This chapter explains how to use features that enhance collaboration between users. You’ll learn about the caption panel, the braille panel, the screen curtain, and tiling visuals. You’ll also learn how to mute speech and sound effects.
You can display a panel on the screen that shows what VoiceOver is speaking. The caption panel is helpful when you’re sharing the computer with those around you who are sighted.
Do one of the following:
To show or hide the caption panel, as well as the braille panel and the VoiceOver cursor, press VO-Command-F11.
For example, if you hear “resizing” but you want to move the caption panel, press the keys again to hear “moving.”
When the caption and braille panels are displayed at the same time, they can sometimes cover each other. If this happens, move or resize them.
For added privacy, you can prevent those around you from reading the screen by using the screen curtain, which temporarily turns the screen black. The screen curtain is also useful for sighted users who want to avoid reading the screen while learning to use VoiceOver.
Press VO-Shift-F11. If you’re using VoiceOver gestures, triple-tap with three fingers. To turn off the screen curtain, repeat the command or gesture.
If you turn off VoiceOver while the screen curtain is on, the screen curtain is also turned off.
Even if you don’t have a braille display, you can show a panel on the screen that simulates a refreshable braille display, along with a language translation of the braille, so sighted and nonsighted users can read the same text at the same time.
You can control the panel’s appearance and choose whether to show it whenever a braille display is connected to or paired with your computer, and you can move and resize it. When resized, the braille panel can show more cells than may be on the connected braille display; in this case, a thin rectangular line around some cells indicates the braille cells on the physical display.
Do one of the following:
For a description of this and the other options for the braille panel, click the Help button in the lower-right corner of the pane.
This command also changes the setting in VoiceOver Utility. If you had set the option to automatically show the braille panel when a braille display is connected or paired with your computer, you must choose that setting again in VoiceOver Utility.
To show or hide the braille panel, as well as the caption panel and the VoiceOver cursor, press VO-Command-F11.
For example, if you hear “resizing” but you want to move the braille panel, press the keys again to hear “moving.”
The braille panel displays what’s on the screen even when you mute speech.
When the braille and caption panels are displayed at the same time, they can sometimes cover each other. If that happens, move or resize them.
You can tile visuals (the VoiceOver cursor, the caption and braille panels, and VoiceOver menus) on the screen. When you tile visuals, the VoiceOver cursor moves to the center of the screen and the rest of the screen is dimmed.
If you’re using a portable Mac, you may need to press VO-Fn-F10.
The caption or braille panel moves to the top or bottom center of the screen, and the item in the VoiceOver cursor moves to the center of the screen. As you continue to navigate, the VoiceOver cursor stays in the center of the screen and you see the item you navigated to.
VoiceOver uses sound effects to let you know what’s on the screen and to help you navigate. You can turn off VoiceOver sound effects without affecting the audio of other applications.
If you’re using VoiceOver gestures, avoid muting sound effects. Hearing the blank space sound effect is very useful in determining where items are located on the desktop.
VoiceOver uses speech to let you know what’s on the screen and to help you navigate. You can turn off VoiceOver speech without affecting the display in the caption or braille panels, or the audio of other applications.
To turn speech on again, deselect the checkbox.
If you’re using VoiceOver gestures, you can mute VoiceOver speech and sound effects by double-tapping with three fingers. Repeat the gesture to hear speech and sound effects again.