Accessibility in Office 365

Office 365 is a subscription service that includes the most recent version of Office, which currently is Office 2016. It comes with the applications you’re familiar with, like the desktop and online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, plus online storage, and ongoing tech support at no extra cost. The Office 365 applications, along with the Office 365 web portal itself, include capabilities that make working with files more easily accessible to users with vision, dexterity, and other disabilities. This means you can use keyboard shortcuts, a screen reader, or a speech recognition tool to work with Office 365.


  • To access the Office 365 portal, go to If you’re already working in another Office 365 application on the web, in the title bar, move to and select Office 365 in the title bar.

  • When you use the Office 365 portal or any of the Office Online applications, we recommend that you use Internet Explorer as your browser.

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Explore the Office 365 portal user interface

The user interface of the Office 365 portal exists within your web browser. Within that window, Office 365 shows in the title bar. At the left edge of the title bar near the top of the screen is the Office 365 app launcher that contains the list of Microsoft services and Office Online applications, including Excel Online, OneDrive, and more. On the right side of the title bar are commands to open notifications, manage settings, get help, and sign out.

Under the title bar is the Office 365 portal web page, which contains links to open one of the Office Online applications. It also contains a link to install Office 2016 applications on your computer.

Accessibility features in Office 365

To help increase accessibility, Office 365 works with screen readers, speech recognition tools, and keyboard shortcuts. When using the Office 365 portal or any of the Office Online applications, you can also use the accessibility features built in to your web browser.

Use Office 365 with screen readers and speech recognition tools

To work with Office 365 applications, users who are blind or have low vision can use the JAWS screen reader 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 the Office 365 portal, as well as its applications.

  • 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 WindowsSpeech Recognition or a third-party speech tool to use voice commands to work in Office 365.

Navigate the Office 365 portal with keyboard shortcuts

To navigate to links and controls in the Office 365 portal, use the following keyboard shortcuts.

To do this


Select the next control or hyperlink


Select the previous control or hyperlink


Perform the action for the selected control or hyperlink


Use accessibility features in your web browser

Because the Office 365 portal is a service that you view in a web browser, some accessibility features are supplied by the browser itself. WindowsInternet Explorer versions 8 through 11 offer features like zoom, customizable font sizes and colors, and compatibility with screen readers.

For example, you can make text easier to read in Internet Explorer by setting high-contrast view options.

  1. In the Internet Explorer toolbar, to open the Tools menu, move the focus to the Tools button, and press the Spacebar.

  2. Move the focus to Internet options, and press Enter.

  3. On the General tab, which has the focus, move to the Accessibility button, and press the Spacebar.

  4. In the Accessibility dialog box, select the check boxes labeled Ignore colors specified on webpages, Ignore font styles specified on webpages, and Ignore font sizes specified on webpages. Press Enter.

  5. In the Internet Options dialog box, tab to the OK button, and press Enter.

To learn about accessibility features in your web browser, go to one of the following websites.

Accessibility features in Office Online and Office desktop applications

The links in the following list offer more information about accessibility features in Office Online and Office 2016 desktop 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 visit the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find the contact details for your region.

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