VoiceOver is a screen reader which can be used to browse web pages. VoiceOver comes bundled with all macOS software, including iOS.

VoiceOver operates on an operating system level, meaning it is not exclusively a screen reader for web pages but has the functionality to do so.

The VoiceOver User Guide is used as the source of reference for the below shortcuts. I've organised them here as a quick reference guide for myself.

Throughout this page the VO key will be referenced in shortcuts. By default, this is set to the Control + Option key but can be changed in the VoiceOver utility, which can be opened via VO + F8.

Shortcut reference


VO + F5
Turn VoiceOver on or off. If on a MacBook, hold Command while pressing TouchID five times to turn VoiceOver on or off.
VO + F8
Open the VoiceOver utility, which is used to change settings such as the VO key, speech rate and more.
Pause or resume speech.
VO + h
Open the VoiceOver help menu. Very useful for finding the keyboard combination of a command by typing the name of a command.
VO + k
Turns "Keyboard help" on or off, which will announce what a key combination does when pressed.
VO + Shift + F11 or VO + Shift + fn + _
Turn the screen curtain on or off. This will show or hide your display while continuing to use VoiceOver. This is useful for those who do not need the display to be turned on when using VoiceOver (e.g. for added privacy or for testing).
VO + Tab
Tell VoiceOver to ignore the next key or key combination that is pressed.
VO + Command + Shift + Arrow key
For the left and right arrow keys, this will cycle through settings such as pitch and volume. The up and down arrow keys will adjust the currently selected setting.

For most navigation shortcuts, using Shift will allow for backwards traversal.

VO + Arrow key
Move the VoiceOver cursor up, right, down or left. The left and right arrow keys are used for navigation web pages, with the up and down arrow keys rarely doing anything. However, the up and down arrow keys can function at the OS level in dropdown menus or lists.


VO + }
Increase the magnification of the item in the VoiceOver cursor.
VO + {
Decrease the magnification of the item in the VoiceOver cursor.