This is really testing my patience.

macOS & Mac Apps

Somebody gave to me yesterday their old iMac. It has a really old 3.33 gHz Core2 Duo processor with 8 GB of RAM but is running OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 nicely. After familiarising myself with it for a day, I can confidently say I am familiar with how to navigate using VoiceOver's array of key combinations. Having an iOS device helps a lot with VoiceOver itself but there is one major advantage to iOS I never thought I would need when it comes to the keyboard: dragging and dropping. I know the VO+COMMA, VO+FULLSTOP and VO+SHIFT+FULLSTOP key combinations drag and drop but I specifically want to customise the notification centre just like I have on my iPhone. This is seriously frustrating and this forum is the only place I know which could possibly give me hope. I tried the aforementioned commands but they did not work. I also tried them on the dock whose order I want to customise [is this even possible?] to no avail. I have read all the basic Mac tutorials on the site which has enabled me to navigate using Safari more easily than before. Admittedly, I favour the virtual document rendering method JAWS uses but that is another conversation.

If anybody can assist me with this so I can successfully rearrange things it is already greatly appreciated.

P.S. If I purchase apps for iOS and authorise the iMac to have them transferred, must I purchase the same counter-parts for Mac? Before I authorised the iMac, I noticed an app I use religiously on my iPhone was much more expensive in the Mac app store. I was granted a redemption code because I provide ongoing accessibility feedback which has proved to revolutionise accessibility on its iOS counter-part.

P.P.S. On Windows which I have used almost my entire life with the exception of an Apple 2E which I really miss [not all of you probably know what one of those is], I used something called FFDShow. I absolutely love it although its development has fallen dormant. If you do not know what FFDShow is, it is a collection of post-processing audio filters [amongst video filters] with things such as low frequency crossover, mixer, equaliser with ten fully customisable bands, crystalliser, full support for raw audio which allowed me to play any lossless codec, channel swapping, noise reduction, low/high pass and bandpass/bandstop filters et cetera. I used only the LFE, Mixer and Equaliser filters when I played my Monkey's Audio. Is there anything at all equivalent or at least with those three capabilities? I am fiending for all that harmonic euphoria I had on Windows! You have no idea...



Submitted by Brother J. on Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Update already. I just read a very well explained write-up on a site called Mac For The Blind. For those who do not know, it is completely possible to rearrange items on the dock. When focused on the item in question, press OPTION+COMMAND with either the left or right arrow key. VoiceOver will provide position information. I read this is not a commonly known command so hopefully this will help others. Unfortunately, this does not work with notification icons.

Submitted by Zack on Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Drag and drop on the mac with vo-command and friends is difficult to work with sometimes. This can be for a variety of reasons, but mostly it has to do with things we as non-sighted users don't usually think about—windows covering up other windows on screen and so forth.

That being said, I have had success rearranging notification center by interacting with each individual app and actually dragging the images representing their icons with the mentioned commands. That is, interact with the app you want to move, and use vo-comma on its icon, then move to the place you want to put it and use vo-greater-than. Frankly, drag and drop is only necessary in a handful of cases, and in 99% of normal situations you can use Mac keyboard shortcuts.

Speaking of Mac keyboard shortcuts, you can rearrange the dock with these. The commands you want are command-option-left and right arrow. Technically option-left and right work too, but for some reason which isn't immediately clear to me command gives you voice feedback on what your move accomplished. In theory, drag and drop also works to move these apps around, but see my previous comments about the finicky nature of the system.

iOS and Mac versions of the same app are generally separate things. You do need to buy or redeem them separately in 95% of cases. I have no comment on the specific app you mention, nor the audio question, as I'm not an audiophile of any stripe.

I hope this helps somewhat. Good luck with your Mac adventures.

P.S. I miss my Echo II.

Submitted by Brother J. on Monday, July 7, 2014

Thanks, that image thing works well. I figured out the dock thing right before you replied. I also found copying the .app file in a disk image to the Applications folder is much more easy than trying to drag and drop it. It seems VoiceOver only retains an item's ready-for-dragging status for x amount of seconds because more times than none it tells me the item is no longer in view when I try to drop an app in the relevant folder.

Submitted by Brother J. on Monday, July 7, 2014

As a JAWS user for over a decade and a half, I am familiar with the use of scripts to manipulate a screen reader. I just wish I was fluent in both writing them correctly and understanding them. I have my region set to English South Africa and have it customised because I added milliseconds to the time on the Advanced | Times tab, full format. When I press OPTION+T, Voiceover says ‘7 Jul, 12:30 AM’ for example. I actually want it to have the following syntax [note I am using today's date as the example instead of placeholders]: ‘Monday 07 July 2014, 12:30:45:500 AM/PM Central Standard Time’.

I have tried to modify the script [after changing all those permissions] to no avail. I did not know how to do it correctly so I used what I thought was logical based on the functions already included. This did not help when I attempted to compile. The alert dialogues told me it was looking for ‘end of line, etc. but found "(" [or] property’. Obviously something was not right both times.

Can somebody please assist me with modifying the time AppleScript so the desired syntax is, in 12-hour format: ‘[full day of week] [two-digit date of month] [full month] [four-digit year], [two-digit hour]:[minutes]:[seconds]:[milliseconds] [AM/PM] [time zone]’? This time I used placeholders enclosed in square brackets with all the necessary colons time separators and the comma to separate date from time. I hope this is not too confusing because this is the most clear and verbose I know how to explain it. Much thanks and appreciation in advance.