Accessible Microsoft Office Online Options

Author: Microsoft
Published: 2015/01/12 - Updated: 2021/09/20
Peer-Reviewed: N/A
Contents: Summary - Main - Related Publications

Synopsis: Microsoft new accessibility improvements to give users who are blind and have low vision a better Office Online experience. Moving around in a document with just text has been straightforward. Now with Narrator enabled, you will hear formatting information read out loud when you use the arrow keys to navigate in a document. Narrator has a shortcut called "Start Reading" (Caps Lock + M), which reads the rest of the document based on your current location. This shortcut works when using Word Online and OneNote Online.

Main Digest

Microsoft has made the suite accessible to users who are blind and have low vision by using a new web accessibility standard called WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications). While this web standard has allowed Office Online to be usable with a screen reader, Microsoft has made some further improvements over the past year to provide an even better experience.

Moving around in a document with just text has been straightforward. Now with Narrator enabled, you will hear formatting information read out loud when you use the arrow keys to navigate in a document. Narrator will announce information about lists, tables, headings, and more. To enable Narrator, press the Windows Key + Enter.

Over the next month, Microsoft will roll out support for virtual reading for documents of up to three pages in Word Online and OneNote Online.

If you're not familiar with virtual reading, it's a concept that most screen readers have that allows you to have text read out loud, without having to move your cursor.

Narrator has a shortcut called "Start Reading" (Caps Lock + M), which reads the rest of the document based on your current location. This shortcut works when using Word Online and OneNote Online.

If you're using Job Access with Speech (JAWS), be sure to turn on Virtual Cursor (Insert + Z) to start using these capabilities. Virtual navigation features that attempt to move your cursor will not work with this feature.

Tell Me

Tell Me is a relatively new capability in Office Online created to save time.

In the Tell Me text box, located on the ribbon, you can type what you want the app to do for you - rather than having to navigate through the ribbon.

There is also an auto complete drop-down menu that displays all of the available accessibility commands. Simply press enter to make the change. To make the experience even easier, you can use Ctrl + ' (apostrophe) to move your cursor to the Tell Me text box.

Many of the editing and formatting functions can be performed via Tell Me using natural language, so you don't even need to know the specific name of the function you are trying to perform.

Attribution/Source(s):

This quality-reviewed publication pertaining to our Electronics/Software section was selected for circulation by the editors of Disabled World due to its likely interest to our disability community readers. Though the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length, the article "Accessible Microsoft Office Online Options" was originally written by Microsoft, and submitted for publishing on 2015/01/12 (Edit Update: 2021/09/20). Should you require further information or clarification, Microsoft can be contacted at the microsoft.com website. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

📢 Discover Related Topics


👍 Share This Information To:
𝕏.com Facebook Reddit

Page Information, Citing and Disclaimer

Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as X.com and our Facebook page.

Permalink: <a href="https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/computer/ms-office.php">Accessible Microsoft Office Online Options</a>

Cite This Page (APA): Microsoft. (2015, January 12). Accessible Microsoft Office Online Options. Disabled World. Retrieved February 26, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/computer/ms-office.php

Disabled World provides general information only. Materials presented are never meant to substitute for qualified professional medical care. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.