Applies to: yesVisual Studio for Mac noVisual Studio

There are a number of accessibility tools and features built right into macOS to assist you when using Visual Studio for Mac. These features include a high-contrast mode, keyboard navigation, and VoiceOver (the macOS screen reader).

In addition to these, Visual Studio for Mac also has the following features to make it more accessible for people of varying abilities:

  • Editor text enlargement
  • Tool window text enlargement
  • Code editor color theme customization
  • Keyboard shortcut customization
  • Keyboard navigation

In this article, learn how to use macOS accessibility features, and to set accessibility options in the Visual Studio for Mac IDE.


This guide refers to Visual Studio for Mac. For Visual Studio on Windows, see Accessibility features of Visual Studio.

Enable macOS accessibility features in Visual Studio for Mac

In Visual Studio for Mac, support for assistive technologies is turned off by default. To enable accessibility support:

  1. Go to Visual Studio (menu) > Preferences > Other, and select Accessibility.

  2. Select the Enable Accessibility check box.

    Screenshot of Accessibility Preferences, with Enable Accessibility selected

  3. Select Restart Visual Studio to enable support for the assistive technologies of Apple.

Alternatively, you can use the command line to enable accessibility features. To do this, enter the following command in terminal:

defaults write com.monodevelop.AccessibilityEnabled 1

After changing this setting via the command line, you will need to restart Visual Studio.

Increase the contrast in macOS

Visual Studio for Mac supports increased contrast in macOS, increasing the contrast of UI elements and making outlines more defined. To enable this:

  1. Open System Preferences.

  2. Go to Accessibility, and select Display.

  3. Select the Increase contrast check box.

Resize tool windows and editor content

  1. Choose the tool window or editor window for which you want to resize the content.

  2. Choose View (menu), and then select Zoom In (⌘+) or Zoom Out (⌘-).


To reset the content to the default size, you can choose View (menu) > Normal Size (⌘0).

Change the content font and size

It's possible to customize the font and size of content in most tool windows in Visual Studio for Mac. Here's how:

  1. Go to Visual Studio (menu) > Preferences... (⌘,).

  2. In Preferences, go to Environment > Fonts.

  3. For either Text Editor, General Tool Window Text, or Output Window Contents, select the font and size button.

  4. Select your desired font, style, and size, and select OK.


To return to the default font and style for each setting, select Set to Default.

Change the editor syntax highlighting

Some users might find that the default color scheme doesn't meet their contrast or color requirements. Visual Studio for Mac has a number of alternative themes that the user can select, including two high contrast themes.

  1. Go to Visual Studio (menu) > Preferences... (⌘,).

  2. In Preferences, go to Text Editor > Color Theme.

  3. Select your desired theme.


The theme will update in the editor in real time, so you can preview and select your preferred theme.

For more information, see the following topic: