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Exploring the Accessibility settings

From: Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

Video: Exploring the Accessibility settings

One of the most powerful features of the Mac OS is also a feature that few of us rely on, and that's accessibility. This is a group of features built into the Mac OS that allows those with certain physical limitations to use the Mac. While it's designed primarily for those with vision and hearing challenges, there are a couple of features that those without these issues can benefit from. So, let's take a look. We'll go into System Preferences and click on Accessibility. Accessibility is made up of three sections. There's Seeing, Hearing, and Interacting.

Exploring the Accessibility settings

One of the most powerful features of the Mac OS is also a feature that few of us rely on, and that's accessibility. This is a group of features built into the Mac OS that allows those with certain physical limitations to use the Mac. While it's designed primarily for those with vision and hearing challenges, there are a couple of features that those without these issues can benefit from. So, let's take a look. We'll go into System Preferences and click on Accessibility. Accessibility is made up of three sections. There's Seeing, Hearing, and Interacting.

We'll start with Display. First option is to Invert colors. Let's see what that looks like. So basically, you have this X-ray kind of look. For some people with visual impairments, it makes it easier to see their screen. You can also use Grayscale, Enhance Contrast, that's an extreme but you can pump it up a little bit. And then there's Cursor Size and this is actually something that's helpful if you're doing a presentation. Turn that on and you notice how much larger the cursor gets.

So if you're doing a presentation to a large room, it's much easier to see this large cursor instead of something that size. Then there's Zoom. You can use keyboard shortcuts to zoom. So I turn this on. To turn it on, I press Command+Option+8. It's zoomed in, and if I hold down Command+Option+minus, it goes back to the normal size. You can also use a scroll gesture with a modifier key to zoom. I find this really helpful. So I turn that on.

I hold down the Control key, and then using the scroll ball on my mouse, I can zoom in and out. You can choose different modifier keys if you like: Control, Option, or Command. Smooth images is on by default, and then you can choose Zoom follows the keyboard focus. So you'll zoom in to areas where you're using the keyboard. With Zoom Style, you have a couple of different options. The default option is Fullscreen, or you can choose Picture-in-picture. Now watch what happens when I do that.

You see that just the area right around the cursor is zoomed. If I click on More Options, you see that I can change Zoom settings. So I can set maximum zoom as well as minimum zoom. And then there's VoiceOver. Now if during installation of the Mac OS you waited too long at the beginning of the process, the Mac would start talking to you and asking you if you'd like to use VoiceOver. This is a screen reader built into the Mac. It's very powerful and better yet, it's free.

The general idea is that VoiceOver provides spoken feedback on what's on your Mac's screen. It tells you what's under your cursor and then it will read the text to you. When you turn it on, you'll see the beginning of a tutorial on using VoiceOver. Going into the details of VoiceOver is beyond the scope of this course. If you need it or know someone who does, run through the tutorial and look at Apple's Help Menu. Now we'll take a look at Audio. The first option is to flash the screen when an alert goes off. So if you don't hear very well and some kind of alert goes off, you may miss it.

However, if you see that, you know that an alert has happened. If you hear better with one ear than another, you may not be able to hear all the audio that's coming in through your headphones. So what you can do instead is choose to Play stereo audio as mono so that the stereo sound is mixed, so that you hear the same thing, both through the right and the left channel. Into Interacting, let's look at Keyboard. If you have some difficulty moving your fingers, Sticky Keys can help.

What you can do is you can turn on Sticky Keys and then you can press the Command key, let go, and then press another key, and it will act as if both had been pressed at the same time. So if you wanted to save a file, for example, you'd press Command, let go, press S, and the Mac would react as if you pressed Command+S at the same time. If you can't move very quickly on the keys, turn on Enable Slow Keys. So you can press it and it won't react right away. And then Mouse & Trackpad.

If you enable Mouse Keys, this allows you to use the number pad to move your cursor. So you'd enable this. I'm pressing the number 8 key on my keypad, I'll press 2 now, and that makes the cursor go down. I'll press 1, now you go southwest, 7 northwest, 9 will send you northeast, 6 sends you east. Anyway, you get the idea. Using a number pad, you can move the cursor around. You can change the speed of your double-click, and you can also ask your Mac to ignore the trackpad that's built into your laptop if you're using a mouse or a wireless trackpad.

And then Speakable Items. Now the idea behind Speakable Items is that you're supposed to be able to press a key, instruct your Mac to do something, and then it will do it. So, you have a Settings screen, and on this screen, you can turn on Speakable Items and you could choose how your microphone is connected. Also, if your Mac recognizes what you've said, it can speak the acknowledgement, or by default, it will play a sound. Listening Key is where you choose which key to press to enable Speakable Items.

And you can choose, it will listen only when the key is pressed or listen continuously with a keyword. So for example, if the keyword is "computer," and then you'd command it to do something. And then you click on Commands and then you see this Command set list. Here you can choose the kind of commands that you want your Mac to keep an ear out for. As I said, there are plenty of helpful options here even if you don't have disabilities that might prevent you from using the Mac as it's initially set up.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training
Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

76 video lessons · 21140 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
  2. 6m 56s
    1. Installing Mountain Lion
      6m 56s
  3. 47m 16s
    1. Personalizing the interface
      4m 11s
    2. Touring the Finder
      3m 29s
    3. Staying current with Software Update
      2m 52s
    4. Configuring Gatekeeper settings
      3m 17s
    5. Getting on the Internet
      5m 36s
    6. Setting up iCloud
      4m 55s
    7. Understanding AutoSave and documents in the cloud
      4m 42s
    8. Configuring Mail, Contacts, and Calendar
      4m 33s
    9. Configuring your printer
      3m 39s
    10. Protecting your data with Time Machine
      4m 28s
    11. Learn your way around the Mac App Store
      5m 34s
  4. 11m 17s
    1. Finding files with Spotlight
      6m 6s
    2. Digging deeper with Finder searches
      5m 11s
  5. 23m 35s
    1. Configuring basic personal preferences
      11m 15s
    2. Adjusting Input Device preferences
      9m 38s
    3. Examining the basic system preferences
      2m 42s
  6. 1h 13m
    1. Organizing workspaces with Mission Control
      5m 49s
    2. Modifying Language & Text settings
      4m 5s
    3. Optimizing Security & Privacy settings
      6m 18s
    4. Getting notifications
      4m 38s
    5. Configuring displays and AirPlay
      2m 20s
    6. Using Energy Saver
      6m 1s
    7. Setting up Bluetooth wireless devices
      3m 39s
    8. Sharing files on a network
      6m 1s
    9. Configuring sharing
      6m 28s
    10. Editing your users and groups
      6m 48s
    11. Setting rules with Parental Controls
      7m 4s
    12. Taking notes with Dictation & Speech
      6m 0s
    13. Exploring the Accessibility settings
      5m 54s
    14. Listening with Sound
      2m 53s
  7. 36m 2s
    1. Organizing your business with Mail
      12m 42s
    2. Scheduling time with Calendar
      8m 32s
    3. Keeping tabs with Contacts
      5m 30s
    4. Tracking your tasks with Reminders
      3m 39s
    5. Staying in touch using Messages
      5m 39s
  8. 37m 18s
    1. Tracking your documents in TextEdit
      7m 3s
    2. Looking up words in Dictionary
      1m 56s
    3. Keeping notes with Notes
      3m 48s
    4. Working with images in Preview
      6m 14s
    5. Working with PDFs in Preview
      4m 27s
    6. Installing fonts with Font Book
      4m 42s
    7. Posting a note in Stickies
      1m 55s
    8. Adding things up with Calculator
      4m 46s
    9. Organizing apps with Launchpad
      2m 27s
  9. 34m 5s
    1. Navigating the web
      3m 38s
    2. Working with bookmarks
      4m 49s
    3. Using Reading List
      2m 4s
    4. Saving web pages and creating web clips
      1m 44s
    5. Viewing and saving PDFs
      3m 24s
    6. Using Safari to search the web
      2m 20s
    7. Opening local files in Safari
      1m 59s
    8. Working with preferences in Safari
      11m 1s
    9. Managing your Internet footprint
      3m 6s
  10. 8m 48s
    1. Playing media in QuickTime
      4m 15s
    2. Recording videos with QuickTime
      4m 33s
  11. 10m 13s
    1. Video conferencing with FaceTime
      3m 38s
    2. Taking pictures in Photo Booth
      3m 47s
    3. The great utility of Image Capture
      2m 48s
  12. 12m 40s
    1. Writing a simple Automator workflow
      4m 15s
    2. Creating an Automator application
      2m 20s
    3. Setting up an Automator calendar workflow
      2m 31s
    4. Creating an Automator service
      3m 34s
  13. 22m 1s
    1. Managing processes in Activity Monitor
      5m 13s
    2. Formatting, partitioning, and repairing storage devices
      8m 58s
    3. Taking care of your passwords
      4m 1s
    4. Setting up a Windows install with Boot Camp
      3m 49s
  14. 14m 57s
    1. Creating a boot drive
      3m 19s
    2. Understanding and configuring permissions
      4m 5s
    3. Exploring troubleshooting techniques
      7m 33s
  15. 19m 35s
    1. Getting your game on
      4m 1s
    2. Integrating with Facebook and Twitter
      2m 38s
    3. Advanced tips and tricks
      9m 35s
    4. Sharing files with AirDrop
      3m 21s
  16. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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