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iPad VoiceOver basic gesture table

The table below describes the most frequently used gestures for navigating screen content using VoiceOver.





Drag one finger around the screen.

Apple also refers to this as the “Touch” gesture. Voiceover reads everything your finger passes over. The last item your finger touches becomes the Current Item, and this will become the current VoiceOver focus.

Next Item.

Single Finger Flick Right.

Reads the next Screen item.

Previous Item.

Single Finger Flick Left.

Reads the previous Screen item.


Single Finger Double Tap,

or a split-tap, where you

touch and hold with one finger, then tap with second finger.

Activates selected application, or item.

Pause or Resume.

Two Finger Single Tap.

Pauses Voiceover. The item Voiceover began reading last becomes the Current Item. Restarts Voiceover from where it paused.

Starting and Stopping.

Two Finger Double Tap.

Answer or end call.

Pause or resume playback, podcasts.

Stop or Start dictation.

Take Picture when in Camera app.

Read From Top Down.

Two Finger Flick Up.

Causes Voiceover to begin reading from the top of the screen just below the Status Bar.

Read to Bottom.

Two Finger Flick Down.

Causes Voiceover to read from the Current Item to the bottom of the Dock.

Where am I.

Three finger tap simultaneously.

Find out where the current item position is on the screen.


Three Finger Flick Right.

Quick way to unlock device when VoiceOver is on,

Scroll Page Left.

Three Finger Flick Right.

Moves through pages or home screens in descending order.

Scroll Page Right.

Three Finger Flick Left.

Moves through pages or Home Screens in ascending order.

Scroll List Up

Three Finger Flick Up

Move list contents up one screen at time.

Scroll List Down

Three Finger Flick Down

Move list contents down one screen at time.

Close application.

Three finger swipe up

Closes selected application in the App switcher, Press home button twice to view applications.

Toggle Speech.

Three Finger Double Tap.

(Triple if Zoom on).

Turns off Speech until you turn it on with the same gesture.

Turn on Zoom.

Three Finger Double Tap

Turn on or off Zoom if zoom enabled.

Set Magnification.

Three Finger Double Tap and hold on second tap

Allows you to set magnification level. Use three finger slide or two finger stretch to set new desired magnification level.

Screen Curtain Toggle.

Three Finger Triple Tap.

(Quadruple if Zoom on).

Toggles the display on and off. (Curtain on or off).

Voiceover Help.

Four Finger Double Tap.

Turns Voiceover gesture help or practice on.


Rotating two fingers on the screen as if you were turning an actual dial.

Single Finger Flick Up or Single Finger Flick down allows you to choose the desired Rota function.

You can alter the rotor setting to changes context specific options, e.g. changes the way VoiceOver moves through a document based on a setting you choose, or changes the speech rate, or choose edit menu.

Back gesture.

Two finger scrub.

Activates back button, if back button is available.

The next table below provides an explanation of some of the other areas of the iPad screen and items the screen.

Item Type


Status Bar.

The status bar appears at the top of the display. It is where you will find important pieces of information about the current condition of your iOS device. Examples may include how many bars of cellular signal strength you have, how strong is your wireless signal, whether Bluetooth is on, the current time, and how much battery you have left. The Status Bar cannot become the current Item, but the icons within it can.


The Dock is an area at the bottom of the screen that holds icons for the things you use most. That way no matter which page of the home screen you are on they are always available.


Icons are small graphic images which vaguely represent the application or function performed when you activate them.


Folders can contain groups of related icons, just like a physical file folder contains related papers.

Picker Item.

Think of the Picker as a wheel with different symbols attached to its outside circumference, a bit like a slot machine wheel, the wheel can rotate freely and when is comes to a standstill you can see what symbol, option or image is infront of you by viewing the wheel through a small window. Once the Picker has focus you can increment or decrement the displayed values by a single finger flick up or down. The flick does not have to take place on the item. Anywhere in the display will do. Voiceover indicates a Picker item by ending its announcement with the word "Adjustable."



Access Control Centre

Displays Control Centre Window by activating Assistive Touch There are a few ways to turn on AssistiveTouch: Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch, then turn on AssistiveTouch. Tell Siri "Turn on AssistiveTouch." Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut and turn on AssistiveTouch.

Describe camera image (VoiceOver Image Recognition)

VoiceOver can now describe images. Ensure you have activated VoiceOver. VoiceOver describe images to you, such as telling you if a photo features a tree, a dog or four smiling faces. It can also read aloud text in an image - whether it's a snapshot of a receipt or a magazine article - even if it hasn't been annotated. And in the Photos app, you can touch to explore the facial expressions of people in your photos. Just tap the image with three fingers to have VoiceOver describe what's there.

Custom Gestures

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch, then Create New Gesture. Example: Then record two very quick swipes upward - one on the right side of the screen, one in the middle. Save the gesture, and name it something like "CloseApps" Then go back one screen, and make the Accessibility Shortcut (triple click home) AssistiveTouch. Now, when you want to clear out ALL of your recently used apps, simply double click the home button to open the multitask bar thing, then triple click home to bring up AssistiveTouch. Pick "CloseApps", then just keep tapping your screen to quickly close your apps, two at a time.

The Inactive Zones.

There are two inactive areas of the display. One is at the top above the Status Bar, and one is at the bottom. The one at the bottom extends to the left and right of the Home Button, and for a narrow space above it. There is no tactile way to detect these inactive areas, but you need to be aware of them, because if you perform one of the voiceover control gestures discussed above, they will not work correctly if one of your fingers is in these zones.

Note, if Keyboard becomes split.

Turn off Voiceover, press and hold finger on hide keyboard, a pop up window appears allowing you to select join or split, this can also be achieved with the scrub gesture.

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Accessibility Page Control Section

Keyboard control (Chrome/Safari): Screen Speak - Press ALT + s, Pause Audio - Press Alt + p. To reset/reload page activate the Reload Page button below.

Search Section

If you are using a laptop, then to search for text on any currently displayed page press Control and F, then enter the required search text in the displayed search box. Any text found in the current page will be highlighted, you can use the up and down symbols displayed within the search box to search forward or backwards for occurrences of your search text.

If you are accessing this site via a smart phone or tablet, you will need to navigate to the 'More options' button, usually towards the top right hand side of your screen, to access your device Search options for the currently displayed page. Note that sometimes instead of the word 'Search' your device might display 'Find in page' as the option to select for searching the current page.

To search for text primarily in other pages of the Simplyinformed Website, enter text in the search box below. To get back from the search results Press ALT and Left Arrow. Please note there may be a few initial links that take you to other sites that match your site search string, these can of course be disregarded if you only want to be taken to content on this site. Please note that the Search box is displayed as a table with one row and three columns, in other there are three cells in the search table layout. Cell one is where you enter your search string and press enter, or move to cell two to activate the Search Button. Move to cell three to find the clear search content button to clear out the text in cell on, ready to enter a new search string. Use the Up and Down arrows to move through search table cells when using NVDA. Once the Narrator has been taken to the search box press the enter key so that the screen reader switches into text input mode.

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