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".
- To subscribe to the list:
- Go to https://www.freelists.org/list/audacity4blind.
- Enter your email address into the "your email address" edit box.
- Tab to and check the check box to indicate that you aren't a robot.
- Tab to the Next button and press it. You will receive an email to confirm the subscription.
- In that email, open the link to confirm your email address. A web page opens in which you have to agree to various terms.
- There are three check boxes which have to be checked, and finally a Next button to press.
- The list archive is at http://www.freelists.org/archive/audacity4blind/
- A Guide to using Audacity 2.4.2 for users of Jaws, NVDA, and Narrator, 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
- Keyboard Shortcuts
- Navigating Effects
- Running Effects
- Mono to Stereo
- Other tips
Free Screen Readers
- NVDA for Windows. This works well with Audacity.
- Narrator for Windows 10. This works well with Audacity.
- VoiceOver built-in screen reader for Mac.
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|Unfortunately, for users of VoiceOver the accessibility and usability of Audacity 2.4.2 are limited.|
However, a more usable version of Audacity is the Screen reader version of Audacity 2.1.1, which is available to download on our Mac downloads page, though unfortunately this version is not compatible with macOS Mojave. The name of this version is "2.1.1-screen-reader". It is hoped that future versions of Audacity will be more 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.