Mac Statuses with VoiceOver

macOS and Mac Apps

Hello to al,
I just got my first Mac yesterday, and I am not an experienced Mac user. I have found the Mac very easy to learn despite my lack of knowledge. I went through the QuickStart Tutorial and help, and the only thing I can't seem to find out how to do is how to find out the battery status, network status, and the date and time. I know that on PC's, there is a System Tray, but I'm not sure about the Mac. Any help or resources are appreciated. Thank you,



Submitted by Tyler on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Pressing VO M twice should reveal the menu extras, a collection of Mac statuses. Navigate using VO left and right arrow to each item and press VO space to activate the menu. If you don't see what you're looking for, you may need to go into System Preferences and set what you want to show in the menu bar.


Submitted by Seanoevil on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hi Kayla,

Welcome to the world of the Mac!
The nearest thing to Windows System Tray is called Menu Extras. It lives, I believe, on the top right of the screen.
It can be accessed by gestures on the trackpad or a keyboard command.
The keyboard command is holding down the VO Keys (ctrl Option) and double press 'M'. Once you have navigated to Menu Extras, your normal interaction and navigation keys will work to give you the information you are seeking.
As you fine tune your Mac's System preferences you will often find a checkbox which will add or remove an item to your Menu Extras. Something that you worry about a lot, add it, if not remove it.
With regards to quickly finding out the time, try using the Right Option Button (i.e. the option button on the right hand side of the Spacebar) and 'T'. This will run an Apple Script to announce the time.

Hope this helps.


Submitted by Nathan Stocking on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The right-option and t command only works if the keyboard commander is enabled. This is a system I always enable, and is available from the commanders section of the voiceover utility.

Submitted by Lisa on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hello everyone,
I am also A new Mac user. Would someone please explain what the keyboard commander is, and what it does? Thank you.

Submitted by Esther on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hi Lisa,

Commanders are a way you can customize VoiceOver so that specific actions, such as speaking the time and date, are associated with keystrokes, trackpad gestures, numpad keys, etc. from assignments you set up in VoiceOver Utility. They're explained in the VoiceOver Getting Started Guide, in Chapter 8 on "Customizing VoiceOver", under the section titled "Assign commands to keyboard or keypad keys", but the best way to quickly get up to speed is to read the AppleVis guide that Alex wrote on "Understanding and Using VoiceOver's Commanders":…



Submitted by Carlos Taylor on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

You can also add an apple script and assign it to a keyboard commander command to announce the battery status. I downloaded a script from Bryan Smart's web sight and assigned it to right option key plus b. It seems to work really well. The script comes in a zip file along with 2 other scripts, but I specifically like the battery status script.

Submitted by Kayla Cole on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Than you for your help. The exthas menu worked, once I figured out how to do it. The Keyboard Commander also sounds interesting. I will do more research on that. Thank you all for your help.