How do I change the speed of VoiceOver on an Apple Mac?

Note: This answer applies to Apple and VoiceOver on a Mac only. If you are using a different screen reader the steps will be different.

You can change the voice speed of Apple’s VoiceOver on a Mac to suit your personal preference.

To adjust the speaking rate, go to Settings and choose Accessibility, then select ‘Spoken Content’. Select your speaking rate with the right and left arrow keys.

Alternatively, you can use keyboard shortcut keys to access the Accessibility settings: VO-Command-Shift-Right Arrow. Keyboard clarification on the Mac:

  • Command key: the equivalent of the Windows control key
  • VO Keys: the Command key plus options key.

In order to make any changes here you need to interact with the menu. Press VO plus down arrow and make sure Quick Nav is switched off. You can then arrow down until you hear speech. You then type your preferred speaking rate or choose from the list.

Other options that can be customised in this section include:

  • Change voice pitch
  • Change voice volume
  • Lowering the volume of other apps when VoiceOver is speaking
  • Change where VoiceOver’s voice is output
  • Changing the level of detail VoiceOver provides when reading
  • Hearing hints on buttons and controls
  • Changing the typing feedback from ‘letters’ and ‘letters and words’
  • Hearing feedback for function and VO keys.

All of the options in this section can be changed by either using the arrow keys to change the values or by checking and unchecking boxes by pressing the space bar.

Further useful links:

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