Use a screen reader to insert a picture or image in an email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to insert a picture or image in an email in Outlook

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.

For people who aren't using a screen reader, see Attach files or insert pictures in Outlook email messages (Windows) or Insert pictures in Office for Mac.

Use Outlook with your keyboard and a screen reader to add images into your email messages. We have tested it with Narrator and JAWS, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You'll learn how to insert pictures from your computer or device or from a source on the web, such as Bing.com.

Notes: 

In this topic

Insert a picture from your computer

To insert pictures, your message must be formatted using the HTML or rich text formats.

  1. While writing an email, place the focus at the insertion point where you want to insert the picture.

  2. To open the Insert Picture dialog, press Alt+N, P. You hear: "Insert Picture dialog." The dialog opens the default folder for the pictures on your computer or device (typically, the Pictures folder).

  3. To move between folders and then select one in the Insert Picture dialog:

    • Press Shift+Tab to move the focus to the Items view, which lists the folders and files in the Insert Picture dialog. With Narrator, you hear "Items view," followed by the name of the first folder or files. With JAWS, you hear "Not selected," followed by the name of the first folder or file.

    • To move between the folders and files, use the arrow keys.

    • When you hear the name of a folder you want to open, press Enter.

    • Repeat this procedure until you are in the folder that contains your picture.

    Tip: To quickly move to the parent folder of the current folder, press Alt+Up arrow key.

  4. To insert a picture from the current folder, use the arrow keys to move the focus to the file you want, and press Enter. The focus returns to the email.

    Or, you can press F6 to move the focus to the File name box (you'll hear "File name"), and start typing the file name for the picture. To move through the search results, press the Down arrow key. To insert the selected result, press Enter. The focus returns to the email.

Insert a picture from an online source

Note: This option is not available when using JAWS.

Note: Bing Image Search filters are based on the highly respected Creative Commons license system. To better understand the licensing options, refer to Filter images by license type. Remember, you're responsible for respecting the rights of others' property, including copyright.

  1. In an email, place the insertion point where you want to insert the image.

  2. To move to the Insert tab on the ribbon and open the Insert Pictures dialog, press Alt+N, F.

  3. Type a word or phrase that describes the type of picture you want, and then press Enter. Narrator announces the number of results.

  4. To browse the image search results, press the Tab key until you hear the first result, then use the Right and Left arrow keys to move through the results. You hear a description of each image you select.

    Tip: To type a different word or phrase, press the Tab key until you reach the search box. You hear: "Type a query."

  5. To download and insert an image from the search results, press Spacebar to select the image, press the Tab key until you reach the Insert button, and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to your message, and Outlook starts to download the image.

Add alt text to an image

  1. While writing an email, select the picture that you want to add alt text to.

  2. To open the context menu, press Shift+F10.

  3. Press the Up arrow key repeatedly until you hear "Edit Alt Text," and press Enter. With Narrator, you hear: "Alt text, description, editing." With JAWS, you hear: "Description, edit."

  4. Type the alt text for the image. Describe the content and the purpose of the image in a concise and unambiguous manner. The alt text shouldn’t be longer than a short sentence or two.

  5. When done, press Esc to return the focus to the message.

See also

Save an image or attachment from an email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to add a signature in Outlook

Change your profile photo

Reduce the size of pictures and attachments in Outlook email messages

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for navigating mail in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

Use Outlook for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader for Mac OS, to insert pictures and images in an email. You can add images from your computer or download pictures from the Internet to be added in your email.

Notes: 

In this topic

Insert a picture from your computer

You can easily add a picture in your email using your keyboard and VoiceOver. To insert pictures, your message must be formatted using HTML.

  1. In an email, place the focus where you want to insert the picture.

  2. To go to the menu bar, press Control+Option+M. You hear: "Menu bar Apple."

  3. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Format," and then press the Down arrow key until you hear: "Insert picture ellipses."

  4. Press Spacebar. The Insert File dialog opens.

  5. To browse to the location where the picture is saved, press the Tab key until you hear: "Sidebar table."

    Tip: To open the Sidebar, press the Tab key until you hear "Show Sidebar button" and then press Spacebar.

    The focus moves to the list of favorite locations, such as All My Files or Documents. Press the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear the location you want.

  6. When on the correct location, press the Tab key. Then press the Up or Down arrow keys to browse to the subfolder or file you want. To enter a subfolder, press the Right arrow key.

  7. When the correct file is selected, to insert the picture, press Enter or Control+Option+Spacebar. The picture is inserted in the email.

Insert a picture from an online source

Searching for and inserting pictures from online sources directly from Outlook isn't currently supported. However, you can still add an online picture to your email by searching for the picture online, saving a local copy, and then inserting the local copy in the email.

  1. Using a web browser, go to www.bing.com. The focus moves to the Bing Search box.

  2. In the Search box, enter a keyword for the type of image you're looking for and then press Enter.

    Note: Bing Image Search filters are based on the highly respected Creative Commons license system. To better understand the licensing options, refer to Filter images by license type. Remember, you're responsible for respecting the rights of others' property, including copyright. In the License filter, you can filter search results to All Creative Commons only or you can choose to see all images. If you choose All, your search results will expand to show all Bing images. To select a license option, use the Up or Down arrow keys and then press Spacebar to select.

  3. To filter the search results to images only, in your Bing search results, press Option+Tab until you hear "Link, Images," and then press Enter.

  4. To navigate to the image results, press Option+Tab or Option+Shift+Tab. You hear: "Link, image, image results for <the search keywords>."

  5. To open the full-sized image, press Enter.

  6. To download the image, press Option+Tab until you hear "Image result for <the search keywords>" followed by the file name and extension. Press Command+S.

  7. The Save as dialog opens. The focus is in the file name field. To choose the save location, press the Tab key until you hear "<Current save location>, Where, column, pop-up button," and then use the Tab and the arrow keys to select a location. To save, press Command+S.

    Tip: Save the images in your Documents to make them easier to insert in an Outlook document.

  8. In Outlook, place the focus where you want to insert a picture. Insert the picture you just saved using the instructions in Insert a picture from your computer.

Add alt text to an image

Make your email more accessible and add an alternative text in the images in your email.

  1. Navigate to the image in your email, and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select it.

  2. With the focus on the image, press Shift+Command+2. You hear: "Add alt text." The Format Picture task pane opens.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "Edit text, blank, title," and then type a descriptive title for the image.

  4. Press the Tab key. You hear: "Edit text." Type a description of the image.

  5. To exit the Format Picture task pane, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Close Format picture button," and then press Spacebar.

See also

Save an image or attachment from an email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to add a signature in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook for Mac

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

Use Outlook for iOS with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader for iOS, to insert pictures and images in an email. You can add images from your iPhone or download pictures from the Internet to add to your email.

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.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

  • This topic assumes that you are using an iPhone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an iPad.

In this topic

Insert a picture from your iPhone

Note: Make sure you allow Outlook for iOS to access your Photos in your iPhone Settings.

  1. In a new email message body, place the focus where you want to insert the picture.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Attach file or photo button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. To insert a picture from your phone, swipe right until you hear "Choose photo from library button," and then double-tap the screen. Photos opens, and you can select the picture you want to insert.

  4. To browse the Photos folders, swipe right or left until you hear the folder you want. To open the folder, double-tap the screen.

  5. When in the folder you want, swipe right or left to navigate to the file you want. When on the file, to insert the picture, double-tap the screen.

  6. The picture is inserted, and the focus moves to the new email message body.

Insert a picture from an online source

Searching for and inserting pictures from online sources directly from Outlook for iOS isn't currently supported. However, you can still add an online picture to your email by searching for the picture online, saving a local copy, and then inserting the local copy in the email.

  1. Using a web browser app, go to www.bing.com. The focus moves to the Bing Search box.

  2. In the Search box, double-tap the screen and type a search keyword for the type of image you're looking for using the on-screen keyboard. When done typing, swipe left until you hear "Done button," and then double-tap the screen. Swipe left until you hear "Search button," and double-tap the screen. The Bing search results page opens.

    Tip: To find the keyboard, explore the items on the screen. To explore, place a finger on the screen and drag it around. VoiceOver announces the items as you land on them. To select an item, lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

    Note: Bing Image Search filters are based on the highly respected Creative Commons license system. To better understand the licensing options, refer to Filter images by license type. Remember, you're responsible for respecting the rights of others' property, including copyright.

  3. To filter the search results to images only, in your Bing search results, swipe right until you hear "Images link," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. To navigate to the image results, swipe right. VoiceOver announces the images as "Image results for <the search keywords>, link image."

  5. To open the full-sized image, when on an image, double-tap the screen.

  6. After opening the full-sized image, to download it, swipe right until you hear "Image results for <the search keywords>, image," and then double-tap and hold your finger on the screen until you hear "Alert, save image button." Double-tap the screen to save. The picture is saved in Photos, in the All Photos folder.

  7. In Outlook, place the focus where you want to insert the picture. Then insert the picture you just saved using the instructions in Insert a picture from your iPhone.

See also

Save an image or attachment from an email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to add a signature in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

Use Outlook for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to insert pictures and images in an email. You can add images from your phone or download pictures from the Internet to be added to your email.

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.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with an Android phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an Android tablet.

In this topic

Insert a picture from your phone

Note: Make sure you allow Outlook for Android to access your photos, media and files on your phone in the App permission in Settings.

  1. In a new email message, swipe right until you hear "Attach files," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. To insert a picture from your phone, swipe right until you hear "Choose from photos," and then double-tap the screen. The Open from menu opens.

  3. To go to Photos, swipe right until you hear "Photos," and then double-tap the screen. The Select a photo menu opens, and you can select the picture you want to insert.

  4. To browse the folders, swipe right or left until you hear the folder you want. To open the folder, double-tap the screen. When in the folder you want, swipe right or left to navigate to the file you want. When on the file, to insert the picture, double-tap the screen.

  5. The picture is inserted, and the focus moves to your email message.

Insert a picture from an online source

Searching for and inserting pictures from online sources directly from Outlook for Android isn't currently supported. However, you can still add an online picture to your email by searching for the picture online, saving a local copy, and then inserting the local copy in the email.

Note: Make sure you allow the web browser app to access your photos, media and files on your phone in the App permission in Settings.

  1. Using a web browser app, go to www.bing.com. Then to go to the Bing Search box, swipe right until you hear: "Collapsed. Enter your search term combo box."

  2. In the Search box, double-tap the screen and type a search keyword for the type of image you're looking for using the on-screen keyboard. When done typing, swipe right until you hear "Search button," and double-tap the screen. The Bing search results page opens.

    Tip: You can find the keyboard by exploring the items on the screen. To explore, place a finger on the screen and drag it around. TalkBack announces the items as you land on them. To select an item, when on the item, lift your finger. Depending on your device settings, you may need to double-tap the screen to insert the character.

    Note: Bing Image Search filters are based on the highly respected Creative Commons license system. To better understand the licensing options, refer to Filter images by license type. Remember, you're responsible for respecting the rights of others' property, including copyright.

  3. To filter the search results to images only, in your Bing search results, swipe right until you hear "Images link," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. To navigate to the image results, swipe right. TalkBack announces the images as "Image result for <the search keywords>, link."

  5. To open the full-sized image, when on an image, double-tap the screen.

  6. After opening the full-sized image, to download it, swipe right until you hear "Image result for <the search keywords>, graphic," and then double-tap and hold your finger on the screen until you hear "Image result for <the search keywords>, showing items." Swipe right until you hear "Download image," and then double-tap the screen to save. The picture is saved in Photos in the Download folder.

  7. In Outlook, in a new email message, insert the picture you just saved using the instructions in Insert a picture from your phone.

See also

Save an image or attachment from an email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to add a signature in Outlook

Use a screen reader to set up your email account in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

Use Outlook Web App with your keyboard and a screen reader to insert pictures and images in an email. We have tested it with Narrator, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You'll learn how to add images from your computer or from an online location.

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.

  • We're currently updating Outlook.office.com (Outlook on the Web). Some people are already using the new Outlook, and for others the classic version will be the default experience until we complete the update. For more information, go to Get help with the new Outlook on the web. Since the instructions in this topic apply to the new experience, we recommend that you switch from the classic experience to the new Outlook. To switch to the new Outlook, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Command, Try the new Outlook," and then press Enter. If you hear "Command toolbar" instead of "Command, Try the new Outlook," you're already using the new Outlook.

  • When you use Outlook Web App, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Outlook Web App 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 Outlook Web App.

In this topic

Insert a picture from your device

Spice up your emails and add a picture from the local storage on your device.

  1. In an email, place the focus where you want to insert the picture.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Insert pictures inline button," and then press Spacebar. The Open dialog opens.

  3. Navigate to the picture you want, and then press Alt+O. The picture is inserted in the email.

Insert a picture from an online source

Searching for and inserting pictures from online sources directly from Outlook Web App isn't currently supported. However, you can still add an online picture to your email by searching for the picture online, saving a local copy, and then inserting the local copy in the email.

  1. Using a web browser, go to www.bing.com. The focus moves to the Bing Search box.

  2. In the Search box, enter a keyword for the type of image you're looking for and then press Enter.

    Note: Bing Image Search filters are based on the highly respected Creative Commons license system. To better understand the licensing options, refer to Filter images by license type. Remember, you're responsible for respecting the rights of others' property, including copyright. In the License filter, you can filter search results to All Creative Commons only or you can choose to see all images. If you choose All, your search results will expand to show all Bing images. To select a license option, use the Up or Down arrow keys and then press Enter to select.

  3. To filter the search results to images only, in your Bing search results, press the Tab key until you hear "Images, link," and then press Enter.

  4. To navigate to the image results, press the Tab key. You hear: "Image results for," followed by the search keywords.

  5. To open the full-sized image, press Enter.

  6. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Image result for," followed by the search keywords. The focus moves to the image.

  7. Press Shift+F10. The context menu opens.

  8. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Save picture as," and then press Enter.

  9. The Save as dialog opens. The focus is on the file name field. To choose a save location, press the Tab key and the arrow keys until you hear the location you want. To select, press Enter. To save the image, press Alt+S.

  10. In Outlook, place the focus where you want to insert a picture. Insert the picture you just saved using the instructions in Insert a picture from your device.

See also

Save an image or attachment from an email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to add a signature in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts in Outlook on the web and Outlook.com

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

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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