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Use a screen reader to change the indentation and spacing options in Outlook

Use a screen reader to change the indentation and spacing options in Outlook

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 Outlook with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to set the amount of space before and after each paragraph and the size of its indents. You can also create an indent only in the first line of a paragraph, or create a hanging indent, in which the first line of the paragraph is not indented, but subsequent lines are. Additionally, you can change the line spacing for a paragraph.

Notes: 

In this topic

Set paragraph spacing

  1. When composing a message, select the paragraph you want to set spacing for. If you want to set the paragraph spacing for the entire message, press Ctrl+A.

  2. To go to the Format Text tab, press Alt+O. Then press P, and then G. The Paragraph dialog box opens, with the focus on the Indents and Spacing tab. You hear: "Paragraph window. Alignment." In JAWS you hear: "Paragraph dialog. Indents and Spacing page."

  3. To set the spacing before a paragraph, press the Tab key until you hear: "Before." Then press the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear the point value you want, or type the point value you want (for example, 6 or 18). (Smaller point values represent less space.)

  4. To set the spacing after a paragraph, press the Tab key until you hear: "After." Then press the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear the point selection you want, or type the point value you want (for example, 6 or 18).

  5. To close the Paragraph dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to your message window.

Set line spacing

  1. To change the line spacing of a paragraph, select the paragraph you want to format.

  2. Press Alt+O to go to the Format Text tab. Then press P, and then G. The Paragraph dialog box opens, with the focus on the Indents and Spacing tab.

  3. To select a line spacing option, press the Tab key until you hear "Line spacing," followed by a line spacing option.

  4. Press Spacebar to open the options list. Then use the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear the line spacing option you want. To select, press Enter.

    If you select a customizable option, such as Multiple, to set the spacing size, press the Tab key. You hear "At" and the current spacing size. Then type a value.

  5. To close the Paragraph dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to your message window.

Set paragraph indents

Indent only the first line of a paragraph

  1. When composing a message, select the paragraphs in which you want to indent the first line of the paragraph.

  2. To open the Format Text tab, press Alt+O. Then press P, and then G. The Paragraph dialog box opens, with the focus on the Indents and Spacing tab. You hear: "Paragraph window. Alignment." In JAWS you hear: "Paragraph dialog. Indents and Spacing page."

  3. To indent the first line of the paragraph, use the options in Indentation group. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Special, <indentation option>, editable combobox." In JAWS you hear: "Special column combobox, <indentation option>." To indent the first line, press Spacebar, and then use the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear: "First line." To select, press Enter.

  4. To set the first line indentation size, press the Tab key. You hear "By" and the current indentation size. Then type a value in inches, for example, 0.5.

  5. To close the Paragraph dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to your message window.

Note: All subsequent paragraphs that you type will be indented.

Indent all but the first line of a paragraph

  1. When composing a message, select the paragraph in which you want to indent all but the first line of the paragraph (hanging indent).

  2. To open the Format Text tab, press Alt+O. Then press P, and then G. The Paragraph dialog box opens, with the focus on the Indents and Spacing tab. You hear: "Paragraph window. Alignment." In JAWS you hear: "Paragraph dialog. Indents and Spacing page."

  3. To indent all but the first line of the paragraph, use the options in Indentation group. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Special, <indentation option>, editable combobox." In JAWS you hear: "Special column combobox, <indentation option>."

    To create a hanging indent, press Spacebar, and then use the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear: "Hanging." To select, press Enter.

  4. To set the indentation size, press the Tab key. You hear "By" and the current indentation size. Then type the value in inches, for example, 0.5.

  5. To close the Paragraph dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to your message window.

Increase or decrease the indent of an entire paragraph

  1. When composing a message, select the paragraphs for which you want to increase or decrease the left or right indentation.

  2. To open the Format Text tab, press Alt+O. Then press P, and then G. The Paragraph dialog box opens, with the focus on the Indents and Spacing tab. You hear: "Paragraph window. Alignment." In JAWS you hear: "Paragraph dialog. Indents and Spacing page."

  3. Use the options in Indentation group to do one of the following:

    • To modify indent from the left margin, press the Tab key until you hear: "Left."

    • To modify indent from the right margin, press the Tab key until you hear: "Right."

    To set the indentation size, type a number in inches. The indentation size is announced.

  4. To close the Paragraph dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to your message window.

See also

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Outlook

Use a screen reader to create bulleted or numbered lists in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

Use Outlook with Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to add space before and after each paragraph and create indents. You can create an indent only in the first line of a paragraph, or create a hanging indent, in which the first line of the paragraph is not indented, but subsequent lines are. Additionally, you can change the line spacing for a paragraph.

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 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 Windows phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a tablet or PC.

In this topic

Add paragraph spacing

  1. When composing an email, select the paragraphs where you want to add spacing.

    Tip: To select a paragraph, in the message body, swipe up or down on the screen with one finger until you hear “Paragraphs,” swipe left or right to browse to the paragraph you want to select, and then triple-tap the screen. After selecting the paragraph, swipe up or down on the screen with one finger until you hear: “Items.”

  2. Swipe right with one finger until you hear: “More Options button, button collapsed, double-tap to expand.” Double-tap the screen. The More Options menu expands. You hear: “Discard, button.”

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Format," and then double-tap the screen. The Format menu opens.

  4. To open the Line & Paragraph Spacing submenu, swipe right until you hear "Line and paragraph spacing, button collapsed," and double-tap the screen.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To add space before a paragraph, swipe right until you hear "Add space before paragraph, button," and double-tap the screen.

    • To add space after a paragraph, swipe right until you hear "Add space after a paragraph," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. After you select an option, the space is added before or after the paragraph and the focus moves to the email message body.

Set line spacing

  1. Select the paragraph where you want to change the line spacing.

  2. Open the Line & Paragraph Spacing submenu. Then swipe right until you hear "Line spacing, button, double-tap to activate," and double-tap the screen. The Line Spacing submenu opens.

  3. Swipe right until you hear the line spacing option you want. To select, double-tap the screen.

Create paragraph indents

Create a special paragraph indent

  1. When composing a message, select the paragraphs in which you want to create the indent.

  2. Swipe right with one finger until you hear: “More Options button, button collapsed, double-tap to expand.” Double-tap the screen. The More Options menu expands. You hear: “Discard, button.”

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Format," and then double-tap the screen. The Format menu opens.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Special indent," and double-tap the screen. The Special Indent submenu opens.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To indent all but the first line of a paragraph, swipe right until you hear "Hanging," and double-tap the screen.

    • To indent only the first line of the paragraph, swipe right until you hear "First line," and double-tap the screen.

  6. After you select an option, the indent is created and the focus moves to the email message body.

Note: All subsequent paragraphs that you type will be indented.

Increase or decrease the indent of an entire paragraph

  1. When composing a message, select the paragraphs you want to indent.

  2. Swipe right with one finger until you hear: “More Options button, button collapsed, double-tap to expand.” Double-tap the screen. The More Options menu expands. You hear: “Discard, button.”

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Format," and then double-tap the screen. The Format menu opens.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To add indent to the left, swipe right until you hear "Decrease indent button," and double-tap the screen.

    • To add indent to the right, swipe right until you hear "Increase indent button," and double-tap the screen.

  5. After you select an option, the indent is created and the focus moves to the email message body.

See also

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Outlook

Use a screen reader to create bulleted or numbered lists in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

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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