Use a screen reader to edit a document in a document library in SharePoint Online

Use a screen reader to edit a document in a document library in SharePoint Online

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 with visual impairments 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 SharePoint Online with your keyboard and a screen reader such as JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to edit documents in a document library.


  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

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

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

  • This topic makes note of the JAWS functionality as well. To learn more about JAWS for Windows, go to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

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

  • When you use SharePoint Online, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because SharePoint 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 SharePoint Online.

Edit a document

  1. Sign in to your organization’s Office 365 account, start the SharePoint app, and then open your document library. The focus is on the New menu item. Learn how to get started.

    Note: If the SharePoint Online view is displayed, the Return to classic SharePoint link appears in the navigation pane, and you hear “Document Center” when your library is displayed. If SharePoint Online view is not displayed, the Check it out button appears. To display SharePoint Online view, tab to this button and press Enter. You hear “Document Center” followed by the name of your library. The focus moves to the New button in the menu bar, and you hear the name of your document library, followed by “New.”

  2. If the focus is not on the New button, press Tab until you hear the library name and “New. Create a new folder or Office document in this location.”

  3. Tab to the library’s column headers. You hear “Column headers. Use menus to sort, filter, or group by a column.” (In Narrator, you hear “Table. Name. Modified. Modified by,” followed by the names of library items.“)

  4. Press the Down Arrow key until you hear your document name, and then press Enter.

  5. You can edit in Word or, if you prefer, with Word Online in the browser. Press Enter and then the Tab key until you hear your choice.

    • To edit in Word, you hear “Edit in Word, Use the full functionality of Microsoft Word.”

    • To edit in the browser, you hear, “Edit in browser, Make quick changes right here using Word Online.”

  6. Press Enter. The focus moves to the document editing area.

  7. Edit the document.

  8. To close, press Alt+F, X. You hear “Leaving menus, Internet Explorer dialog, Do you want to close all tabs or the current tab?”

  9. Press the Right Arrow key. You hear “Close current tab button; To activate, press Spacebar.”

  10. Press Enter. Your document is automatically saved. The focus returns to the library.

See also

Use a screen reader to upload files to a document library in SharePoint Online

Use a screen reader to create a custom view of a document library in SharePoint Online

Keyboard shortcuts in SharePoint Online

Get started using a screen reader with a modern document library in SharePoint Online

Accessibility features in SharePoint Online

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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