Thanks for a quick reply on this:
1. Yes you were correct I tested with the latest version 2.3.1 which I just
2. Regarding the track view: Yes I found the same as you did. Voiceover up/down
or left/right arrow key works but no feedback when pressing the up/down arrow
key alone. The voiceover space did not work for me here. But return does, it
just doesn't speak anything. As mentioned earlier it would be great if the
behaviour of the Windows and Mac screenreader were the same as it was in the
older 2.1 version of Audacity. The changes we are seeing now are tolerable but
because we are having to getting the same track info spoken at least twice this
slows down the editing task a bit.
I would say that the preferences dialog is a quite important thing, but it (for
me) is more important that I can change the edit spin-boxes on the toolbar. As
for now I can not change the start/length/end boxes on the Mac because I get no
feedback and the only thing I can do here is to read the entire contents over
and over to check what I have done.
As you will see in David's guide the items on this selection toolbar can become
quite good when editing, and changing the format in this boxes could be easier.
I think we need to find out how to fix some of the areas where Audacity shows
edit fields which we can edit in terms of position related to the audio, if we
can get this accessible we might be able to get more users who are using the
Yes, I will be more than happy to test any alfa/beta of audacity.
Best regards Thomas
Sendt fra min Mac Mini via Apple Mail
Den 28. apr. 2019 kl. 04.09 skrev Paul Licameli <paul.licameli@xxxxxxxxx>:
On Sat, Apr 27, 2019 at 7:18 PM Thomas Byskov Dalgaard
<tbd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:tbd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
As promised yesterday here are my observations when using Audacity 2.3.1 on
Mac OS 10.14.2 Mojave using Voiceover.
Before I start please be aware that there are some specific links on the
download page to the screenreader version of Audacity for the Mac. Find it
I downloaded the application and opened it for the first time. Here are my
findings in no particular order:
I assume you are describing 2.3.1 and not the screenreader version.
* Voiceover can not read the category list/tree view with the different items
such as: Interface, tracks, keyboard, mouse etc. It only says Category dimmed
hidden. when interacting with this area nothing is spoken than empty.
You refer to the Preferences dialog. Yes, this is important, and I have been
working lately on exactly that problem.
It is possible to arrow up or down but it is not possible to get speech
feedback so I don't know which category item I am located at.
So far as I have fixed it for 2.3.2 alpha, I can navigate the dialog with
screen reader feedback, using control+alt+arrows, though not with the
unmodified arrow keys alone.
Many of the different options under the different categories are readable and
Voiceover can check and uncheck boxes as needed. But the tab and shift-tab
shortcuts does not work correctly in the keyboard section. This however was
no showstopper for me, since I am used to use the Voiceover cursor when
navigating, but it may be for others.
* Navigating the track view:
For this I imported two files into a blank project.
Note: Normally I would not compare accessibility on Windows and Mac, but for
this case I will try to describe the differences I saw here, because here we
are having the (from my point of view) biggest accessibility issues when
working with Audacity:
The track view is useable but does not work as expected
On Windows the track view gets keyboard focus automatically and any
screenreader will get the track name and status (selected, muted etc.) when
up or down arrow is pressed.
In the latest version on the Mac up and down arrow does not speak anything.
But I will get a sound from the system itself when I am at the top or at the
bottom of the list of tracks.
Similarly with Preferences (in version of the build), so with Track panel in
2.3.1: I find you can navigate audibly with the VoiceOver convention of
control+alt+ , though not with arrow keys alone. Did you see the same?
The return key works, but again no feedback from Voiceover.
The VoiceOver convention here is control+alt+space to "click" a control.
But something has actually changed since last time I checked Audacity out
If I interact with the track view which by Voiceover is spoken as: Track view
hidden layout area.
Voiceover can read the track name and the status of the track when I press
the voiceover up/down or left/right arrow keys. When I refer to Voiceover key
I mean the capslock or the control and option keys hold down while pressing
one of the arrow keys.
Now here I noticed something that nobody has documented which actually
changes things a lot in my use of Audacity:
If a Mac user uses the voiceover keyboard commands to move up, down, left or
right we will get the information and the keyboard focus actually moves
along. I tested this by going to the bottom track and pressed shift-M to get
the track context menu where I looked at the move track options. Because I
was at the last track I couldn't move it down, so interestingly enough
something has changed recently in terms of accessibility on Mac OS with
Audacity. However this is not perfect since I have to double check track
selections by pressing Voiceover up, down, left or right and the opposite
direction to get the change spoken. For example if I have two tracks in a
project and want to select track one I do this:
1. I interact with the track view.
#. I find the track which I want to select.
#. I press return on set track. No feedback from Voiceover.
#. I then press Voiceover up, or down arrow to move to the other track and
then back to the track I hit return on. Voiceover now says the name of the
track and then selected.
#. I tried to solo a selected track and here is the exact phrase Voiceover
gave me when I checked as I described above: Track 2 Select On Track 2
Soloed Selected. As you see some of this is spoken twice.
Clearly it would speed things up a lot if the old behaviour was restored so
the arrow keys would work as they do on Windows and in the earlier version of
Audacity for Mac.
* Using the selection toolbar:
It still works when navigating to this toolbar by pressing command-F6 and
command-shift-F6. But still the track view is not able to be controlled until
I interacted with the Voiceover command. In earlier versions cycling between
the different parts of the window would have taken me directly into the track
Editing the edit fields seems impossible because left or right arrowing
doesn't give any speech feedback. Interacting with the edit fields and
pressing Voiceover- left or right arrow only repeats the first two values
like 00. It is possible to enter numbers but no feedback.
Changing the values was a little hard because the native context menu doesn't
work here, so I had to cheat and right click with a command in Voiceover.
This command is not labeled and it would for sure make things easier if we
could use the context menu by pressing either shift-m or voiceover-shift-m
* Editing audio with Audacity
For this I used the fantastic guide for JAWS users and converted a few things
so they would work on the Mac. Thanks David for this great resource please
keep it alive for the future!
For reference the guide is found here:
Editing itself works as expected. Labels work as well except when adding a
label. As the guide suggests I use the dialog to create a label instead of
the edit box which JAWS couldn't see, so I wanted to follow along here with
Voiceover on the Mac.
Interestingly enough the ok button could not be pressed even it is the
default button when adding a label. So I had to go to the button instead with
the Voiceover cursor and press it there.
Editing labels didn't work for me because the fields were not possible to
I hope some of this was helpful to you.
I will be more than happy testing anything you can come up with in order to
improve accessibility in Audacity on Mac OS.
Best regards Thomas
Sendt fra min Mac Mini via Apple Mail
Thank you very much for your testing efforts!
I am not sure how to fix all of the inconveniences, but I think, to
summarize, the only thing that was really not accessible at all, were the
categories in Preferences, and for this I have a fix (that you don't yet
have). Otherwise just some nuisances, such as requiring you to use
control+alt+ and not just arrows alone, or some reads that are repetitious.
Is that a fair summary?
Perhaps you will help with testing of version 2.3.2 or even of its release
candidates, before the actual release.
It is important that we have a new 64 bit version with decent if not perfect
accessibility, because we will no longer be able to refer users to the 2.1.1.
version, which is only available in 32 bit builds and so won't run at all on
the newest versions of macOS.
Den 26. apr. 2019 kl. 17.21 skrev Paul Licameli <paul.licameli@xxxxxxxxx
New subscriber, and one of the Audacity development team.
I worked on improving Audacity's interaction with VoiceOver on Mac, two
years ago in version 2.1.3.
I made it possible to navigate to the individual toolbar buttons (like Play,
Record, Cut, Copy, etc.) and to navigate to the individual tracks, and the
names of all of those are read.
There are still some defects, compared with the better integration on
Windows, such as in the Preferences dialog.
But the manual still says recent versions are "not accessible" and
recommends use of the old version 2.1.1, which I think is not a fair
judgment. 2.1.2 was worse than the previous version here, but I think 2.1.3
accessibility is superior to 2.1.1.
I want to hear users' opinions. Do any of you use Audacity on MacOS, as
well as Windows? How do you think accessibility compares between the
You may not have 2.1.1, but never mind. Give me your opinion whether recent
versions of Audacity are accessible enough that the warning on the manual
page could be amended.