Read speaker notes and comments in a presentation using a screen reader

When you show a PowerPoint 2016 presentation, speaker notes are a great way to add reminders or talking points for the presenter. People can add a review comment in the speaker notes about a slide. When the Notes pane or the Comments pane is open in the view, your screen reader can read the notes and comments.

Note: This topic assumes that JAWS users have turned off the Virtual Ribbon Menu feature.

Read speaker notes

  1. To show the Notes pane, be sure that the presentation is in Normal view. Press Alt+W, L to go to Normal view.

  2. To move among the six panes and other areas in the view, press F6. If speaker notes are present on the current slide, you hear “Has notes.”

    Tip: The focus always starts on the slide itself. Each time you press F6, the focus moves to the Comments pane, status bar and zoom buttons, ribbon, Notes pane, and thumbnail image. To move through the areas in the other direction, press Shift+F6.

  3. When you hear “Notes page pane” or “Slide notes,” to select all text, press Ctrl+A. (In Narrator, to select one line at a time through all text, press Shift+Down Arrow.) When all text is selected, the note is read.

Read comments

  1. To be sure that the presentation is in Normal view, press Alt+W, L.

  2. To open the Comments pane, press Alt+R, P, and then P. You hear “Comments” or “Comments pane.”

  3. To move among the six panes and other areas in the view, press F6 or Shift+F6. If comments are present on the current slide, you hear “Has comments.”

  4. When you hear “Comments” or “User comment thread,” to move to the Next button, press the Tab key.

  5. To move to the first comment, press Spacebar.

  6. To hear the first comment, press Enter.

  7. If there are multiple comments on one slide, to select the next comment, tab to the Next button again, press Spacebar, and then press Enter.

  8. To have the screen reader read all the comments on the slide, repeat this process.

To close the Comments pane, press Alt+R, P, and then press P.

More information

Use keyboard shortcuts to deliver your presentation

Use keyboard shortcuts to create your presentation

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