Touch Bar Architecture
macOS offers extensive accessibility features for users with vision loss, hearing loss, and other disabilities. Like standard interface elements, you can make Touch Bar controls accessible with very little effort.
Provide alternative text labels for controls. Alternative text labels aren’t visible in the Touch Bar, but they let VoiceOver audibly describe controls, making invocation and navigation easier for people with visual impairments.
Add customization labels to all user-configurable controls. VoiceOver uses these labels to audibly describe controls on the customization screen. For related guidance, see Customization.
Many apps let users add, remove, and rearrange controls in the Touch Bar to match their individual working style.
Full-Screen and Focused-Content Apps
Apps running in full-screen mode offer a distraction-free working environment. Toolbars and other controls are often hidden and revealed only when the user calls for them, such as by moving the pointer to the top of the screen. Some apps also hide controls on the main screen to increase focus on content. The controls are hidden, for example, when the user plays a movie in QuickTime Player or a slideshow in Photos. By displaying controls in the Touch Bar, users can access common functions directly, without needing to move the pointer or see controls superimposed on their content.
People can interact with the Touch Bar using the following gestures.
A tap gesture activates a control, like a button. Selects an item, such as an emoji, a color, or a segmented control segment.
Touch and Hold
A touch and hold gesture initiates a secondary action on a control, like a button. For example, whereas tapping the Flag button when Mail is active adds a flag to a message, touching and holding the Flag button displays a modal overlay that lets you choose a flag color.
Horizontal Swipe (Pan)
A horizontal swipe gesture moves an element, like a slider, from side-to-side. Navigates through content, such as a list of dates or a group of photos in a scrubber.
Although the Touch Bar can respond to touches from multiple fingers, such as a pinch, multitouch gestures can be cumbersome and should be used sparingly.