VoiceOver Gestures for use with a Multi-Touch Trackpad on MacOS

If you're using a Multi-Touch trackpad, you can use VoiceOver gestures. VoiceOver provides a set of standard gestures for navigating and interacting with items on the screen. You can't modify this set of gestures. NOTE: Gestures that don't mention a specific number of fingers are single-finger gestures.

General

Enable the Trackpad Commander and VoiceOver gestures: VO-Two-finger rotate clockwise

Disable the Trackpad Commander and VoiceOver gestures: VO-Two-finger rotate counterclockwise

Turn the screen curtain on or off: Three-finger triple-tap

Mute or unmute VoiceOver: Three-finger double-tap

Navigation

Force the VoiceOver cursor into a horizontal or vertical line when you drag a finger across the trackpad: Hold down the Shift key and drag a finger horizontally or vertically

Move the VoiceOver cursor to the next item: Flick right

Move the VoiceOver cursor to the previous item: Flick left

Move content or the scroll bar (depending on the Trackpad Commander setting): Three-finger flick in any direction

Go to the Dock (this gesture moves the VoiceOver cursor to the Dock wherever it's positioned on the screen): Two-finger double-tap near the bottom of the trackpad

Go to the menu bar: Two-finger double-tap near the top of the trackpad

Open the Application Chooser: Two-finger double-tap on the left side of the trackpad

Open the Window Chooser: Two-finger double-tap on the right side of the trackpad

Jump to another area of the current application: Press Control while touching a finger on the trackpad

Interaction

Speak the item in the VoiceOver cursor, or if there isn't an item, play a sound effect to indicate a blank area: Touch (includes tap or dragging)

Select an item: Double-tap anywhere on the trackpad You can also split-tap (touch one finger and then tap with a second finger on the trackpad)

Start interacting with the item in the VoiceOver cursor: Two-finger flick right

Stop interacting with the item in the VoiceOver cursor: Two-finger flick left

Scroll one page up or down: Three-finger flick up or down

Escape (close a menu without making a selection): Two-finger scrub back and forth

Increase or decrease the value of a slider, splitter, stepper, or other control: Flick up (increase) or flick down (decrease)

Text

Read the current page, starting at the top: Two-finger flick up

Read from the VoiceOver cursor to the end of the current page: Two-finger flick down

Pause or resume speaking: Two-finger tap

Describe what's in the VoiceOver cursor: Three-finger tap

Change how VoiceOver reads text (by word, line, sentence, or paragraph): Press the Command key while touching a finger on the trackpad

Rotor

Change the rotor settings: Two-finger rotate

Move to the previous item based on the rotor setting: Flick up

Move to the next item based on the rotor setting: Flick down

More

To customize other gestures by assigning VoiceOver commands to them, use the Trackpad Commander. If you need a reminder about what a gesture does, press VO-K to start keyboard help, and then use the gesture on the trackpad and listen to the description.

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1 Comment

Problems in Mountain Lion?

Thanks for this, David. I noticed in the Track Pad panel of system preferences in Mountain Lion there are some new options for gestures. These include swiping between full screen apps, displaying mission control, launch pad and notification centre, and moving to the desktop. I've enabled these, but, with the exception of the notification gesture, they don't seem to work with VoiceOver turned on. There's nothing about them in the Track Pad Commander tab of the VoiceOver Utility either. I also took a look to see if I could create them via custom gestures, but I couldn't set it up exactly the same. Do you have any further information on this? Is it just me who is experiencing this or is it a common problem? Cheers.