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

Use a screen reader to create a custom view of 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 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 SharePoint Online with your keyboard and a screen reader to create a custom view of a document library to display items in a way that makes sense for you. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You'll learn how to add columns, select the columns you want to display, and arrange the columns in the order you want. You can also sort, filter, group, or delete items to create a view that suits your needs. When you're done, just give the view a name and save it. A link to the custom view appears in the View menu of the document library page where you created the view.

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 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

Add a column

  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 where you want to add a column.

  3. In List view, press the Tab key until you hear: “List of folders and files." In JAWS, you hear: "Entering table."

  4. Press the Right arrow key until you hear “Add column," and then press Enter. The Add Column menu opens.

  5. To move through the menu options (such as Number, Person, Date, and More), press the Down arrow key until you hear the one you want, and then press Enter. The Create a column dialog opens with the focus on the Column name edit box.

  6. Type a name for the column.

  7. Press the Tab key until you reach the Save button and press Enter. The column is added to the right of your existing columns.

Arrange the columns 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. Go to the document library which has columns that you want to arrange.

  3. In List view, press the Tab key until you hear: “List of folders and files." In JAWS, you hear: "Entering table."

  4. Press the Right arrow key until you hear “Add column," and then press Enter. The Add Column menu opens.

  5. Press the Down arrow key until you hear “Show/hide columns,” and press Enter. The Edit View Columns dialog opens.

  6. To move to the list of columns, press the Tab key. The screen reader reads the name of the first column header in the list. To browse the names of the columns, press the Down arrow key until you hear the one you want to move.

  7. When you hear the name of the column you want to move:

    • To move the column up in the list (to the left in your documents list), press the Right arrow key until you hear “Move column up,” and then press Spacebar or Enter. The column is moved up by one step. Repeat this step until the column is in the position you want.

    • To move the column down in the list (to the right in your documents list), press the Right arrow key until you hear "Move column down button,” and then press Spacebar or Enter. The column is moved down by one step. Repeat this step until the column is in the position you want.

      Tip: You can move only columns that are displayed. To display a column, select the column in the list and press Spacebar.

  8. To check the arrangement of the columns, press the Up Arrow key until you hear the name of the first column in the list (by default, the first column header is DocIcon), and then use the Down Arrow key.

  9. To apply your selections, press the Tab key until you hear “Apply,” and then press Enter.

Sort items 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. Go to the document library which has columns that you want to sort.

  3. In List view, press the Tab key until you hear: “List of folders and files." In JAWS, you hear: "Entering table."

  4. Press the Right arrow key until you hear the name of the column you want to sort by (for example, Name, Modified date, Modified by, or Check In Comment), and then press Enter. A context menu opens. The options available depend on the type of data found in that column, for example, A to Z, Older to newer, or Smaller to larger. To select a sort option, press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the option you want and press Enter. The column order is changed and the focus moves to the first library item.

Filter items 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. Go to the document library which has columns that you want to filter.

  3. In List view, press the Tab key until you hear: “List of folders and files." In JAWS, you hear: "Entering table."

  4. Press the Right arrow key until you hear the name of the column you want to filter by (for example, Name, Modified date, Modified by, or Check In Comment), and then press Enter. A context menu opens.

  5. Press the Down arrow key until you hear “Filter by,” and then press Enter. The Filter by dialog opens.

  6. Press the Tab key until you hear the value that you want to use to filter the items in the column and press Enter to select it. The values available depend on the data in that column. For example, if you filter by the Modified column, you can select dates.

  7. Press Enter. Only items that match the value you've chosen are displayed in the list.

Note: To remove a filter, move to the context menu for the column, then press the Down arrow key until you hear “Clear filter,” and then press Enter.

Group items 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. Go to the document library which has columns that you want to group.

  3. In List view, press the Tab key until you hear: “List of folders and files." In JAWS, you hear: "Entering table."

  4. Press the Right arrow key until you hear the name of the column you want to group items by, and then press Enter. A context menu opens.

  5. Press the Down arrow key until you hear “Group by,” followed by the name of the column, and press Enter. The documents in your library are grouped by the value you selected. For example, the items in the Modified column are grouped by the date on which they were changed.

Delete an item 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. Go to the document library which has the item that you want to delete.

  3. Press the Up and Down arrow keys until you hear the item you want to delete (for example, a file, folder, OneNote notebook, link, or column), and then select it by pressing Spacebar.

  4. Press Shift+Tab until you hear “Share.”

  5. Press the Right arrow key until you hear “Delete,” and press Enter. The Delete dialog box opens with the focus on the Cancel button, and you hear “Delete," followed by the name of the item.

  6. Press the Tab key until you hear "Delete button," and then press Enter. The item moves to the Recycle Bin, and the focus returns to the library list.

Name and save a custom view in a document library

After you've created a custom view, to indicate that the view has been modified, at the top right of the document library page, an asterisk appears next to the name of the view in the View menu at the top right of the document library page to indicate that the view has been modified. For example, if you made changes to the All Documents view, it appears in the View menu as All Documents*. To save your changes:

  1. Make sure no items are selected in your document library. The New button and the View options menu are available only when no items are selected.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “New.”

  3. Press the Right arrow key until you hear “View options,” and press Enter. A context menu opens and you hear the currently selected view.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear “Save view as,” and press Enter. The Save as dialog box opens with the focus in the Save current view or type a new name edit box.

  5. Type a name for the view, then press the Tab key until you hear "Save button," and press Enter. A link to your custom view is added to the View options menu of the library where you created the view and the asterisk beside the view name is removed.

Set the default view for a document library

To set the default view for a document library, you must have library owner or admin permissions for that library. For more information, refer to Settings for views.

Delete a custom view of a document library

To delete a custom view of a document library, you must have library owner or admin permissions for that library. For the steps to delete a custom view of a document library, refer to Delete a view.

See also

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

Use a screen reader to select columns to display in a document library in SharePoint Online

Keyboard shortcuts in SharePoint Online

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate 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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