Use a screen reader to select columns to display 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 customize the columns displayed in a document library. For example, in addition to the Name, Modified, and Modified by columns, you may want to display the ID, Created by, Check In Comment, or Compliance Flag columns. Selecting relevant columns to display can make your document library easier to navigate.


  • 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.

Select columns to display 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 where you’d like to show or hide columns.

  3. In List view or Tiles view, in your documents list, press the Tab key until you hear “Grid column headers, Use menus to sort, filter, or group by a column.” (In Narrator, you hear “Table name.”)

    Tips: To switch between List view and Tiles view:

    1. 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.

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

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

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

  4. Press the Right Arrow key until you hear “Arrange by name column header” or “Arrange” and the name of any other column (for example, Modified, Rating, or Check Out To), and then press Enter. A context menu opens and you hear the first option on the list, for example “A to Z” or “Older to newer.”

  5. Press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Column settings submenu,” and press the Right Arrow key or Enter. The submenu menu opens. (In Narrator, you hear “Rename.”)

  6. Press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Show/hide columns,” and press Enter. The Edit View Columns dialog box opens, and you hear “Dialog, New tab, Application.” (In Narrator, the name of the dialog box is not read.)

    Tip: On the Column settings submenu, you can also rename a column, move a column to the right or left, and add a column. Use the arrow keys to select Rename, Move right, or Add a column, and press Enter.

  7. 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.

  8. To move to the columns you want to display, use the arrow keys and, to select or clear a check box, press Spacebar.

  9. To apply your selections, press Shift+Tab until you hear “Apply,” and press Enter.

See also

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

Use a screen reader to upload files to 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

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