A Complete List of VoiceOver Keyboard Shortcuts Available on macOS

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Compiled below is a rearrangement of Apple’s published VoiceOver key commands charts, edited/confirmed for macOS Sierra.

Editor’s note: VO Key Commands are arranged by Levels. Press and hold the keys below while typing any other key.

Level One: Press Control-Option.

Level Two: Press Control-Option-Shift.

Level Three: Press Control-Option-Command.

Level Four: Press Control-Option-Command-Shift.

A “Combined Listing” has been provided at the end of this document. This offers an arrangement by keypress, with all Control keys and notes included, per key.

Except for the Combined List which is my own arrangement, all information is presented as true as possible to Apple’s original materials.

-End of Editor’s note.

All information provided is copyright Apple, Inc. All rights reserved.

Level One. With VO keys (Control-Option) pressed

Function Keys Row (laptops may include fn key)

Esc, cancel mode.

f1, application summary (Note, press twice to open the Application Chooser).

f2, window summary (Note, press twice to open the Window Chooser).

f3, describe item in VoiceOver cursor.

f4, describe item in keyboard focus.

f5, describe item in mouse pointer (Note, press two or three times to hear the mouse location differently).

f6, describe selected item.

f7, not mapped.

f8, VoiceOver Utility.

f9, not mapped.

f10, tile visuals.

f11, not mapped.

f12, not mapped.

Eject, not mapped.

Number Keys Row

Accent, start moving window, (Esc to stop).

1 through 0, jump to Hot Spot.

- (dash/minus), decrease system volume.

= (equals), increase system volume.

Delete, delete ruler marker (in TextEdit).

Tab Key Row

Tab, ignore next key press.

q, not mapped.

w, read word (Note, press two or three times to spell a word in different ways).

e, not mapped.

r, read row header description (Note, press twice to read the contents of a table row from the VoiceOver cursor to the end of the row).

t, text attributes.

y, not mapped.

u, VoiceOver Rotor.

i, Item Chooser.

o, not mapped.

p, read paragraph.

[ (left bracket), move to previous Hot Spot.

] (right bracket), move to next Hot Spot.

\ (backslash), open or close disclosure triangle.

Caps Lock Key Row

caps lock, pressed can be substitute for VO keys.

a, read all. Reads contents of VO cursor (Note, when interacting with text, reads from the VoiceOver cursor to bottom of text).

s, read current sentence.

d, go to Dock.

f, find text.

g, find next searched text.

h, VoiceOver help menu (Note, press twice to open the Commands menu).

j, jump to linked item.

k, Live keyboard help (practice).

l, read line.

; (semi-colon), lock or unlock VoiceOver keys.

’ (apostrophe), not mapped.

Return, When in text area, start selection mode, press again to stop selecting.

Shift Key Row

z, read last phrase.

x, Activity Chooser (Note, press twice to switch to the previous activity).

c, read character or column header (Note, press twice to; in text - hear character phonetically. in tables - hear the contents of a column from the VoiceOver cursor to the bottom of the column).

v, verbosity rotor.

b, read from top to VoiceOver cursor.

n, opens Notifications menu with list of current Notifications.

m, menu bar (Note, press twice to jump to the status menu in the menu bar).

, (comma), mark item to drag and drop.

. (period), drop item on VoiceOver cursor.

/ (slash), create custom label.

Control Key Row

Spacebar, perform default action for selected item.

Arrow keys, in Finder: moves up, down, right or left to next item. In text, up/down moves to previous or next line, right/left, moves to next or previous word. In web, right/left moves to next or previous element, up/down does nothing.

The Home and End keys move to the top or bottom of the area (such as a window or text area) where the VoiceOver cursor is located, scrolling if necessary. Page Up and Page Down read the previous and next page, respectively. On portable computers, you may need to press the Fn key with the arrow keys for Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down.

Level Two. With Control-Option-shift or Capslock-Shift pressed

Function Keys Row (laptops may include fn key)

Esc, not mapped.

f1, not mapped.

f2, move window to front.

f3, toggle cursor tracking.

f4, move VoiceOver cursor to keyboard focus.

f5, move VoiceOver cursor to mouse pointer.

f6, not mapped.

f7, not mapped.

f8, not mapped.

f9, resize or move braille panel (Note, press this command again to choose between move or resize).

f10, resize or move caption panel (Note, press this command again to choose between move or resize).

f11, toggle screen curtain.

f12, not mapped.

Number Keys Row

~, tilde, resize window.

1 through 0, set or remove Hot Spot.

- dash, not mapped.

=, not mapped.

Delete, not mapped.

Tab Key Row

Tab, Ignore next keypress.

Q, not mapped.

W, read contents of window.

E, not mapped.

R, not mapped.

T, read row or column numbers (Note, press the T key twice to read table dimensions).

Y, not mapped.

U, read link URL.

I, read webpage statistics.

O, not mapped.

P, not mapped.

{, decrease zoom of item in VoiceOver cursor.

}, increase zoom of item in VoiceOver cursor (Note, jump to sort button in a column).

|, jump to Header.

Caps Lock Key Row

caps lock, doubles as VO keys if pressed.

A, select text in VoiceOver cursor.

S, interact with scroll bars.

D, move to Desktop.

F, open Find Commands menu.

G, find previous searched text.

H, read item help tag.

J, jump to panel or pop up.

K, toggle Keyboard Commander.

L, not mapped.

: colon, not mapped.

" Quote, not mapped.

Return, not mapped.

Shift Key Row

Z, save last phrase to file.

X, open Hot Spot Chooser.

C, copy last phrase to pasteboard.

V, not mapped.

B, not mapped.

N, read item hint.

M, shortcut menu.

< lesser, drop item before VoiceOver cursor.

> greater, drop item after VoiceOver cursor.

? (Question Mark), VoiceOver online help.

Control Key Row

Spacebar, mouse click or double-click.

Up Arrow, Stop interacting.

Left Arrow, Previous character.

Down Arrow, Start interacting.

Right Arrow, Next character.

Level Three. With Ctrl-Option-Cmnd pressed

Function Keys Row (laptops may include fn key)

Esc, close window.

f1, not mapped.

f2, window dimensions (Note, press twice for window position and whether anything overlaps the window).

f3, item dimensions (Note, press twice to hear item position and whether anything overlaps the item).

f4, move keyboard focus to VoiceOver cursor.

f5, move mouse pointer to VoiceOver cursor.

f6, not mapped.

f7, not mapped.

f8, VoiceOver Quick Start.

f9, hide or show braille panel.

f10, hide or show caption panel.

f11, hide or show visuals.

f12, not mapped.

Eject, not mapped.

Number Keys Row

` accent, move object.

1 through 0, describe Hot Spot.

- dash, not mapped.

=, toggle table interaction.

Delete, not mapped.

Tab Key Row

Tab, not mapped.

Q, find next block quote.

W, find next block quote same level.

E, find next misspelled word.

R, not mapped.

T, find next table.

Y, find next column.

U, find next underlined text.

I, find next italic text.

O, find next font change.

P, find next plain text.

[ left bracket, find previous Web Spot.

] right bracket, find next Web Spot.

\ back slash, jump back to parent row or folder.

Caps Lock Key Row

caps lock, doubles as VO keys if pressed.

A, speak current search text in find mode.

S, find next item of same attributes.

D, find next item of different type/style.

F, find next frame in HTML.

G, find next graphic.

H, find next heading.

J, find next control.

K, find next color change.

L, find next link.

; semi-colon, not mapped.

’ Single-Quote, not mapped.

Return, Toggle multiple selection and select each item.

Shift Key Row

z, not mapped.

x, find next list.

c, find next text with different attributes.

v, find next visited link.

b, find next bold text.

n, find next auto Web Spot.

m, find next heading of same level.

, (comma), not mapped.

. (period), not mapped.

/ (slash), not mapped.

Shift, not mapped.

Control Keys Row

Spacebar, open the Actions menu.

Arrows, VoiceOver Speech Settings.

Left/Right arrows, switch between speech settings.

Up/Down arrows, increase or decrease settings.

Level Four. With Ctrl-Option-Shift-Cmnd pressed

Function Keys Row (laptops may include fn key)

Entire row, not mapped.

Number Keys Row

~ tilde, resize object.

1 through 0, monitor Hot Spot.

- dash, not mapped.

=, not mapped.

Delete, not mapped.

Tab Key Row

Tab, not mapped.

Q, find previous block quote.

W, find previous block quote same level.

E, find previous misspelled word.

R, not mapped.

T, find previous table.

Y, find previous column.

U, find previous underlined text.

I, find previous italic text.

O, find previous font change.

P, find previous plain text.

[ left curly bracket, remove Web Spot. In Finder, remove Window Spot.

] right curly bracket, set Web Spot (Note, press twice to set a Sweet Spot. In Finder, set a Window Spot.

\ back slash, not mapped.

Caps Lock Key Row

caps lock, doubles as VO keys if pressed.

A, not mapped.

S, find previous item of same type/style.

D, find previous item of different type/style.

F, find previous frame in HTML.

G, find previous graphic.

H, find previous heading.

J, find previous control.

K, find previous color change.

L, find previous link.

; semi-colon, not mapped.

’ Single-Quote, not mapped.

Return, not mapped.

Shift Key Row

z, not mapped.

x, find previous list.

c, find previous text with different attributes.

v, find previous visited link.

b, find previous bold text.

n, find previous auto Web Spot.

m, find previous heading of same level.

, (comma), not mapped.

. (period), not mapped.

/ (slash), not mapped.

Shift, not mapped.

Control Keys Row.

Spacebar, lock/unlock down mouse.

Arrows, not known.

Combined List

Arranged by single-key.

Note: VO = control-option.

Function Keys Row (laptops may require fn key as well)

Esc VO, cancel current mode. +Shift, not mapped. +Command, close window. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

f1 VO, application summary, press twice to open the Application Chooser. +Shift, not mapped. +Command, not mapped. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

f2 VO, window summary, press twice to open the Window Chooser. +shift, move window to front. +command, first press; window dimensions. Second press; window screen location. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

f3 VO, describe item in VoiceOver cursor. +shift, toggle cursor tracking. +command, item dimensions. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

f4 VO, describe item in keyboard focus. +shift, move VoiceOver cursor to keyboard focus. +command, move keyboard focus to VoiceOver cursor. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

f5 VO, describe item in mouse pointer. Press two or three times to hear the mouse location differently. +shift, move VoiceOver cursor to mouse pointer. +command, move mouse pointer to VoiceOver cursor. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

f6 VO, describe selected item. +Shift, not mapped. +Command, not mapped. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

f7 VO, not mapped at all.

f8 VO, VoiceOver Utility. +Shift, not mapped. +command, VoiceOver Quick Start. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

f9 VO, not mapped. +shift, resize or move braille panel. +command, hide or show braille panel. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

f10 VO, tile visuals. +shift, resize or move caption panel, press this command again to choose move or resize. +command, hide or show caption panel. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

f11 VO, not mapped. +shift, toggle screen curtain. +command, hide or show visuals. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

f12 VO, not mapped at all.

Eject control, shut down computer with warning. Otherwise, not mapped.

Number Keys Row (press numbers twice to open Hot Spot Chooser)

` (accent) VO, start moving window, (Esc to stop). +shift, resize window. +command, move object. +shift-command, resize object.

1 through 0 VO, jump to Hot Spot. +shift, set or remove Hot Spot. +command, describe Hot Spot. +shift-command, monitor Hot Spot.

- (dash/minus) VO, decrease system volume. Otherwise, not mapped.

= (equals) VO, increase system volume. +Shift, not mapped. +command, toggle table interaction. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

Delete VO, delete ruler marker, (in TextEdit). Otherwise, not mapped.

Tab Keys Row

Tab VO, ignore next key press. Otherwise, not mapped.

q VO, not mapped. +Shift, not mapped. +command, find next block quote. +shift-command, find previous block quote.

w VO, read word. press two or three times to spell a word in different ways. +shift, read contents of window. +command, find next block quote same level. +shift-command, find previous block quote same level.

e VO, not mapped. +Shift, not mapped. +command, find next misspelled word. +shift-command, find previous misspelled word.

r VO, read row header description. press twice to read the contents of a table row from the VoiceOver cursor to the end of the row. Otherwise, not mapped.

t VO, text attributes. +shift, read row or col numbers (Note, press the T key twice to read table dimensions). +command, find next table. + shift-command, find previous table.

y VO, not mapped. +Shift, not mapped. +command, find next column. +shift-command, find previous column.

u VO, Rotor. +shift, read link URL. +command, find next underlined text. +shift-command, find previous underlined text.

i VO, Item Chooser. +shift, read webpage statistics. +command, find next italic text. +shift-command, find previous italic text.

o VO, not mapped. +Shift, not mapped. +command, find next font change. +shift-command, find previous font change.

p VO, read paragraph. +Shift, not mapped. +command, find next plain text. +shift-command, find previous plain text.

[ (left bracket) VO, move to previous Hot Spot. +shift, decrease zoom of item in VoiceOver cursor. +command, find previous Web Spot. + shift-command, remove Web Spot. In Finder, remove Window Spot.

] (right bracket) VO, move to next Hot Spot. +shift, increase zoom of item in VoiceOver cursor (Note, jump to sort button in a column). +command, find next Web Spot. +shift-command, set Web Spot (Note, press twice to set Sweet spot. In Finder, press once to set Window Spot).

\ (BackSlash) VO, open or close disclosure triangle. +shift, Jump to Header. +command, jump back to parent row or folder. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

Caps Lock key Row

caps lock, pressed can be substitute for VO keys.

a VO, read all. Reads contents of VO cursor. When interacting with text, reads from the VoiceOver cursor to bottom of text. +shift, select text in VoiceOver cursor. +Command, speak current search text in find mode. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

s VO, read current sentence. +shift, interact with scroll bars. +Command, find next item of same attributes. +Shift-Command, find previous item of same type/style.

d VO, go to Dock. +shift, move to Desktop. +Command, find next item of different type/style. +Shift-Command, find previous item of different type/style.

f VO, find text. +shift, open Find Commands menu. +Command, find next frame in HTML. +Shift-Command, find previous frame in HTML.

g VO, find next searched text. +shift, find previous searched text. +Command, find next graphic. +Shift-Command, find previous graphic.

h VO, VoiceOver help menu. Press twice to open the Commands menu. +shift, read item help tag. +Command, find next heading. +Shift-Command, find previous heading.

j VO, jump to linked item. +shift, jump to panel or pop up. +Command, find next control. +Shift-Command, find previous control.

k VO, Live keyboard help (practice). +shift, toggle Keyboard Commander. +Command, find next color change. +Shift-Command, find previous color change.

l VO, read line. +shift, not mapped. +Command, find next link. +Shift-Command, find previous link.

; (semi-colon) VO, lock or unlock VoiceOver keys. Otherwise, not mapped.

’ (apostrophe) VO, not mapped at all.

Return VO, When in text area, start selection mode, press again to stop selecting. +shift, not mapped. +Command, Toggle multiple selection and select each item. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

Shift Key Row

z VO, read last phrase. +Shift, save last phrase to file. +Command, not mapped. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

x VO, activity chooser. Press twice to switch to the previous activity. +Shift, open hotspot chooser. +Command, find next list. +Shift-Command, find previous list.

c VO, read character or column header. Press twice to; in text - hear character phonetically. in tables - hear the contents of a column from the VoiceOver cursor to the bottom of the column. +Shift, copy last phrase to pasteboard. +Command, find next text with different attributes. +Shift-Command, find previous text with different attributes.

v VO, verbosity rotor. +Shift, not mapped. +Command, find next visited link. +Shift-Command, find previous visited link.

b VO, read from top to VoiceOver cursor. +Shift, not mapped. +Command, find next bold text. +Shift-Command, find previous bold text.

n VO, opens Notifications menu with list of current Notifications. +Shift, read item hint. +Command, find next auto Web Spot. +Shift-Command, find previous auto Web Spot.

m VO, menu bar. press twice to jump to the status menu in the menu bar. +Shift, shortcut menu. +Command, find next heading of same level. +Shift-Command, find previous heading of same level.

comma VO, mark item to drag and drop. +Shift, drop item before VoiceOver cursor. +Command, not mapped. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

period VO, drop item on VoiceOver cursor. +Shift, drop item after VoiceOver cursor. +Command, not mapped. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

slash VO, create custom label. +Shift, VoiceOver online help. +Command, not mapped. +Shift-Command, not mapped.

Control Key Row

Spacebar VO, perform default action for selected item. +Shift, click the mouse button at the mouse cursor position. +Command, Actions Menu. +Shift-Command, first press hold down mouse button at mouse cursor position, second press - release mouse button at mouse cursor position.

Arrow keys VO, in Finder: moves up, down, right or left to next item. In text, up/down moves to previous or next line, right/left, moves to next or previous word. In web, right/left moves to next or previous element, up/down navigates by Rotor setting. +Shift, in text; right and left moves focus by character. Everywhere; up and down interacts/uninteracts with areas. +Command, right and left; moves through VO speech settings, up and down; adjusts current setting. +Shift-Command, in text; arrows do nothing, in Finder; arrows navigate as normal.

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