VoiceOver and MacBook track pads

macOS & Mac Apps

Hi ll,

I'm using a 2012 MBP, which I bought to replace my 2009 white plastic MacBook. I've heard people say the track pad is helpful, but I've never really been able to figure it out. Even though many of the gestures are the same as in iOS, I usually end up turning it off after a few minutes. Do any of you use the track pad on your MacBook with VoiceOver to suplement the keyboard and have any tips for using it? I'm thinking if I can get used to it, it'll help me get more proficient in certain iOS apps like Saari, which right now I find to be a pain to use.

Thanks all!



Submitted by Ekaj on Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hi. I just got a mid-2013 Mac Book Air 2 days after Christmas last year, and I don't use the trackpad at all. One tip I have though is to be sure it is actually turned off if you're strictly a keyboard user, especially if you're new to the Mac like a sister and I both are. She also recently got a Mac Book Air, and was having an issue where VoiceOver kept speaking stuff at random. Neither she nor our parents could figure it out. As luck would have it I was going home anyway that weekend for something else. So I got on her Mac and it turned out that the trackpad was turned on. So I just turned it off and she was good to go. I of course showed her how to do it as well.

Submitted by Siobhan on Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hi. Once turned on, I exclusively use the track pad for things like navigating by headings, turn the dial, lines, etc. If you want to just turn off the trackpad, do this: hold voice over keys down, then turn the dial left. It says "Trackpad off." or something like that. I think if you turn on keyboard help it should help you learn what the gestures do. Tip: think of the trackpad as an iphone screen. I wil never just use the keyboard. :) If you want more help contact me off list.

Submitted by Usman on Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The best part about using the mac in my opinion is the use of the trackpad. I am just in love with it and wouldn't be able to do half the stuff and as efficiently as I do now with out it.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Thursday, May 8, 2014

In reply to by Usman

Can you give some examples of how using the track pad makes you more efficient? I know you can use the rotor to get to headings, links etc, but can also just use quick nav to do that. I know you can also drag your finger around to find out where things are, but I find that gets confusing when you have to interact and stop interacting with things. It doesn't make as much sense as it does on the iPHone. Care to enlighten me?

Submitted by Siobhan on Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hi. For me, the annoying this is when I use voice over U to open the elements list, click on one, sya the link ot a new article, when I get back I'm at the top of the list when I look for that link again. With the trackpad, I can flick down faster tofind where I was rather then wait for the links ot load up. I don't interact much using the track pad I still use the keyboard. Have you honestly given the trackpad a chance? or did you play with it for an hour and decide you weren't liking it? i'm not trying to sound harsh, I'm just saying there's a bit of a curve using it.

Submitted by Usman on Thursday, May 8, 2014

I am very efficient on my phone with the use of voice over gestures. As a result, I can accomplish a lot more in much less time on the mac with the use of gestures to get things done. An example of this is reading webpages, navigating through menus, and so on. I consider the keyboard and keystrokes to be slower and not as efficient. I also find my mac to be more responsive when I use my trackpad.
I agree with the last comment, from the sounds of it, I think you need to give the trackpad a chance and learn to use it and eventually incorporate it into your daily usage.

Submitted by Usman on Thursday, May 8, 2014

with the use of trackpads, it also helps you to better memorize where things are on the screen. Examples of this is activating the dock, runnings apps, and so on. for instance, I know that the dock is near the bottom of the screen. so I just need to do a two finger double tap at the bottom of the trackpad to activate it. such level of efficiency cannot be accomplished using the keyboard.
Another one is opening menus by doing a two finger tap at the top left of the trackpad. Its features like that which make my time on the mac that much more enjoyable and productive.

Submitted by Siobhan on Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hi Azman. Thanks for putting a little more perspective on the use of the track pad. Like I said earlier, I wasn't chastizing the original poster or I think there's another one who doesn't care for it, Ithink this poster might've wanted to know why is ti there? For most things I like the trackpad as it's the simulation of the mouse, and if a sighted person can use a mouse why can't we? I know i've brought that up, just saying that the track pad is a wonderful idea. :) So original poster or anyone who reads this, if you find yourself overwhelmed I'd love to help. Contact me off the site and i'd be happy to take the tieme to show you.