VoiceOver Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac OS X

VO+keystroke = Control+Option+keystroke

Getting Started

Basics

Turn VoiceOver on or off:
Command+F5

Stop speech:
Ctrl

Repeat the last spoken phrase:
VO+Z

Help

VoiceOver Quick Start tutorial:
VO+Command+F8

Open the VoiceOver Help menu:
VO+H

VoiceOver Commands Help menu:
VO+HH

Start keyboard help:
VO+K (Esc to exit keyboard help)

Configuration

Typing Echo (verbosity):
VO+V

Open VoiceOver Utility:
VO+F8

Cycle through speech attributes:
VO+Command+LeftArrow (or RightArrow)

Change current speech attribute:
VO+Command+UpArrow (or DownArrow)

Close a menu or rotor, stop an action, or exit a mode:
Escape  

Lock and unlock the VO (Control and Option) keys:
VO+;

Orientation Commands

Hear the application summary:
VO+F1

Hear the window summary
VO+F2

Describe the item in the VoiceOver cursor:
VO+F3

Describe the item that has the keyboard focus:
VO+F4

Describe the selected item:
VO+F6

Navigation Commands

General

Move VO cursor left, right, up or down:
VO+Arrow keys

Move to start of list or document:
VO+Shift+Home

Move to end of list or document:
VO+Shift+End

Move to top/start of window, Dock, etc:
VO+Command+Home

Move to bottom/end of window, Dock, etc:
VO+Command+End

Directly Accessing Items

Move to the menu bar:
VO+M (Control-F2)
(NB: VO+Shift+M opens context menu)

Move to the Dock:
VO+D  (or Control-F3)

Move to the desktop:
VO+Shift+D

Open the Item Chooser (to go to item on the screen or in a window):
VO+I

Jump to a linked item (for example, from a Mail message in the Inbox to its message text):
VO+J

Hot Spots

Set or remove a hot spot:
VO+Shift+[number key]

Open the Hot Spot Chooser (to browse and jump to hot spots):
VO+[number key]+[number key] (i.e. VO & same number key twice)

Jump to a hot spot:
VO+[number key]

Hear a description of a hot spot:
VO+Command+[number key]

QuickNav

Toggle QuickNav on/off:
LeftArrow+RightArrow

Move VoiceOver cursor:
Cursor keys (equals VO+Arrow keys)

Perform action:
Up+Down (equals VO+Spacebar)

Interact with item:
Right/Down (equals VO+Shift+DownArrow)

Stop interacting with item:
Left/Down (equals VO+Shift+UpArrow)

VoiceOver Cursor Visual Commands

Magnify item in VoiceOver cursor:
VO+Shift+[  

Shrink item in cursor:
VO+Shift+]

Toggle VoiceOver focus rectangle (& other visuals):
VO+F11

Displays Caption panel (of where VO cursor is):
VO+Command+F10

Finding

Find text:
VO+F

Find next (after using VO+F):
VO+G

Find previous:
VO+Shift+G

Find the next misspelled word:
VO+Command+E

Reading commands (TextEdit, Safari, etc)

Before you can use most of these commands, you must interact with text in a text area.

General

Read from VoiceOver cursor to end:
VO+A

Read from beginning to cursor:
VO+B

Speak text attributes:
VO+T

Speaks line number, word and character in VoiceOver cursor:
VO+F3

Characters

Read character in VoiceOver cursor:
VO+C

Read next character:
VO+Shift+Right Arrow

Read previous character:
VO+Shift+Left Arrow

Words

Read word in VoiceOver cursor:
VO+W

Spell word:
VO+WW

Spell word phonetically:
VO+WWW

Read next word:
VO+Right Arrow

Read previous word:
VO+Left Arrow

Lines

Read line in VoiceOver cursor:
VO+L

Read next line:
VO+Down Arrow

Read previous line:
VO+Up Arrow

Sentences

Read sentence in VoiceOver cursor:
VO+S

Read next sentence:
VO+Command+Page Down

Read previous sentence:
VO+Command+Page Up

Paragraphs

Read paragraph in VoiceOver cursor:
VO+P

Read next paragraph:
VO+Shift+Page Down

Read previous paragraph:
VO+Shift+Page Up

Tables

Read a row in a table:
VO+R

Read a column in a table:
VO+C+C

Read the column header in a table:
VO+C

Interaction commands

General

Interact with an item:
VO+Shift+DownArrow

Stop interacting with an item:
VO+Shift+Up Arrow

Perform the default action for the item in the VoiceOver cursor (e.g. open active item):
VO+Spacebar

Open application, documents or download folders on Dock:
VO+Spacebar, down arrow, Enter

QuickNav

Perform action:
Up+Down (equals VO+Spacebar)

Interact with item:
Right/Down (equals VO+Shift+DownArrow)

Stop interacting with item:
Left/Down (equals VO+Shift+UpArrow)

Web commands (Safari)

Navigation - General

Move to next heading:
VO+Command+H

Move to next heading of the same level:
VO+Command+M

Move to next plain text:
VO+Command+P

Move to next link:
VO+Command+L

Move to next visited link:
VO+Command+V

Move to next control:
VO+Command+J

Move to next table:
VO+Command+T

Move to the next column:
VO+Command+Y

Move to the next frame:
VO+Command+F

Move to the next auto web spot:
VO+Command+N

To move to a previous item, use Shift with above commands.
e.g. VO+Command+Shift+H to move to next heading

Navigation - Web Spots

Set a web spot:
VO+Command+Shift+}

Remove a web spot:
VO+Command+Shift+{

Set the sweet spot:
VO+Command+Shift+}+}

Move to the next web spot:
VO+Command+]

Move to the previous web spot:
VO+Command+[Navigation - General

Navigation - Web Item Rotor

Open the Web Item rotor:
VO+U

Navigate lists:
Left & right arrow keys

Navigate items in selected list:
Up & down arrow keys

In Headers List, list only headings of a particular level
Type level number

Miscellaneous

Read a link address (URL):
VO+Shift+U

Read webpage statistics:
VO+Shift+I

Tags: 

Disclaimer

The guide on this page has generously been submitted by a member of the AppleVis community. As AppleVis is a community-powered website, we make no guarantee, either express or implied, of the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this guide.

4 Comments

Laptop key equivalents

Laptop users should use the key equivalents for "Home" and "End" using the Fn key combinations:
Fn+Left Arrow "Home"
Fn+Right Arrow "End"

So for navigation commands, these would be:
VO+Fn+Shift+Left Arrow to move to the start of a list, table, document, or web page
VO+Fn+Shift+Right Arrow to move to the end of a list, table, document, or web page

I'll add these and other laptop key equivalencies, which are part of the Mac OS X, as a comment to the list of Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts.

Also, for navigating in the dock, I use Fn+Left arrow and Fn+Right arrow to move to the first and last elements (where the last element is "Trash"). To navigate through the three sections of the dock, for applications, files and folders, and Trash, I use Fn+Up Arrow and Fn+Down Arrow, the laptop equivalents of "Page Up" and "Page Down", where Fn+Down Arrow cycles me through the applications, files and folders, and trash sections in that order, and Fn+Up Arrow reverses the direction of navigation. You can also reverse the direction of either of these key combinations by pressing the shift key in combination. This works for Mac OS X independent of VoiceOver, although I've never seen this particular shortcut documented anywhere outside of my own posts.

Finally, I would add the VO+Shift+C "copy last spoken phrase to clipboard" shortcut as an all-purpose, useful, VoiceOver shortcut that allows you to paste what VoiceOver has spoken anywhere.

Thank you, David

Thank you for putting this list of keyboard commands and shortcuts here on the forum. I am also new to Mountain Lion and need to learn a lot of key strokes that weren't in Leopard. I never upgraded to Snow Leopard or Lion. I'm sure that after reading your post I'll be better able to go back to the Getting Started Guide and begin getting to know the new features such as quickNav.

Thanks David

Thanks for this David. A sister of mine just got a Mac Book Air on Sunday, and uses Voiceover. I seem to be the only one in this area who uses Vo on a laptop, and yesterday I spent some time showing her some things, and I'm going to do it a few more times.

Very Well Organized By Task

Hi David,
These shortcuts are organized so that you can look them up by the kinds of tasks you happen to be doing at the time and learn that way. Thank you for putting them together this way.