Getting Started With the Mac

<p>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.</p>Displaying 21 - 40 of 81
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In this episode, Jonathan Simeone discusses and demonstrates the autosave and versioning features of 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. While TextEdit is demonstrated in this tutorial, these features work in a variety of macOS apps.

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I've always used Audacity for digital recording projects, including ripping my vinyl collection for use in iTunes. A 64-bit Audacity build for Mac exists, but it doesn't work with VoiceOver. As a result, Audacity is no longer a viable option for blind Mac users.

Blog Post by PaulMartz on

Also in this series:

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Also in this series:

GarageBand makes it amazingly easy to create music. In this blog, I'll show you how to create the following blues-based rock jam. You don't need an instrument. You won't have to play a single note.

Blog Post by PaulMartz on

Also in this series:

Guide by David Woodbridge on

Finder Navigation


  • New Finder window: Command-N
  • Up one folder level: Command-Up-Arrow
  • Open selected folder: Command-Down-Arrow
  • Back: Command-left bracket
  • Forward: Command-right bracket

Direct Folder Access

  • Open the Applications folder: Command-Shift-A
  • Open the Computer folder: Command-Shift-C
  • Open desktop folder: Command-Shift-D
  • Go to Folder: Command-Shift-G
  • Open the Home folder of the currently logged-in user account: Command-Shift-H

Editing Commands

  • Select all (e.g.
Guide by mehgcap on


Safari is the Mac's default web browser, and it does all the usual web browser things - opens webpages, downloads files, plays audio, all that. It has some neat tricks, too, like the Reader that can show you only the meat of an article.

However, if you are coming to the Mac for the first time, especially from a Windows background, Safari can seem like a clunky app at best, and a totally unusable mess at worst. As with all things on the Mac, though, you just have to understand how and why it does what it does. Eventually, you will be flying through webpages again, and there are even some nice tricks that VoiceOver can pull off to make your life easier.

Guide by mehgcap on

The Finder

Finder is the Mac's file browser. With it, you can look at files and folders on internal, external, and network drives; copy, cut, and paste items; tag files for easier locating later; search for files; and more. The problem is that, particularly for those transitioning to the Mac from Windows, Finder is a confusing mess that makes you scared to even go looking for a file. I understand that, because I was there too. Hopefully, in writing down what I've learned over the years, I can save you a lot of time and frustration, and let you get on with your Mac much better.

For Windows Users

If you are switching from Windows to Mac, there are a few things you should know about the Finder.

First, try very hard to get used to pressing command-o to open things. Pressing enter will prompt you to rename them, not open them. If you do accidentally press enter, simply press escape to cancel.

Guide by mehgcap on


When you first get a Mac, and are learning VoiceOver, it can be hard to remember the myriad commands available. Some are pretty easy, like control-option-w to read the current word. Some are quite complex or seldom used, such as control-option-command-f5 to move the mouse pointer to where VoiceOver is focused. Then there are the core concepts, like interacting, moving around dialogs, getting to menus, and plenty more. So, I wanted to offer a guide that does not explain most of the commands and concepts, but rather tells you where to go if you need help. Mailing lists, books, online resources, and cheat sheets are great, but there are powerful help facilities built right into every Mac, just a keystroke or two away at any time. The trick is knowing how to access them.

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In this episode, Tyler demonstrates how to assign your own keyboard shortcuts to menu bar commands that lack default shortcuts in macOS.

An example of where this may be useful is in System Settings, where many settings can be quickly accessed from the View menu, however none of these commands have default keyboard shortcuts mapped to them. To create your own shortcut for a command:

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In this episode, Tyler shows us how to automatically delete messages on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

By default, the Messages app on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS retains messages and conversations until you delete them. However, particularly if you receive a large number of attachments, messages can occupy a significant portion of space on your device. To automatically delete messages after a set amount of time after they've been received on iOS and iPadOS, go to Settings > Messages > Keep messages, and choose an option. To do the same on macOS, open Messages, choose Messages > Settings, (or press Command-Comma) click the General button in the toolbar, and choose an option from the "Keep messages" popup menu.

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In this episode, Tyler demonstrates how to change Safari's default search engine on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

To do this on iOS and iPadOS, go to Settings > Safari and double-tap "Search engine" to specify the search engine for standard browsing windows, or "private search engine" if you want to specify a different search engine to be used in private browsing windows. On macOS, in Safari, choose Safari > Settings (or press Command-Comma) click the Search button in the toolbar, and choose from the "Search engine" or "private browsing search engine" popup menus.

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In this episode, Alex Hall shows us how to change the default app for opening a certain type of file on macOS.

This may be useful if, for example, you'd rather RTF documents opened with Pages instead of TextEdit by default. To make this change:

  1. In Finder, navigate to and select a file of the type you want opened with a different app, and choose File > Get info (or press Command-I.)
  2. Press VO-Space to expand the "Open with" disclosure triangle if it isn't expanded already, and choose the app you want to open the file with from the popup menu. If the app you want is not in the menu, you can choose "Other" and manually locate the app; note that your results will vary depending on that app's compatibility with the given filetype.
  3. Click the "Change all" button to open all files of this type with the app you chose, then click Continue to confirm the change.
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In this quick tip, Jamie Pauls takes us through the various options for how VoiceOver reports rows added in a table on macOS. These options, found in VoiceOver Utility > Verbosity > Announcements, allow you to choose whether VoiceOver speaks the number of rows added to a table in focus, plays a tone when a row is added, or provides no feedback at all.

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By default, VoiceOver does not start automatically at the macOS login prompt. In this episode, Tyler demonstrates how to change this. The steps to do so are as follows:

  1. Choose Apple > System Settings, and select Lock Screen in the table.
  2. Click accessibility options and toggle the “VoiceOver” switch on.
  3. Click done.

On some older Mac models, if FileVault disk encryption is turned on, which is the default, VoiceOver should start when the Mac boots and prompt for the username, and then prompt for the password if the username is entered correctly. However, if you’d rather not have to manually enter your username or be able to navigate other elements in the window, you must turn FileVault off. To do this, open System Settings, select Privacy & Security in the table, and click “FileVault turn off.”

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In this episode, Tyler demonstrates how to configure your Mac to announce the time automatically.

To do this in macOS Ventura and later, open System Settings > Control Center > Clock options, and enable the "Announce the time" toggle. You can then choose how often the announcement will play, as well as the voice, rate, and volume macOS will use for the announcement.

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In this podcast, Thomas Domville shows us How to contact Apple for accessibility inquiries.

Topics Covered in this Podcast

Apple Accessibility Web Page:

Apple Product Feedback Web Page:

Accessibility Support - Official Apple Support Web Page:

Today at Apple - Accessibility - Apple Web Page:

Apple Accessibility and Assistive Technology Email Address:

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In this episode, Tyler demonstrates how to disable predictive text suggestions on macOS.

As you type on your Mac, macOS by default attempts to finish words and phrases it thinks you're trying to type. If you find that hearing these suggestions spoken by VoiceOver is more distracting than helpful, you can turn them off by going to System Settings > Keyboard, clicking the Edit button under the "Text input" heading, and toggling the "show inline predictive text" switch off.


Disclaimer: This transcript is generated by AIKO, an automated transcription service. It is not edited or formatted, and it may not accurately capture the speakers’ names, voices, or content.

Hey, Apple vissers, Tyler here, with a quick tip for how to disable predictive text suggestions on macOS.

By default, as you type on your Mac, macOS attempts to finish words and phrases that it thinks you're trying to type.

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In this episode, Tyler demonstrates how to enable audio descriptions for the TV app, as well as for videos on supported websites in Safari on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Note that not all apps and websites that offer audio described content detect this setting, meaning you'll have to manually enable audio descriptions through the playback interfaces of such services.

To enable automatic playing of audio descriptions for the TV app and Safari on iOS and iPadOS, go to settings > Accessibility > Audio descriptions, and enable the "Audio descriptions" toggle. To do the same on macOS, go to System Settings > Accessibility > Descriptions, and enable the "Play audio descriptions when available" toggle.

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In this episode, Tyler demonstrates how to encrypt an external disk on macOS for improved security of the disk's contents.

To encrypt a disk formatted as Apple File System, (APFS) connect it to your Mac, focus on it on the Desktop or Finder sidebar, and choose "Encrypt [disk name]" from the context menu (accessed by pressing VO-Shift-M). You'll then be prompted to create a password for the disk, which will be required to access its contents. As this password is the only way to access the disk's contents, it should be reasonably difficult for others to guess, but easy enough for you to remember.