MacBook pro questions

macOS & Mac Apps
I got a MacBook pro today. How do you set things like speech verbosity and other synthesizer settings? How do I set the sounds such as those for sent and received email? How long should the battery charge? I found a few guides on the website but do not have an embosser or braille display. Is there a user guide in Braille? Thank you.



Submitted by Sarah on Saturday, December 14, 2013

Is there a setting to have the mac emit a sound when the computer is turning off?

Submitted by John newton on Saturday, December 14, 2013

In reply to by Sarah

Hi there you can set all the speech settings by pressing the voiceover keys and F8 and doing down to voiceover utility you an change a lot of the ways the voice sounds, you go to sounds in system preferences to set up effects for the mail and things like that. Enjoy your Mac

Submitted by Callum on Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hi, Firstly, you can change the VoiceOver settings by pressing the VO keys, which are control and option, and F8 all together. This should bring up the VoiceOver utility, where all the settings for VO are, and they are prety easy to change. As for setting a sound for recieving email, I think like the person above has said, it will be in the sounds settings, that is if you can change this. I'm pretty sure you will be able to, but I didn't really bother with the system sounds when I got mine because I think the default settings are ok, but that's just me. I don't think you can set a sound for when the computer is turning off. Hope this helps.

Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Saturday, December 14, 2013

The option for changing the new mail sound is in mail's preferences, You can get to them by hitting command-comma in mail. Incidentally it's also how you get to preferences in pretty much every other mac program. You can't change the sent mail sound however, ditto for having a shutdown sound. As far as help goes, if you haven't already, go through the voiceover quick start tutorial, (vo-command-f8), as it explains how to do things like change speech settings on the fly. There's nod documentation in braille, but you do have the "Voiceover getting started" guide from apple that's a lot more in-depth than the built in help. You can also at any time list all available keyboard commands if you forgot something by pressing vo-h twice. While you're in that menu you can also search for a command, so if you know what you want to do but not sure what category it's in you can just type it in. That's the closest you'll get to having something like a braille manual next to you at all times.

Hi Sara. The only thing i'll tell you is you can not have a sound to turn the mac off, as in old windows days. You can also use voice over, K which is called keyboard help. then you can press keys ot your heart's desire and they won't do anything. when you want to exit, pres the scape.

Hello Sarah and Others, Congratulations on your new MacBook Pro and welcome to the Mac with VoiceOver. First of all, I'd like to point you to Apple's web page of Accessibility Resources:

If you navigate to the "User Guides" (heading level 1) there are links to the web version of the most recent VoiceOver Getting Started guide for OS X, and for users who can read English Braille, there are also links to an electronic Braille version of the guide in brf format that can be downloaded, as well as a link to the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind web page where you can order an embossed copy of the VoiceOver Getting Started Guide for OS X 10.9 Mavericks. On the same web page under the heading for "VoiceOver Command Charts" there are links to quick reference charts that map keyboard and numeric keypad keys to VoiceOver commands for the default setup. (You'll be able to customize some of these options under VoiceOver Utility).

However, to expand on Piotr's suggestions, in addition to being able to being able to checking the list of VoiceOver commands by pressing VO-h twice (holding down the Control and Option keys, while double tapping the "h" key), you can also access the version of the VoiceOver Getting Started Guide for your operating system by pressing VO-h to bring up the VoiceOver Help menu, and then navigating to the Getting Started Guide. The link to the VoiceOver Getting Started Guide in HTML format from Apple's Accessibility resources pages is mostly useful for people who don't have this on their computer. Appendix A of this guide contains a table listing the VoiceoVer keyboard shortcuts in one place, which can be helpful to review, but in practice it is easier to use the VoiceOver commands help menu to look up and access commands and their shortcuts as you need them.

If you want to find manuals in other formats, including RTF, try checking John Panarese's MacfortheBlind.con web site, and under the "Resources" link select "Documentation".  This page contains material for both iOS and Macs, but under the "Manuals and User Guides" heading you will find links to the VoiceOver Getting Started Guides in RTF format.  I think these are only available up through Mountain Lion at present, and do not include Mavericks, but you will also find a MacBook Pro User Guide that has been contributed in a format and organization that may be easier to use by Braille users who wish to print in Braille. John's web site URL is:

Finally, for Piotr and others who may wish to access the latest version of the VoiceOver Getting Started Guide on the web, and in other languages, the basic Apple Web Site for this is:

This accesses the VoiceOver Getting Started Guide for Mac OS X 10.9 in English.  If you do not append the operating system number at the end of the URL, the version of the Getting Started Guide for OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) will be displayed in English, instead. The full URL for the User Guide in English for Mavericks resolves to:

Note that "English" is spelled with a capital "E". For older versions of the User Guide, change the operating system version in the URL address, so for Mountain Lion this would be OS X 10.8, so use "10.8" instead of "10.9":


For any other language, substitute "English" with the two-letter code for your language ("fr" for French, "es" for Spanish, "de" for German, "it" for Italian, etc.) So, for example, if Piotr wanted to read the latest version of the VoiceOver Getting Started Guide (for OS X 10.9, Mavericks) in Polish, he would use "10.9" for the version in the address, and use "pl" for Polish in the string "pl.lproj" at the end, like this:

This URL address scheme lets you access the VoiceOver Getting Started Guide for your language and operating system, provided your language is supported. There are a few exceptions.  Under Mountain Lion the transition to the two-letter code was not complete, so for some languages you still had to type out the languge name, like "German.lproj", "Spanish.lproj", or "Dutch.lproj" instead of "de.lproj", "es.lproj", and "nl.lproj".  For languages with different scripts, like simplified and traditional Chinese, the two-letter code for language is modified, so you would use "zh_CN.lproj" for simplified characters and "zh_TW.lproj" for traditional characters.   This code scheme is also used for the iOS User Guides, and is detailed in my comments under the Easy access to the iOS manual thread under the Guides section.

The information in this post was excerpted and updated from one of my archived posts on the macvisionaries list.



Submitted by Sarah on Monday, December 16, 2013

I set up my mac with someone sighted and did nnot enter my Apple account information. is there a setting so I can enter my Apple id and password? When I try to play a song I have purchased from iTunes Voiceover says my computer has not been authorized. What is the default email sound? I changed the setting but did not find the default sound setting. I received two cords with the mac? Which one is the battery charger? One cord looks like a power cord and the other one is magnetic.

To authorize your iTunes account, there should be an option in the store menu. Press vo m or two finger double tap at the top of your trackpad, assuming the commander is on. The Mac chargers are not intuitive upon first glance, but once you set it up it should be fine. The cord that looks like a standard power cord is simply an extension cable: use it if you want to make your cord longer. On the other end of the magnetic cord is a box. Part of this box folds down to reveal your standard power socket. On the opposite side are attachments that can be used to contain the wire during travel. This is always a tricky thing for new Mac users. Hope I explained it well. Let me know if you have questions or need further clarification.

Submitted by Sarah on Monday, December 16, 2013

Where can I find programs such as text edit and preview that are not on the dock?

Submitted by Katie P on Monday, December 16, 2013

In reply to by Sarah

Hello Sarah, If you are focused on your finder, you can hit Command Shift A to open your applications folder. In this folder you should be able to find any app/program you are looking for. I hope this helps. Also, to authorize your computer, you can open iTunes, bring up the menu with Command Option M, then from there hit command option right arrow until you get to the store menu and you then find the Sign in option, as wwell as the authorize option. I hope that is not too confusing.

Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Tuesday, September 2, 2014

To check for updates on the mac press vo m to open the apple menu.
Next press vo down arrow to get to software update and then press vo space bar to open it.
Next once opened vo right arrow to the updates radio button.
Then choose update all to install all of the updates.