Use a screen reader with the simplified ribbon

Use Office Online with your keyboard and a screen reader to move between different views on the screen using the simplified ribbon, which is more streamlined and uses less space on your screen. 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.

Notes: 

  • If you use Narrator with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you have to turn off scan mode in order to edit documents, spreadsheets, or presentations with Office Online. For more information, refer to Turn off virtual or browse mode in screen readers in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

  • 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 Word Online, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Word 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 Word Online.

In this topic

Switch between the simplified ribbon and the classic ribbon

You can switch between the simplified ribbon and the classic ribbon at any time. Depending on the type of your Office Online subscription, the ribbon type can be toggled either through the View tab of the ribbon menu or from a toggle on the header.

  • To switch the ribbon type from the View tab, press Alt+Windows logo key, W, R.

  • To switch the ribbon type from the header, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "List of Microsoft services," then press the Tab key until you hear "Simplified ribbon," and then press Enter.

Navigate the simplified ribbon

To move from the document surface to the ribbon, press Ctrl+Shift+F6. Alternatively, press Ctrl+F6 repeatedly to move the focus between the regions of the screen in the following order:

  • The document content area, containing the editing area for document content

  • The status bar

  • The header, containing links for navigating to the document library that the current document is contained in, and the document name

  • The ribbon tabs, which contains a list of tabs and the ribbon showing the contents of the currently active tab

Press the Left and Right arrow keys to move between ribbon tabs in the tab list. The contents of the currently active tab are displayed in the ribbon. Press the Tab key to move the focus between regions of the ribbon in the following order:

  • The currently active ribbon tab in the tab list

  • The first control in the lower ribbon

  • The Additional controls group, which includes Open in Word, Tell me what you want to do, Share, and Comment buttons

  • The File button

To navigate inside the ribbon or the Additional controls group, press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear the name of the control you want, and then press Enter to select it. Note that if the focus moves into an editable text control (such as Tell Me), you must press the Tab key once to move the focus away from it. Additionally, you can press the Home or End keys to jump to the first or last control in the region, respectively. You can also navigate the ribbon section by section by pressing Ctrl+Left and Right arrow keys.

See also

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word 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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