Use a screen reader to review file activity in a document library in SharePoint Online

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 SharePoint Online with your keyboard and a screen reader such as JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to review file activity in a document library. By checking the version history of a file or folder, you can quickly find out when an item was changed, who changed it, and any comments about the changes.


  • 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.

Review file activity in a document library

  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. In List view or Tiles view, select the file you’d like to review the history of.


    • To select a file, 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.)

    • Version History is not available for OneNote notebooks.

    • 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.

  3. Tab until you hear “Menu, Open.” (In Narrator, you hear “Open, Menu item.”)

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

  5. On the context menu, press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Version History” and press Enter. The Version History window opens, and you hear “Version History, Working on it.”

  6. To move to the version list, press the Tab key until you hear the date of the first version listed. The versions are listed in descending order with the most recent version at the top of the list.

    Tips: In Narrator, when you hear the date of a version, you can open a context menu for the version.

    1. Press Alt+Down Arrow. The context menu opens.

    2. To select View, Restore, or Delete, use the Up Arrow key and press Enter. A new window opens, where you can learn details about the version, confirm that you want to replace the latest version with the selected version, or confirm that you want to delete the version. To close the window, press Enter.

  7. To hear more information for a version, for example, the date modified and the name of the person who modified it, press the Tab key. The focus moves to the next column.

  8. To move through the version list, use the Tab key.

  9. To exit the Version History window, tab until you hear “Close button” and press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to get notified when a file or folder changes in SharePoint Online

Use a screen reader to check out or check in files in 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.

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.