iPhone Tip: Using VoiceOver to Rename an Icon, Button, Link or Other Item On Your Screen

VoiceOver users have a very cool way of changing the spoken name of an item, such as a link on a Web page, a button in an app or an icon on your home screen. As an example, if you have the app Voice Dream Reader on your home screen, you might want to shorten the name to something like Reader. To do this, point to the item you want to rename.
Perform a two-finger double-tap but hold your fingers on the screen. You will hear three short tones. Next, lift your fingers off of the screen and, if you flick to the right several times, you will be in an edit field where you can change the name of the item you were pointing to. Double-tap on the edit field to activate it and edit the item.
If you like the name you’ve chosen, flick to the “save” button and perform a double-tap with one finger to save your new name.
There is also a “cancel” button which you can double-tap to not save your changes. Pressing the home button is another way to cancel what you’ve done as it also takes you out of this screen and erases any changes you may have made.
As one of my commenters mentioned, this changes how VoiceOver speaks the name, similar to pronunciation dictionaries found in most screen readers, but it doesn’t change the name visually.
Happy renaming!

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2 thoughts on “iPhone Tip: Using VoiceOver to Rename an Icon, Button, Link or Other Item On Your Screen

  1. The one comment I would make is that this changes the name that VoiceOver users hear, but doesn’t actually rename the icon. The reason I mention this is I recently heard from someone who changed the name of something, but was then confused when a sighted person couldn’t find the icon under its new name. Also, this trick of relabeling works very well in the camera roll, a fantastic way of giving photos a more meaningful identifier than image0037, image0038 etc… Just know that if you then share one of those photos, the recipient doesn’t get the identifier.

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