Use a screen reader to read and reply to a meeting request in Outlook

Use a screen reader to read and reply to a meeting request in Outlook

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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 Outlook with your keyboard and a screen reader to read and respond to meeting requests. 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 send quick responses straight from the Outlook Inbox message list, or open the request for more options, such as proposing a new meeting time.

Notes: 

In this topic

Reply to a meeting request from the Inbox message list

As meeting requests arrive to your Outlook Inbox folder, you can quickly accept, accept tentatively, or decline the meeting right there without having to open the request itself.

  1. In Outlook Inbox, use the Up and Down arrow keys to place the focus on the meeting request.

    To learn how to open and read the contents of the meeting request, go to Open and reply to a meeting request.

  2. Press Shift+F10. The context menu opens, and Narrator announces: “Context menu, menu.” In JAWS you hear: "Menu." To reply to the request, do one of the following:

    • To accept, press C, C, and then Enter.

    • To accept tentatively, press N, and then Enter.

    • To decline, press E.

  3. A Microsoft Outlook dialog opens with the focus on the OK button. Do one of the following:

    • To edit the response before sending, press E, and then Enter. A Meeting Response email message opens, and the focus is in the message text field where you can type your response. When done, press Alt+S to send.

    • To send the response without editing, press S, and then Enter.

    • To choose not to send a response, press D, and then Enter.

    The selected action is carried out, the meeting invitation is deleted, and if accepted, the meeting is added to your Calendar.

Open, read, and reply to a meeting request

To access all reply options, such as proposing a new meeting time, open the meeting request.

  1. In Outlook Inbox, use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate the Inbox items. When on the meeting request, press Enter to open it.

  2. The screen reader announces the title of the meeting request. To read the contents of the meeting invitation, press the SR key+R. To stop the reading, press Ctrl.

  3. To respond to the meeting request, do one of the following:

    • To accept, press Alt+H, C.

    • To accept tentatively, press Alt+H, J.

    • To decline, press Alt+H, N.

  4. When you hear “Menu, Edit the response before sending,” do one of the following:

    • To edit the response before sending, press E.

    • To send the response without editing, press S.

    • To choose not to send a response, press D.

    The selected action is carried out, the meeting invitation is deleted, and if accepted, the meeting is added to your Calendar.

Propose a new meeting time

  1. With the meeting request open in Outlook, do one of the following:

    • To accept tentatively and propose a new time, press Alt+H, P, T, T.

    • To decline and propose a new time, press Alt+H, P, T, D.

  2. A Propose New Time dialog opens. To set the date and time you want to propose, press the Tab key until the screen reader announces the relevant field, such as "Meeting start date" or "Meeting start time," and type the new date or time (for example, "25Oct17" or "1230pm"). When done, press Alt+O.

  3. The dialog closes and a New Time Proposed email message opens. The current meeting time and the new time you are proposing are shown below the message subject field. The focus is in the message body text field where you can type any additional response. When ready to send, press Alt+S. The email is sent, and you return to Inbox.

Check who's invited to a meeting

Once you've accepted a meeting request, you can check who else has been invited.

  1. In Outlook, press Ctrl+2 to go to Calendar.

  2. The focus is on today. To move between the events, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab. When on the meeting you want, press Ctrl+O to open it.

  3. To go to Scheduling Assistant, press Alt+H, U.

  4. Narrator announces: "All attendees," followed by the name of the meeting organizer. In JAWS you hear: "List box," followed by the name of the meeting organizer. To hear the other invitees, press the Down arrow key.

Keep meeting requests in Inbox

Once accepted or declined, meeting requests are automatically moved to the Deleted Items folder. If you'd like to keep the meeting request emails in your Inbox, you can change the Outlook settings.

  1. In Outlook, press Alt+F, T, M to open the Mail options window.

  2. Press Alt+D twice. In Narrator you hear: "Send messages, checked, Delete meeting requests and notifications from Inbox after responding, checkbox." In JAWS you hear: "Delete meeting requests and notifications from Inbox after responding, checkbox checked."

  3. To remove the selection, press Spacebar. In Narrator, you hear: "Unchecked." In JAWS you hear: "Not checked." Press Enter to save the setting and close the dialog. You return to Outlook.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule appointments or meetings in Outlook

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

Keyboard shortcuts for 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 Calendar

Use Outlook for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in macOS screen reader, to read and respond to meeting requests. You can open the request for more options, such as proposing a new meeting time.

Notes: 

In this topic

Open and reply to a meeting request

You can easily accept, tentatively accept, or decline an invitation directly from Calendar in Outlook for Mac. VoiceOver announces new meeting requests when they arrive.

  1. In any calendar view, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab to browse the events for the time period displayed. As you move, VoiceOver announces the events as "<date>, <hours>, <event subject>, <event location>."

    Note: To open Calendar in Outlook, press Command+2.

  2. When on a meeting request you want to open, press Command+O.

  3. To respond to the request, do one of the following:

    • To accept, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Accept menu button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    • To reject, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Decline menu button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    • If you are unsure you can attend, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Tentative menu button," and then press Spacebar.

  4. A list of response options opens. Do one of the following:

    • To respond with comments, press the Down arrow key. You hear: "Respond with comments." Then press Control+Option+Spacebar to select. A response window opens with the focus in the comment text field. Type the comments, and then press Command+Enter. The response is sent.

    • To respond without comments, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Respond without comments," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. The response is sent.

    The focus moves back to Calendar.

Propose a new meeting time

  1. With the meeting request open, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Propose new time, menu button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To accept tentatively and propose a new time, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Tentative and propose new time," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    • To decline and propose a new time, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Decline and propose new time," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  3. A dialog opens, with the focus on the start date field. To set the date and time you want to propose, press the Tab key until VoiceOver announces the relevant field, such as "Start time" or "End date," and type the new date or time.

  4. When done, press the Tab key until you hear "Propose new time, default button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. The dialog closes and a New Time Proposed email message opens. The current meeting time and the new time you are proposing are shown below the message subject field. The focus is in the message body text field where you can type any additional response. When ready to send, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Send button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. The email is sent, and you return to Calendar.

Check who's invited to a meeting

Once you've accepted a meeting request, you can check who else has been invited.

  1. In any calendar view, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab to browse the events for the time period displayed. As you move, VoiceOver announces the events as "<date>, <hours>, <event subject>, <event location>."

  2. When on a meeting request you want to open, press Command+O.

  3. To go to the Scheduling menu, Shift+Tab until you hear "Scheduling, unchecked check box," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. To go to the list of attendees, press the Tab key until you hear: "Attendees, table, row 1 of (...), image, <name of the meeting organizer>."

  5. Press Control+Option+Right arrow key. You hear the name of the meeting organizer. To browse the names of the attendees press Control+Option+Down arrow key. As you move, VoiceOver announces the names for you.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule appointments or meetings in Outlook

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

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook for Mac

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Calendar

Use Outlook for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to read and respond to meeting requests directly from Calendar.

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.

Read and respond to meeting requests

  1. In any Calendar view, swipe right until you hear the first event for the day. VoiceOver announces the event title, date and time, location, and duration as you move through the events. To browse to other events in the future, swipe up.

  2. To open the meeting request details, double-tap the screen when on the request. The meeting request details opens in a new window.

  3. To browse the meeting details window, swipe right or left. VoiceOver announces the details as you move, including the proposed meeting date and time, location, and names and contacts of the attendees.

  4. To respond to the invitation, in the event details window, swipe right or left until you hear "RSVP button," and then double-tap the screen. A list of response options opens.

  5. Swipe right or left until you hear the option you want (Accept, Tentative, or Decline), and then double-tap the screen.

  6. To change your response, in the meeting details window, swipe right or left until you hear "Edit RSVP button," and then double-tap the screen. Swipe to the new option, and then double-tap the screen.

  7. To go back to Calendar, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule appointments or meetings in Outlook

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

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Calendar

Use Outlook for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to read and respond to meeting requests directly from Calendar.

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.

Read and respond to meeting requests

  1. In Calendar, to browse to events in the future, such as meeting requests, swipe right. TalkBack announces the date and time, event title, and location, as you move through the events.

  2. To open the meeting request details, double-tap the screen when on the request. The meeting request details opens in a new window.

  3. To browse the meeting details window, swipe right or left. TalkBack announces the details as you move, including the proposed meeting date and time, location, and names and contacts of the attendees.

  4. To respond to the invitation, in the event details window, swipe right or left until you hear "RSVP button," and then double-tap the screen. A list of response options opens.

  5. Swipe right or left until you hear the option you want (Accept, Tentative, or Decline), and then double-tap the screen.

  6. To change your response, in the meeting details window, swipe right or left until you hear "Edit RSVP button," and then double-tap the screen. Swipe to the new option, and then double-tap the screen.

  7. To go back to Calendar, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule appointments or meetings 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 Calendar

Use Outlook Web App with your keyboard with a screen reader to read and respond to meeting requests in Mail. We have tested it with Narrator, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

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.

  • This topic assumes that the Reading pane is off.

  • 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.

Read and respond to meeting requests

  1. In the Mail main view, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: "Message list."

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear the first message in the list.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the meeting request you want, and then press Enter. The meeting request opens. You hear: "Content pane."

  4. To read the details and options from the beginning of the message, press the SR key+R. Your screen reader announces the details and options as you move, including the proposed meeting date and time, location, and names of the attendees.

  5. If you want to add a message to your response, press the Tab key until you hear "Add a message to," followed by the name of the request sender. Type your message.

  6. To respond to the invitation, do one of the following:

    • To accept, press the Tab key until you hear "Yes button," and then press Spacebar.

    • To decline, press the Tab key until you hear "Yes button," and then press the Right arrow key until you hear: "No button." Press Spacebar to select.

    • If you are unsure if you can attend, press the Tab key until you hear "Yes button," and then press the Right arrow key until you hear: "Maybe button." Press Spacebar to select.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule appointments or meetings in Outlook

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

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts in Outlook on the web and Outlook.com

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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