Switch language automatically with VoiceOver

— 1 minute read

I started using VoiceOver as my default screen reader on macOS Monterey to test manually websites I make. I use english as my default language but as I am french I often deal with french websites.

One thing you should do when coding a website is to fill the lang attribute on your html elements to let assistive technology know what language it is dealing with.

I was expecting that once I added french voice to VoiceOver it would automatically switch to french when I land on a page with lang="fr" attribute. But it was not. Here is the way to setup VoiceOver to automaticaly switch to voices you added with the VoiceOver utility :

  1. Launch VoiceOver with cmd + F5
  2. Enter the VoiceRotor with VO + cmd + shift + left/right keys
  3. Select Automaticaly select based on language

You can now visit a website in your alternative language and if the correct attribute is filled VoiceOver will automatically switch to this language while reading the content.