Free Video Tutorial: VoiceOver 3 - Apple Mac, iPad & iPhone Tutorials from ScreenCastsOnline

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One of the things that never ceases to amaze me, is the amount of functionality and utilities built right into OSX.

This week, I take a look at one of the Accessibility tools provided with every copy of Leopard and Snow Leopard - that's VoiceOver 3. Designed to assist partially sighted and blind Mac users, VoiceOver 3 is the latest version of the hugely impressive screen reader utility for the Mac.

With VoiceOver, it's possible to have all the screen elements described and read back to you, using the built in speech technologies. Not to be confused with just Text to Speech, VoiceOver uses the concept of a VoiceOver cursor to highlight individual elements on screen (Text, menus, dock, icons, panels, dialog boxes, pretty much everything!) and have the contents of the VO cursor read back to you.

With a multitude of keyboard commands, you're able to navigate the screen and interact with all the elements exposed with VoiceOver. If you have a Mac laptop with a multitouch trackpad, you can use a new feature called ""TrackPad Commander"" to control VoiceOver using gestures. As well as the core functionality, VoiceOver has been significantly enhanced to provide easy Web browsing using Safari with the addition of the new Web Rotor.

Although VoiceOver is aimed primarily at visually impaired or blind users, this weeks show provides an overview of the VoiceOver technology for sighted people and web/app developers to foster an understanding of some of the features and promote the adoption of providing accessibility enhancements in third party apps.

The full show covers:

  • VoiceOver Introduction
  • Using The VoiceOver Keys
  • VoiceOver Setup
  • Navigating using VoiceOver
  • TrackPad Commander
  • Web Browsing with VoiceOver
  • VoiceOver Utility

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