Gestures in VoiceOver for iOS

How to Turn On/Off VoiceOver

Navigating in Settings
Accessibility Shortcuts
Turning on VoiceOver with Siri

Gestures in VoiceOver

Single Finger Gestures

Tap Speak item
Flick right or left Select next or previous item
Flick up or down The effect varies depending on the Rotor Control setting

Two Finger Gestures

Two-finger swipe up Read all from the top of the screen
Two-finger swipe down Read all from the current position
Two-finger tap Stop or resume speaking
Two-finger scrub Move two fingers back and forth three times quickly (making a “z”) to dismiss an alert or go back to the previous screen.

Three Finger Gestures

Three-finger swipe up or down Scroll one page at a time
Three-finger swipe right or left Go to the next or previous page (on the Home screen, for example)
Three-finger tap Speak additional information, such as position within a list or whether text is selected

Four Finger Gestures

Four-finger tap at top of screen Select the first item on the page
Four-finger tap at bottom of screen Select the last item on the page

Activation Gestures

Double-tap Activate the selected item
Split-tap As an alternative to selecting an item and double-tapping to activate it, touch and hold an item with one finger, then tap the screen with another.
Double-tap and hold (1 second) + standard gesture Use a standard gesture. The double-tap and hold gesture tells iPod touch to interpret the next gesture as standard. For example, you can double-tap and hold, and then without lifting your finger, drag your finger to slide a switch.
Two-finger double-tap Play or pause in Music, Videos, Voice Memos, or Photos. Take a photo in Camera. Start or pause recording in Camera or Voice Memos. Start or stop the stopwatch.
Two-finger double-tap and hold Change an item’s label to make it easier to find
Two-finger triple-tap Open the Item Chooser
Three-finger double-tap Mute or unmute VoiceOver

The Rotor

Rotate two fingers on the iPad screen to “turn” the dial and choose items on the rotor. Flick up and down to use the selected item.
The effect of the rotor depends on what you’re doing. For example, if you’re reading text in an email, you can use the rotor to switch between hearing text spoken word-by-word, character-by-character, or line-by-line when you flick up or down. When you browse a webpage, use the rotor to choose whether you hear text word-by-word or character-by-character, hear just the headers, hear just the links (all of them, visited links, or links not yet visited), hear form elements, or hear descriptions of images. You can use the rotor setting to hear all of the text, or to jump from one element of a certain type (such as headers or links) to another.
Handwriting mode to enter passwords

VoiceOver Training Resources

YouTube Video Series

Hadley School for the Blind iFocus Series How-to video series on a range of topics on accessibility for iOS.
Carroll Center for the Blind Apple Product Video Tutorials Video tutorials on accessibility features in iOS.


Community-powered site for vision-impaired users of Apple’s iOS devices
iDevice Primer 101: Basic Terminology Primer 101 explains the terms you’ll need to know to start using VoiceOver in iOS.
iDevice Primer 102: iOS Gestures Primer 102 explains the finger gestures you’ll need to learn to navigate your iDevice using VoiceOver.
iDevice Primer 103: What is the rotor for and how do I use it? Primer 103 explains the rotor, what it is, and how to use it.
iDevice Primer 104: Basic Usage and Troubleshooting Primer 104 explains a range of other issues related to using an iDevice for someone who is blind or visually impaired.
iDevice Primer 106: Using iTunes Primer 106 is a guide to navigating iTunes using VoiceOver in iOS.
iDevice Primer 107: How do I find apps? Primer 107 is a guide to finding and downloading apps using VoiceOver in iOS.

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