Mac questions

macOS & Mac Apps

Good afternoon. I have a MacBook pro. I would like to access different speech synthesizers. Do I need to download them? If so, how do I download the one I would like? I only saw a few options in the Voiceover utility. Is there a way to receive download percentage like you can when updating apps? What word processor works well with VoiceOver? I do not like pages or text edit. Thank you.



Submitted by mehgcap on Sunday, May 3, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

First, do you mean the Vocalizer voices (Samantha, Karen, and others)? If so, find the popup button where you select a voice, then choose Customize at the bottom. You can download the synthesizers you want from there.

For download progress, go to Safari and press cmd-option-l. Interact with the table in the resulting window, find the file you're interested in, interact, and you can find the progress, speed, and so on. If a download fails, this is where you find the button to try it again.

For word processors, you've just eliminated the two best options. Text Edit in particular is very easy to use and is fully accessible. Perhaps it would help for you to tell us what it is you don't like about these two, since most any app will work in a similar manner?

Submitted by Justin on Sunday, May 3, 2015

I agree with Mehgcap on this one. Textedit and Pages are definitely the bestt/most usable word processors. In fact, I use text edit on a daily basis. Could you be more specific on why you don't like text edit/pages? All the built-in apps work the same/similar way. Is it the way VO reads things?
HTH and hopefully we can be of more help.

yes, I would like the vocalizer synthesizers. The only options I found for speech synthesizers are bruce, Alex, Vicki, cathy, and Victoria. For word processors, are Microsoft Word and Scrivener accessible? I have used text edit but was confused when I was shown a ruler. I could not just type. Pages was similar.

Submitted by mehgcap on Sunday, May 3, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Alright, Vocalizer voices are free. As I said, just go to where you choose a voice in the VoiceOver Utility, but select Customize from the menu instead of a different voice.

The ruler isn't important--you can just ignore it. When you open Text Edit, you'll be on the text field where you can type or review text. If you aren't, vo-left or vo-right until you find it. If you only find a scroll area, interact with that, and the edit text area will be in there. You'll normally never have to do this, VoiceOver defaults to the text field in my experience. It might just be remembering your last position each time you open it, so once you find the field once, you should be all set.

The only option I found for voices is customizing the speech such as attributes and voice menu. is the speech synthesizer option hidden? how do I access this menu?

Submitted by mehgcap on Monday, May 4, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Here are the steps to find the additional voices:

  1. Open the VoiceOver Utility, and choose Speech from the categories table.
  2. Vo-right until you find the tabs; be sure Voice is selected.
  3. Vo-right until you are on the Default Voice popup button, then vo-space to open it.
  4. Down arrow to Customize, and hit enter or vo-space.
  5. Check all the voices you want in the resulting dialog box, then hit OK. They are each anywhere from 200 to 500 or so megabytes, so give them time to download and remember that they will take up space on your Mac. Once they download, they will appear in the save popup menu from where you selected Customize in the first place.

Submitted by Liz on Sunday, May 10, 2015

Vo right to find the text field. If it starts acting strange, interact with it.
I use text edit daily and Pages weekly.

Thanks for the info about the voices,

Submitted by Sarah on Monday, June 8, 2015

Is the app Scrivener accessible with VoiceOver? What other word processor apps work well for creating and editing long documents? It seems so much easier on my windows Pc but I guess that is because I have used it so long.

Submitted by Martijn - Sparkling Apps on Thursday, July 7, 2016

We have just released a translator app for the Mac that enables you to right click any text and translate it to almost any language. It will speak out the translation for you as well.
While this may not be exactly what you are looking for, it may still be helpful for your purpose.

The link to the app is:…

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Thursday, July 7, 2016

For everything I've needed to use it for, Scrivener is an absolute joy to use - especially once you rig it up with a couple of hotspots to jump between frequently accessed areas. And it has a very generous free trial period, so if you want to confirm that it is useful for your purposes before purchasing it, you should have plenty of time to do so. However it should be noted that Scrivener isn't technically a word processor - its primary goal is oriented more toward content generation and organization than user control over formatting and the like. Still, depending on your needs, it's a very versatile and powerful program.

Submitted by Ekaj on Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hello. While not exactly a word processor, I am currently using a 30-day trial version of MarsEdit and have been very impressed with it. The developer of this app used to work at Apple, so I think he knows his stuff. Regarding other voices, InfoVox iVox seems to work well on the Mac although I was only able to try out one of the voices. But if you do a search on AppleVis for InfoVox, there is at least one topic.

Submitted by dan on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I have to disagree with Justin; I hate pages. It just seems clunky to me. I'm using microsoft word for mac and absolutely love it. super easy to use and familiar coming from a windows computer. Though, to be fair, I have no idea how much MSWord costs because I get it free through my college.

Submitted by Marro on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hi, is it also possible to get eloquence on mac?

Submitted by thunderhorse82 on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

No, eloquence is not on the mac. As far as pages and text edit go, they are great. I use them each and every day.

Submitted by Jake on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

In reply to by Marro

No, and you don't want it. The sooner we leave that dead synthesizer behind, the better. The thing about Eloquence is this: it can never be updated or fixed. Ever. The code is such a patent-encumbered nightmare that no one's really sure who owns what. Nuance themselves aren't even offering it anymore except to specific AT companies. There is zero future there, and to try to shoehorn it on to a platform for which it was never, ever, ever designed would be ridiculous.

Submitted by Justin on Thursday, July 14, 2016

Regarding infovox, I use it every day, and have been for the past 3 years or so. It's stable, reliable, and some of the voices are plain hilarious! lol. But yeah, it's worth investigating Vox for yourself. If you can afford it, purchase credits and download some voices onto your machine.

In addition to being stable, some of Infovox's voices are far superior to their Nuance counterparts, particularly for Scandinavian languages and German. If you need languages other than English, it's worth comparing Acapela voices against Nuance. I should note that InfoVox is the Mac product, but the voices are designed by Acapela. They're the same voices from Acapela that you get on a PC.

Submitted by dan on Saturday, July 16, 2016

So, I've officially had to use MSWord for much more things in the past week than I have had to in the past 2 months or so. I've come to the realization that it is a nightmare to read multi-page documents with it. I still like it because it seems to be easier to edit certain things, but I'm now forced to change my opinion: pages is wonderful...especially with documents that have more than one page. lol.

Submitted by Country music fan on Thursday, June 4, 2020

Hey everyone, I’m not sure how to start a new thread, so I‘ll just post my question here, as it is related to some other things that were posted. I’ve just got a new Mac, the MacBook Air 13 inch, 2017 model. On my old Mac, I was able to sit on the downloads folder, and it would tell me the percentage of a download. How do I get it to do this on my new Mac? Also, when I’m downloading soundpacks from beatstar, it doesn’t give me the percentage. How do I get it to do that? I used to be able to press enter, and it will give me the progress. Any help would be much appreciated

Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Thursday, June 4, 2020

In reply to by Country music fan

There's a link in the main menu to start a new thread. You can find it by navigating by landmarks, level 2 headings, or lists. You can even navigate by link, if you've got time to kill.

To answer your question, focus on the progress indicator to get updates on loading. Pressing VO+a will read the status of the indicator.