Accessibility in the People app

The People app in Office 365 includes accessibility features that make it easier for people with disabilities to use the app. For example, people who are blind or have low vision can use screen readers to have information about the user interface (UI) read aloud to them. People who have limited mobility can use keyboard shortcuts or speech recognition tools instead of a mouse. This article covers accessibility features available in the People app for many types of disabilities.


  • For more information about accessibility features available for other apps, go to Office Accessibility Center.

  • Windows computers have built-in assistive tools that you can use with Microsoft products. To learn more about assistive technologies included with Windows 10, go to Make your PC easier to use.

In this topic

Get oriented: Overview of the user interface for the People app

The People app helps you to manage your contact information. Like other Office 365 apps, the People app is a web-based application that you use in a web browser, so its UI is contained within your web browser on a webpage.

If you’re a person who is blind or has low vision or if you have limited mobility, you might move around the elements in a webpage UI solely by using the Tab key to move forward and Shift+Tab to go back. When you know landmarks in the UI, you can more easily build a mental model of it and this model can help you more quickly move around the UI.

You can use the main areas of the People app UI (described in the following table), along with some of the common elements in the UI, as landmarks in your mental model.

Landmarks to use in your mental model of the People app UI

Area of the UI

Common elements of the People app UI

Top left: Office 365 navigational links and the People app buttons

  • App Launcher link

  • Office 365 link

  • People link

  • New button. Creates a new contact or group.

  • Manage button. Performs various actions related to managing your contacts.

  • Edit button. Edits the information for a selected contact.

  • Delete button. Deletes the selected contact.

  • Groups button. Lists the available groups and the groups to which a selected contact belongs. It also enables you to remove the selected contact from a group.

  • Add to favorites button or Remove from favorites button.

  • Links button. If the selected contact includes more than one linked profile, this button appears and, when clicked, it lists the contact’s profiles.

Top right: Office 365 information

  • Skype button. In a Contacts pane, lists all of your contacts who also use Skype.

  • Settings button. Filters and sorts your contacts, for example.

  • Account pane

Top right (below the Office 365 information): Linked accounts

  • Buttons for each account that includes contacts to which the People app has access (for example, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and others).

  • More button. Links to the Accounts that you can access page.

Left: People app navigation pane

  • All check box. Selects or clears the selection all of your contacts currently included in the navigation pane.

  • Search box and button. Searches your contacts.

  • A star button. Below the button is a top-down alphabetical list of your favorite contacts.

  • A button for each letter of the alphabet. Below each button is a top-down alphabetical list of all of your contacts who have names that begin with that letter of the alphabet.

Note: When you click any of these buttons, the button collapses all of your contacts and displays only the buttons. To navigate quickly to a contact, click the appropriate button. Also, the contacts displayed in the navigation pane vary depending on your People app settings.

Main content area for the People app: Contact details

The contact details for the selected contact, which include:

  • Profile picture

  • Linked profiles

  • Phone numbers

  • Email addresses

  • Physical addresses

  • Other details

Note: If no contacts are selected, the main content area includes a Start import button. The contact details that are displayed vary by contact.

Use a screen reader to hear the user interface for the People app

Screen readers are apps that enable people who are blind or have low vision to hear audible feedback for the elements of a UI. As with the UI in other Microsoft products, the UI elements for the People app include names that screen readers can understand (accessible names).

When you use a screen reader with the People app, the screen reader reads the accessible names aloud to you (along with any other relevant information), while the focus of the screen reader moves to each element of the UI that you’re using in the People app.

For example:

  • When you select the New button in the People app, the focus of the screen reader moves to that button and the screen reader says, “New link.”

  • When the focus of the screen reader moves to each contact in the navigation pane in the People app, you hear the name of the person or company.

  • When you edit a contact and you select the details for that contact, the focus of the screen reader moves to each detail. The screen reader reads the option name and its current value (for example, “Company, Contoso”).

Navigate with keyboard shortcuts in the People app

Because the People app operates with your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts that work in your browser also work in the People app. However, if your browser does not support keyboard shortcuts, you can use the Tab key to move forward and Shift+Tab to move back.

The following table describes the keyboards shortcuts you can use to navigate the UI for the People app—those which are included in most browsers, along with those which are specific to the People app.


  • When you use the People app, we recommend that you use Internet Explorer as your web browser. When you do, you have access to the keyboard shortcuts available in Internet Explorer.

  • The keyboard shortcuts in this table refer to the US keyboard layout. Keys on other keyboard layouts may not correspond exactly to the keys on a US keyboard.

  • If a shortcut requires pressing two or more keys at the same time, this table separates the keys with a plus sign (+).

To do this

Press this

Move forward to the next area, button, link, or option in a dialog box; or close a menu

For example, go from one navigational link or button to the next, and go to the next area of information when you view, add, or edit a contact. Or, for example, close the Groups menu. In the Links dialog box, move to the next option.

The Tab key

Move back to the previous area, button, or link


Do any of the following:

  • Move from one contact to the next in a contact list, or move to the previous contact

  • When one contact is already selected, select more contacts

  • Move between and select options in a menu

The arrow keys

Select or clear the check box for a contact in a contact list or an option in a dialog box


Clear all selections on a page and refresh that page in the web browser


Activate a button or link or open a menu

For example, when you add or edit contact information, to save the information, tab to the Save button to select it and then press Enter. Or, when you add a contact to group, in the Groups menu, tab to the Apply button to select it, and then press Enter.


Add a new contact


Edit a selected contact


Save changes to contact information

Ctrl+S or Ctrl+Enter

When a contact is selected, open the Groups menu

Tip: To move between and select options in the menu, use the arrow keys.


When a contact is selected, open the Links dialog box

Tip: To move between and select options in the dialog box, press the Tab key.


When a contact is selected, open the Delete dialog box

Tip: To delete the selected contact, press the Tab key to move to the Delete button, and then press Enter.


Close a dialog box


Move to the Search box


Operate the People app with speech recognition

Speech recognition tools are helpful for people who have limited mobility and who need to use voice commands (rather than the keyboard or mouse) to operate Microsoft products, including the People app.

You can use third-party speech recognition tools, or the functionality called Speech Recognition, which is included with the Windows operating system. To enable Speech Recognition on your computer, go to Use Windows Speech Recognition.

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or have questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Accessibility 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 visit the Microsoft Accessibility Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

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