nav has been changed a bit. The usual left and right arrows together will turn it on or off, but vo-q has been added to the mix. This keystroke toggles first-letter navigation, letting you change whether pressing keys with Quick Nav enabled will jump around or not. This setup has been a part of iOS for a while, so if you’re already used to it there, you’ll feel right at home with this change on the Mac.

Automagic Image Descriptions?

Also new to VoiceOver is something equally new to iOS 11: image descriptions. VoiceOver has been speaking the main objects in pictures since last year, but that was only for photos you’d stored in a Photos library. Now, you can press vo-shift-l while VO is on a picture to get a description, if the current app supports the feature. This even includes text recognition, letting you hear what’s in an image, even if it’s a screenshot or meme. Time will tell just how well this works in practice, but it’s great to see such a powerful feature being introduced, even if the artificial intelligence behind it seems to need more tweaking.

After some tests of this feature, it seems to work about as well as it does on iOS and have the same limitations. I searched Google for “pictures of dogs” and moved through the results by image. I got a few hits, such as “Labrador”, “husky”, “pug”, and a few others. Just as often, though, I was only told the sharpness or blurriness of the image. macOS did pick up the text “google” in Google’s logo, though. Importantly, I got better results once I turned my Mac’s screen brightness up, though the screen curtain didn’t seem to make a difference as it currently does on iOS.

Viewing the Past

The last feature is a little more minor, but no less useful: announcement history. Press vo-n once to access any notifications that are still on screen, as introduced in 10.12. Now, though, you can press vo-n once more to review any recent announcements VoiceOver made. Not all speech appears here, only status messages, like download announcements from Safari.

Changes

There aren’t many changes to accessibility tools in macOS this time around, just new features and additions. The big one you need to know about is in the speech rotor. Previously, vo-cmd-arrows would let you alter speech rate, pitch, and so on. Those options are all still there, but you need to add the shift key to your rotor commands. That is, vo-cmd-shift-arrows.

The regular vo-cmd-arrow commands are now reserved for the navigation rotor. This is a welcome change, as you can now take full advantage of the rotor’s power without needing to worry about Quick Nav or awkwardly locate the right vo-cmd command to move by list or link. It does, however, mean that we’ll all be re-training our fingers for a while.

Speaking of Quick Nav, remember the new feature above, where vo-q toggles first-letter navigation. If Quick Nav ever stops working right, check this setting first. It’s a feature, but it’s also a change in the way Quick Nav works, so I’m putting it in this section too.

A big change for anyone who does a lot of programming or writing is the total removal of the “most” punctuation setting. We now have “none”, “some”, and “all”. This means you can’t hear parentheses, semicolons, quotes, and other important punctuation symbols without also hearing every symbol. On a personal note, this one is a huge deal for me. I find that not knowing when something is parenthesized or if a semicolon is used makes things harder for me to proof-read. Even that word, proof-read, is spoken with no indication that I’ve included the hyphen. You can imagine how much more frustrating checking your work is if you need this kind of detail. If you rely on being able to pick up on this level of punctuation, but don’t want to use the “all” setting, you might consider waiting on this upgrade.

The other change worth talking about is Safari’s new automatic reader setting, which you can adjust from Safari’s preferences. I mention it here because it bit me a few times. I’d go to a website, not find the link or heading I expected, and be very confused. I finally realized the site had gone into Reader Mode on its own. This feature is disabled by default, but once you turn it on, remember that sites will all switch to Reader if Safari thinks they can. You can exclude sites if you want to, giving me enough flexibility that I find this to be one of my favorite additions to macOS. Still, it can be confusing when you seem to be missing parts of webpages, so remember to check your Reader status.

Bugs: the Squashed and the Nascent

High Sierra has its share of fixes, but it also has some new problems, as do all software releases. Let’s start with the good news.

Fixed Bugs

High Sierra fixes the following accessibility bugs, according to the testing performed by the AppleVis team. Let us know if we missed any; we always love adding more fixes to these articles.

  • VoiceOver feels snappier overall, though we acknowledge this may be due to installing the beta on blank drives or partitions.
  • In Safari, text fields work far better. Specifically:
    • Pressing enter on multi-line fields will always cause VoiceOver to say “new line” if character typing feedback is enabled.
    • Bumping into the top or bottom of a text field will no longer speak the first or last line of the webpage.
    • VoiceOver search commands (vo-f, vo-g, vo-shift-g) appear to work correctly in text fields now.
    • Using cmd-semicolon to move to misspelled words works as it should.
    • Using option-arrows to navigate by paragraph in multi-line text fields works. Note, though, that speech feedback is inaccurate while doing this.
  • VoiceOver no longer seems to be as verbose when you unlock a Mac. Specifically, the “N system dialogs displayed” messages are far fewer to none.
  • The delay seen when switching apps with a Nuance voice in use appears to be fixed.
  • Since you cannot navigate conversation history with the arrow keys in the Messages app, VoiceOver no longer refers to this as an HTML content object. This should serve to differentiate when arrows will and won’t work.

New Bugs

Okay, here’s the bad news portion of the article. Below, I’ve listed all the High Sierra accessibility bugs the AppleVis team was able to find. Remember that these are bugs new to 10.13, not ones that existed in previous macOS versions. If you know of any we missed, please leave a comment so we can investigate further. Please also let us know if you find one of our bugs to not be a problem on your 10.13 system. Even if it’s still a bug, we can at least note that it doesn’t happen to everyone.

  • If you write an email, vo-l will not read the current line. You must arrow up or down before this command starts working.
  • you cannot click, or click with any modifier keys held down, while the Trackpad Commander is active. Note that we aren’t certain if this is new to 10.13.
  • Siri fails to read back texts with VoiceOver enabled. You are prompted as to whether to send the message, but are not told what the message is. This bug may be present in 10.12.
  • VoiceOver fails to identify attached files when composing emails. It says “embedded object”, but not the name of the file as it should.
  • As noted previously, option-up and option-down in multi-line text fields in Safari moves correctly. However, VoiceOver’s feedback is wildly incorrect, speaking nothing like the text under the cursor and sometimes playing the “boundary” sound when the cursor is nowhere near a boundary.
  • VoiceOver is sluggish when using the speech rotor (vo-cmd-shift-arrows) with Nuance voices.
  • There is a vertical scroll bar to the left of a webpage if that page is in Reader mode. VoiceOver can move left from this scroll bar to the bottom of the page, even if cursor wrapping is off, and doing so can sometimes cause problems with navigation.
  • Activating a link on a webpage while that page is in Reader mode can cause problems. The page that loads will not be properly read or navigated by VoiceOver until you toggle Reader off and, optionally, on again. Note that this does not always happen.

Conclusion

That’s what we know so far. As mentioned, if you have any changes, features, or bugs we missed, please leave a comment.

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60 Comments

PDF's

One huge oversight from this blogpost is that support for reading PDF's using preview has been majorly improved. VoiceOver now lets you use VO-right and Left to. move through a PDF and recognises markup like links, tables, or form fields, which can also now be navigated.

On the topic of tables, if you have a table inside a rich text field like in mail or TextEdit, you now get coordinate announcements if you move through it, while before you didn't get anything which could get somewhat confusing.

Great info

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

As usual, an awesome summary of what to expect in the new release. I look forward to trying High Sierra. Not sure it will install on my 2012 MacBook Pro (iOS 11 did not install on my 2012 iPad 4).

i am waiteing for the next update

I am wateing for the next update. i am very disapointed with apple systems update in this year, i hope that all bugs or if not all most bugs will be fix in the nexte versions. i very exsiting for the language deatection but from my test it's very limit for Safari and mail. it's general feature or spsific apps?

Re: PDF

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

PDFs! Of course! I knew I was missing something! My apologies to everyone for the oversight (which has now been corrected), and my thanks to the commenter who pointed out my mistake.

Automatic Language Detection

How do I get the automatic language detection to work? How do I get the speech option on my rotor? I want VO to switch between English and Thai.

Vanna

Hi,

Hi,
Has anyone noticed that let's say your voice rate is at say 37, and you VO+shift+arrow to change your voice settings it goes to a different value? for instance, Earlier on it would go to 35, or 40. I am wondering if there is a work around for this. I love the changes, but this one I wish they would figure a way for the rate to be changed by 1 number when using the keyboard command instead of by five units. For instance, when I press the change voice menu keys, VO+shift+arrows, the rate goes from 37 to 35 or 40. Kind of frustrated by this!

cursor rapping and webpages

Hi, first of all, thank you very much for such an in-depth review of what to expect in Mac OS high Sierra, I just updated my mac.
I noticed that webpage navigation seems a bit sluggish. I have selected cursor rapping and if I try to navigate using single letter navigation, the safari seems to crash for a while and continuously says 'busy, busy, busy'.
It cannot be a hardware issue, I just got myself a Macbook pro 2017. Is anyone facing a similar issue? Or am I missing something here?
Another question I wanted to ask was about smart invert colour feature. Do we have smart invert colour feature on Mac OS High Sierra now, like IOS?
Thank you once again!

Hi, I think there's smart

Hi, I think there's smart color invert, probably under visual in VO utility. Also, I'd turn off cursor wrapping, as that might be the thing slowing down safari. I personally hate wrapping of the cursor and find it a waste of time in my opinion.

another bug

Another bug I noticed is that while you have trackpad commander enabled and try to perform a control click to bring up a context menu, it doesn't work. this could just be me, but it's definitely annoying. In fact, any gestures that use clicks will not work with trackpad commander enabled in my case. I've reported the issue to apple's accessibility team, but nothing's been done as of yet.

High Sierra

High Sierra is awesome! Reading PDF files is so much better. I do have one question. I can't seem to read tables in PDF files. I don't know if VoiceOver isn't recognizing them or the files I'm testing don't contain them. If someone could provide a file that actually has tables, I'd love to test it. I thought tables would appear as a single item that you must interact with, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I don't know if anyone else caught this, but HTML messages in Mail are much easier to read now. VoiceOver treats the message area like a Safari page. It's now possible to easily navigate by links and headings.

Sadly, a lot of the little bugs still remain. There are still issues when reading character by character in Safari text fields using the "Speak text to the right of the cursor" option selected. If it's set to the default, these issues are not present. I'm also noticing that VoiceOver is reading the last line of text I typed when I press the right arrow at the end of this textfield. The same thing happens if I press the left arrow at the top of the field. The Nuance voices still lag when they are selected. I'm confused as to why Apple removed the most punctuation setting. Hopefully this is temporary. I am going to send an email to Apple Accessibility regarding this change.

I haven't tried Braille all that much, but from my look at the betas, it's much better. The translation issues are gone. The critical bug where braille wouldn't correctly track speech in HTML content is gone, and items are once again able to be read on the Desktop. I wish more of the silly little bugs were squashed, but High Sierra is overall very good.

I do not think there is smart invert feature on High Sierra

Hi, I checked under most of VO settings and other settings in system preferences but could not find smart invert colours. I checked online, but it seems the feature is not yet introduced to Mac High Sierra.
Regarding cursor rapping, I personally find it useful, but might toggle it off for a while to see how VO behaves. thanks for the input.

using the new enhanced siri voices on Mac High Sierra

Hi again, I have fallen in love with the new enhanced Siri voices introduced by apple for IOS 11 and High Sierra. I was wondering if one could use the SIRI voice for Voice Over as one does on IOS? Has anybody tried tis yet? Under speech settings for VO, it is not possible to do so. Is there another way to accomplish this, I wonder?

So Far So Good over here

Just updated last night and everything's working as it should thus far. The update didn't take quite as long, which I guess is a good thing. I enabled the new 2-factor authentication for my Apple ID, and the process is completely accessible. I admit it was kinda weird hearing from Apple at 10:59 at night, but I guess that's par for the course since that's when my installation finished. I have yet to try out a .pdf file and the other new features. I did, however, set up automatic language switching in VO from English to Spanish and I guess vice versa. I've also noticed that when navigating in System Preferences, it is once again possible to wrap around with the tab key. In addition, no Apple information seems to be displayed anymore when navigating to the end of a text field. I'd say this is another great update.

PDF and Speech

As noted, PDF's do rock. I have filled out numerous Pdf's for my daughter and business, and it worked very smoothly. You can officially retire other PDF viewers you might be relying on for quickly previewing PDF's. The only time I have encountered any issues with PDF's occurs while reading multi-page PDF's from Safari. Yes, the Pdf nicely loads in Safari, and then you can interact with the document and navigate through the pages or with the individual page to read the page. What drives me a bit crazy is VO the read page or VO contents does not work smoothly and definitely not if you just wish to read the entire document. I have checked all appropriate settings, and either find VO becoming stuck at the end of the page or other area.

Now for my rant on speech. I dislike what happened with the speech rotor. Ok, I can live with the extra shift in the shortcut, but none of my Trackpad or keyboard commanders to quickly change rate, pitch, or volume work anymore. Yes the Keyboard helper still recognizes the commander shortcut, like CMD Rotate, OPT Rotate, or Right OPT Equal/-. However my other Commanders still work, like OPT flick up/down to navigate to misspelled words. This has been reported to Apple, since it makes no sense why the Speech related commanders would not work and other ones do.

Pdfs and a Possible Bug

I just tried reading 2 pdf files that I downloaded awhile back, and both worked great. Character navigation doesn't seem to be possible at this time, but I'm sure that'll change. I also wanted to point something else out and see if anyone else has experienced it. When typing an address into the address bar in Safari, the letters don't seem to speak all the time. This has happened to me a couple times this morning. But other than that I've not encountered any bugs thus far.

A Safe Upgrade

App Developer

Aside from two or three of the manageable issues noted in the post, this is a welcome bug-fix upgrade. Long in coming, certainly, but that's another topic. The best part is that, so far, I have not been able to reproduce a bug where Microsoft Word spurratically jumps out of page-level editing mode when I move to a new page on both my computers. There was always a moderately high-pitched double beep tone, which may have been the "scrolling" sound, and then my focus would be back to the top of the document. It also happened once in a long while in Pages and other apps. So far, I haven't heard that sound or experienced the issue yet. Word is unreliable about reading the line when cursoring up or down to a different page, but that's Word.
Ok, never mind. new bug: I just tried to correct the spelling of "Spurratically" above and it keeps thinking I'm on the word "jumps" and tells me Jumps is selected, though I didn't select anything. Pulling down the control menu likewise jumps the cursor and vo position strangely when the menu is escaped out of. Anybody else?

Hi,

Hi,
Has anyone noticed in, say, safari when you either change a window, or go between applications with the CMD+tab key, that when you tab back to safari, the focus isn't where it is supposed to. It used to be before it usually would be right where you left off at, but now it's changed!

@Justin

App Developer

Not for me. Honestly, it *used* to do that sometimes to me, but not just now. Maybe it's an old glitch. Also, I just remembered that I haven't restarted my machine yet after completing the upgrade. That often clears out a glitch or two.

New file system questions

Hello all,
How can one tell if the file system got switched over to the new APFS format? Also if it did not how would I convert over to the new file system.

Regards,
Greg Wocher

Changes to behaviour in finder

App Developer

I'm not sure whether to classify these observations as bugs or feature-updates, so take them as you will. In finder, I find myself having to interact far more. I use column-view, and it's not behaving as nicely with VO as it used to. For example, if I use VO-up or VO-down, I now get feedback where the object name is followed by the word "group". For example, there is no distinction between a file and a folder. In my applications folder, I have a folder called "avid". this is read to me as "avid group". Equally when I encounter stand-alone applications, they are read as "appname" followed by "group". Finally, in order to open the application I need to interact with the group, do VO right, then VO-space. I can use cmd-o, but am used to the other way. Not good UX in my view. Finally, the status bar must now be interacted with in order to ascertain the number of objects in a given folder, and free space on disk. I haven't noticed much else as yet, but I only updated this afternoon.

mail

App Developer

Interesting. When I launched mail, the message table says the first line is the sort button, which is *also* outside the table in its normal place. But arrowing down gives me the message list.

found a strange bug

hi here's a strange bug.
I downloaded Skype and upon on opening it the other dmg I had in my downloads opened.
I deleted it and its complaining its still there.
I think it might be a voiceover bug

detection language

Hello! i use in MacOS High Sierra in my Macbook air, for those that want to use the auto ditection it works in safari and not other apps i think that apple need to be improove this. it doesn't perfect but it does work well.

No WIFi with the new OS

I tried the new OS for Mack on my computer and found that after all the updating, I had no WIFi. I found this out when I went into the extras menu. VO told me I had no wiFi. But, yet I was able to see other networks. With Apple's help, we went into the recovery mode and sure enough, my WiFi network was checked. But, when in normal operation, it wasn't listed. So, I rolled back to the previous OS with a time machine backup. Staying with this one until Apple fixes this bug and others. Very disappointed.

RE: No WIFi with the new OS

I am sorry to hear you were having issues. I've updated my 2017 MBP for the first time this week and once the dust settled, I found my wi-fi working properly. This may not be OS specific but specific to the hardware, not sure?

re-new file system

Hi Greg,
once you upgrade your OS from Sierra to high Sierra, the file system should automatically upgrade itself to AFPS, you do not have to do anything about it.
You can upgrade your external hard drive file system to APFS using disk utility, without losing your saved data.
Hope that helps.
PS. it would be worthwhile to check in disk utilities disk information whether your Mac hard drive has upgraded itself to the new file system, though, as I said, it should automatically do so.

No VO during upgrade

Hi All,

Probably a rookie mistake on my behalf but after commencing the Install on my MBP I lost all access to VO and was unable to complete the install without sighted help.
At the sign in screens, I could not use VO and the normal toggles would not start it. It was only after assisted sign in and several start ups and shut downs that VO resurfaced.

Cheers,

VoiceOver breaks up

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I upgraded my mid-2012 13" MacBook Pro, which I normally keep docked to a KVM switch box. I keep the built-in display on with mirroring enabled (I'm low vision and use a 21" external monitor). The upgrade got quite confused about the displays, appearing to render the 13" built-in display desktop in the upper left corner of my 21" display. I worked around this by disabling mirroring then re-enabling it.

But the real issue is the the VoiceOver voice breaks up pretty bad whenever the CPU is busy. For example, one of the first things I did after the upgrade was install XCode 9.1 beta, and just the task of unpacking the XCode zip file was enough to cause VoiceOver to break up pretty bad. I haven't encountered this problem since, and hope it doesn't persist.

Happened Here Too

That has happened to me a few times too, mainly when unplugging my external speakers or earbuds while VO is speaking. But this happened in prior versions too. What I'm more concerned about is speech crashes, and I've not had any of these thus far in High Sierra although VO did cut one of the AppleVis posts short just yesterday. I forget which one it was though. But it looks like this new file system just might be fixing my speech crashes. *knocks on desk* Only time will tell though I guess. Also, I was a bit thrown off at first by the changes in the VO Utility but I'm figuring it out now.

Booting in to recovery mode.

Since installing 10.13, If I attempt to boot in to recovery mode by holding down CMDR while the machine boots, while it might load, I can't get voiceover to speak. Doing either of the available commands to start Voiceover doesn't work. Is any one able to validate this behaviour?

Preview PDF crashes

I have read that quite a few users are loving PDF viewing and editing in this latest update. I am a full time college student and unfortunately Preview crashes on any PDF files I receive from my professors. I was able to read a single page PDF, which was kind of nice, however the files I receive in my classes are typically several pages long. I am thinking that either my Mac is just too old to handle the processes required for rendering these PDFs or I am missing a setting that is likely obvious to anyone that is not me.
I would point out that I have been using DocuScan Plus for the past couple of years for PDFs.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for reading. :)

Hi,

Hi,
Try doing the following to activate VO in default recovery mode.
Press either CMD+F5 or FN+CMD+F5 if your machine isn't equipped with the touch bar,
Or, press FN+power- also known as the touch id button. HTH, this usually works when I have to enter recovery mode. It's using a temporary copy of VO like it does during the update process.

When reading articles from

When reading articles from web pages, if the article has long paragraphs VoiceOver will stop in the midle of the paragraph when reading by flicks, but it will read everything when using the read all command. You can use wikipedia as an example

recovery mode

Unless they changed things in high sierra, the only way to activate vo in recovery mode is to use an external keyboard if you have one of those machines with the touch bar. This is what the accessibility support rep told me.

Clipped forum posts

App Developer

Has anyone noticed any problems reading forum posts, like those here on appleVIS? Randomly comments will get clipped, or skipped entirely. I have even had it entirely skip the post when doing a read all from the top.
I have a late 2010 MBP, and I have had it clip the beginning of links when reading down a page, but this is the first time it has skipped over large chunks of text. I will say that my older iMac, which used to have speech crash constantly, seems to run much better.

VO not reading message text when Mail is fullscreen

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I noticed High Sierra has some changes to Mail when Mail is fullscreen. I tried this out. In fullscreen, if I open a message, it appears in the right half of the monitor. But VoiceOver doesn't read the text. I have to do a VO+A to get VO to read it. I immediately escaped out of fullscreen and repeated this test. I'm not using the preview pane, so when I opened a message, it opened in its own window and VO immediately started to read the text. VO not reading automatically when Mail is fullscreen seems like a bug to me. I shouldn't have to VO+A.

I'm also using classic view, if that matters.

voiceover and wikipedia

hi all, has anyone else noticed this? when reading an article from wikipedia, sometimes with read all, i notice that voiceover will skip a heading and not read it, and also if their is a link that is a photo or image, it will not read the text just past that link as well. it will skip over it as if the text is not their.

Re: recovery mode

If I don't have an external keyboard, how do I fix my computer if it encountered the problem? That's really weird if Apple forcing the VO users to buy an external keyboard just to turn VO on in the recovery mode.

reading PDFs on Mac OS High Sierra

Hello again,
Just a quick question about reading PDFs on High Sierra. I have been using Preview application to read my PDF files. Usually it is reasonably okay to read PDFs. However, with the new OS, the say all feature does not seem to work for me. At times I prefer to sit back and let VO read the PDFs for me using Say all, but with the new OS the PDF files are divided in to smaller chunks of text and say all command does not seem to work. Is there some setting I have to change or am I missing something here?
Thank you in advance for any help, it will be highly appreciated, Cheers!

Using VO in recovery mode

Hello again,
Actually I had to reinstall my OS due to an extra container volume which got created while installing High Sierra. The VO worked seamlessly for me without having to use any external keyboard. I am reasonably sure that VO works while using recovery mode, it did for me at any rate. Maybe at times when going in to recovery mode one has to wait for couple of seconds before pressing CMD+F5 to start VO.
Cheers!

The last High Sierra update

The last High Sierra update did something with the sound. I use headphones with volume at minimum, and voiceover at 10%. Since this update there is a constant buzzing that becomes clearer the lower the volume.

I edit the comment to clarify. The sound was modified to 16 bit channel no idea why, I opened midi configuration in Utilities folder and changed the sound output to 32 bit. Now it is as it should be.

Hello VivekP

Thanks for the clarification about the recovery mode. Will wait until I find a hard drive to backup my Sierra operating system, then I will update right away

Speak items under pointer

Zoom users including those not ready to fully commit to VoiceOver on MacOS might enjoy the "Speak items under the pointer" option, now available with Full screen zoom style. In an older version of Mac OS, this option was only available when using Picture-in-Picture zoom style. It's great to have the option "Always" so that you don't have to be zoomed in for the mouse to speak what is under the pointer. You can enable this option in Preferences, Accessibility, Zoom, Speak items under the pointer, and you have choices for Always or Only when zoomed.

The option for Moves VoiceOver cursor could also make the transition to VoiceOver a little easier for someone. This option is found under Preferences, Accessibility, VoiceOver, Navigation, Mouse pointer.

Voice Over not present during safe mode

Hi again,
I have been having couple of issues with my mac for a while now, after upgrading to High Sierra, overheating for one. I decided to reboot my mac in safe mode to clear up cash files and other things. While in safe mode, I noticed that Voice over was absent. When asked, my sighted friend told me that VO is activated, but the system volume is muted for some reason. We tried to unmute the system volume, however, no joy! Have written to apple about it. Has anybody been facing something similar in nature?
Cheers!

Re: Reading Pdfs On Mac OS High Sierra

Hello Vivek, I also encountered the same problem. Voiceover does not read next lines otomaticly when you press VO+A. Also, in big pdf files for example which includes 600 or 700 pages, when you try to ınteract with document on Prevue, voiceover first says busy, then empty content. I hope these bugs will fix in next update because when I try to read a big pdf document, I can't read it.

re-reading pdfs on Mac High Sierra

Hi Cankut,
Today I phoned the Apple support and tried to replicate the issues with reading PDF files. Most of the issues were replicated and the accessible team at Apple is now made aware of them. Like you, I rely heavily on Preview to read PDF files containing at least 6-700 pages and these bugs do not help. Surprisingly, however, if one uses the Braille display, then the display pans without any hassle. At least this is something, though I hate using Braille display to read large PDF files, preferring instead that VO read them to me.
Regarding interacting with large PDFs, I encountered similar issues as you reported, the only work-around I found was to force-quit the preview application and re-launch it, which worked for me. To tell you the truth, however, this is definitely not an ideal solution.
Hope that helps, Cheers!

Possible bug with Braille display

Hello again,
I use Brailliant BI 40 braille display along with my MacBook pro 2017 and my Mac Os is updated to the latest version of Mac Os. I have been noticing an annoying bug these days with my braille display paired. Whenever I use my mac on battery power, I have set my mac to sleep after 20 minutes of idle time. When I unlock my mac with my apple watch, the braille display shows only img on its display and no swiping or panning helps to rid me of this IMG text.
Re-pairing braille display is a work-around, but not ideal. Has anybody noticed this?
Cheers!
PS. I phoned the apple accessibility team and they are now aware of this bug.

a bug in facetime

There's one bug in FaceTime with high cierra. You can't dial numbers while on a phone call on the Mac using FaceTime. When I try to do this, I can't hear the d t m f tones like I can while on the iPhone on a phone call. Hopefully Apple will fix this. I have already called Apple accessibility on this issue.

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