Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use Word with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to add or change text in a document. You can change the fonts, apply formatting styles, and use headings to improve your text flow.

Notes: 

In this topic

Add text to a Word document

You can create a new document from scratch or add text to an existing document.

Create a new document

  1. When you open Word, the focus is on the template for a new, blank document. Press Enter to create the document. You hear: "<The default name for the document>, editing."

    The focus is on the editing area in the document body, in the Print Layout View.

  2. Type text in your document. To end a line or paragraph and start a new one, press Enter.

  3. When you have finished, press Ctrl+S. You hear: "Selected, Save as tab."

  4. To select the save location, press the Tab key, and then press the Down arrow key until you hear the location you want.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear "Enter file name here," and type the name you want.

  6. Press the Tab key until you hear "Save button," and then press Enter.

Add text to an existing document

  1. To open an existing document, in the Print Layout view, press Alt+F, O.

  2. Press the Tab key to move to the list of file locations, such as OneDrive or your computer.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the location you want, and then press the Tab key until you hear the file you want. If your document is in a folder in the selected location, press Enter to open the folder.

  4. To open the document, press Enter. You hear: "<The document name>, editing." The focus is on the editing area in the document body.

  5. Press the arrow keys until you hear the place where you want to add text, and start typing.

  6. When you are finished, press Ctrl+S to save your changes.

Select text

You can quickly select all text in your document, or just a particular piece of the text.

  • To select all text, press Ctrl+A.

  • To select a piece of text, move to the text you want to select, and then press and hold down Shift and the arrow keys to move the cursor until the text is selected.

Use headings

Headings are very important for document accessibility and usability. To make sure that your headings work correctly for accessibility, it's essential to create them by using the built-in heading styles in Word. This makes it possible for your screen reader and Word to exchange the right information.

  1. In your document, select the text you want to turn into a heading.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To apply Heading 1 style, press Ctrl+Alt+1.

    • To apply Heading 2 style, press Ctrl+Alt+2.

    • To apply Heading 3 style, press Ctrl+Alt+3.

    • To apply Normal style, press Ctrl+Shift+N.

    Tip: To browse for more heading styles, press Alt+H, L. Press the Tab key until you hear the style you want, and then press Enter.

Apply bold, italic, and underline formatting

The use of character formatting can improve the readability of your document.

  1. Select the text you want to format.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To apply bold formatting, press Ctrl+B.

    • To apply italic formatting, press Ctrl+I.

    • To apply underlined formatting, press Ctrl+U.

Change the font and font size

To make your document accessible for all users, switch the font to a more readable one, or make the text bigger or smaller.

Change to a different font

  1. In your document, select the text you want to format.

  2. Press Alt+H, F, F. You hear: "Font, <the current font>."

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the font you want, and then press Enter.

    Tip: To jump directly to a font you have already decided to use, start typing the name of the font. For example, type ti to find Times New Roman.

Change font size

  1. Select the text you want to resize.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To make the text 1 point larger, press Ctrl+[ (Left bracket).

    • To make the text 1 point smaller, press Ctrl+] (Right bracket).

    • To make the text incrementally larger according to the sizes in the Increase Font Size button, press Ctrl+Shift+> (Greater than sign).

    • To make the text incrementally smaller according to the sizes in the Decrease Font Size button, press Ctrl+Shift+< (Less than sign).

    • To select a particular size, press Alt+H, F, S. You hear the current font size. Type the point size you want, and then press Enter.

Change several font properties at once

You can browse font properties and change several at once in the Font dialog.

  1. Select the text you want to format.

  2. To open the Font dialog, press Alt+H, F, N.

  3. Do one or more of the following:

    • To go to and change:

      • Font, press Alt+F, and then press the Down arrow key until you hear the font you want.

      • Font style, press Alt+Y, and then press the Down arrow key until you hear the font style you want.

      • Font size, press Alt+S, and then press the Down arrow key until you hear the font size you want.

      • Font color, press Alt+C. Press the arrow keys until you hear the font color you want, and then press Enter.

      • Underline style, press Alt+U. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the underline style you want, and then press Enter.

      • Underline color, press Alt+I. Press the arrow keys until you hear the underline color you want, and then press Enter.

    • To go to and select:

      • Strikethrough, press Alt+K.

      • Double strikethrough, press Alt+L.

      • Superscript, press Alt+P.

      • Subscript, press Alt+B.

      • Small caps, press Alt+M.

      • All caps, press Alt+A.

      • Hidden, press Alt+H.

      • Set As Default, press Alt+D, and then press Enter.

      • Text Effects, press Alt+E, and then press Enter.

      • Advanced tab, press Alt+V.

      • Font tab, press Alt+N.

  4. To apply the changes, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Enter.

    To exit the Font dialog without applying the changes, press Esc.

Use theme fonts

Theme fonts change the fonts in your entire document by using a pair of fonts that are designed to work well together. The first font is used for headings and the second for body text.

Tip: To make sure the theme fonts are applied to headings, you must apply a Word heading style to the heading text. To learn how, refer to Use headings.

  1. In your document, press Alt+G, T, F.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the font you want, and then press Enter.

  3. To hear a description of the fonts applied by the theme, press Caps Lock+0. In JAWS, press Insert+F.

See also

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word on Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Use Word 2016 for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to add or change text in a document. You can change the fonts, apply formatting styles, and use headings to improve your text flow.

Notes: 

In this topic

Add text to a Word document

You can create a new document from scratch or add text to an existing document.

Create a new document

  1. When you open Word 2016 for Mac, the focus is on the template for a new, blank document. Press Enter to create the document.

    You hear confirmation that you have created a new document. When the new document opens, focus changes to it. Print Layout View is selected by default.

  2. Type text in your document. To end a line or paragraph and start a new one, press Enter.

  3. When you have finished, press Command+S, type the file name you want to use, and then press Enter to save the document.

Add text to an existing document

  1. To open an existing document, press Command+Option+M. You hear: "Menu bar, Apple." Press the Right arrow key until you hear: "File."

  2. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the File menu, and then press Command+O to Open. This opens a list of file locations, such as OneDrive and your computer. The menu starts at the location where you most recently saved a file.

  3. Press the Down arrow key to browse locations, or press the Tab key twice to go to the list of files in the current location.

  4. When you go to the list of files, VoiceOver reads the name of the first file in the location. Press Control+Option+Down arrow to browse the list. To open the currently selected file, press Enter.

    After the file opens, VoiceOver announces the file name. The focus is now on the text area of the document.

  5. Place the cursor where you want to add new text, and then begin typing.

  6. When you are finished, press Command+S to save your changes.

Use headings

Headings are very important for document accessibility and usability. To make sure that your headings work correctly for accessibility, it's essential to create them by using the built-in heading styles in Word. This makes it possible for your screen reader and Word to exchange the right information.

  1. Select the text that you want to turn into a heading.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To apply Heading 1 style, press Command+Option+1.

    • To apply Heading 2 style, press Command+Option+2.

    • To apply Heading 3 style, press Command+Option+3.

    • To apply Normal style, press Command+Shift+N.

VoiceOver announces the font size and color of the selected heading style when you select text and press Command+Option+T.

Apply bold, italic, and underline formatting

The use of character formatting can improve the readability of your document.

  1. Select the text you want to format.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To apply bold formatting, press Control+B. You hear: "Bold."

    • To apply italic formatting, press Control+I. You hear: "Italic."

    • To apply underlined formatting, press Control+U. You hear: "Underline."

Change the font and font size

To make your document accessible for all users, switch the font to a more readable one, or make the text bigger or smaller.

Change to a different font

  1. Select the text you want to change.

  2. Press F6 until you hear: "Home, selected, tab."

  3. To open the Font combo box, press the Tab key until you hear the name of the current font, followed by "Font, colon, combo box." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the list.

  4. Press the Down arrow key to browse the fonts. To apply the currently selected font, press Enter.

    Tip: To jump directly to a font you have already decided to use, start typing the name of the font. For example, type ti to find Times.

Change font size

  1. Select the text you want to resize.

  2. Press F6 until you hear: "Home, selected, tab."

  3. To open the Font combo box, press the Tab key until you hear the point size of the current font, followed by "Font size, colon, combo box." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the list.

  4. Press the Down arrow key to browse the available sizes. To apply the currently selected font size, press Enter.

Use theme fonts

Theme fonts change the fonts in your entire document by using a pair of fonts that are designed to work well together. The first font is used for headings and the second for body text.

Tip: To make sure the theme fonts are applied to headings, you must apply a Word heading style to the heading text. To learn how, refer to Use headings.

  1. Press F6 until you hear: "Home, selected, tab."

  2. To open the Font combo box, press the Tab key until you hear the name of the current font, followed by "Font, colon, combo box." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the list.

  3. Press T. You hear: "Theme fonts."

  4. Press the Down arrow key to browse the list of theme fonts. To apply the currently selected theme font, press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word for Mac

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Use Word for iOS with VoiceOver, the in-built iOS screen reader, to add or change text in a document. You can change the fonts, apply formatting styles, and use headings to improve your text flow.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Use keyboard shortcuts in Word for iPhone.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

  • This topic assumes that you are using an iPhone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an iPad.

  • We recommend you read and edit documents in Print Layout View. VoiceOver may not work reliably in other view modes.

In this topic

Add text to a Word document

You can create a new document from scratch or add text to an existing document.

Create a new document

  1. Open Word for iOS, and then swipe right until you hear "New button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. The New window opens. Swipe left or right until you hear "Blank document" and double-tap the screen.

    The new blank document opens in the Print Layout view. The focus is on the document title.

  3. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "File button." Double-tap the screen to select. The File menu opens.

  4. To name the document, swipe right until you hear "Name" and double-tap the screen. Type a name for the document using the on-screen keyboard. To go to the keyboard, swipe right until you hear: "Q."

  5. When you have finished, swipe left until you hear: "Save." Double-tap the screen to select.

  6. If you're signed in, Word for iOS automatically saves your document to the Documents folder on OneDrive as you work.

Save a document to your device

You can save a document locally on your device.

  1. In the File menu, swipe right until you hear "Save a copy" and double-tap the screen.

  2. To save the document on your device, swipe right until you hear "iPhone" and double-tap the screen.

  3. The focus moves to the file name text field, and if you want, you can type a new name for your document using the on-screen keyboard.

  4. Swipe left until you hear "Save button" and then double-tap the screen. The file is saved, and the focus returns to the document body.

Add text to an existing document

  1. To open an existing document, in the Print Layout view, swipe left until you hear "Save and close" and then double-tap the screen.

  2. To go to the Open tab, swipe right until you hear "Open button" and double-tap the screen. The Places menu opens.

  3. Swipe right or left until you find a location where you have the document you want to open, such as your phone or a folder on OneDrive. VoiceOver announces the locations as you move. To open a location, swipe right until you're on a location, and then double-tap to open it.

  4. When on the location you want, to open a document, swipe right or left until you hear the document name, and then double-tap the screen. VoiceOver announces the documents as you move. The document opens.

  5. To add text to the document, swipe right until you hear: "Page 1 content." Double-tap the screen. The on-screen keyboard opens.

    Tip: You can also find the keyboard by exploring the items on the screen. To explore, place a finger on the screen and drag it around. VoiceOver announces the items as you land on them. To select an item, lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

  6. When you are done, to close the keyboard, swipe left until you hear "Hide keyboard" and double-tap the screen.

Select text

You can select text in your document for editing or formatting.

  1. To select a piece of text, with the focus in the document editing area, navigate to the text you want to select.

  2. Double-tap and hold the screen. You hear the selected item.

  3. To expand your selection, slide two fingers apart on the screen. VoiceOver announces the selection as you move your fingers.

Use headings

Headings are very important for document accessibility and usability. To make sure that your headings work correctly for accessibility, it's essential to create them by using the built-in heading styles in Word. This makes it possible for your screen reader and Word to exchange the right information.

  1. In your document, select the text you want to turn into a heading.

  2. To go to the ribbon, swipe right or left until you hear "Show ribbon," and double-tap the screen. You hear the current ribbon tab.

  3. To select the Home ribbon tab, double-tap the screen, swipe right or left until you hear "Home tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear: “Styles button.” Double-tap the screen. The Styles menu opens.

  5. In the Styles menu, swipe right until you hear the heading you want, and then double-tap the screen. The focus returns to the Home tab.

  6. To close the ribbon, swipe left until you hear "Hide ribbon" and double-tap the screen.

Apply bold, italic, and underline formatting

The use of character formatting can improve the readability of your document.

  1. In your document, select the text you want to format.

  2. Do one or more of the following:

    • To apply bold formatting, swipe right or left until you hear “Bold button,” and then double-tap the screen.

    • To apply italic formatting, swipe right or left until you hear “Italic button," and then double-tap the screen.

    • To apply underlined formatting, swipe right or left until you hear: "Underline button," and then double-tap the screen.

Change the font and font size

To make your document accessible for all users, switch the font to a more readable one, or make the text bigger or smaller.

Change to a different font

  1. In your document, select the text you want to format.

  2. To go to the ribbon, swipe right or left until you hear "Show ribbon," and double-tap the screen. You hear the current ribbon tab.

  3. To select the Home ribbon tab, double-tap the screen, swipe left or right until you hear "Home tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear "Fonts, <current font>, <current font size>" and then double-tap the screen. The Fonts menu opens.

  5. Swipe right or left until you hear the font you want. VoiceOver announces the fonts as you move. To select a font, double-tap the screen.

  6. After selecting a new font, the Fonts menu closes and the focus moves to the Home tab.

Change font size

  1. In your document, select the text you want to format.

  2. To go to the ribbon, swipe right or left until you hear "Show ribbon," and double-tap the screen. You hear the current ribbon tab.

  3. To select the Home ribbon tab, double-tap the screen, swipe left or right until you hear "Home tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear "Fonts, <current font>, <current font size>" and then double-tap the screen. The Fonts menu opens.

  5. Swipe right until you hear: "Size <current font size>."

  6. To change the font size, do one of the following:

    • To increase the font size, swipe right until you hear "Plus button," and then double-tap the screen to increase the size by 1 point.

    • To decrease the font size, swipe right until you hear "Minus button," and then double-tap the screen to decrease the size by 1 point.

  7. To close the ribbon, swipe left until you hear "Hide ribbon" and then double-tap the screen.

Use theme fonts

Theme fonts change the fonts in your entire document by using a pair of fonts that are designed to work well together. The first font is used for headings and the second for body text.

Tip: To make sure the theme fonts are applied to headings, you must apply a Word heading style to the heading text. To learn how, refer to Use headings.

  1. To go to the ribbon, swipe right or left until you hear "Show ribbon," and double-tap the screen. You hear the current ribbon tab.

  2. To select the Home ribbon tab, double-tap the screen, swipe right or left until you hear "Home tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Fonts, <current font>, <current font size>" and then double-tap the screen. The Fonts menu opens.

  4. Swipe right until you hear: "Theme fonts heading." Swipe right to listen to the available theme fonts. VoiceOver announces the theme fonts as you move. To select a theme font, double-tap the screen.

    The list of the theme fonts ends when you hear: "Recently used fonts heading." If you haven't selected a font yet, the theme fonts ends when you hear: "Office Compatible Fonts."

See also

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Use Word for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to add or change text in a document. You can change the fonts, apply formatting styles, and use headings to improve your text flow.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with an Android phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an Android tablet.

  • For touch capabilities in Word for Android, go to Use TalkBack gestures.

In this topic

Add text to a Word document

You can create a new document from scratch or add text to an existing document.

Create a new document

  1. Open Word for Android, and then swipe right until you hear "New button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. The New window opens. Swipe left or right until you hear "Blank document," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. The new blank document opens in the Print Layout view. The focus is on the document body, and the on-screen keyboard is displayed.

  4. Slide one finger on the bottom half of the screen until you hear a character you want, and then lift your finger. Depending on your device settings, you may need to double-tap the screen to insert the character.

    If predictive text input has been activated on your device, you can add words in the same way.

  5. When you have finished, to close the keyboard, swipe down-then-left.

  6. If you're signed in, Word for Android automatically saves your document to OneDrive using the default name as you work.

Save a document to your device

You can save a document locally on your device.

  1. To save your document on your device, swipe left until you hear "File button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "File menu, Open."

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Save as button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Save as, File menu closed, Enter file name."

  3. Double-tap the screen, and then type the name with which you want to save your file.

  4. When you're done, swipe left until you hear "This device, documents," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe left or right to the folder you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe right until you hear "Save button," and then double-tap the screen. The file has been saved, and the focus returns to the document body.

Add text to an existing document

  1. To open an existing document, in the Print Layout view, swipe left until you hear "File button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "File menu, Open."

  2. To open the Open dialog, double-tap the screen, and then swipe right until you hear the list of file locations, such as OneDrive or your device.

  3. To open the location, double-tap the screen. Navigate to the document you want, and then double-tap the screen. The document is opened, and the focus is on the document body.

  4. To open the on-screen keyboard, double-tap the screen, and then start typing.

  5. When you are finished, close the keyboard and if necessary, save your document as instructed in Create a new document.

Select text

You can select a particular piece of text or all text in your document.

Select a piece of text

  1. To select a piece of text, with the focus on the document editing area, navigate to the text you want to select.

  2. Double-tap and hold the screen. You hear the selected item.

  3. To expand your selection, slide two fingers apart on the screen. TalkBack announces the selection as you move your fingers.

Select all text

  1. To select all text in your document, swipe up-then-right. You hear: "Local context menu, TalkBack, showing items one to three of three."

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Cursor control," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Select all," and then double tap the screen.

Use headings

Headings are very important for document accessibility and usability. To make sure that your headings work correctly for accessibility, it's essential to create them by using the built-in heading styles in Word. This makes it possible for your screen reader and Word to exchange the right information.

  1. In your document, select the text you want to turn into a heading.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Not checked, expand switch," and double-tap the screen. You hear the current tab.

  3. Double-tap the screen, and then swipe left or right until you hear "Home tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear: “Styles menu.” Double-tap the screen. The Styles menu opens.

  5. In the Styles menu, swipe right until you hear the heading you want, and then double-tap the screen. The focus returns to the Home tab, you hear: “Tab menu, Home selected.”

Apply bold, italic, and underline formatting

The use of character formatting can improve the readability of your document.

  1. In your document, select the text you want to format.

  2. Do one or more of the following:

    • To apply bold formatting, swipe left or right until you hear “Not checked, Bold, switch,” and then double-tap the screen.

    • To apply italic formatting, swipe left or right until you hear “Not checked, Italic, switch," and then double-tap the screen.

    • To apply underlined formatting, swipe left or right until you hear "Not checked, Underline, switch," and then double-tap the screen.

Change the font and font size

To make your document accessible for all users, switch the font to a more readable one, or make the text bigger or smaller.

Change to a different font

  1. In your document, select the text you want to format.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Not checked, expand switch," and double-tap the screen. You hear the current tab.

  3. Double-tap the screen, and then swipe left or right until you hear "Home tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Font combo-box, <current font>, selected" and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe left or right until you hear the font you want, and then double-tap the screen.

Change font size

  1. In your document, select the text you want to format.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Not checked, expand switch," and double-tap the screen. You hear the current tab.

  3. Double-tap the screen, and then swipe left or right until you hear "Home tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Font size combo-box, <current size>, selected" and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe left or right until you hear the font size you want, and then double-tap the screen.

Use theme fonts

Theme fonts change the fonts in your entire document by using a pair of fonts that are designed to work well together. The first font is used for headings and the second for body text.

Tip: To make sure the theme fonts are applied to headings, you must apply a Word heading style to the heading text. To learn how, refer to Use headings.

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Not checked, expand switch," and double-tap the screen. You hear the current tab.

  2. Double-tap the screen, and then swipe left or right until you hear "Home tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Font combo-box, <current font>, selected" and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear: "Theme fonts." Swipe right to listen to the available theme fonts. To select, double-tap the screen.

    The list of the theme fonts ends when you hear: "All fonts."

See also

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Use Word Mobile with Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to add or change text in a document. You can change the fonts, apply formatting styles, and use headings to improve your text flow.

Notes: 

In this topic

Add text to a Word document

You can create a new document from scratch or add text to an existing document.

Create a new document

  1. Open Word Mobile, and then swipe right until you hear "New button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. The New window opens, and the focus is on a new, blank document. To create the document, double-tap the screen.

  3. The new document opens in the Print Layout view. The focus is on the document body, and the on-screen keyboard is displayed.

  4. Swipe right until you hear a character on the keyboard you want, and then double-tap the screen. The character is added in the document.

    If predictive text input has been activated on your device, you can add words in the same way as characters.

  5. If you're signed in, Word Mobile automatically saves your document to OneDrive using the default name as you work.

Save a document on your device

You can save a document locally on your device.

  1. To save your document on your device, swipe left or right until you hear "Quick access commands, File button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Backstage page, back button."

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Save button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Save a copy of this file," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Choose an app." A list of save locations opens, the focus is on the first item on the list.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "This device," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right to the folder you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe right until you hear "Next, app bar button," and then double-tap the screen.

  7. Swipe right until you hear "File name," and then double-tap the screen. The on-screen keyboard opens.

  8. Type a name with which you want to save the document, and then swipe right until you hear "Save a copy, app bar button," and then double-tap the screen. The document has now been saved on your device. The focus returns to the document body.

Add text to an existing document

  1. To open an existing document, in the Print Layout view, swipe left or right until you hear "Quick access commands, File button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Backstage page, back button."

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Open button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Browse button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Choose an app." A list of save locations opens, the focus is on the first item on the list.

  4. Swipe right until you hear the location you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Browse to the document you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe right until you hear "Open document, app bar button," and then double-tap the screen. The document opens in Print Layout view.

  7. To open the on-screen keyboard, double-tap the screen, and start typing.

  8. When you are finished, close the keyboard and if necessary, save your document as instructed in Create a new document.

Select text

You can select a particular piece of text or all text in your document.

Select a piece of text

  1. Swipe up or down to select the navigation setting you want to use for selecting. For example, if you select paragraphs, you can navigate and select larger areas of text.

  2. In your document, navigate to the piece of text you want to select, and then triple-tap the screen.

Select all text

  1. In your document, double-tap the screen with two fingers. The context menu opens.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Select all button," and then double-tap the screen.

Use headings

Headings are very important for document accessibility and usability. To make sure that your headings work correctly for accessibility, it's essential to create them by using the built-in heading styles in Word. This makes it possible for your screen reader and Word to exchange the right information.

  1. In your document, select the text you want to turn into a heading.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "More options button," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe left until you hear the current tab, and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear "Home," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear: “Styles button.” Double-tap the screen. The Styles menu opens.

  6. In the Styles menu, swipe right until you hear the heading you want, and then double-tap the screen. The heading style is applied to the document, and the focus returns to the document menu.

Apply bold, italic, and underline formatting

To make your document accessible for all users, switch the font to a more readable one, or make the text bigger or smaller.

  1. In your document, select the text you want to format.

  2. Do one or more of the following:

    • To apply bold formatting, swipe left or right until you hear “Off, Bold button,” and then double-tap the screen.

    • To apply italic formatting, swipe left or right until you hear “Off, Italic button," and then double-tap the screen.

    • To apply underlined formatting, swipe left or right until you hear "Off, Underline button," and then double-tap the screen.

Change the font and font size

To make your document accessible for all users, switch the font to a more readable one, or make the text bigger or smaller.

Change to a different font

  1. In your document, select the text you want to format.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "More options, button," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe left until you hear the current tab, and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear "Home," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Font button," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe left or right until you hear the font you want, and then double-tap the screen.

Change font size

  1. In your document, select the text you want to format.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "More options, button," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe left until you hear the current tab, and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear "Home," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Font size button," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe left or right until you hear the font size you want, and then double-tap the screen.

Use theme fonts

Theme fonts change the fonts in your entire document by using a pair of fonts that are designed to work well together. The first font is used for headings and the second for body text.

Tip: To make sure the theme fonts are applied to headings, you must apply a Word heading style to the heading text. To learn how, refer to Use headings.

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Not checked, expand switch," and double-tap the screen. You hear the current tab.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "More options, button," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe left until you hear the current tab, and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear "Home," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Font button," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe left or right until you hear: "Theme fonts." Swipe right to listen to the available theme fonts. To select, double-tap the screen.

    The list of the theme fonts ends when you hear: "All fonts."

See also

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Use Word Online with Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, and your keyboard to add or change text in a document. You can change the fonts, apply formatting styles, and use headings to improve your text flow.

Notes: 

  • If you use Narrator with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you have to turn off scan mode in order to edit documents, spreadsheets, or presentations with Office Online. For more information, refer to Turn off virtual or browse mode in screen readers in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in Word Online.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

  • Because Word Online runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Word Online.

In this topic

Add text to a Word document

You can create a new document from scratch or add text to an existing document.

Create a new document

  1. When you open Word Online, the focus is on the template for a new, blank document. To browse the templates, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab. To create a document, when on the template you want, press Enter. You hear: "<The default name for the document>, document .docx."

    The focus moves to the editing area in the document body, in the Print Layout View.

  2. Type text in your document. To end a line or paragraph and start a new one, press Enter.

  3. When you have finished, to go to the ribbon, press Alt+Windows logo key. You hear the currently selected tab.

  4. To open the File menu, press F. Then to open the Save as menu, press A.

  5. To rename the file, press the Tab key until you hear "Rename. Rename this file," and then press Enter. Type a new name for the document. When you're done, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Enter.

  6. Word Online automatically saves your document in the Documents folder on OneDrive. If you want to select another saving location, in the Save as menu, press the Tab key. You hear "Save as. Save a copy to OneDrive." Press Enter and use the arrow keys to select the saving location. When done, press the Tab key until you hear "Save button," and then press Enter.

Add text to an existing document

  1. To open an existing document, in the Print Layout view, press Alt+Windows logo key, and then F and O. The Open menu opens, listing your recent documents.

  2. To browse the recent documents, press the Tab key. As you move, Narrator announces the documents as "<file name>, <location>." To open a document, press Enter.

  3. If you want to open a document that is not among your recent documents, in the Open menu, press the Tab key until you hear "More on OneDrive" and press Enter. OneDrive opens in a new window, and you can browse the documents. To browse documents and folders, use the arrow keys. To open a folder or document, press Enter.

  4. When a document opens, the focus is on the editing area in the document body.

  5. Press the arrow keys until you hear the place where you want to add text, and start typing. Changes are saved automatically.

Select text

You can quickly select all text in your document, or just a particular piece of the text.

  • To select all text, press Ctrl+A.

  • To select a piece of text, move to the text you want to select, and then press and hold down Shift and the arrow keys to move the cursor until the text is selected.

Use headings

Headings are very important for document accessibility and usability. To make sure that your headings work correctly for accessibility, it's essential to create them by using the built-in heading styles in Word. This makes it possible for your screen reader and Word to exchange the right information.

  1. In your document, select the text you want to turn into a heading.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To apply Heading 1 style, press Ctrl+Alt+1.

    • To apply Heading 2 style, press Ctrl+Alt+2.

    • To apply Heading 3 style, press Ctrl+Alt+3.

    • To apply Normal style, press Ctrl+Shift+N.

    Tip: To browse for more heading styles, press Alt+Windows logo key, and then H and L. Press the Tab key until you hear the style you want, and then press Enter to select.

Apply bold, italic, and underline formatting

The use of character formatting can improve the readability of your document.

  1. Select the text you want to format.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To apply bold formatting, press Ctrl+B.

    • To apply italic formatting, press Ctrl+I.

    • To apply underlined formatting, press Ctrl+U.

Change the font and font size

To make your document accessible for all users, switch the font to a more readable one, or make the text bigger or smaller.

Change to a different font

  1. In your document, select the text you want to format.

  2. Press Alt+Windows logo key, and then H, F and F. You hear: "Font name, editable combo box."

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the font you want, and then press Enter.

    Tip: To jump directly to a font you have already decided to use, start typing the name of the font. For example, type ti to find Times New Roman.

Change font size

  1. Select the text you want to resize.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To make the text 1 point larger, press Ctrl+] (Right bracket).

    • To make the text 1 point smaller, press Ctrl+[ (Left bracket).

    • To make the text incrementally larger according to the sizes in the Increase Font Size button, press Ctrl+Shift+> (Greater than sign).

    • To make the text incrementally smaller according to the sizes in the Decrease Font Size button, press Ctrl+Shift+< (Less than sign).

    • To select a particular size, press Alt+Windows logo key, and then H, F and S. You hear: "Font size, editable combo box." Type the point size you want, and then press Enter.

Change several font properties

You can browse font properties and change them using the options in the Font group on the Home tab.

  1. Select the text you want to format.

  2. To go to the Home tab, press Alt+Windows logo key, and then H.

  3. Do one or more of the following:

    • To go to and change:

      • Font, press F and then F, and then press the Down arrow key until you hear the font you want and press Enter.

      • Font style, press F and then Y. Press the Tab key, and then use the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the font style you want and press Enter.

      • Font size, press F and then S, and then press the Down arrow key until you hear the font size you want and press Enter.

      • Font Color, press F and then C. Press the Tab key until you hear the font color you want, and then press Enter.

      • Text Highlight Color, press I. Press the Tab key until you hear the highlight color you want, and then press Enter.

    • To go to and select:

      • Strikethrough, press 4.

      • Superscript, press 6.

      • Subscript, press 5.

Use theme fonts

Theme fonts change the fonts in your entire document by using a pair of fonts that are designed to work well together. The first font is used for headings and the second for body text.

Tip: To make sure the theme fonts are applied to headings, you must apply a Word heading style to the heading text. To learn how, refer to Use headings.

  1. In your document, press Alt+Windows logo key, and then H, F and F. You hear: "Font name, editable combo box."

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the font you want, and then press Enter. Narrator announces "<font name>, headings" for headings, and "<font name>, body" for body text.

See also

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word Online

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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