Use a screen reader to work with templates in Word 2016

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 2016 with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader to quickly write, for example, cover letters, resumes, and event flyers using accessible Word 2016 templates. You don’t need to worry about formatting and styles, those are ready for you in the template.

Notes: 

In this topic

Introduction to templates

A template is a collection of formatting settings, styles, and placeholder texts that have been pre-defined for you. In Word 2016, you can find several accessible templates, for example, to quickly write a project status report, a resume, a flyer for an event, a research paper, or a to-do list.

Your screen reader reads the placeholder texts in the template form fields for you. You replace the placeholder texts in the form fields by typing your own texts. To move from a form field to another, press the Up or Down arrow keys or Tab.

The changes you make in a file that is based on a template won’t affect the original template. When you create a new document based on a template, it is always a separate file. So, remember to save your file. If you’d like to create your own template or edit an existing one, for instructions see: Create a template.

Find accessible templates

Note: Searching for online templates requires an internet connection.

  1. Open Word 2016.

  2. To go to Files tab, on the keyboard, press Alt+F.

  3. To open the collection of templates, press N. You hear: “Selected, New tab item.”

  4. To search for accessible templates, press S. You hear: “Search for Online Templates.” In the search field, type “accessible templates,” and then press Enter.

  5. To browse for a suitable template, in the search results, press the arrow keys. You hear the template names as you go through them.

  6. To select a template, press Enter. You hear: “Selected, Create <template name> button.”

    In JAWS, you hear: “File New tab, <the description of the template>.”

  7. To start working with the document, press Enter. You hear: “<document name> Word window. A new document based on the template is now ready for editing.”

    In JAWS, you hear the first form field of the template.

Example: Write a cover letter using a template

Use the pre-formatted Word 2016 template to write a professional cover letter to go with your resume, for example.

  1. In Word 2016, search for accessible templates as instructed above in Find accessible templates.

  2. In the search results, press the Right arrow key until you hear: “Cover Letter button.”

    Note: If the cover letter is the first template in the search results, it’s automatically selected.

    Then press Enter. You hear: “Selected Create Cover Letter button.” To start a new document using the template, press Enter.

  3. The Cover Letter opens in the Home tab. You hear: “<Document name>, Word window, <document name> editing.

    If you’re using JAWS, the focus moves directly to the first form field, and you hear “Your Name.” Type your name, and then move to step 5.

  4. To add your name, press the Right arrow key. You hear: “Your Name.” Then type your name.

  5. To add your street address, city, and ZIP code, press the Down arrow key. You hear: “Address, City, ST Zip Code.” Then type your address info.

  6. To add your phone number, press Tab. You hear: “Telephone.” Then type your phone number.

  7. To add your email address, press Tab. You hear: “Email.” Then type your email address.

  8. To add a date for your cover letter, press Tab. You hear: “Date.” Then type a date.

  9. To add the recipient’s name, press the Down arrow key. You hear: “Recipient Name.” Then type the recipient’s name.

  10. To add the recipient’s title, company name, street address, city, and ZIP code, press the Down arrow key. You hear: “Title, Company, Address, City, ST ZIP Code.” Then type the recipient’s info.

  11. To add the recipient’s name after the salutation, press the Down arrow key. You hear: “Recipient Name.” Then type the recipient’s name.

  12. To add your cover letter body text, press the Down arrow key. You hear a description in the placeholder text. Then type your text. The placeholder text is now removed.

    Tip: To add a hyperlink in your cover letter, for example, to your online resume, for instructions, see: Create or edit a hyperlink.

  13. To move to the closing of your cover letter, press the Down arrow key. You hear: “Sincerely.”

    Note: In some cases, the closing text “Sincerely” is not a template form field. However, you can edit non-form field text by deleting the pre-formatted text and then type your own.

    In JAWS, you hear: “Out of form field” for the non-form field text. After that you hear the actual text: “Sincerely.”

  14. To sign off your letter with your name, press the Down arrow key. You hear: “Your Name, selected, edit.” Then type your name.

  15. To save your cover letter, press Ctrl+S. For instructions on how to save a Word-document, see Save a document in Word.

See also

Use a screen reader to add or edit text in a document in Word 2016

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

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

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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