Accessible Java IDE for Mac

macOS & Mac Apps

Hello everyone,
I have recently started taking a Computer Science class at my school, and the class is using Eclipse to code Java. It is reasonably accessible, except that I cannot enter text and enter the file I want to enter. Are there any accessible Java IDE's for Mac? Thank you!



Submitted by Peter Saathoff on Wednesday, August 22, 2018

I just got through a few years of computer science in school and had to do a lot of Java. Other people were mostly using Eclipse and Intellij Idea, neither of which really works with VoiceOver. As you mentioned, the text fields are usually the problem. I found that other parts of Eclipse weren’t very accessible either. Instead, I used a combination of TextMate as a text editor and Terminal to do almost all my computer science stuff for school. In most cases there is. a way to do everything from the command line. There is also apparently some way to trick XCode into working with Java, but I don’t recommend doing that.

Submitted by Diogo Melo on Thursday, August 23, 2018


I took a 10 month intensive Java course in 2016/17 and I've been working for almost a year using Eclipse in the Mac with voiceover.

Yes it is not perfect, far from it, but combining VoiceOver navigation in the Eclipse main Window with mouse rooting to click in some tabs or text fields, relying solely on non-VOiceOver text and navigation commands in textfields and menus, and the good old Windows tab around method, and using some Eclipse shortcuts makes it a viable option to learn and work, although not the most user friendly one. Ah, and very important, F10 activates the "right click menu".

In menus, after navigating to them by finding the tab with Voiceover and rooting the mouse to click there, it is possible to navigate with the arrow keys and tab, and then enter or F10 to select what I want to do. After that usually the keyboard focus jumps to what I activated and I use the same method. In window dialogs and the main Eclipse controls voiceover works just fine, just a lot of tool bars to memorize.

In text/code fields the only option is really to use the non-VoiceOver text commands, and some information that my sighted colleagues can see is not accessible to voiceover, like where break points are or highlighted code or errors... I usually keep the problems tab in hand to have that information.

The only problem is really Voiceover focus not entering in most fields/menus, or it enters very sporadicly and I couldn't find yet a way of making it enter consistently (after almost 2 years), but it is workable with practice and some sighted help in the beginning just to understand the layout and how to move around.

In my project they decided to use IntelIJ and I couldn't use it at all, the text fields were completely inaccessible, and I kept using Eclipse.

Submitted by Mitchell on Thursday, August 23, 2018

This really helps. By mouse rooting do you mean just clicking on the trackpad? Also, when it comes to text field commands, do you just tab over to the text field, and then type normally, even if it says it is just a text element, or should I do the typing in a separate editor, and copy it over? I'm just weighing my options on whether working on a PC would be a more accessible alternative.
One more question: When I have been looking around, I have seen multiple Eclipse download pages for Mac. Which one is the right one, ⠆⠉ it seems like when I download it to my computer, it doesn't work correctly.
Thanks ⠁⠛⠖

Yes, I mean doing the Move mouse pointer to VoiceOver focus command (VO+command+F5, or assigning it to a keyboard commander shortcut) and then click, double click or secondary click the track pad, I do it countless times to navigate the main Eclipse window. Sometimes I also move the mouse around (with VoiceOver feedback) to get were where I want, like the opened code file or the console.

I do the actual typing in Eclipse, the autocomplete and IDE suggestions functionality are usable with the Voiceover Window Chooser, the refactoring and find functions in Eclipse also work very nicely. VoiceOver gives feedback on what you type, based on your verbosity settings, only VO+P and those VO text specific shortcuts don't work.

I have the Neon version in my personal computer and Oxygen at work. I downloaded it from the oracle website. One strange/stupid problem its the Eclipse Market Place, you can't open it with VoiceOver turned on, I usually put the keyboard focus on that option, turn off VoiceOver, click enter, wait some seconds and turn VoiceOver back on.

Submitted by Mitchell on Tuesday, September 4, 2018

,X won't allow me to access Eclipse because I don't have the right version of Java, but when I download Java 1.8, it still doesn't work. Is there a place that I need to put Java 1.8, or do I just need to delete the afplication?