Use a screen reader to work with templates in Word

Use a screen reader to work with templates 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 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 Word with your keyboard and a screen reader to quickly write, for example, cover letters, resumes, and event flyers using accessible Word templates. You don’t need to worry about formatting and styles, since those are ready for you in the template. We have tested it with Narrator and JAWS, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • When using Narrator, your keyboard will default to the Standard layout. To change this in the Narrator settings, press the Windows logo key+Ctrl+N. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Select keyboard layout, Standard." To change the layout to Legacy, press the Down arrow key once. You hear: "Legacy, selected." The new Narrator commands will not be available in the Legacy keyboard layout if keystrokes for legacy commands conflict with those used in new Narrator features.

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

Create a new document from a template

Templates contain pre-defined formatting settings, styles, and placeholder texts. In Word, 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.

When you move in the template, your screen reader reads the placeholder texts in the template form fields. You replace the placeholder texts in the form fields by typing your own texts.

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 go to Create a template.

  1. Open Word. The focus is on the option to create a new, blank document, button. You hear: "Featured, blank document."

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "More templates, hyperlink" and press Enter.

  3. To search for accessible templates, press Alt+N, S. You hear: “Search for online templates.” In the search field, type “accessible templates,” and then press Enter. A page listing available accessible templates opens.

    Note: If you're already editing a document, and want to create a new one from a template, press Alt+F, N, S. The focus moves to the Search for online templates text field.

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

  5. To select a template, press Enter. You hear “Template preview, Create," followed by the template name.

    In JAWS, you hear “File New tab," followed by the description of the template.

  6. To start working with the document, press Enter. The document opens for editing.

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

  7. To move from a form field to another, press the Up or Down arrow keys or the Tab key. Add your content, and once you're done, save your work. For instructions on how to save a document, go to Use a screen reader to save a document in Word.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to insert a picture or image 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

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

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

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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in Word for Mac.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Mac OS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

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

Create a new document from a template

Templates contain pre-defined formatting settings, styles, and placeholder texts. In Word, 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.

When you move in the template, your screen reader reads the placeholder texts in the template form fields. You replace the placeholder texts in the form fields by typing your own texts.

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.

  1. Open Word. The start page listing all templates opens.

    Note: If you're already working on a document, and want to create a new one from a template, press Shift+Command+P.

  2. To search for accessible templates, press the Tab key until you hear: "Search all templates."

  3. Type "accessible templates." The list of search results is updated as you type.

  4. To go to the search results, press the Tab key until VoiceOver announces the first template.

  5. To browse for a suitable template, press the arrow keys until you hear the template you want, and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. The document opens for editing.

  6. Use the arrow keys to move through the form fields. Add your content, and once you're done, save your work.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar 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

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

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

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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • For touch capabilities in Word for iOS, go to Word for iPhone touch guide

  • 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.

Create a new document from a template

Templates contain pre-defined formatting settings, styles, and placeholder texts. In Word, 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.

When you move in the template, your screen reader reads the placeholder texts in the template form fields. You replace the placeholder texts in the form fields by typing your own texts.

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.

  1. Open Word. You land either on the New or Recent page. To move from the Recent page to New, slide one finger at the bottom of the screen until you hear "New button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. In the New page, swipe right until you hear the name of the template you want, and then double-tap the screen. The document opens for editing.

  3. Slide one finger around the screen to move through the form fields. VoiceOver announces the fields as you move. Double-tap the screen to add your content. Once you're done, save your work. For instructions on how to save a document, go to Use a screen reader to save a document in Word.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

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

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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • For touch capabilities in Word for Android, go to Word for Android touch guide

  • 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.

Create a new document from a template

Templates contain pre-defined formatting settings, styles, and placeholder texts. In Word, 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.

When you move in the template, your screen reader reads the placeholder texts in the template form fields. You replace the placeholder texts in the form fields by typing your own texts.

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.

  1. Open Word. Recent page opens. To move from the Recent page to New, slide one finger at the top of the screen until you hear "New button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "New button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Blank document." The focus is on the blank document template.

  3. Swipe right until you hear the template you want, and then double-tap the screen. The document opens for editing.

  4. Slide one finger around the screen to move through the form fields. TalkBack announces the fields as you move. Double-tap the screen to add your content. Once you're done, save your work. For instructions on how to save a document, go to Use a screen reader to save a document in Word.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

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

Notes: 

Create a new document from a template

Templates contain pre-defined formatting settings, styles, and placeholder texts. In Word, 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.

When you move in the template, your screen reader reads the placeholder texts in the template form fields. You replace the placeholder texts in the form fields by typing your own texts.

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.

  1. Open Word. You land on the start page listing your most recent and pinned documents.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "New button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "New list, Blank document." The focus is on the blank document template.

  3. Swipe right until you hear the template you want, and then double-tap the screen. The document opens for editing.

  4. Slide one finger around the screen to move through the form fields. Narrator announces the fields as you move. Double-tap the screen to add your content. Once you're done, save your work. For instructions on how to save a document, go to Use a screen reader to save a document in Word.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to check spelling in a document in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word Online with your keyboard and a screen reader to quickly write, for example, cover letters, resumes, and event flyers using Word templates. You don’t need to worry about formatting and styles, those are ready for you in the template. We have tested it with Narrator, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • When using Narrator, your keyboard will default to the Standard layout. To change this in the Narrator settings, press the Windows logo key+Ctrl+N. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Select keyboard layout, Standard." To change the layout to Legacy, press the Down arrow key once. You hear: "Legacy, selected." The new Narrator commands will not be available in the Legacy keyboard layout if keystrokes for legacy commands conflict with those used in new Narrator features.

  • 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 Word Online, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. 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.

Create a new document from a template

Templates contain pre-defined formatting settings, styles, and placeholder texts. In Word, 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.

When you move in the template, your screen reader reads the placeholder texts in the template form fields. You replace the placeholder texts in the form fields by typing your own texts.

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.

  1. In your browser, go to Office.com and sign in.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Word, link" and then press Enter. You hear: "Create a new blank document, link."

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To select one of the readily available templates, press the Tab key until you hear the template you want, and then press Enter.

    • To browse for more templates, press the Tab key until you hear "Access more templates, link" and then press Enter. Press the Tab key until you hear the template you want, and then press Enter.

  4. To move between the text fields, press the arrow keys. Add your content. Word Online saves your changes automatically as you work.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to insert a picture or image in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word Online

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

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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