Reading & Writing with VoiceOver for macOS

Cut, copy, paste, and other common shortcuts

Many of the shortcuts in OS X are almost exactly the same as the shortcuts you may be used to from Windows. All the common commands below are exactly the same in Windows and OS X with the main difference that we swap the Ctrl button (Windows) with the Command button (Mac).
Cut Command + X
Copy Command + C
Paste Command + V
Undo Command + Z
Find Command + F
New Command + N
Open Command + O
Print Command + P
Save Command + S
Close Command + W
Quit Command + Q
Bold Command + B
Italicize Command + I
Underline Command + U

Reading with VoiceOver

Reading with VoiceOver is similar to reading with other screen reading programs. There are commands to read by character, word, line, sentence, paragraph, and more. As well, these commands are largely based on the arrow keys. However, users coming from Windows will notice some differences in keystroke patterning.
Read previous character VO + Shift + Left Arrow
Read current character VO + C
Read next character VO + Shift + Right Arrow
Read previous word VO + Left Arrow
Read current word VO + W
Read next word VO + Right Arrow
Read previous line VO + Up Arrow
Read current line VO + L
Read next line VO + Down Arrow
Read previous sentence VO + Command + Page Up
Read current sentence VO + S
Read next sentence VO + Command + Page Down
Read previous paragraph VO + Shift + Page Up
Read current paragraph VO + P
Read next paragraph VO + Shift + Page Down
Read all from beginning VO + B
Read text attributes VO + T

Navigating in OS X

In the Mac world, we have a whole cluster of hotkeys for moving the cursor. VoiceOver reading doesn’t move the cursor. This is a large departure from other screen readers. So, to navigate a document or select text, we’ll need to use another set of hotkeys.
Move the insertion point to the beginning of document Command + Up Arrow
Move the insertion point to the end of document Command + Down Arrow
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the current line Command + Left Arrow
Move the insertion point to the end of the current line Command + Right Arrow
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word Option + Left Arrow
Move the insertion point to the end of the next word Option + Right Arrow
Scroll up one page Function + Up Arrow
Scroll down one page Function + Down Arrow

Selecting Text

Using these navigation commands, we can add the modifier Shift and select text (just like in Windows!). Unlike Windows, VoiceOver also has a selection mode we can use to select text.
Extend text selection one character to the left Shift + Left Arrow
Extend text selection one character to the right Shift + Right Arrow
Extend Text selection to the nearest character at the same horizontal location on the line above Shift + Up Arrow
Extend Text selection to the nearest character at the same horizontal location on the line below Shift + Down Arrow
Select all the text between the insertion point and the beginning of the document Shift + Command + Up Arrow
Select all the text between the insertion point and the end of the document Shift + Command + Down Arrow
Select the text between the insertion point and the beginning of the current line Shift + Command + Left Arrow
Select the text between the insertion point and the end of the current line Shift + Command + Right Arrow
Extend text selection to the beginning of the current word, then to the beginning of the following word if pressed again Shift + Option + Left Arrow
Extend text selection to the end of the current word, then to the end of the following word if pressed again Shift + Option + Right Arrow
Extend text selection to the beginning of the current paragraph, then to the beginning of the following paragraph if pressed again Shift + Option + Up Arrow
Extend text selection to the end of the current paragraph, then to the end of the following paragraph if pressed again Shift + Option + Down Arrow
Select all objects and text Command + A
Enter VO selection mode VO + Enter
Read what is selected by the VO cursor VO + F6

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