Switching to MAC and need help

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I am new to this group. I am trying to learn how to use voice over on a MAC. I am using an iphone and like it very much, however I cannot seem to get my head around how voice over on the MAC works. Can anyone advise me as to any books, etc that might be helpful? The local Apple store says it provides lessons only if I buy a new computer.

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Submitted by Cliff on Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hi Alan, and welcome on board to the right side! :) I did the switch my self for half a year ago, and I must say my experience with joining the world of Mac-users has so far been nothing else but awesome in any way! So to the case: I think a really good place to start is located right here on the forum! I would probably begin with a guide written of our Mac-guru David Woodbridge in the guides-section of this site. Here is the direct link to that guide: http://www.applevis.com/guides/guide-making-switch-using-windows-screen-reader-voiceover-mac I would probably continue with going to the podcast-section here, and listen to the podcasts that has the Mac OS tag. Can't quite remember if you click on browse by tags under podcasts and then chose mac, or if you would have to check the box next to the tags you want to be shown, Anyway, you'll figure it out! Another good place is www.macfortheblind.com, which is a great site for learning basic Mac and VO stuff. Click on Demonstrations, and you'll find a long list of great audiodemonstrations by John Panarese about many useful features and how to use them with VoiceOver. The last thing that comes to mind at the moment, is returning to our mac pro David Woodbridges podcasts about using OS 10.8.2 Mountainlion and the earlier versions of Mac OS. Think they're posted several places, but the time I did the switch, I found them via Vision Australias website, I think under Adaptive Technology somewhere. Can't seem to remember the correct webadress right now, but just do a google search for vision australia, and you'll find their brilliant site! Guess someone of the other guys here would be more than helpful by filling in the gaps that I left out here, or correcting me if I've sayd anything wrong! Think this is what I got for you right now! Fel free to ask, and good luck with the switch! My guess is that you'll be a very happy guy in short time once you get the hang of it! Oh, just to get you started, if you don't already know, use the VO keys together with the arrow keys to jump around in the screen and VO+Space to activate the objects. Another useful thing to get started is to use VO+Shift+Down arrow to interact with an area on the screen and VO+Shift+Up arrow to stop interacting. And then of course, the VO keys being the Ctrl and Option keys held down together - keys nr 2 and 3 to the left of the spacebar. Ok, now I'm done :) Good luck and all the best

Submitted by Dave Nason on Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Hi Alan. Here's a link to a guide that David Woodbridge posted to this website: http://www.applevis.com/guides/guide-making-switch-using-windows-screen-reader-voiceover-mac Maybe worth looking on the Apple website too.

His podcasts can be found in iTunes and other pod-catchers. They're called "Apple and other Accessible Technology".

Submitted by Cliff on Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In reply to by Dave Nason

Nice! I thought maybe i've taken the long route to finding them! ;) Good to know for future referance thx

Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Here's where you can get a guide http://images.apple.com/accessibility/voiceover/pdf/VoiceOver_Getting_Started_Leopard_10.5a.pdf

Submitted by Holly on Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hi Alan, I made the switch to a mac about seven months ago, and I find it much easier to use then windows, although I wasn't ever all that great at using windows in the first place. It just seems simpler to me. There are a lot of great podcasts out there that deal with teaching people how to use VoiceOver. The best place to start looking is on this site, as it is devoted strictly to Apple products and the blind. I found that when I first made the switch, listening to podcasts was a great way for me to learn VoiceOver on the Mac. I found two podcasts very helpful during my switch. All the podcasts dealing with using a Mac that are on this site, as well as The How To Be Blind Podcast that Mike Malarsi does. He has a youtube channel with tutorials as welll as podcasts that guide you through using voiceover on a mac. These were some of the first podcfasts he did, so you'll probably need to look through the archives of his site. The website for this podcast is: www.htb2.com Hope this helps

Submitted by Aaron Linson on Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hi, It will take you a while to get used to how VO works on a Mac. I've been a user of the Mac platform for 2 years and I sometimes still have trouble with it. All of what the others have said is right, just be patient and in time you'll understand how it works. Aaron

Submitted by Kerry Fielding on Thursday, April 11, 2013

In reply to by Aaron Linson

Hi folks. Thinking of making this switch myself. My netbook is dieing and well....windows 8 isn't great from what I hear and I'd have to pay ridiculous amounts to upgrade from JFW 12. However, a friend of mine was saying that the one thing she didn't like about her Mac was that she constantly had to use both hands when navigating using VO. I was thinking about this and wondered if using sticky keys would mean that you wouldn't have to use both hands and then the experience might be slightly better. Any thoughts?

No problems at all! You can easily loch the VoiceOver keys down with one simple keyboard shortcut so you don't have to press them down all the time yourself. Mac also have a function that's called quicknav, that you can easily turn on or off with left and right arrow keys pressed together. Quicknav will let you do a whole lot of different things just by using your arrow keys, either one at a time or several combinations of them. Just post back here when you got your Mac, and we'll certainly help you get started! You won't regret it a second. I promise! ;)

The PDF version of the user guide linked above is for Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5),  which is 3 versions behind the current release of Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8).  An HTML version of the current VoiceOver Getting Started Guide is available from Apple's VoiceOver Downloads page, along with other resources, such as keyboard charts of the VoiceOver commands.  Alternate formats, such as RTF versions of the Voice Over Getting Started Guide for current and past versions of Mac OS X, can be found at John Panarese's Macfortheblind documentation pages under the heading for "Manuals and User Guides". Users with new Macs can always access the VoiceOver Getting Started guide in their selected language from the VoiceOver help menu.

Submitted by Esther on Thursday, April 11, 2013

In reply to by Cliff

There are many ways to minimize the number of keys pressed for VoiceOver commands, or modifying their locations. Cliff has mentioned a few options, including locking down your VO keys with Control+Option+semi-colon, which is particularly useful when working in tables, and enabling single letter navigation of web pages when QuickNav is turned on, You can also customize shortcuts with Keyboard Commander, or customize gestures for the TrackPad. However, you can extend options by using a third party application like KeyRemap4MacBook. Take a look at Eric Caron's post in the AppleVis guides section on Remapping the Keys on your Mac's Keyboard to Enhance the VoiceOver Experience and then go to the page for his podcast.  Eric has his Caps lock key configured to be used in place of VoiceOver's Control+Option, and to also work as the JAWS key in his Windows VMware setup.  Another VoiceOver user I know has additionally remapped the "Return" key on the right side of the keyboard so that, when pressed by itself, it functions as a normal return key, but when pressed in combination with the right command key, it operates like the control key -- effectively giving her a pair of VO keys on the right side of the keyboard.  There are many other customization options you can do.  Please read the comments on the podcast page, because there are a few changes in the latest version of KeyRemap4MacBook.  You will also find a link to Mac-access list post that gives additional information about using using KeyRemap4MacBook.

HTH. I won't repeat all the other useful resources for switching to the Mac that have already been suggested.