Audacity for blind users
|This page contains information for blind or visually impaired users of Audacity.
A very important feature of Audacity is the ability to fully manipulate the selection using the keyboard.
Screen reader access works very well on Windows. Mac screen reader support now requires considerable adjustment following a transition to wxWidgets 3, but a 2.1.1 accessible build is available on our Mac downloads page. Screen reader support still needs further development on Linux.
Please read the "Free Screen Readers" section below for links to free screen readers.
Documentation and mailing lists
Further help is at hand if you need it.
- There is an Audacity4blind mailing list for "blind people helping each other use Audacity". The list archive is at http://www.freelists.org/archive/audacity4blind/ and you can subscribe at http://www.freelists.org/cgi-bin/lsg2.cgi/l=audacity4blind. The subscription is a somewhat complex three-stage process:
- Enter the email address you want to subscribe with at http://www.freelists.org/cgi-bin/lsg2.cgi/l=audacity4blind, leaving the password field blank
- Wait for an email that contains an activation link, then click that link
- In the web page that you come to, click the "Subscribe" button under the "Available Commands" list on the right.
- A Guide to using Audacity 2.2.0 and 2.2.1 with the commercial JAWS screen reader for Windows, by David Bailes. It includes tips for navigating Audacity without the mouse which should be helpful to users on all operating systems.
Tips for blind users
- Some of this content may only be relevant to legacy 1.2 versions of Audacity.
- Keyboard Shortcuts
- Navigating Effects
- Running Effects
- Mono to Stereo
- Other tips
Free Screen Readers
|Unfortunately, Audacity 2.2.0 is not accessible for users of VoiceOver, and this was also the case for the 2.1.3, 2.1.2, and 2.1.1 releases.|
However, an accessible version of Audacity 2.1.1 is available on our Mac downloads page. The name of this accessible version is "2.1.1-screen-reader" (DMG and ZIP downloads are available). It is hoped that future versions of Audacity will be accessible for users of VoiceOver.
- Orca for Linux/Unix. As of GNOME 2.16, Orca is a part of the GNOME platform, so is already provided by default on a number of operating system distributions, including Open Solaris, Fedora and Ubuntu. It does not work with the KDE environment. Orca works moderately well with Audacity, including reading most of the toolbar controls, but does not read TimeText controls (spinbox digits). Orca does not indicate track focus or selectedness.