Accessibility Tips

Top 10 keyboard shortcuts every new Mac owner needs to know!

If you just picked up your first Mac you may be scratching your head when you look at the keyboard for the first time. It's a little different than the Windows counterpart but that doesn't mean it's any harder to use and navigate. There is no shortage of handy keyboard shortcuts to help you move around OS X as fast and efficiently as possible. Here are the keyboard shortcuts we think every Mac owner should know right from the start:

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How to use VoiceOver on your Apple TV

If you have an Apple TV but find it difficult or impossible to see and navigate the menu system VoiceOver is there to help. An accessibility option meant to help those with visual challenges, VoiceOver "speaks" the controls to you, letting you hear what you can't see. You can even set up shortcuts to turn VoiceOver on and off with just two taps.

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How to darken colors for better visibility in iOS 7.1

iOS 7 brought with it a new, unified palette for everything from icons to interface elements, including the tint colors give to the new "naked" style text buttons. Unfortunately for some people those tint colors are just a little bit too bright to be read comfortably, especially on the primarily white backgrounds. Luckily, iOS 7.1 gives you the ability to darken those colors and hopefully make them much more legible. Best of all, it's easy to do!

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How to reduce the white point on your iPhone or iPad and make iOS 7.1 less bright

Some of the new accessibility features of iOS 7.1 are specifically for people who either have visual impairments or sensitive eyes. No doubt all of us have experienced a time where we are in a dimly lit room and unlock our iPhone or iPad only to have our retinas burned out by the bright screen. Luckily iOS 7.1 has adds an option to help mitigate this problem by making whites less harsh. Here's how to enable it:

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How to reduce the transparency of keyboards, menus, and more in iOS 7.1

One of iOS 7's signature features is "depth" and by that Apple means transparent layers with gaussian blur filters beneath them. While that might look fancy it can also be distracting for some people and, for those with visual impairment, it can be downright confusing and hard to use. Luckily, iOS 7.1 has added the ability to reduce transparency and render everything from the Dock to the keyboard to Control Center and Notification Center nice and opaque.

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How to enable button shapes on iOS 7.1

iOS 7.1 adds a few new accessibility options that make using your iPhone and iPad a little more convenient. If you haven't liked the plain text buttons in previous versions of iOS 7, enabling button shapes in Settings not only makes buttons more obvious, it adds a little more depth to iOS, which some people may prefer. Here's how to enable them:

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How to increase or decrease font sizes on iPhone and iPad in iOS 7 with Dynamic Type

If your iPhone or iPad is running iOS 7 you've got a lot more options when it comes to customizing system fonts than ever before. With Dynamic Type and font size, there's a wide array of options available. You can even make text bold throughout iOS 7 if you want. Not sure how to increase or decrease font size? Here's how:

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How to set a passcode for Guided Access on iPhone and iPad

Once you've enabled Guided Access within your iPhone or iPad's accessibility options, you may have noticed that you can just as easily disable it as you can enable it from inside apps. If you don't want the person using your iPhone or iPad to be able to disable Guided Access on their own, you can set a passcode which will be required in order to exit Guided Access mode.

Here's how:

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How to enable Guided Access on iPhone and iPad

The iPhone and iPad come native with lots of accessibility options that can make using them a lot easier for people with impairments. That isn't the only reason Apple gives many accessibility options though. Guided Access is a perfect example of how you can lock down an iPhone or iPad for use by children or even to create a guest user mode so others using your devices can't access things you don't want them to.

Follow along and we'll show you how to properly set up and use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad.

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How to set a default call answer mode on iPhone

If you take a lot of calls on your iPhone, you may use a headset while driving or prefer answering calls over the loud speaker as opposed to the earpiece. As it happens iOS has quite a few accessibility options options including one that lets you change the default answer mode.

Here's how:

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