Top 5 Accessibility Features On Mac

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Most Mac users are not familiar with the Accessibility features on Mac. That’s understandable because these iOS accessibility options were designed for Mac users that need additional assistance when using their computers. But, did you know that these features can also be useful to the regular Mac users? Here are the top 5 Accessibility features on Mac that makes it easier for you to use your computer and improves your Mac experience.

Reduce Motion

Do you feel dizzy because of the animations on your Mac? This is true when you are using apps in full screen. When you switch to full screen, the Desktop slides out of the way while the app window zooms in to replace the original display. Switching in between full-screen apps can also be uncomfortable to the eyes because of the full-screen slide transitions.

If you’re not comfortable with these animations, you can choose to minimize them through Reduce Motion. Take note, however, that you will not be able to remove them completely.

  • To lessen the animations on your Mac, follow these steps:
  • Open the accessibility options by going to Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Accessibility.
  • Click Display and tick off the box next to Reduce motion.
  • Close the window.

Once this feature is turned on, you’ll notice an obvious change in the animations. The transitions are simpler and faster.

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Reduce Transparency

Some apps in macOS have semi-transparent windows and toolbars so you can see what is going on in the background. It can be distracting especially if the window at the back is animated or moving (for example, there’s a video playing at the back).

To lessen the distraction, you can reduce the transparency of your window so they become more solid. To turn on this accessibility feature, follow these steps:

  1. Open Accessibility options and click Display.
  2. Click on Reduce Transparency.
  3. Close the Accessibility Options window.

You can also improve clarity by clicking Increase contrast, which darkens the outline of the window and the button borders.

Increase Mouse Pointer

If you keep losing track of your mouse pointer, it’s probably a good idea to make it bigger. In OS X El Capitan, you can make your mouse bigger by just shaking the pointer back and forth. You can find the setting under the Display tab of the Accessibility options. Check for ‘Shake mouse pointer to locate’ has been ticked off. If yes, then just shake your mouse pointer to increase its size.

You can also adjust the cursor size using the slider. You can choose between Normal and Large.

Speech Options

This feature has been available for a long time now. To turn on and customize speech for your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. In Accessibility window, select the Speech tab and Choose your preferred System Voice from the drop-down.
  2. If you want to download new voices, genders and accents, click Customize in the drop-down menu under System Voice.
  3. Adjust playback speed by moving the Speaking Rate slider between Slow, Normal and Fast.

The Accessibility window offers two speech options for Mac:

  1. Enable announcements – Your Mac speaks when there are alerts or when applications need your attention.
  2. Speak selected text when the key is pressed – Your computer reads the highlighted text when you press Option + Esc. You can change the key combination by click Change Key beside this option.

Audio and Silence Options

Turning on the mute key on Mac turns off all sounds and audio notifications for your computer. Accessibility, on the other hand, allows you to retain important interactions when working in places or instances that demand silence (for example, you’re working in a library, during a meeting or when you’re working beside a sleeping child).

To customize this setting, do the following:

  1. Click the Audio tab in the Accessibility window.
  2. Turn on ‘Flash the screen when an alert sound occurs’. Notifications will flash briefly on your screen to gain your attention.
  3. Open Sound Preferences and adjust accordingly.
  4. Go back to the Accessibility window and click Siri.
  5. Tick off Enable Type to Siri so you can type in your questions instead of using your voice.

These Accessibility features on Mac are not only useful for people who need special assistance, but for normal Mac users as well. Using these features will definitely make your life easier and smoother.

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