Drag and Drop with VoiceOver

macOS and Mac Apps
Hi all! Anybody had any good experiences with drag and drop? I have a program that needs info dragged from one window to another. Voiceover says they both need to be on the screen at the same time. Any ideas on how I might go about this? Wouldn't a keystroke be nice at this point. The Program is MacGourmet, which is a great recipe management software package but they have a relationship thing where you can make relationships between recipes or notes or whatever and that's what I am trying to do. Thanks for any help. Jim



Submitted by Ekaj on Thursday, June 19, 2014

Your guess is as good as mine. I've been trying to transfer an audio book from my Mac onto a USB thumb drive, and somebody on another website gave me some rather round-about instructions for doing this. A sighted neighbor friend had to come over and transfer the first audio book from my Mac to the thumb drive. I'm happy to follow the directions given to me for accomplishing this with VoiceOver, but I'm guessing there's not yet one simple command for doing this as I haven't seen any. So if someone knows the secret here, please post it.

Submitted by Malthe on Thursday, June 19, 2014


There are 2 ways (that I know of) to initiate drag and drop on VoiceOver.
Go to the first item with the VO curser, press VO+comma, then go to the place you want to drop said item and press VO+period.
Sometimes, however, this doesn't work and you might have to do it the old school way.
First off, turn off curser-tracking with VO+shift+f3. Then bring the VoiceOver curser to the item, and move your mouse-curser (VO+cmd+f5) there. Initiate a hold-down of the mouse (VO+cmd+shift+space), then move your VoiceOver curser to the drop place. Move the mouse curser there (vo+cmd+f5), then release the mouse (VO+cmd+shift+space).
Remember to turn curser tracking back on afterwards, otherwise you might get focus issues.

Hope that helped (it's been a while since I old school drag and dropped, but I think it's the right way to go about it).


Submitted by dvdmth on Thursday, June 19, 2014

Club AppleVis Member

The previous comment summarizes the two ways to perform drag and drop pretty nicely. The first method actually simulates the actions of the second method after you press VO-Period. That is, when you press VO-Period, the system moves the mouse pointer to the item you marked for drag and drop, performs a mouse down event, moves the pointer to the destination, then performs a mouse up event, all in a span of a second or two. I have seen this effect visually while trying it out for myself some months ago.

I believe that if you are dragging from one window to another, the windows cannot overlap. I know that when I do a drag and drop visually, I need to move the two windows apart to see where I am dragging to before I begin the drag, so I know where to move the mouse pointer. If you are having problems dragging, I suspect it's because the source and destination are not visible simultaneously.

I will admit that I have little experience doing actual drag and drop operations with VoiceOver. I still have enough vision that I normally perform such dragging operations the normal way, so my experience with VoiceOver here is mainly limited to when I was trying things out to see how they worked.

Submitted by Siobhan on Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hi Jake. Two ways you cancopy that book. First, say your book is in your downloads folder. Navigate to it, an press command C because you want to copy to the clipboard. Then go into your files list by choosing a new finder window, command shift N, then go wo the side bar you want to interract with it, command shift down arrow, with theVO keys. Down until you hit the name of your thumb drive, e.g. sandisk or whatever it's name is. Go over to the list view table and press command V to paste. If that doesn't work, or ou'd like elp, let me know and I can give ou my skype.

Submitted by splyt on Friday, June 20, 2014

How to put two windows side by side with VO without seeing them? If this would be possible I want to know.

Submitted by dvdmth on Friday, June 20, 2014

Club AppleVis Member

To learn a window's current position, press VO-Command-F2.

To move a window, press VO-Accent, that is, the key to the left of the number 1 on the keyboard. You then use VO-Arrow to move a window, or VO-Shift-Arrow to move more slowly. You can also use VO-Number to jump to a particular position on screen (1 is upper left, 2 is upper center, 3 is upper right, 4 is left center, and so on). When you're done, press Escape.

To resize a window, if applicable, press VO-Shift-Accent. You will first get a menu asking how you want to resize the window, after which you use the arrow keys to perform the resizing. Again, press VO-Shift-Arrow to resize more slowly.

It will take some effort, but the above commands will help you position the windows the way you want.

Submitted by Alan Holst on Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Thoughts on dragging and dropping files and folders:

I don’t know if anyone else needs this, but I have been frustrated by moving files and folders since leaving the PC. I recently had to move a bunch of documents into a folder and learned the following—I figured I’d post in case anyone else can benefit from this information.

There are 4 VO scripts for marking, dragging and dropping before, on top of, and after. I tried them on my Mac mini running OS 10.14.5 without success. The files marked all right, and when I tried to drop them things sounded okay, but at the end I got a message “failed to drop item.” I couldn’t solve this regardless of what I tried.

I hoped I could use the new script for copying the contents of the VO cursor to the clipboard; I was able to copy but it wouldn’t paste the object. Apparently, that command is only for text, it doesn’t apply to objects.

I did find however that I could right click (vo-shift-m) and copy. I then went to the folder where I wanted the items to be and I was able to paste. Then I just had to delete the original file. I used two finder windows to do this so deleting the original file isn’t as confusing as it seems because you can just Command accent back to the folder that the file originally came from and send the original file to trash.

It’s not as graceful as just cutting and pasting, but the results are as good so I don’t mind the extra step. It would however be terrific if Apple could create a copy object to clipboard just like it copies text in the VO cursor to the clipboard.