Read or add speaker notes and comments in a presentation using a screen reader

Office Accessibility Center > Accessibility support for PowerPoint

When you show a PowerPoint 2016 presentation, speaker notes are a great way to add reminders or talking points for the presenter. People can add a review comment in the speaker notes about a slide. When the Notes pane or the Comments pane is open in the view, your screen reader can read the notes and comments.

Note: This topic assumes that JAWS users have turned off the Virtual Ribbon Menu feature.

Read speaker notes

  1. To show the Notes pane, be sure that the presentation is in Normal view. Press Alt+W, L to go to Normal view.

  2. To move among the six panes and other areas in the view, press F6. If speaker notes are present on the current slide, you hear “Has notes.”

    Tip: The focus always starts on the slide itself. Each time you press F6, the focus moves to the Comments pane, status bar and zoom buttons, ribbon, Notes pane, and thumbnail image. To move through the areas in the other direction, press Shift+F6.

  3. When you hear “Notes page pane” or “Slide notes,” to select all text, press Ctrl+A. (In Narrator, to select one line at a time through all text, press Shift+Down Arrow.) When all text is selected, the note is read.

Read comments

  1. To be sure that the presentation is in Normal view, press Alt+W, L.

  2. To open the Comments pane, press Alt+R, P, and then P. You hear “Comments” or “Comments pane.”

  3. To move among the six panes and other areas in the view, press F6 or Shift+F6. If comments are present on the current slide, you hear “Has comments.”

  4. When you hear “Comments” or “User comment thread,” to move to the Next button, press the Tab key.

  5. To move to the first comment, press Spacebar.

  6. To hear the first comment, press Enter.

  7. If there are multiple comments on one slide, to select the next comment, tab to the Next button again, press Spacebar, and then press Enter.

  8. To have the screen reader read all the comments on the slide, repeat this process.

To close the Comments pane, press Alt+R, P, and then press P.

See also

Use keyboard shortcuts to deliver your presentation

Use keyboard shortcuts to create your presentation

Use your screen reader and keyboard shortcuts to add and read speaker notes and comments in your PowerPoint 2016 for Mac presentation.

Notes: 

In this topic

Add speaker notes

Add speaker notes in your presentation to tell a story to your audience beyond the slide content. You can use the speaker notes as private reminders of the slide content, too. You can add the speaker notes in the Normal view if you're adding only short notes, or on the Notes page if you're planning to write more notes per slide.

Add speaker notes in the Normal view
  1. On the slide where you want to add speaker notes, press F6 until you hear: " Notes pane, layout area."

  2. Type your speaker notes for the slide. When you're done, to move away from the Notes Pane, press F6.

Add speaker notes on a Notes page
  1. On the slide where you want to add speaker notes, in the Normal view, press Command+3. You hear: "Notes page, layout area."

  2. On the Notes page, press Tab until you hear: "Edit text, you're currently on a text area." Then type your speaker notes.

  3. To move to the notes on another slide, on the Notes page, press Option+Control+Shift+Up arrow key until you hear "Notes pane, layout area" and then press Option+Right or Left arrow key.

  4. To return to the Normal view, press Command+1.

Read speaker notes

You can listen to the notes on your headset and then deliver them verbally to your audience, or let the screen reader read the notes out loud. You can listen to the speaker notes either in the Normal view or the Notes page when you're creating or editing your presentation. When you're delivering a slide show, you can use the Presenter view.

Read speaker notes in the Normal view
  1. On the slide, press F6 until you hear: "Notes pane, layout area."

  2. In the Notes Pane, press Control+Command+Right arrow key. You hear: "Edit text, insertion at beginning of text, <the speaker notes text>."

  3. To move away from the Notes Pane, press F6.

Read speaker notes on a Notes page
  1. On a slide, press Command+3. You hear: "Notes page, layout area."

  2. On the Notes page, press Tab until you hear: "Edit text, <the notes text>."

  3. To move to the notes on another slide, on the Notes page, press Option+Control+Shift+Up arrow key until you hear "Notes pane, layout area" and then press Option+Right or Left arrow key.

  4. To return to the Normal view, press Command+1.

Read speaker notes in the Presenter view
  1. To switch to the Presenter view, on a slide in the Normal view, press Option+Return. You hear: "Presenter view."

  2. In the Presenter view, press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear: "Notes pane, layout area."

  3. To read the notes text, in the Notes pane, press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow. You hear: "In edit text, <notes text>." To stop reading, press the Left and Right arrow keys at the same time.

Add comments

You can add comments on slides if you're, for example, working together with others on a presentation or you're reviewing someone else's work.

  1. On the slide where you want to add comments, press F6 until you hear the name of the current tab on the ribbon. Then press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear "Review tab" and press Control+Option+Spacebar. You hear: "Press Review, selected, tab."

  2. On the Review tab, press Tab until you hear: "New comment button." Then press Control+Option+Spacebar. You hear: "Edit text, you're currently on a text area." The focus moves to the comment pane in the margin.

  3. Type your comment. When you're done, to navigate away from the comment pane, press F6 until you hear the item or element you want to select.

Read comments

You can use your screen reader to listen to others' comments and to check who's commented on your presentation and when.

  1. In the Normal view, on a slide, press F6 until you hear the current tab on the ribbon. Then press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear "Review tab" and press Control+Option+Spacebar. You hear: "Review tab."

  2. On the Review tab, press Tab until you hear: "Show comments menu button."

  3. To expand the Show Comments menu list, press Control+Option+Shift+M.

  4. In the menu list, press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear either "Check mark, Comment pane" or "Comment pane." If you hear "Check mark, Comment pane," press Esc and proceed to the next step. If you hear "Comment pane," press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. On a slide, press F6 until you hear: "Comments tab, you're currently on ta tab inside of a task pane."

  6. On the Comments tab, press Tab until you hear: "Comment thread." The focus is now on the first comment of the thread. To read the comment, press Tab. Your screen reader announces the time when the comment was added and who wrote it.

    To move to the next comment thread, press the Option+Control+Shift+Up arrow key. You hear: "Out of comment thread." Then press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the next thread.

See also

Create a presentation using a screen reader

Save a presentation using a screen reader

Use keyboard shortcuts to deliver your presentation

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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