Two fingers on the iPhone displaying the rotor symbol.

VoiceOver Rotor Options on iDevices

Learn how to use the Rotor on iOS devices: information and activities.

The rotor enables VoiceOver users to quickly change the VoiceOver speaking rate, typing method, editing, text navigation options and more.  Some of the rotor options are always available, some options you select to show up in the rotor, and some options are automatically available as needed – such as the Typing Mode is only available there is an on-screen keyboard.  

The rotor is only available when VoiceOver is on. To activate the rotor, rotate two fingers on your device’s screen as if you are turning a dial.  Continue to rotate your fingers to hear the next item available in the rotor.  Once on the desired rotor item, flick one finger up or down the screen.  Example:  If you want to navigate word by word through a document, rotate your fingers on the screen until you hear “words”.  Then, flick down will move one word.  Flick down again to move to the next word.

To access the rotor using a Bluetooth keyboard, press the up+right arrows (clockwise) or up+left arrow (counter clockwise) then down arrow or up arrow.  

To access the rotor using a braille display, press 5+6+space (clockwise) or 2+3+space (counter clockwise) then 6+space or 3+space.

You can choose which items appear in the rotor.  Choose only the options that you will use frequently.

The rotor is an efficient navigational tool for students who desire to quickly navigate documents and web pages!  When teaching a student to use the rotor, go to the Home screen.  

*To complete the activities above, Characters and Headings must be selected in Settings to appear in the rotor.

To view and select the optional rotor items, go to Settings > Accessibility > Voiceover > Rotor.

To learn more about the available rotor options and what these options do, go to Apple’s About the VoiceOver rotor on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

By Diane Brauner

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