Accessibility features in Office Online

Remember that Office Online programs run in your web browser, and they work a little differently than the Office desktop programs you might be familiar with. For example, you’ll need to switch from Reading view to Editing view when you want to edit. When you create a new document, Office Online programs open in Editing view, but when you open a file (by following a link, for example), Office Online programs open in Reading view. To switch to Editing view, press Tab until you get to the Edit command, and then choose the command for editing.

A couple of other differences to keep in mind:

  • Office Online programs do not have accelerator keys, so pressing and holding the Alt key does nothing.
  • Instead of F6, use Ctrl+F6 to move between the command ribbon and the content of your document.
In this article

Accessible view in Word Online and PowerPoint Online

Word Online    To generate a view of documents in PDF format, which is available to screen readers, open the document in Reading view, and press the Tab key to the View document in more accessible mode command. Then press Enter.

PowerPoint Online    To view presentations in a format that is available to screen readers, open the presentation in Reading view, and tab to File > Help > Accessible Mode. (In SharePoint 2010, tab to File, press Enter, and then press the Down Arrow key to the Outline View command. Then press Enter.)

Keyboard shortcuts

Many features and commands are available directly by using the keyboard. You can press the Tab key and Shift+Tab to move back and forth between elements on any page. You can also find keyboard shortcuts for many commands. For more information, see the following topics:

Keyboard shortcuts in Word Online
Keyboard shortcuts in Excel Online
Keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint Online
Keyboard shortcuts in OneNote Online

Using screen readers

Here are some tips for using various screen readers in Office Online.

JAWS    Press Insert+Z to turn off Virtual PC cursor mode.

Windows Eyes    Press Ctrl+Shift+A to turn off Browse Mode.

Windows Narrator    For Narrator tips and tricks, see Using Windows Narrator in Office Online.

More information

For information about the accessibility features of your browser, go to your browser’s website.

The Microsoft Accessibility website at Microsoft Accessibility provides more information about assistive technology. A free monthly electronic newsletter is available to help you stay current with accessibility topics about Microsoft products. To subscribe, visit Free Subscription to the Accessibility Update Newsletter.

Applies to:
Excel Online, Office 365 Enterprise, Office 365 Enterprise admin, Office 365 Midsize Business, Office 365 Midsize Business admin, Office 365 Small Business, Office 365 Small Business admin, OneNote Online, PowerPoint Online, Word Online