Jump to content

VoiceOver is unable to read the contents of the workflow editor

Marco Zehe

Recommended Posts

Hi to the team!


When adding or editing a workflow, including the startup templates, VoiceOver is not able to read anything in the table of workflows, or the workflow editor. The only thing I can read is the pre-filled description of the startup template.


To reproduce:

1. Turn on VoiceOver by either pressing CMD+F5 or CMD+triple-clicking the Power button.

2. Go into Preferences -> Workflows.

3. Navigate to the Add button and choose from the Getting Started sub menu the Clipboard workflow.

4. Hit Continue.

5. The workflow will be pre-filled, now try to read it with VoiceOver.



1. The table that contains now 1 item (on a fresh install) has 1 row, but that row has no text. In other tables, such as the Features table, each row has its name spoken.

2. Press Control+Option+RightArrow twice to move past the table and the initial description. VoiceOver will speak "Text area, content is empty". Trying to interact with this (Control+Option+Shift+DownArrow) will also not yield in any accessible objects in this scroll area. Control+Option+RightArrow will move onto the Help button instead.


As far as I can see, this whole area is completely inaccessible as of now.


To make it accessible, the custom components probably need one or more of the role-based protocols available since Yosemite to be implemented for each item.


Alfred version: 4.3 [1205].

MacOS version: 11.1 running on a MacBook Pro M1.


This issue is reproducible 100% of the time.


Please feel also free to contact me privately if you need any more info that might be out of scope for this forum. I am more than happy to help.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Marco Zehe Thanks for your report, I reproduced the workflows list not announcing the names correctly and have made a quick fix for the next build.


Accessibility is an important part of all software, and as a small team of 2, we try to keep the most used parts of Alfred up to date with voice over as Alfred's features quickly evolve. I admit that certain areas of accessibility within the preferences app aren't perfect, but this is something we try to address as they are highlighted to us.


The workflow editor itself needs a fundamental visualisation overhaul to be better compatible with VoiceOver (at the moment, it's one large single custom component rather than individual views/layers per workflow object), so the built-in support for Accessibility isn't available. Having said that, I've just spent the past few hours adding some custom VoiceOver announcements for hovering and selecting workflow objects within the canvas using the mouse. While this isn't perfect, it's a start.


This will be available within a few weeks when the next build becomes available.


I hope this helps!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Andrew! Wow! This is awesome news! I will see if I can get by with these custom announcements for a start. And if you get to that full visual overhaul, which will probably also benefit keyboard-heavy users who are not necessarily VoiceOver users, let me know if I can help in any way. I am not shy to beta test as well.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Create New...