moderated Re: window or mac
Jim Weiss <jimweiss72@...>
I use a Mac every day and have since 2012 (when I first went blind). Typically I use keyboard shortcuts as a way of controlling my Mac but you can use the trackpad just as you would an iPhone. For example with track pad commander turned on a single finger swipe to the left moves you to the left and likewise a single finger single tap selects the item. Pretty much every finger gesture that you perform on an iPhone translates exactly on the Mac.
Like I said I usually use the keyboard shortcuts and only use the track pad when the keyboard shortcut is not working as it should. For example when trying to click a button and nothing happens I will fall back to the track pad, find and select the button and single finger double tap. It doesn’t always work, but often it does, thus I don’t need to find sighted assistance.
A huge difference in MacOS is the use of the “Command” key, it is the key immediately to either side of the space bar. A few examples are below.
To close an open window = CMD+W
To copy a selection = CMD+C
To paste from the clipboard = CMD+V
To underline a word in a text editor = CMD+U
To bold a word in a text editor = CMD+B
To create a new document in a text editor = CMD+N
To open an existing document = CMD+O
To print a document = CMD+P
To create a new folder in Finder (the Mac version of File Explorer) = CMD+Shift+N
There is still the concept of the menu bar in MacOS and you always use VO key+M to access it.
And to access the equivalent of the system tray you use VO key+MM.
If you are familiar with the rotor on the iPhone the same principle exists in MacOS. Just like JAWS you assign either Control+Option (they are next to each other on the keyboard) or Caps Lock as your Voice Over (VO) key. So if you are on a webpage and you want to list all of the headings you issue a VO key+U to invoke the rotor. Like the iPhone you can decide what elements are in your rotor, such as Links, Visited Links, Headings, Form Controls, etc. and from the rotor you can quickly move about the page. You can also use the H key to move by headings (and other keys) just like JAWS.
You can quickly change the verbosity, speaking rate, speaking pitch and even the voice without digging into the settings.
Sure there is a learning curve, but that is true of anything. Here are the main reasons I jumped onto the Mac bandwagon when I went blind.
At the time my laptop was quite old and was due to be replaced so I knew that was an expense that could not be avoided. There was no such thing as the JAWS Home Annual Subscription so I needed to buy JAWS and a SMA and I wanted something for word processing and spreadsheets and I was intimately familiar with Office. When I added it all up I was looking at a bit over $2,000. I then looked at the Mac and for $1,300 I got a new laptop, a screen reader and at the time iWords (Pages, Numbers and Keynote - the Mac equivalent to Office) was $20. Now the software is free. For me it was a no brainer at the time. I knew that I needed to learn a screen reader anyhow and over the course of my life I had touched a few Macs from time to time. Another huge factor for me was there was only one person to blame when something didn’t work right. I am running Apple’s OS on Apple’s hardware and using Apple’s screen reader, if there is a problem the one thing that they can not do is blame a third party. We have all been in the boat when Freedom Scientific blames Microsoft and then Microsoft turns around and puts the blame on a piece of hardware in your machine or the driver associated with that piece of hardware. Apple can not do that, every piece of the equation is Apple.
Now the Mac is not perfect, but nothing is. There are times that Safari just doesn’t cut it and I need to use another browser. At the moment I have MS Edge also installed for a Chromium based browser solution. Google Chrome and Brave, along with other browsers, work just fine on the Mac. If you absolutely require MS Office do NOT go Mac. Office 365 on the Mac is the most accessible version of Office for the Mac it can not touch Office on a Window based machine. For that reason only I run Windows as a VM on my Mac. I need to use Windows at work but have the luxury of being able to bring my own Mac to the office. I spend 95% of my day on the Mac side of the world, and when I need to use Word or Excel I jump over to my Win 10 VM and do what I need to do. For me this arrangement works perfectly.
If you want to talk more about the Mac please email me directly at jimweiss72@....