Interesting observation with Finder in High Sierra, want to avoid confusion.

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macOS & Mac Apps

So... I want to address something which I could potentially see confusing a ton of you! I knew right away what was happening, but then again, I'm quite an advanced Voiceover user.

Basically, when in the finder, if you're set to column or list view, but especially column, one difference right away that you're going to notice is, before High Sierra, if you selected a folder within the Finder, Voiceover would literally say, "Folder." For example, Documents, Folder. Or maybe: Downloads, Folder. Now on the other hand, instead of saying, "Folder", it says, "Group." Now, you might be thinking to yourself, "Yeah? So? What's the big deal with that?" Well, it's not so much it's a big deal, but I can see where semantically, this could really cause confusion. Think about this a sec. Normally, when Voiceover says, "Group", you interact with that group to get to the items contained within it. This is really conmmon on a lot of websites which you may browse in say, Safari, or Chrome.

So, getting back to the Finder, you find a folder, but in this case, instead of a folder, it calls it a group. So, you think you should interact with it. OK, VO+Shift+Down arrow. Now, you VO+right arrow, you hear another folder contained within. Here's a logical real life example.

Go to your Finder.

Hit Command+Shift+H to go to your home folder.

Hit Command+num row 3 to go to column view.

Now, don't interact with the file browser area. You can, but if you do, then this confusion won't apply.

I tend to never interact with that area though. I just use letter navigation, then up and down arrows, right arrow to open a folder, left arrow to go back a folder. Hopefully that makes sense. I'm speaking here with quick nav not turned on. For windows users, it's kind of like navigating a tree view, if you will.

OK, so in your home folder, if you're following along, hit M to get to the music folder. You're probably going to hear, "Music, group." OK, instead of right arrowing here to open the folder, pretend for a minute that you literally thought this was a group. So VO+Shift+down arrow to interact. Now in music group. OK, fine. Now VO+right arrow, you see now you're in the Music folder. Now, use VO+up and down arrow to move to the iTunes folder, if you're not on it already. Again, you hear, "iTunes, group," instead of folder. Now here's where things are gonna go haywire. Check this out.

Interact with that iTunes... so called, group. Now! try to VO+Right arrow. you'll notice that now, it didn't open the actual iTunes folder. You hear things like image, then maybe one or two other things as you VO+right arrow, but nothing like iTunes Media, or whatever other folders are under ~/Music/iTunes. See what I mean? It's not actually a group, per sé. I know where Apple got that logic of thinking, no pun intended with the software name, LOL, but I'm not entirely sure why they thought it would be a good idea to change Voiceover's internal announcement to say group instead of folder. I, knew what was happening for real, but I wanted to make yall aware of this, just so someone else doesn't get confused. So in summary, if you're in your Finder within HIgh Sierra, and you go to a folder, but hear it say, "Group," don't mind it any business. Just navigate and open the folder the same way you did before. It's really technically not a group in the truest way that Voiceover normally classes groups as a control type. Beware. Sorry if my post here doesn't make sense. Write in the comments below if you need me to try further explaining/clarifying anything.

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Submitted by Chris on Tuesday, September 26, 2017

This behavior appears to be specific to column view. I didn't even know about this as my prefered Finder view is list view. I hope this is a bug and not an intentional change. Did you report this to Apple Accessibility?