Accessibility features in Office 2016

Office 2016 products are more available to people with disabilities than ever before. They also offer many features that help everyone create content that’s more accessible.

To get the most out of the accessibility features in Office, take advantage of the tools provided by Windows. To learn more, see Accessibility in Windows 10

To learn more about features that make it easier to see, hear, and use your computer, visit the Microsoft Accessibility.

Use Office 2016 with screen readers and voice recorders

Office 2016 works with the Windows built-in screen reader, Narrator, and with the popular screen reader JAWS. These readers will convert text to speech to read you the contents of Office documents.

Office 2016 includes accessible names that can be read and voiced by screen readers as you navigate in the applications. You can also use Windows Speech Recognition or a third-party speech tool to use voice commands to operate Office 2016. Or, use the built-in keyboard shortcuts for each application. Go to the Freedom Scientific site for information about JAWS.

Add Speak to the Quick Access Toolbar

In an Office 2016 application, you can add the Speak command to your Quick Access Toolbar to read selected text. From within any Office 2016 desktop application:

  1. To go to the application’s Options dialog box, press Alt+F, T. You hear something like “Word Options.”

  2. To modify the Quick Access Toolbar, press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Quick Access Toolbar.”

  3. To get the list of available commands, press Alt+C. You hear “Popular Commands.” The focus is in the Choose commands from combo box.

  4. Press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Commands not in ribbon,” and then press the Tab key.

  5. To select the Speak command, press S and then press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Speak.”

  6. To add the Speak command to the Quick Access Toolbar, press Alt+A. To close the dialog box, tab to the OK button and press Enter.

The Speak icon is added to the Quick Access Toolbar. The keyboard shortcut depends upon the number of commands added to your Quick Access Toolbar. For example, if it’s the fifth command in the Quick Access Toolbar, to read a selected section of text, press Alt+5.

Use Narrator

To use Narrator, at any time in Windows on a PC, press Windows logo key +Enter.

To use Narrator on a tablet, press the Windows logo button and the Volume Up button together.

Use keyboard shortcuts

Add Alt Text to objects

The location to add alt text is in the Format (Object) dialog box in Office 2013 and Office 2016. (In Office 2010, it was in the Format (Object) dialog box.)

Use the Accessibility Checker

The Accessibility Checker for Word 2016, Excel 2016, and PowerPoint 2016 helps you create documents that are more accessible to all people. Similar to how the spell checker lets you know about spelling mistakes, the Accessibility Checker lets you know about certain accessibility issues that might keep someone with a disability from reading your content. To learn more, see Rules used by the Accessibility Checker.

  1. To start the Accessibility Checker, press Alt+F, I, I. You hear “Inspect Document.” Press A. You hear “Leaving menus, Office 2016 Accessibility features.” (In Narrator, you hear the name of the document and “editing.”)

  2. The Accessibility Checker pane opens and lists potential issues. To move to the pane, press F6. You hear “Accessibility Checker pane.” (In Narrator, you do not hear this.) The application places the focus in the first group of issues within the Inspection Results list and reads the issue heading.

    Issues are grouped into Errors, Warnings, and Tips:

    • Error. An error is an issue that makes a file very difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to understand.

    • Warning. A warning is an issue that in most, but not all, cases makes a file difficult for people with disabilities to understand.

    • Tip. A tip is about content that people with disabilities can understand, but that might be better organized or presented in a way that would improve their experience.

  3. To review the issues, press the Down Arrow and Up Arrow keys to move through the list. For each issue, the Accessibility Checker describes why the issue is important, and offers help about how to fix the issue. Press Enter on the location line to jump to the location in the document so you can fix the issue.

    Tip: The Additional information section provides information about why the issue may be a problem and gives suggestions for how to fix it. To go to the additional information, on any given issue, press the Tab key until you hear “Additional information button,” and then press the Tab key again to read its content. When you’re done, press Shift+Tab until you return to the originating issue in the Inspection Results list.

Learn more about the Accessibility Checker at Check for accessibility issues.

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or have 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 visit the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

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