Accessibility on Office Online

The Microsoft Office Online Web site has been designed to be accessible to as many people as possible, including users of screen readers and other assistive technologies.

 Note   Although Office Online has been designed to be accessible to everyone, no matter how they view the Internet, some types of content are inaccessible by their nature. For example, video demos are inaccessible to users of text-based or non-visual browsers.

Keyboard navigation

To make Microsoft Office Online pages easy to navigate by keyboard, access keys have been created that let you place the focus on specific parts of a page. Access keys are key combinations that move the focus to a desired element. After pressing the access key, you press ENTER to select the desired element. For example, from anywhere on the site you can press ALT+1 and then ENTER to go to the Office Online home page.

These access keys are designed to work with Microsoft Internet Explorer (versions 5.x, 6.x, 7.x) and Netscape Navigator (versions 6.x, 7.x, 8.x). Access keys may not function if you are using other Web browsers or earlier versions of Internet Explorer or Navigator.

Using access keys

  • To move the focus to the Accessibility link in the page footer (the link to this article), press ALT+0 (zero). Then press ENTER to open the link.
  • To move the focus to the Home tab on the Ribbon, press ALT+1.
    • From the Home tab, press the TAB key to move the focus to the other tabs on the Ribbon.
  • To move the focus to the first link on the left navigation bar (if one exists), press ALT+2.
    • Once you're on the first link on the left navigation bar, you can move the focus to other items on the left navigation bar by pressing the TAB key.
  • To move the focus to the Search box, press ALT+3.
    • Type your search term, and then press ENTER.
  • To move the focus through a page of results (for example, search results), press ALT+/ (forward slash).
  • On a page with a Previous arrow (to move to the previous page), move the focus to the arrow by pressing ALT+, (comma).
  • On a page with a Next arrow (to move to the next page), move the focus to the arrow by pressing ALT+. (period).

 Note   Other than ALT+1, these access keys are not available on all pages.

More access keys

Other access keys may be created for Microsoft Office Online pages in the future. If new access keys are created, this page will be updated with the new information.

Viewing pages in high-contrast mode

If you changed your display options in Windows to use high contrast, Internet Explorer will ignore your Windows settings and display the page as it was originally created. To view pages in high-contrast mode, do the following:

  1. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options and then, on the General tab, click the Accessibility button.
  2. Select the Ignore colors specified on Web pages, Ignore font styles specified on Web pages, and Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages check boxes, and then click OK.

For information about viewing pages in high-contrast mode using other Web browsers, refer to the Help for your browser.

Alt text

Images used on Microsoft Office Online pages contain alt text (or alternative text), which provides a text description of the image for use with screen readers and other assistive technologies. In cases where alt text would provide no information or would simply repeat surrounding text, alt text may be excluded.

Further information

For help about accessibility features within Office programs, search Help within the program you want for information about keyboard shortcuts and other specific features of interest.

You can also check out the Online Training page, which has a number of training courses about using keyboard shortcuts in Office programs, for example, Keyboard shortcuts in the 2007 Office system.

For further information about all of Microsoft's efforts to create software that is accessible to everyone, visit Microsoft Accessibility.

Tell us what you think

We are interested in improving the accessibility of Office Online. Please let us know how we're doing and how we can improve by answering the Was this information helpful? question below and giving us your comments.

To provide feedback on accessibility features in Microsoft Office, click Contact Us at the bottom of any Microsoft Office Online page.

Contact Us link at bottom of page