OS X: Universal Access

People use mostly keyboards, mouse or trackpad to navigate through the commands, however, if a user has any difficulty seeing, hearing or using these three elements, they may use OS X’s comphrensive set of accessibility features, that make Mac easier to use.

How to Use Universal Access Panel

Accessibility features can be found within the Universal Access panel of System Preferences.

  • Cursor Size: This option makes the mouse pointer larger to help the user distinguish it better.
  • Display: This option sets your screen to Grayscale (black and white colors) or White on Black (just like a film negative). To toggle the modes, click “Command+Alt+^+8”.
  • Enhance Contrast: The option increases the starkness of the difference between dark and light. The shortcuts “Command+Alt+^+.” and “Command+Alt+,” have the same effect.
  • Flash: This is a visual alternative to the alert sound.
  • Mouse Keys: You should turn on this feature if you want to control the mouse pointer using the numeric keypad section of your keyboard.
  • Sticky Keys: This function allows the user to enter key combinations in sequence rather than simultaneously.
  • VoiceOver: This feature provides spoken feedback to help the user navigate between items, applicatons and windows with the keyboard.
  • Zoom: Once activated, the shortcuts “Command + Alt +” or “Command + Alt -” zoom in and out on any area of the screen, following the mouse pointer around.

You may wish to activate the OS X Speech Recognition features. In OS X you can use this technology to give commands in certain applications, switch between programs, open some programs, and so on.

Note: On a Mac laptop, hold down the fn key to access the numeric keypad.

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