How To Use Display Accessibility Features On Your Mac

There are many functions in System Preferences, Accessibility, Display that any Mac user may find useful. You can enlarge the cursor, change the contrast of your screen and reduce the motion effects and transparency of elements.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: How To Use Display Accessibility Features On Your Mac.

So your Mac has a large set of Accessibility functions. Even if you don't need these you can find some of them useful so it's good to know what's there and how to use them. So over the next few weeks I'm going to be going through a lot of the Accessibility functions and talking about what each thing does. So let's go into them.

Go into System Preferences and Accessibility and on the left you have all the different categories. Today we're going to look at the Display category. There's a bunch of check boxes and some sliders and things like that. So let's look at what each one does.

Invert colors and Use grayscale do exactly what they say. Invert colors just inverts all the colors on the screen. So it kind of looks like a dark mode but of course the color isn't real anymore so it can be hard to actually look at images if you don't need invert colors. If I turn it on or off here you're not going to see it. I see it but it's actually happening at the display level so the screen recording is not actually going to capture it. The same with Use grayscale. I see all the color go away but you're not going to see that here on the screen capture.

Differentiate without color is something I really can't find an example of. So the idea is that there are certain objects that maybe are just separate colors. Like a red button and a green button that look the same except the color is different. If you turn this on the red button is a square and the green button is a circle. However I really can't find an example anywhere of any app using this.

Reduce motion is something that will actually reduce the use of motion in various animations on the screen. Increase contrast is another screen effect that actually draws things a lot darker like this edge here will get a lot darker and the edges of buttons and things like that. Reduce transparency actually gets rid of transparent things in like the Dock and the Menu Bar.

You can adjust the Display contrast manually using the slider here. Again you're not going to see a lot of these effects actually do anything on the screen recording because they're happening after the screen recording level. So it's happening on my screen. I see it but it's not actually showing up here. So I encourage you to go in and just try these things.

Cursor size is something you will see, except that I'm using a special cursor here for screen recording, and you can make the cursor a lot larger. This is a great example of a way that just about all Mac users can use this especially if you have a very large screen or several screens and you find that it helps to maybe have the cursor a little bit bigger than the normal size.

Shake mouse pointer to locate is something I use all the time myself. I've got three screens on my main Mac that I use for development. Sometimes the cursor gets lost on one of them. So having this on, I believe it's on by default, if I move the cursor quickly like that it enlarges temporarily and I can spot it with my eye.

So that goes through all the Display preferences. As I said check them out. Try them out. See if any of these things are things you want to use. There's a link here to Open Display Preferences because adjusting the brightness and resolution, of course, are also useful. But those are not in Accessibility but actually in the main Display Preferences so you can get to them there.

Comments: One Response to “How To Use Display Accessibility Features On Your Mac”

    Maz mcgreal
    9 months ago

    Thanks – good to know about these things. I look forward to learning more.

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