Safari extension allows control of Flash using Voiceover

*This post is assuming you have the latest Safari.

I’ve been using my Macbook and Voiceover for about two and a half years now. I love youtube because videos load automatically and until today, I couldn’t control embedded videos using Voiceover.

Complain about tech on Twitter and ye shall receive a solution.

A fellow VO user told me to try the Click to Flash Safari extension. Extension? Didn’t know about extensions. All this time and I never knew just how customizable Safari can be.

The following will be especially helpful for Windows converts using VO since I know Firefox is highly customizable and Jaws users can actually control Flash video.

If there are any other VO users out there who don’t know about extensions, then I’ll know I’m not the only one who kept myself in the dark forever. Silly me. Anyway, let’s get to it.

To get the click to Flash extension from Apple, click here. Navigate by heading down a ways until you hear it. The install link is the one above the Click to Flash heading. I clicked the one below it and installed another extension. Oops.

It installs automatically and quickly. I’m going to embed a video here for you to see how it works after you’ve installed it.

Before you instal the extension, you won’t even know there is an embedded video here. After you install the extension, you will now have a frame here.

VO shift down arrow to interact with the frame. Click the link right before you hear “flash”. This brings up the video element controller toolbar. VO shift down arrow to interact with it and you can now control your video. The only thing missing is volume, which is a bummer in case the video is so loud you can’t hear your screen reader.

That’s it, that’s all you do. I’ve tested a few videos and some still play automatically and some don’t. Odd. But I’ll take it.

To disable the extension in case you want a bunch of videos to automatically play, open Safari preferences (command comma) and select the extensions tab. Interact with the list. You can disable or delete.

I’m thrilled. I have missed out on countless videos because websites and blogs embed the videos. Now I can control them. Yay!

PS – If you’re new to VO and need help with some of the more basic commands to do this, let me know in comments. I didn’t want to describe every key stroke unless someone needs it.

Just discovered that it’s not perfect. I’m still not able to play videos on one of my favorite Rays sites. A page like this doesn’t work. Bullocks.


Filed under apple Inc, cool product, proud geek, techie tips, twitter me this, Voiceover, youtube

2 Responses to Safari extension allows control of Flash using Voiceover

  1. Tim

    Hi! I could get this to work on your sample video but not on an embedded flash video on the Seattle Times:

    Could you try this and give me a step by step solution? Thanks!

    Tim Sniffen

  2. Ro

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on all embedded videos. I don’t know exactly what the difference is, but when you hear just, “Flash” and then a link, it doesn’t work. There has to be a frame to interact with, and then a toolbar to interact with. Drives me nuts when it doesn’t work. I wish everyone would just embed the same kind of videos.

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