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Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints for Discord

New to Discord as a VoiceOver user? This guide should get you up and running so you can start chatting and streaming right away. On the Mac, if you use VO Left and Right to explore the Discord window, you’ll find what you’re looking for most times. This tutorial is intended for people who just want a quick way to access basic functions like connecting to servers, channels, sending messages and streaming. In depth features will not be covered here.

Via the Computer:

When you first open Discord it will say “friends, web content”.” Just interact with it. Most likely, if you’re using Discord for the first time, you received a link to a server. Copy the link and press Command Shift N. . Here you can create your own server or join one

In this case you want to VO Space on “join a server.” Paste your link in and press “join server” and you’ll land in the server’s default text channel.

You can use VO Left and Right or up and down arrows on their own to explore the channels within that server. In Discord, text channels are for text only and voice channels are for voice. Most servers have a mix of both. Just VO Space or press return on the one you’d like to enter.

Understanding the layout:

Following the unlabelled button and table at the beginning of the window, the Discord window will change slightly depending on where you are, but will follow the same format. For example, when you have your DM’s open,, you’ll first see Friends, Nitro, actions related to conversations, the user area, and then the Friends tab. This tab has options like adding a friend, pending friend requests, showing who is active etc. However, if you have a message thread open it will show up there instead. If you have a server open, you’ll first see actions related to the server, the channels within that server then the user area. Following that, if a text channel is open there will be actions pertaining to it and then the chat. The user area is where you can do things like disconnect or share your screen etc. So as you can see, the location of the user area remains the same, what is before and after the user area is what changes. Once you grasp this concept, it should become a lot easier to know where to look for things.


Discord also has a very convenient, easy to use tool called the QuickSwitcher. Here, you can navigate to voice channels, text channels or DM a user with a simple syntax. To access it, press Command K. You’ll then be prompted to type where you’d like to go. For a server, put *before the server name, put # before a text channel name, ! before a voice channel name, and @ before a username. Note there are no spaces between the character and the name.
For example, to go to the logic band server, I would type *logicband. To go to the Lounge voice channel, I would type !lounge.

You’ll also notice that as you type, auto suggestions of places you’ve previously visited will display, and you can navigate through those with your up and down arrow keys and press enter on the one you’d like to join. This can be even faster because you don’t even have to finish typing what you were looking for. Also, usually the last one you visited will appear first in which case you can just press enter. It will announce the one that is currently selected.

Note: you can use Quickswitcher at any point anywhere in the Discord window, meaning that you don’t have to be connected to a server to switch to a specific channel with in it. For example you can just launch Discord, press Command K and start typing.

Navigating with F6

If you press F6, you will cycle through different sections of the Discord app, and then you can use up and down arrows to navigate through those sections. This includes things like direct messages, the list of servers you’re a member of, the channel list of the server you’re on, the list of messages in an open text channel, etc. Shift F6 will move to the previous section.
For example, you can press F6 till you get to the channel list, find the channel you want to enter with your arrow keys, then press return to select the channel. Same process for going through your server list or direct messages.

Useful key commands:

Jump through different sections of the Discord app: F6
Previous section: Shift F6
For example, it will cycle you through the channel list, message list in a text channel, the member list and the sidebar etc.

Toggle Mute microphone: Command Shift M
Toggle Deafen (mutes all audio coming from Discord for you plus mutes your Mic): Command Shift D
To check your messages, mentions, unread channels etc, press Command I for the Inbox.
Navigate between last server and DM’s: Command Option Right Arrow
Create private group DM: Command Shift T
To adjust app settings, press Command Comma
For a list of all key commands: Command Slash

Individual User Volume Control

You can also control user volumes individually, similar to TeamTalk or TeamSpeak. To do that, find the username of the person you want to adjust, then press VO Shift M. This will bring up a context menu with different user actions such as the ability to view their profile, add them as a friend or send them a DM. The first thing you’ll land on is the user volume slider. Interact with that slider, and you can adjust it with either VO Up and VO Down, or left and right arrows on their own. Press escape when you’re done to close the menu, or stop interacting if you want to stay in it. If you want to navigate through the other options in this context menu, use up and down arrow keys and make sure QuickNav (or Single letter Quicknav in Senoma) is off.

Some Things to be Aware of

If you ever find yourself stuck in a table or popup dialog, uninteracting then interacting again or pressing escape often fixes it. Sometimes it will jump you back to the beginning of the window.

Regarding navigation, tab and shift tab will also get you around certain sections, and you can use up and down arrow keys to navigate lists like the channel list.

If you relaunch Discord right after pressing Command Q, it remembers what voice channel and/or stream you were connected to for a few minutes and will put you back there. You can either wait before relaunching or look for the disconnect button in the user area. .

Via your phone:

Along the bottom of the screen you’ll find Servers, Messages, Notifications and You. Servers contains a list of servers that you’re a part of, as well as an “add server” button, which is what you’d choose if joining a server for the first time and where you would paste the server link. Assuming you’ve done that or once you have, select servers and the server list will appear on the left, then once you select your server of choice the channel list will appear.

So , in this case, find the Logic Band server, select it, then you’ll see the list of channels. You can then enter the channel you wish to be in. If you choose a voice channel, you then have to choose “join voice,” which is the second option on the bottom going from left to right. A text channel on the other hand, should drop you right in the edit field area where you can type and also read the channel messages above it.

The messages tab is where your DM’s are located. Notifications is where mentions, event, stream etc notifications will appear. The You tab is where you’ll find user and profile settings.

You’ll also notice that the layout is pretty similar regardless of platform. As long as you know what you’re looking for on one, it’s just a matter of figuring out where it is on another.

Discord can seem a little complicated at first, but once you get to understand how it works and start exploring its features, you’ll begin to see how powerful and useful it is. We’ve only scratched the surface here, but hopefully this helped get you started.