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What's a Mode, and How Do You Toggle? A Quick Tip for VoiceOver Users

Confused-Pathologist.pngHave you called Voicebrook support when VoiceOver seems to understand commands, but won’t type what you’re dictating (or vice versa)? If so, then you may have heard a Client Services Specialist mention the phrase “toggling modes” as a method of fixing the problem. However, you may be thinking, “What exactly does 'toggling modes' mean?”

Toggling modes means switching between the different VoiceOver modes. These modes can be found under “Vocabulary” on the VoiceOver Toolbar.

What are the Modes?

  • Normal Mode: Accepts all forms of dictation and should be the default for use. You can dictate words, spell, use numbers and commands.
  • Dictation Mode: Allows for transcription of spoken words only, does not carry out any functions/commands.
  • Command Mode: Allows for use of commands only, will not transcribe any spoken dictation.
  • Number Mode: Only numbers will be recognized and transcribed when speaking, no words will be transcribed. Commands will not be recognized.
  • Spell Mode: You may spell words and speak numbers.  Any spoken words will not be recognized or transcribed. Commands will not be recognized.

Why Would You Need to Toggle?

While 'Normal' mode is the standard for use, other modes may be used during troubleshooting. On occasion, VoiceOver can become stuck in the wrong mode and this can cause the program to misrecognize commands or dictation. If you find that you can execute commands but not typing, toggling modes is one way to solve this problem.

You can toggle the modes either manually or vocally. To manually toggle the modes, click on the “Vocabulary” button located on the VoiceOver Toolbar and select any mode besides “Normal Mode.” Then click again on the “Vocabulary” button and choose “Normal Mode” and try to dictate. If it’s typing again, great! The problem’s fixed. If not, try vocally toggling the modes. To vocally toggle the modes, simply make sure your microphone is on and say  “Normal mode on.” If this fixes the issue you’re all set and can get back to dictating as usual. If toggling the modes still doesn’t fix the problem, please contact Voicebrook support and we’ll be happy to help you.

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