Accessibility in Docs editors for iPhone and iPad
The mobile apps for Docs, Sheets, and Slides are compatible with the VoiceOver screen reader on iPhone and iPad. You can use VoiceOver to create, edit, and share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
If you're not already using VoiceOver, visit the Apple support site for instructions.
Navigation and editing
Once VoiceOver is enabled, use the following gestures to navigate in Docs, Sheets, and Slides:
- One-finger left and right swipes typically enable you to "tab" through the controls. Double-tap anywhere on the screen to activate the selected item.
- To move quickly to the top of the screen, use a two-finger upward swipe. You can then use one-finger left and right swipes to "tab" through each control in the toolbar. This is also how you read an entire portion of text from the point of selection.
- For most applications, you can close a pop-up window with a one-finger circular motion followed by a double-tap.
To read or edit a document in the Docs app:
- Use the rotor to adjust how you navigate within or make edits to a document, as in most other text editing apps on iOS. Rotate two fingers to hear and select options for navigating and editing, then swipe up and down or double-tap depending on the current selected option.
- The Selection control menu lets you select and take action on the contents of a document. Options include Select, Select all, Copy, Cut, Paste, Comment, and Speak selection formatting. To use the Selection control menu, select the "More options" button, then choose Selection control.
To read or edit a spreadsheet in the Sheets app:
- To select a row or column, explore by touch until you hear the row or column number, then double-tap to select the focused row or column.
- The Accessibility settings menu in Sheets lets you choose what information is announced in your spreadsheet, such as text formatting, cell formatting, number formatting, and font properties. To adjust your accessibility settings, navigate to the toolbar, then select Accessibility settings. When you turn on the Read formatting properties option, you can then enable or disable verbalization of each type of information.
To read or edit a presentation in the Slides app:
- Focus: To move focus forward, swipe one finger right or down. To move focus backward, swipe one finger left or up. When focus reaches a shape's handles or rotation handle, you'll hear the handle's location, e.g. "lower left handle" or "rotation handle." To clear focus from all shapes, swipe until the focus reaches the canvas, or touch the canvas.
- Selection: To select the shape or group that currently has focus, double-tap anywhere. To select a focused shape within a selected group, triple-tap anywhere. Once a shape is selected, start text editing in the shape by double-tapping again (for ungrouped shapes) or triple-tapping (for grouped shapes). To deselect all shapes, first move focus to the canvas, then double-tap.
- Multi-select mode: Multi-select mode enables you to select multiple shapes at once. With a shape selected, double-tap and hold until you hear "entered multi-select mode." Then, to add or remove a shape from the selection, first move the focus to the shape, then double-tap. To exit multi-select mode, navigate to the "exit multi-select mode" button and double-tap.
- Move shapes: To drag a shape, first select the shape, then double-tap and hold anywhere until you hear "drag to move shapes." Then drag your finger in the direction you want to move the shape.
- Rotate or resize shapes: To rotate or resize a shape, first select the shape, then swipe to move focus to one of the handles. Double-tap and hold until you hear the cue to drag to rotate or resize shapes. Then drag your finger to rotate or resize the shape. You can also scroll four fingers over the handle.
- Grouped shapes: Grouped shapes are only focusable when the group itself is selected. Once the group is selected, you can focus a shape within the group either by touching the shape or swiping left and right to move through the shapes in sequence.
- Navigate between slides: To move to the next or previous slide, three-finger swipe left or right.
When focus is anywhere
|Move focus forward||Swipe right or down|
|Move focus backward||Swipe left or up|
|Focus shape||Touch shape|
|Focus handle and verbalize the direction of the handle (e.g. lower left handle or rotation handle)||Touch handle of selected shape|
|Clear focus from all shapes||Touch canvas|
|Move to next or previous slide||Swipe three fingers left or right|
When focus is on an ungrouped shape
|Select focused shape||Double-tap|
|Start text editing||Once shape is selected, double-tap to start text editing|
When focus is on a group
|Move focus to shape within selected group||Once group is selected, explore by touch or swipe right or left|
|Select focused shape within selected group||Once shape has focus, triple-tap to select|
|Start text editing in selected shape||Once shape is selected, triple-tap to start text editing|
When focus is on any shape (grouped or ungrouped)
|Drag selected shape||Double-tap and hold until you hear the cue to drag to move shapes|
|Enter multi-select mode||Double-tap and hold until you hear that you've entered multi-select mode|
|Add or remove shape from selection||Move focus to the shape, then double-tap to add or remove|
When focus is on the canvas
When focus is on a shape's handle
|Rotate or resize shape||Double-tap and hold until you hear the cue to drag to rotate or resize shapes|
In the Docs and Slides apps, you can use a Braille display to read and enter text. Learn about Braille support.
Mary is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.