Questions about VMWare Fusion

macOS & Mac Apps

Hi folks,
I have been using Bootcamp on a Macbook air for years, now I want to change to a virtual machine.
For those of you using VMware fusion, is it very friendly with voiceover? Is there any advice you can give?
Both win 10 and mac OS are the latest. Hmmm



Submitted by Igna Triay on Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hi,I have been using vmware for over a year, and its fully accessible with voiceover. personally, I don't like to turn voiceover off when running a vertual machine, so I have a voiceover activity that turns trackpad and quicknav off completely while in vmware. Hth.W

Submitted by Daniel Angus MacDonald on Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Bootcamp works great for me. it's free, and VMWare Fusion is paid. what is so wrong with Bootcamp?unless you want to share files between windows and macOS? also, you need quite a bit of RAM for a virtual machine as you're sharing resources between both operating systems.

Submitted by spiriteye on Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Hello, my good Apple friends. I have used VMWare Workstation Pro on Windows 7 and 10 for a few years now. Recently, My hope was to switch to using Apple hardware and so to eventually buy a Mac, buy VMWare Fusion Pro, and then just send a customized virtual machine across my network to my Mac, and, if all went well, it would roar to life on the Mac. Well, I finally did this last week. As luck would have it, VMWare was running a 25 percent discount on their products, and so I had an incentive to finally see if I could get Windows running on my Mac. Also, as good fortune would have it, VMWare Fusion Pro just got updated on May 14, 2019, and so, when I bought it, on the following day, on May 15, 2019, I knew I was really up to date. Smile. I have to be honest and say that I am a pretty advanced PC user, not a genious, but advanced enough to write apps for the Window-Eyes screen reader (alas, no longer supported by the big company who bought out the former GW Micro). Being blind makes it quite a challenge to change anything, and, when you're used to doing things on Windows for years, you can't help but be squeamish about changing to a completely different operating system. I can say with complete honesty that it has been quite a challenge to do things as a Mac user. Most especially, We Windows users take for granted the immediate cursor focus which is always present in Windows; like, for example, when we open a folder in Windows, and press an arrow key, we immediately begin moving through the list of the files and folders within it; on the Mac, you first must interact with the list control. Even the ease of pressing Enter on a folder to open it just doesn't exist on the Mac, i.e., you have to press Cmnd-O. Having got the hang of the idiosncracies of the Mac over the last two years since I bought my first Mac, a 2017 Macbook Pro, I had a feeling that I would be fairly well prepared to be able to switch focus between the Mac operating system and a running virtual machine. Alas, I soon learned that my fear and trepidation about trying to run Windows on the Mac was well justified. Smile. Specifically, what I have learned is that, at least with the current version of VMWare Fusion (May 14, 2019), the keystroke which is dedicated to placing focus within the Windows virtual machine (Cmnd-G) doesn't always do the job, at least not for me. What I often have to do is to maximize the virtual machine window, that is, put the virtual machine in full screen mode; only after putting it in full screen mode will the Cmnd-G keystroke place focus within the virtual machine. This can be done in one of two ways, and I have noticed that I often have to try the second way if the first one doesn't work. The first way is to use the dedicated hot key Ctrl-Cmnd-F. The second method of entering full screen mode is to find the button labelled Zoom within the toolbar of the running virtual machine; if you place focus on it, VoiceOver will speak a tool tip reporting that the button, if pressed, will contain an option for maximizing the window, which is what you need to do. What you also must do is to stop interacting with the toolbar, wich habitually grabs focus; only after ensuring that focus is outside the toolbar (that is, uninteracting), and that the window is maximized, will Cmnd-G have the desired effect of placing focus within the virtual machine. Moving on, you will need to keep in mind that even when focus is within your Windows virtual machine, VMWare Fusion comes configured by default such that all macOS hot keys are active. Therefore, if, for example, you press CMnd-Tab, you wil find that focus is now outside your virtual machine again, and you'll hear VoiceOver report the name of the last window you were working with on your Mac, and releasing the Cmnd key will place focus on its window. It is important to study the Preferences for VMWare Fusion, especially the Keyboard tab, where you will learn how to switch the keyboard profile to one more suited to running Windows 10 or Windows 8 or you can leave it at the default; I found that switching to the Windows 10 profile is the best choice if you are running Windows 10; and, although the header of the Keyboard Profiles dialog states that you can customize these profiles, I haven't found this to be necessary. Further, I would also say that the other sub-tabs within the Keyboard tab of Preferences can be customized; at present, I am a little relectant to do this. For example, the thought of disabling all macOS hot keys while running a virtual machine might seem like a great idea; however, I think you can do fine by leaving them enabled. A point which must be kept in mind when running Windows on a Mac is that the Cmnd key on a Mac has the effect of pressing the Start button in Windows, whereas the Option key on the Mac has the effect of pressing the Alt key; this is something which you simply must accept; this is because VMWare Fusion is a Mac application. Further, it needs to be noted that the default command for releasing control of the keyboard and mouse back to macOS is Ctrl-Option; of course, this would only be relevant if you decided to disable the Mac hot keys within Preferences, which you could do if you wanted to; at present, I am not that corageous. Smile. One little thing I found out pertains to the Windows Applications key,; you may know that the same functionality could always be had in Windows by pressing Shift-F10; however, by default, my Macbook came preconfigured such that F10 is part of the group of dedicated media buttons; specifically, it is preconfigured as the Mute toggle; therefore, if you need to press Shift-F10 while within your Windows virtual machine, you must hold down the FN key while pressing Shift-F10. Another point I'd like to mention is that I found it very difficult to use my Macbook Pro until I bought the Apple Magic Keyboard, not the normal one, but the wider one with Numeric Keypad; this made it easier to use VoiceOver, since the numeric keypad has dedicated VoiceOver hot keys; also, typing on the Macbook, with the trackpad stealing focus as you touch your palms on it, made the Machbook virtually unusable without an external keyboard. One thing to emphasize, as mentioned by another poster, is that you should disable VoiceOver's Numpad Commander by pressing VO-Numlock, and, also, you must disable Quick-Nav by pressing left and right arrows simultaneously; indeed, using a keyboard with a Numpad, Windows users will have a familiar experience using their favorite screen readers within the Windows virtual machine. I dare say that many may have comments on my submission here, but I will just leave this post as it is for now. I hope that it helps in embarking on the awesome enterprise of the world of virtual machines. Smile.

Submitted by wombatmobile on Thursday, June 25, 2020

Thanks for a very detailed description of this issue. Your report is worth huge amounts of investigation that Apple would have to do itself if it were trying to become excellent at accessibility.

I was so impressed with your skill at written expression that I felt I had to sign up to comment.

Thank you again, and congratulations on achieving this extraordinary level of competency at usability engineering and technical communications,