Use a screen reader to highlight a file or folder in a document library in SharePoint Online

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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 SharePoint Online with your keyboard and a screen reader such as JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to highlight important files, folders, or links in a document library by pinning them to the top of the document library. When you pin an item, a thumbnail image appears at the top of the document library page, which makes it easier for users to find it.

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 could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • 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 Get started with 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.

In this topic

Spotlight an item in document library

Notes: 

  • The highlight area is specific to a single folder or library view. When you use custom views, you need to pin the item in each view where you want it to appear.

  • You can highlight a maximum of three items per library, folder, or view.

  • This procedure is not available in classic mode.

  1. Sign in to your organization’s Office 365 account, start the SharePoint app, and then open your document library.

    Tip: Document libraries in SharePoint Online have two different views: classic and SharePoint Online experience. For most people, SharePoint Online experience is the default. However, if you hear “Check it out button” when navigating your document library, you’re using the classic experience. To view SharePoint Online document libraries, when you hear “Check it out button,” press Enter. After the view of your document library changes to the SharePoint Online experience and the focus moves from the Check it out button to the New link, you hear the name of your document library, followed by “New.”

  2. Go to the document library that contains the file, folder, or link you want to highlight.

  3. In List view or Tiles view, select the item you want to spotlight.

    Tips: 

    • To select an item, tab until you hear “Grid column headers, Use menus to sort, filter, or group by a column” and then use the Down Arrow key. (In Narrator, you hear “Table name” and the name of the next column.)

    • To switch between List view and Tiles view:

      • Make sure no files or folders are selected. The New button and View menu are available on the menu only when no files are selected in the document library.

      • Tab until you hear “New, Create a new folder or Office document in this location.”

      • Press the Right Arrow key until you hear “View menu,” and press Enter.

      • Press the Down Arrow key until you hear “List” or “Tiles,” and press Enter.

  4. Tab until you hear “Open.”

  5. Press the Right Arrow key until you hear “Pin to top,” and press Enter. A thumbnail image of the item appears at the top of your library.

    Tip: If the Pin to top option is not available on the menu bar, press the Right Arrow key until you hear “More commands, Other things you can do with the selected items submenu” and press Enter. On the submenu, press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Pin to top” and then press Enter.

Note: If you select the thumbnail image of the spotlighted item, it’s easy to work with the item:

  • To select a thumbnail image, tab until you hear “Pinned items list box.” Then, press the Right Arrow key until you hear the name of the spotlighted item you want. (In Narrator, you hear “Pinned items.”)

  • To open the selected spotlighted item, press Enter.

  • To open a context menu with a list of additional actions you can take on the spotlighted item, for example, Rename, Alert me, Version History, and Check out:

    1. Tab until you hear “Open.”

    2. Press the Right Arrow key until you hear “More commands, Other things you can do with the selected items submenu,” and press Enter.

    3. On the context menu, to make your selection, use the Down Arrow key and then press Enter.

Change the order of spotlighted items

When you have more than one item spotlighted, you can change the order in which they appear by moving an item to the left or right.

  1. Sign in to your organization’s Office 365 account, start the SharePoint app, and then open your document library.

  2. To view SharePoint Online document libraries, press the Tab key until you hear “Check it out button.” Press Enter. After the view of your document library changes to the SharePoint Online view and the focus moves from the Check it out button to the New link, you hear the name of your document library, followed by “New.”

    Tip: If you don’t hear “Check it out button,” you’re already using the SharePoint Online view.

  3. Go to the document library, folder, or view where the item is spotlighted.

  4. To select the item you want to reorder, tab until you hear “Pinned items list box.” Then, press the Right Arrow key until you hear the name of the spotlighted item you want to move to a new position. (In Narrator, you hear “Pinned items.”)

  5. Tab until you hear “Open.”

  6. Press the Right Arrow key until you hear “Edit Pin,” and press Enter.

    Tip: If the Edit pin option is not available on the menu bar, press the Right Arrow key until you hear “More commands, Other things you can do with the selected items submenu” and press Enter. On the submenu, press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Edit pin” and then press Enter.

  7. To select Move right or Move left, use the Down Arrow key and then press Enter.

Unpin a spotlighted item

  1. Sign in to your organization’s Office 365, start the SharePoint app, and then open your document library.

  2. To view SharePoint Online document libraries, press the Tab key until you hear “Check it out button.” Press Enter. After the view of your document library changes to the SharePoint Online view and the focus moves from the Check it out button to the New link, you hear the name of your document library, followed by “New.”

    Tip: Tip If you don’t hear “Check it out button,” you’re already using the SharePoint Online view.

  3. Go to the document library, folder, or view where the item is spotlighted.

  4. To select the item you want to unpin, tab until you hear “Pinned items list box.” Then, press the Right Arrow key until you hear the name of the spotlighted item you want to move to a new position. (In Narrator, you hear “Pinned items.”)

  5. Tab until you hear “Open.”

  6. Unpin the item:

    • If only one item is pinned, press the Right Arrow key until you hear “Unpin submenu” and then press Enter.

    • If more than one item is pinned, press the Right Arrow key until you hear “Edit Pin submenu” and press Enter. Press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Unpin,” and press Enter.

Use SharePoint Online with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to highlight important files, folders, or links in a document library by pinning them to the top of the document library. The pinned item appears as a thumbnail image at the top of the document library page.

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 could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • 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 Get started with Narrator.

  • 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.

In this topic

Switch to the List view

To list all the items in a document library, you need to switch to the List view.

  1. Go to the document library that contains the file, folder, or link you want to highlight.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Search,” press Caps Lock+Right arrow key until you hear “View options,” and then press Enter.

    If you don't hear "View options," remove all possible item selections and try again.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear “List,” and then press Enter.

Pin an item in a document library

The pinned item only appears as highlighted in the folders and library views in which it was originally pinned. If you use custom views, you need to pin the item in each view where you want it to appear as highlighted. You can pin a maximum of three items per library, folder, or view.

  1. Go to the document library that contains the file, folder, or link you want to pin.

  2. To select the item to be pinned, press the Tab key until you hear the first item in the items list. Press the Caps Lock+Left or Right arrow key until you hear the name of the item.

  3. To open the context menu, press Alt+Menu key. You hear: "Menu." If you hear "Menu, pop up, read aloud" instead of "Menu", press Esc to move the focus to the correct context menu.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear “Pin to top,” and then press Spacebar.

Change the order of pinned items

When you have pinned more than one item, you can change the order in which they appear.

  1. Go to the document library, folder, or view where the items are pinned.

  2. To select the item you want to move, press the Tab key until you hear “Pinned items.” Then, press Caps Lock+Right arrow key until you hear the name of the item.

  3. To open the context menu, press Alt+Menu key. You hear: "Menu." If you hear "Menu, pop up, read aloud" instead of "Menu", press Esc to move the focus to the correct context menu.

  4. In the context menu, press Caps Lock+Right arrow key until you hear “Edit Pin,” and then press Spacebar.

  5. To select in which direction to move the item, press the Down arrow key until you hear the option you want, and then press Enter.

Unpin an item

  1. Go to the document library, folder, or view where the item is pinned.

  2. To select the item you want to unpin, press the Tab key until you hear “Pinned items.” Then, press Caps Lock+Right arrow key until you hear the name of the item.

  3. To open the context menu, press Alt+Menu key. You hear: "Menu." If you hear "Menu, pop up, read aloud" instead of "Menu", press Esc to move the focus to the correct context menu.

  4. To unpin an item, in the context menu, press Caps Lock+Right arrow key until you hear “Edit Pin,” and then press Spacebar. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Unpin," and then press Spacebar.

See also

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

Use a screen reader to edit 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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