Considering switching to a mac

macOS & Mac Apps

Hello everyone in the Applevis community. I am very delighted of becoming this community member. First and foremost, let me express my impression on MacBook computer.

I have been a window users for almost ten years. While I'm tired of crashing and expensiveness of window screen Reader, I want to opt for a MacBook for its security and stability. However, as a person with visual impairment, I'm so worried of the accessibility on the Macintosh Platform.
My everyday task is to deal with Microsoft word, pdf file, and occasional scanning.
As I read through several useful forum, I learn that Mac Voiceover doesn't handle Microsoft and PDF effectively and productively. Moreover, I heard that the OCR app on the Mac platform is lag behind its window counterpart. The forum was in 2014. Now, almost two years later and following the release of office 2016, can anyone here help me whether the accessibility in the said-above productivity suite is improve? Thanks in advance for all your fruitful comment.
Sincerely, Vireak



Submitted by Carlos Taylor on Thursday, April 7, 2016

I enjoy using both of my Mac computers. Although I have Microsoft Office, I mostly use Pages for word processing and save files as Microsoft Word files if I need to share with others using Windows. Microsoft Office 2016 is accessible, but I find accessing format information to be a challenge right now in Word. Maybe someone else knows of an alternative method. Although I've played around with Microsoft Outlook, I find the Mail app on the Mac meets my needs just fine. I really haven't played around with any OCR software, but I understand Abbyy FineReader is accessible. I use both the built-in pdf view called Preview and Adobe Acrobat Reader DC to view PDF files. If I can answer any other additional questions, don't hesitate to post your questions here.

Submitted by Justin on Thursday, April 7, 2016

I've been using a mac exclusively for 5, almost 6 years now and love the seamless integration.First, Microsoft office 16 is usable with Vo, however I don't use it. I actually just use TextEdit, the built-in word processor of Mac oSx. I know nothing about Abby finereader or it's accessibility. I use DocuScan from Serotek forOCRing my PDF files. I've heard the abby fine reader is accessible, but I haven't tried it yet.
Hope this helps you, and good luck!

Submitted by Vireak on Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thank you for your helpful comments. Since I spend a great deal of time working with PDF file, can you clarify abit how accessible of Acrobat DC on the Mac is? And just one more, Can ABBYY Find Reader be used to scan or convert a large valume of document as Kurzweil 1000 for PC does? If two of the mentioned issues are accessible, I may use the mac exclusively without the need for bootcam. Thanks in advance.

Submitted by Matthew C on Thursday, April 7, 2016

I switched over to a Mac from windows about 3 years ago now. You have to basically throw everything you know about windows out the window as it were. The mac has tons of great ways to learn how to use it including a tutorial that you can access as soon as you turn on Voiceover for the first time with command f5.

I use text edit for editing and that works very well. Abby fine reader is good for scanning and is accessible. As stated above preview can be used for reading PDF files. The built in mail app is a breeze to use once you learn it.

Macs are very secure but as with everything you still have to be careful. Especially with the rise in use of Macs hackers of course try and see what they can do. It ias just the nature of the beast.

I hope this helps some.

Submitted by splyt on Thursday, April 7, 2016

The reality is that only you can say if mac will help you ior not.

And the cool thing is that you can run windows and Mac OS on your Mac and you can run them at the same time using a virtual machine.

If you have the resources to buy one go ahead and make sure you have windows installed on a vm. You try to do your work on the Mac but if you are not satisfied you go to windows and you keep doing it to the point where either you will only use mac OS or you decide you do not like it. If you do not like it at all then you can format your
HD and put windows on the machine.
If you like it you just stop using the VM and it's all. I personally use both systems and for pdf and office I would definitely stay with Windows by now.

Submitted by Ekaj on Thursday, April 7, 2016

I agree. None of us can tell you which operating system to use. It's all up to you. They both have their benefits and downsides, although to be perfectly honest I haven't found many downsides. A few though. I've had my MacBook Air since the end of 2013, and I've found VoiceOver to be quite good. One other cool thing which I recently found out is that you can even watch audio-described movies on here. Actually I've pretty much known that for a little while now, but I only got to try it out last week for the first time. There's a whole thread about that elsewhere on this site.

Submitted by Mohammad Aldalain on Friday, April 8, 2016

Abby Fine Reader is accessible on the Mac. ReadIris is not, unfortunately. It is not slo to recognise bulky scanning tasks if compared to Windows machines I tested one document on one Mac and windows machine of the same specs. The Mac processed the document and I could save it in DOCX format before the Windows machine is at 90% of processing the same document. All scanners and similar scanning devices work great with the mac, I use the PlusTek 3800 and it does work without even installing the driver. There are some free OCR apps and I found them quite accessible. For the editing part, I use Pages and TextEdit and they are just great. TextEdit is equivalent to Microsoft's Notepad, with much advanced capabilities.

Submitted by Vireak on Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hello everybody, I'm so thankful for all your sharing. Just one more question. Can anyone tell me whether Acrobat DC now work well with untac reading accessibility on the Mac? I need to use most of my time at work. Thank you.

Submitted by splyt on Monday, April 25, 2016

I did not klike the expirience although others here did.

I would not rely on Mac to handle PDF, not now.

In my own trials the whole text was handled like a single block, meaning that it was only piossible to interact with it via the rottor and that if you happened to get focused out of the text you would have to start all over ..

If you have a Apple Store near you load a pdf in a pen drive and try asking one of the guys to let you interact with it in the DC application. I strongly suggest you try first something before buying it if at all this is possible in your case ...

Submitted by Tree on Monday, April 25, 2016

I want to start by pointing out that I am expressing my opinion, and that it is perfectly understandable for people to disagree with said opinion; however, I would like to also say that I am extremely experienced with the topic at hand and my opinion comes from that experience.

If you are going to work to any degree of regularity with pdf files, and you want to do this efficiently you are not going to do it on a mac without boot camp or a virtual machine.

I am not saying that windows is better then OS X. I am a mac user and will continue to be a mac user for the foreseeable future, because I am a podcaster and audio editor. What is more, I used a mac exclusively all through college. My collegiate experience with the mac is, in fact, why I feel as though I can talk about pdf's with a good deal of authority and knowledge.

There is currently no app that efficiently and completely supports tagged pdfs on the mac. There are a few options, such as preview, that offer passable access to the basic text of pdf documents, as long as you are ok with not being able to fully highlight or copy selections from the text.

It is true that Adobe reader DC has some support for tagged pdfs, but the implementation of this support, and the ease of use for the entire app, are pretty mediocre at best.

There are several apps on the mac, such as Icab, which is my favorite pdf reader on OS X, and pdf pin etc, that offer different levels of functionality, but none of them can compare to adobe reader on windows.

Pdfs are so bad on the mac that in college I would regularly run them through fine reader to turn them into html documents, so that I could get access to headings, and so that I could select and copy text. This brings me to the other thing you were asking about. OCR apps on the mac are very good, and I believe there are several options that would adequately serve your needs.

If you want a single pdf app that offers an optimized reading experience, and access to headings, form elements, alt text, etc. you are currently only going to find it in windows. I wish this wasn't the case, but it is.

I am not trying to discourage you from buying a mac; just be ready to use bootcamp or a virtual machine if you make the leap and need a good pdf experience.

Submitted by Justin on Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I've been a mac user mostly thru college and beyond. I currently use DocuScan plus from Serotek to do the OCR on my machine. I've had great success with DocuScan working on my mac. Also, for anyone who used/uses Docuscan plus, can you please tell me if there isa way toOCR multiple PDF files at once, or do I have to do it one file at a time. I haven't found anything out in the getting started guide.