Create a presentation in PowerPoint Online using a screen reader

PowerPoint Online has everything you need to create and deliver a presentation using your keyboard and a screen reader.

Notes: 

  • This topic assumes that JAWS users have turned off the Virtual Ribbon Menu feature. When you use PowerPoint Online, we recommend that you use Internet Explorer as your browser.

  • PowerPoint Online is a web-based application, so the keyboard shortcuts and navigation may be different from those in PowerPoint 2016. Learn more in Accessibility features in PowerPoint Online.

In this topic

Create a presentation

Add a slide

Rename your presentation

Deliver your presentation

Create a presentation

To use PowerPoint Online you have to sign in to your Microsoft account. If you don't have an account yet, you can sign up for a Microsoft account.

  1. To start PowerPoint Online, sign in to your organization's Office 365 site or go to Office Online. Press the Tab key to go to PowerPoint Online and then press Enter. The focus is on the New tab.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “New blank presentation,” and then press Enter. A new presentation opens with one slide. You hear the presentation file name and “Slide Panel.” (In Narrator, you hear “Editing.”)

  3. To go to the title placeholder on the first slide, press the Tab key and then press Enter. You hear “Editing area.”

  4. Start typing content for the title placeholder. If you want to reposition the placeholder on the slide, use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys.

  5. Press F2 to save the content in the title placeholder.

  6. Press the Tab key to move to the next placeholder.

Add a slide

Now that you've created your presentation, add as many slides as you want to tell your story.

  1. To move to the ribbon, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear “Home tab” and then press Enter. If the focus is on another tab, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear “Home tab” and then press Enter.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "New Slide Button", and then press Enter. The New Slide dialog box opens, and you hear the name of the selected slide layout.

  3. Press the Tab key to browse the slide layouts. To insert the layout you want, press Enter or Alt+Enter.

  4. To move the focus to the new slide so you can edit, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear “Slide panel.”

    Note: To go back (right-to-left), press Shift+Tab.

  5. To move to the first placeholder on the slide, press the Tab key. The type of placeholder is identified. If it’s a text placeholder, press Enter to type and then press F2 when you're finished.

  6. Press Ctrl+F6 to move to the Slide Panel of the new slide, and repeat the steps of tabbing to placeholders, pressing Enter to type, and pressing F2 when you are finished in each placeholder.

  7. The presentation is given a generic name, such as "Presentation1". To change that, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear PowerPoint Online name, and press the Tab key until you get to the Rename File button.

  8. Press Enter, type the file name you want, and press Enter again to save the file.

Tips for adding slides

Keep these tips in mind when you're adding slides and content to your presentation.

  • When you press Ctrl+F6, the focus switches from one area in the PowerPoint Online frame within your browser window to the next. The focus always moves in this order: Slide panel (the slide editing area), Comments pane (if open), Notes panel, status bar, top bar, ribbon, and thumbnail pane (part of the slide editing area).

  • To quickly add a new blank slide based on an existing slide layout, press Ctrl+F6 until the focus is on the Thumbnail pane. Move to the slide you want, and then press Ctrl+M.

  • To add pictures in just the right place and size, use a slide based on a slide layout designed for pictures, such as Picture with Caption. For more details, see Insert a picture using a screen reader in PowerPoint Online.

Rename your presentation

PowerPoint Online automatically saves your presentation to OneDrive as you work, using a generic name such as Presentation1.pptx. Here’s how to change that generic name to a name you want.

  1. To move to the ribbon, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the tab name.

  2. Press Shift+Tab until you hear “File button,” and then press Enter.

  3. Move to Save As, and then press Enter. The Save As tab opens.

  4. Press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Rename. Rename this file.” Press Enter. The Rename dialog box opens.

  5. In the Enter a name for this file box, type the name you want.

  6. Press Tab to get to the OK button, and then press Spacebar.

Note: PowerPoint Online doesn't have a Save button. It automatically saves your presentation to OneDrive as you work. However, if you want to save your presentation to your device, see Save your presentation using a screen reader in PowerPoint Online.

Deliver your presentation

When it's time to deliver your presentation, here's how to move through it, slide by slide.

  1. To move to the ribbon, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the tab name.

  2. Press the Tab key to go to the View tab, and then press Enter.

  3. Press the Tab key to go to the Slide Show button, and then press Enter. If you're prompted to allow pop-ups, select Yes.

  4. To go to the next slide, press N. To go to the previous slide, press P. (In JAWS, for N and P to work, make sure the virtual cursor is off by pressing Insert+Z.)

  5. To end the slide show, press Esc.

More information

Add comments to a PowerPoint Online presentation using a screen reader

Add speaker notes to your PowerPoint Online presentation using a screen reader

Print your slides using a screen reader in PowerPoint Online

Keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint Online

Use keyboard shortcuts to loop through the task panes in PowerPoint Online

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