Google docs on a mac

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macOS and Mac Apps

Hello all,
Is google docs accessible on the Mac with Voiceover? If not is chromevox usable in chrome on the mac?

Greg WOcher

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Submitted by PaulMartz on Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

According to Google's help, Google Docs works with VoiceOver and Google Chrome browser on MacOS.

At some point, I'll have to install Chrome and start learning all the specific hot keys necessary. In my opinion, this is a poor accessibility solution. They should've simply designed something that worked with VoiceOver and Safari. But I've been at this accessibility game long enough to know I should just save my breath.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

I've never in my time testing gooel docs, sheets and slides have gotten any of the voiceover stuff to work. Sheets is especially bad as things lose focus, editing is impossible, well doable but I've removed the wrong infor from sells, trying to add a date and other content to a cell is a mess. By the way this was only a few months ago when I last tried it on the mac. I just ended up using google dogs sheets and slides on my iOs device as it works a lot better.

Submitted by Jakob Rosin on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Google docs works fine with safari and chrome. Imo occasionally even better than microsoft word.

Submitted by PaulMartz on Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I've been trying to learn it over the past few days and have ran into quite a few issues. This is with latest MacOS and a new install of Google Chrome, per the Google Docs documentation I cited above.

1. VoiceOver commands to move to next or previous sentence or paragraph don't work, or work inconsistently. (VO+Command+PageUp and PageDown, for example). VO+A to read a document is also inconsistent.
2. Using Google Docs' native keyboard shortcuts to move through a document, such as Control+Command+N, Control+Command+C to move to next comment, are often ignored and need to be repeated multiple times in order to work.
3. Sometimes the arrow keys don't move within the document, as if I'm no longer interacting with the document text. I need to move focus back to "Document Content" and interact with it again (VO+Down Arrow).
4. For documents with Track Changes (or Suggested edits in Google Docs parlance), there is no easy way to review the changes and accept or reject them. The tool called Review Suggested Edits doesn't appear to be accessible, in that it gives you no way to review the change with VoiceOver before selecting Accept or Reject.

Well that's about it so far. Any of you who seem to believe Google Docs works fine with VoiceOver, I'd certainly like to know how your experience differs from mine, and figure out how I can change my usage so I have a better experience.

I hope to produce a blog from my notes, but I want to use it for a few more weeks so I am confortable with it. I'm in a writers group that collaborates using Google Docs, and after a few sessions, I should have a good idea of what works well and what doesn't.