navigating message table in mail on Mac

macOS & Mac Apps

I am using a Macbook pro 2018 OS 11.2.3. I am navigating the table for my mail messages using vo <arrow keys>. Currently when I navigate down in a column I hear the item in the cell, like from or subject. When I navigate in the same row I am taken back to the top row and need to navigate down to get to the message I want to read. This makes it pretty difficult to find the message I want to read. Sometimes it will actually read a row cell by cell, but most of the time it will not. Anything I need to do to get this to work?



Submitted by Kevin Shaw on Saturday, April 24, 2021

Are you using the classic view or the regular view for viewing your message table?
I have my Mail set up in regular view and I use the arrow keys to navigate up and down. I fI only want to hear the subject field of a message as I scroll up or down, I will interact and use VO-right arrow until I find the subject field and navigate that way.
To jump to the top or bottom of the message list, use option-command up or down arrow.

Hope this is helpful.

I am not able to find how to switch from regular view to classic. I am also noticing that I can navigate the rows and columns of the message headers like from, date subject. When I vo arrow to the cell it does not read out the contents of the cell automatically.

Submitted by Tyler on Saturday, April 24, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

If I'm not mistaken, classic view is referred to as column layout in recent versions of macOS, and is enabled by choosing View > use column layout.

For me, I don't use column layout and can simply focus on the messages table and use the up and down arrow keys, without interacting, to read all the cells in a given row.


Submitted by Dennis D on Tuesday, April 27, 2021

In reply to by Tyler

Yes your comment is helpful. Also for navigating the columns and rows, I restarted voiceover and the screen reader's response was restored to reading all cells as I moved around. Thanks for your help

Submitted by PaulMartz on Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I have Use Column Layout selected.

Like Tyler, typically I don't interact with the table and use up and down arrow to read the entire row. I can also jump to a desired message using first-letter navigation.

If I do interact with the table, I can navigate normally to any cell using VO + Arrow keys.

I use VO+J to jump to the list of folders. When I VO+J again to return to the message table, I am already interacting by default, whether I was before or not, which is a little unintuitive.

Hope that helps.