Getting Started With the Mac

Listed below is a selection of posts from across the AppleVis website which have been especially selected to help you setup and get to know your first Mac.

Displaying 1 - 20 of 68
Guide by Tyler on Monday, October 14, 2019


If you’re new to the Mac, learning and mastering the VoiceOver screenreader can seem daunting at first. In an attempt to streamline the search for essential getting started information across the AppleVis website, I will provide a series of tips, along with links to more comprehensive guides and podcasts, organized by heading and subheading.

From personal experience, I have found that one of the most effective ways to learn a new screenreader is to read documentation… Read more

Guide by Nicholas on Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Compiled below is a rearrangement of Apple’s published VoiceOver key commands charts, edited/confirmed for macOS High 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… Read more

Podcast by AppleVis on Saturday, December 2, 2017

In this podcast, Khalfan Bin Dhaher demonstrates Multilingual VoiceOver support on macOS.

Podcast by AppleVis on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In this podcast, David Woodbridge introduces us to Siri on the Mac. Siri on the Mac offers many of the same capabilities available on iOS, along with Mac-specific functionality such as the ability to search through folders to quickly find files.

Guide by Tyler on Monday, May 18, 2020


If you’re coming to the Mac from Windows, you’re probably used to either downloading apps from the Microsoft Store, or downloading an app package from a website and running its included installer. On macOS, there are several ways apps can be installed and uninstalled, which I will give an overview of in this guide.

The good news is that whatever methods the developer has employed, the installation and uninstallation processes should seem very straightforward to you,… Read more

Guide by Tyler on Monday, April 8, 2019


If you own a computer or mobile device, there’s one thing you’ve probably heard time and time again, back up your data.

When your critical information is stored in only one medium, it is inherently vulnerable. The device’s internal storage, either a hard drive or solid state drive, could fail, complications could occur during an update or other system event, the device could get lost or stolen, or a flood or fire could break out at the device’s location.

For… Read more

Guide by Tyler on Monday, December 17, 2018


If you’re a Mac Voiceover user, there’s one word you absolutely hate hearing, the B word.

Of course, I’m talking about the word, “Busy.” It may pass after a few seconds, causing only minor annoyance, or it can happen frequently and significantly disrupt your workflow.

Often times, repeated experiences like this mean you probably have some performance issues to address. In this guide, I will give an overview of some of the most common problems and solutions.… Read more

Guide by mehgcap on Saturday, April 11, 2015

What Is Night Owl?

Night Owl is the only accessible Twitter client for the Mac, or at least the most popular among VoiceOver users. With it, you can retweets, manage lists, send direct messages, save searches, and much more. While most of the app is relatively simple, some parts can be a bit confusing, and there are some undocumented shortcuts and features. This guide will walk you through… Read more

Guide by mehgcap on Friday, October 19, 2012

What Is This?

Is there an application on your Mac whose menu items are lacking keyboard shortcuts? For instance, would it not be easier to add a shortcut to mail for the Save Attachments item, or to iTunes to sync your iOS device, or to Safari to quickly tweet a page? Well, you can do all this, and you need nothing more than a few minutes and System Preferences.

Cool! How Do I Do It?

  • Open the application to which you want to add a shortcut. Go to the menu… Read more
Podcast by AppleVis on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

In this podcast, Alex Hall gives us an introduction to using the macOS Calendar with VoiceOver.

Podcast by AppleVis on Sunday, December 7, 2014

In the fourth of his series of podcasts looking at the Finder on macOS, David Griffith shows us how to use Folder Actions to create Download alerts. This is demonstrated by downloading from the RNIB Talking Newspaper and Magazine service. He also briefly demonstrates how to read the downloaded newspaper in Apple Books, previously known as iBooks.

Podcast by AppleVis on Friday, November 28, 2014

In this podcast, David Griffith gives us a demonstration of using the OS X Spotlight to search for files by name or text contained in them.

He then demonstrates how to create a Smart Folder based upon the search which will automatically list all files which meet your search criteria. The folder will react dynamically as files are deleted or new ones created.

Podcast by AppleVis on Monday, December 1, 2014

In the second of his series of podcasts looking at the Spotlight Finder on Mac OS X, David Griffith discusses how to locate music using tag file information.

In the second half, he covers searching by filename under different document format types.

Podcast by AppleVis on Monday, December 1, 2014

In the third of his series of podcasts looking at the Spotlight Finder on Mac OS X, David Griffith discusses how to search within a folder location and shares some strategies for searching by file type without file names and using Finder Sort parameters to further assist with searching by file types.

Podcast by AppleVis on Monday, November 4, 2013
In this podcast, Steve Murgaski walks us through how to assign braille keyboard commands to VoiceOver actions. He also demonstrates how to change the way a braille display behaves through the Activity feature found in the VoiceOver Utility.
Blog Post by mehgcap on Sunday, March 30, 2014


Macs have been fully accessible since 2005, but those who have never used one may still believe the myths about VoiceOver that have been around almost as long as VoiceOver itself. Even long-time users may be doing extra work, not even realizing that there are shortcuts or steps they can skip. I would like to take this opportunity to dispel these long-standing myths, and maybe make you more comfortable with the idea of switching to, or at least trying out, a Mac.

Read more

Podcast by AppleVis on Monday, October 22, 2018

In this podcast, Alex Hall demonstrates the Home app on MacOS. The Home App is new in macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Guide by Tyler on Monday, March 23, 2020


If you use a Mac, at some point or another, you will need to drag an item from one place to another. You could be, among other things, trying to move a file, reorder a list, or attach photos and other files to a document.

While there is no, “Magic solution,” to drag and drop with VoiceOver, there are several methods you can employ that just might work to accomplish the task at hand. These tips come predominantly from my own personal use, as literature on how to do… Read more

Podcast by AppleVis on Monday, September 28, 2015

In this podcast, Jonathan Simeone discusses and demonstrates the autosave and versioning features of TextEdit on macOS. These provide the peace of mind of knowing that your work is being automatically saved as you type, and that it’s quick and easy to revert to a previous version of a document.

Blog Post by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

In this post I explain the importance of reporting accessibility-related bugs to Apple; and make a few suggestions for the best way to do so.

AppleVis is a great platform for talking about VoiceOver, braille, and low vision bugs - to confirm with others that what you are experiencing is actually a bug; to seek and share workarounds; or to simply vent the occasional frustration - but we also need to make sure that the Accessibility Team at Apple is aware of each and every bug so that… Read more