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Lesson 5: The Apple Menu And Menu Extras

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In this section you will learn what the Apple Menu and Menu Extras are, how to access them and how to use them to perform quick task and system functions.

Watch The Video

The Apple Menu

The Apple Menu is a menu that appears at the top of the screen no matter what your current working environment is. With the Apple Menu you can access tasks that are specific to whatever it is that you are doing in the currently focussed window.

To move the VO focus from your current working space to the Apple Menu you will need to press VO-M.

Once you do this you will hear VO say, “Menu Bar Apple.” This means that VO is focused on the Menu Bar, and you can now press VO-Right arrow or VO-Left Arrow to move across the menu.

When you are working in the Finder and you move to the Menu Bar, you will find the following items:

    • •Apple:

This will always be the first item in the Menu Bar no matter what your current working environment . You will go into this menu when you are looking for a task that is specific to your Mac such as restarting or turning off your Mac.

    • •Finder:

This is where you will go when you want to find a task specific to the Finder such as Finder Preferences.

    • •File:

This is where you will go when you need to do something like Open, Close, or even Save a program or file on your computer.

    • •Edit:

This is where you will go when you need to perform a task such as Copy, Paste, or Cut an item.

    • •View:

This is where you will go when you want to adjust the way your files or folders are displayed.

    • •Go:

This is where you will go when you want to navigate a particular folder on your Mac.
Note: To learn some keyboard shortcuts for quick access to some of the Mac’s default folders, you can go into this menu.

    • •Window:

This is where you will go when you would like to change the currently focussed window.

    • •Help:

This is where you will go when you need to access the help system for the Finder on your Mac.

Menu Extras

Watch The Video On Menu Extras Below

Menu Extras is an additional system wide Menu Bar that is hidden and invoked when you need it. There are many items in Menu Extras that appear, and it is set based on the apps you choose and the system functions you would like to perform.

In older versions of the mac operating system Apple called these Menu Extras “Menu Bar items” and some developers still name their extensions Menu Bar items instead of Menu Extras. They are essentially one in the same.

Some examples of Menu Extras items are Wi-Fi, Blue Tooth, System Sound Volume, Notifications, Time Machine, and the Clock.

When you install certain apps, they may come with a Menu Bar item that is either installed by default, or you can elect to install it in the future.

The Menu Extras and/or Menu Bar items allow you to perform quick changes, view updates, or even change system actions on the fly. You can check the Wi-Fi status, connect a Blue Tooth device, backup to Time Machine volumes, or change the System Sound Volume using the Menu Extras.

Accessing Menu Extras

To open the Menu Extras, press and hold down the VO keys, then press the letter M,, as in Mary, twice quickly. You will hear VoiceOver say “Menu Extras” and announce the Menu Bar item on which you landed. To navigate through the Menu Extras press and hold the VO keys and the left or right arrow key to move through the items. The Menu Bar is horizontally laid out across the very top region of your screen. Once you have located the Menu Extra that you want; to explore, press and hold down the VO keys and press the spacebar to either open the Menu Bar item or to bring up its menu.

Some Menu Extra items have complex functions, and can only be opened by performing a simulated mouse click, which is done by pressing VO-shift-spacebar. Depending on the Menu Bar item and what it does, you can either open it and the full item will open, which is the case for Notifications, or you can change a setting on the fly like the System Sound Volume. Because each developer and each Menu Extra item performs differently, it is important that you learn each of the ways to access them.

If a menu Extra item has a drop down menu, a press of the Return key should activate the chosen item or function.

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