Accessibility features in Office Online

Features available across the Office Online suite of web-based applications make these applications accessible to users with vision, dexterity, or other disabilities. This topic summarizes those features and offers links to additional resources. Office Online works in the cloud, and the files open in your web browser. If you’re using Office 2016 desktop suite, explore Accessibility features in Office 2016.


  • Office Online applications are web-based, so the keyboard shortcuts and navigation may be different from those in Office 2016. To learn more about navigating the Office 365 portal, go to Accessibility in Office 365.

  • When you use Office Online, we recommend that you use Internet Explorer as your browser. Learn more about Internet Explorer Ease of Access options.

In this topic

Explore the Office Online user interface

The user interface for the Office Online applications exists within your web browser. When you access Office Online, you can choose from the list of applications, like Word Online, Excel Online, OneNote Online, and more. When you select the application you want, you don’t need to go through an installation process; you just sign in with your Microsoft account.

The title bar at the top of Office Online applications lists the application name and, if applicable, the name of your current document. At the left edge of the title bar, is the app launcher that opens the list of Microsoft services and Office Online applications, for example,, PowerPoint Online, and OneDrive. On the right side of the title bar are commands to share your document and to sign out.

Most applications include a set of commands under the title bar, sometimes organized into tabs on a ribbon.

Under the set of commands is the current file content, which is stored in the cloud, typically in your OneDrive. The content takes up the majority of the page. Some applications open panes to the right or left of the file content for special purposes, like comments or search results.

Some applications—includingWord Online and PowerPoint Online—use multiple views, for example Reading view and Editing view. In Reading view, you can view, share, print, and comment on the file. In Editing view, you can modify the file.

At the bottom of the application window is the status bar.

Use Office Online with screen readers and speech recognition tools

To work with Office Online applications, users who are blind or have low vision can use third-party screen readers such as JAWS or Window Eyes, or the screen reader that comes with Windows, known as Narrator. These screen readers convert text to speech and read you commands, locations, alt text on images, and the contents of Office Online documents.

  • To turn Narrator on or off on a PC, in Windows, press Windows logo key+Enter.

  • To turn Narrator on or off on a tablet, press Windows logo button+Volume Up.

You can also use Windows Speech Recognition or a third-party speech tool to use voice commands to work in Office Online.

Learn about using screen readers in specific Office Online applications

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 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.

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!