How to add VoiceOver Image Descriptions in the Preview app in macOS Monterey

VoiceOver Image Descriptions in macOS Monterey.

The Preview app in macOS Monterey now facilitates adding image descriptions. For some people, it might be difficult to find the option to add these. That’s where this post comes in.

Accessibility is a human right. Everyone, regardless of disabilities, is entitled to use technology as everyone else. Apple’s accessibility-aiding tools in its devices including the Mac, iPhone, and iPad have proven to be quite useful over time. The company, like most major companies at the forefront of technology, seems to care about accessibility.

Furthering that notion is the Image Descriptions feature in the Preview app on macOS Monterey. It lets you describe images downloaded to your Mac and accessible through Desktop or the macOS Finder.

Why adding image descriptions helps

Image descriptions have been the obscure lifeblood of software for a long time. Google’s search engine, for one, requires websites like ours to add “alt tags”—otherwise known as image descriptions—to images. This ensures that visually disabled people can use text-to-speech programs to understand the contents of the image.

It’s so important that Google prefers websites that have descriptions accompanying images over websites that don’t, which is ultimately reflected in Google’s search engine rankings.

Adding image descriptions in the Preview app on your Mac, on the other hand, helps disabled users use voiceover to learn about the contents of the image right from the Finder.

How to add VoiceOver image descriptions in the Preview app in macOS Monterey

Adding a description to an image sitting in your local or cloud storage and accessible through the Preview app on your Mac running macOS Monterey is quite easy.

However, there’s a chance you might miss the option to do so due to the natural lack of labels in the Preview app toolbar.

  1. Open an image using the Preview app. It should be the default option while opening an image unless you had changed it.
  2. Click on the Markup option as highlighted in the image below.
macOS Monterey Markup Option in Preview app.
  1. Click on the icon depicting double inverted quotes enclosed in a speech balloon.
  1. Type in the description for your image and click “Done.”

Other macOS Monterey Guides you should check out: