Missing VoiceOver labels for controls in the GPGMail plugin UI

Marco Zehe's Avatar

Marco Zehe

28 Dec, 2014 11:19 AM

Which of our tools is giving you problems?


Copy and past the version info of your installed software: (how to do that: http://support.gpgtools.org/kb/faq/where-can-i-find-the-version-inf...)

Version: 2.5b3
Build: 797b

Describe your problem. Add as much detail as possible.

When composing or reading mail, many of the UI elements such as buttons, the combobox to choose between GPG and S/Mime, etc., are missing proper VoiceOver labels. I am blind and need to have these labels in order for all functions to be accessible to me. The easiest is to implement the NSAccessibility* protocols specified in the Yosemite developer library, like NSAccessibilityButton methods for buttons, etc. Those will be the most reliable and simple to implement guidances for different controls.

What did you expect instead

Expected the buttons and other controls to be properly labeled so VoiceOver can tell me what they are. Like in the GPGKeyChain application, which works very well in all respects.

Describe steps leading to the problem.

  1. ...Install GPGMail and run Mail.
  2. ...Start a new mail. Then turn on VoiceOver with CMD+F5.
  3. ...Use Ctrl+Option+LeftArrow and Ctrl+Option+RightArrow to explore the UI element by element. Watch as the GPGMail specific elements are reached and listen to what VoiceOver says. It either says "open lock checkbox not checked" or "checkbox checked", or in the case of the combo box it only says "combo box".

If your problem concerns GPGMail, are you using any other plugins?


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Steve on 29 Dec, 2014 08:05 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi Marco,

    thanks a lot for your feedback.

    We had other blind users contacting us about this. We are aware that GPGMail is not fully supporting VoiceOver yet.

    I have connected this discussion with the existing ticket for VoiceOver support. If this discussion get's closed, it will be re-opened as soon as the ticket is closed so you'll receive a notification. Feel free to open a new discussions should you run into further problems or need assistance.

    Sadly, all three items lack proper VoiceOver support at the moment. That is both buttons (encrypt and sign) as well as the top right OpenPGP indicator.

    Are you using S/MIME as well?

    So for the time being if you are only using OpenPGP, there's no need to use the top right OpenPGP indicator.

    As for the encrypt and sign button, you are probably aware that you can adjust the encrpyt and sign defaults in Mail.app > Preferences > GPGMail.

    At least that allows you some configuration and make GPGMail usable for you.

    I know this is far from ideal or full functionality for blind users. Adding VoiceOver is not as trivial as it may seem since no API exists for Mail.app from apples side. So everything that is done has to be reverse engineered in a time consuming process.

    Nonetheless I do hope we can offer full support for blind users in the future.

    All the best,

  2. 2 Posted by Marco Zehe on 29 Dec, 2014 08:13 PM

    Marco Zehe's Avatar

    Hi Steve!

    Thank you so much for your quick action on my ticket!

    Yes, I figured out the two buttons (which VoiceOver actually calls checkboxes). The first of the two even has a changing label, so my initial report isn’t entirely accurate. It changes from „open lock“ to „encrypted“ or something similar when checked and encryption is actually possible. So it is easy to distinguish which of the two does encryption and which does signing. I have already successfully written and read encrypted messages with GPGTools. :)

    Is the plugin UI not made up of COCOA controls? If so, for accessibility, the property to set for VoiceOver to speak the label is usually title or such. Perhaps that helps! And again, usually the NSAccessibility protocol reference should help, as well as the WWDC videos, if the plugin UI is COCOA.

    Thanks again for taking care of my ticket so quickly! Since I have updates enabled, I probably will notice very quickly when your engineers have fixed VoiceOver stuff in the Mail plugin.


  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Steve on 10 Jan, 2015 11:09 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    No problem. I hope we find the time to solve the ticket. It's been on our todo for a while and it's an important feature.

    Closing for now. We'll update as soon as we have news.

  4. Steve closed this discussion on 10 Jan, 2015 11:09 PM.

  5. Steve re-opened this discussion on 23 Aug, 2015 01:04 PM

  6. Support Staff 4 Posted by Steve on 23 Aug, 2015 01:04 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hey Marco,

    I have updated the other discussion opened by Eric and I have great news. Please read my reply by following this link:


  7. Steve closed this discussion on 10 Feb, 2016 11:42 AM.

  8. Support Staff 5 Posted by Steve on 01 Jun, 2016 11:26 AM

    Steve's Avatar

    Marco, we have further improved VoiceOver functionality in GPGMail.

    Could you please download and install our latest GPG Suite nightly build and see if everything works as expected. That page also has sig and SHA1 to verify the download.

    Known issues for 10.10 and 10.9 listed below:

    10.10: Announces button name and state. OpenPGP Indicator can not be reached via tab and not be adjusted.

    10.09: Announces button name, does not announce state. OpenPGP Indicator can not be reached via tab and not be adjusted.

    I'd be happy to hear your feedback on this.
    Kind regards,

    Disclaimer: This is a development version which has not been thoroughly tested yet - bugs or crashes are to be expected. Thanks for helping us test.

  9. Support Staff 6 Posted by Steve on 23 Jun, 2016 11:41 AM

    Steve's Avatar

    Closing, since no further user feedback was received. Should your problem persist, feel free to re-open this discussion any time.

    All the best, steve

  10. Steve closed this discussion on 23 Jun, 2016 11:41 AM.

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