Accessibility features in Office

The Microsoft Office team is dedicated to making Office products more available to people with disabilities and helping everyone create content that’s more accessible.

To get the most out of the accessibility features in Office, check the accessibility features in Windows.

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

Adding 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.)

Ribbon customization

A great way to help reduce the complexity of the ribbon is to customize the ribbon to be the way you want it. You can customize the ribbon by clicking File > Options > Customize Ribbon.

Accessibility Checker

The Accessibility Checker for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint helps you create more accessible content. 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.

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

Alt keys in Office

Access (Alt) keys, also known as KeyTips when used in the ribbon, allow you to get to commands on the ribbon in two to four keystrokes.

  1. Press and release the Alt key.

KeyTips appear in the ribbon.

  1. Press the letter that corresponds to the feature you want to use.

Tip    Press the Alt key a second time to stop seeing the KeyTips.

To find more about keyboard shortcuts, search on Microsoft Office support homepage for keyboard shortcuts.

Backstage View

When you want to do things to a whole file like print, save, or open a different file, click the File tab to go to the Microsoft Office Backstage view. This large view provides more detail about available commands and how to use them.

Microsoft Fluent user interface (ribbon)

Office has applied the Fluent user interface, or the ribbon, to all Office programs, providing a consistent look and feel. To help you move through the ribbon using your keyboard, you can jump from group to group by pressing Ctrl + Right Arrow or Ctrl + Left Arrow.

Windows and Office

To get the most out of Office on a computer running Windows, explore some Windows accessibility features.

Access Center

Make your computer easier to use by pressing the Windows logo key + U to get to the Access Center. In the Access Center, you can see how to use features like Narrator or Magnifier.


With newer version of Office and Windows 8, Office works with Narrator. Unfortunately, programs in the newer versions of Office continue to have problems when using Narrator on Windows 7.


Magnifier enlarges portions of your screen. Choose between three different modes by clicking Views on the Magnifier toolbar.

Anytime and from any location, press Windows logo key + + (plus sign) to zoom in and press Windows logo key + - (minus sign) to zoom out.

High Contrast

Help to reduce eye strain by changing the color contrast.

Windows high DPI (dots per inch)

Make text and icons larger without adjusting your monitor resolution by changing the DPI scale. Click Control Panel, and type display into search box. Then click Display, and select a preset size or enter a customize size. The change takes place the next time you log in to Windows.

Windows Speech Recognition

To use Windows to dictate text and to control your computer by just saying what you see, click Control Panel, and type speech in the search box. Then click Windows Speech Recognition. After its configured, start it by saying Start listening.

Tip    Use a USB headset to improve the accuracy of the recognition and also so your coworkers know you are using speech.

Office and Internet Explorer

To see text and graphics more easily, press Ctrl + + (plus sign) to zoom in or Ctrl + - (minus sign) to zoom out. Each press increases or decreases the size by 25%.

Press Ctrl + 0 (zero) to return to your regular set size.

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Customer service for people with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all customers, including people with disabilities. If you need help, contact the Disability Answer Desk.

The Disability Answer Desk is worldwide. Our support team is trained to help people with disabilities via chat or telephone in these countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, you can get support via telephone in Hong Kong, the Phillippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and India.

Direct Telephone (including TTY support): 1-800-936-5900


Applies To: Excel 2016, Word 2016, Outlook 2016, PowerPoint 2016, OneNote 2016, Publisher 2016, Access 2016, Visio Professional 2016, Visio Standard 2016, Project Professional 2016, Office 2016, Excel 2013, Word 2013, Outlook 2013, PowerPoint 2013, OneNote 2013, Publisher 2013, Access 2013, Visio 2013, InfoPath 2013, Office 365, Lync 2013, Visio Professional 2013, Project Pro for Office 365, Project Standard 2013, Project Standard 2016, Project Professional 2013

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