Use Sway with a screen reader

With a keyboard, screen reader, and an organizational account (such as a Microsoft account or a school or work account), you can use Sway to create interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more. Sway works with Narrator, the built-in screen reader in Windows, and with third-party screen readers, such as JAWS.

Notes: 

  • JAWS automatically turns off Virtual Cursor. If Virtual Cursor is on, to turn it off, press Insert+Z.

  • When you use Sway Online, we recommend that you use Internet Explorer as your browser.

In this topic

Start Sway

Sway is available as a web app, Universal app, and iOS app. You open Sway differently depending on which version you’re using.

Start Sway online

  1. Point your browser to www.sway.com. You hear “Office Sway. Dash. Create and share amazing stories, presentations, and more. Get started button.” In Narrator, you hear “Office Sway. Create and share amazing stories, presentations, and more.” The focus is on the Get Started button.

  2. Press Enter.

    • If you’re not signed in to your Microsoft account, the Welcome to Sway dialog box opens. You hear “Sign in dialog. Email address edit. Type in text.” In Narrator, you hear “Dialog sign in. Focus on email address editing.”

      a. Type the email address of your Office 365 organizational or school account, or your free Microsoft account.

      b. Press Enter. You hear “Office Sway. Dash. Create and share amazing stories, presentations, and more. Looking for account. Sign in to your Microsoft account. Password. Password edit.”

      c. Type your password.

      d. Press Enter. The focus is on the Create New button.

    • If you’re signed in to your Microsoft account, the focus is on the Create New button.

Start Sway Universal with Windows 10

  1. Open the Start menu and type “Sway.”

  2. Press Enter. You hear “Leaving menus. Sway.” The focus is on Sway’s Create New button.

Start Sway from another Microsoft online app

If you’re signed in to Office 365, you can quickly open Sway.

  1. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear “Office App Switcher button” or “List of Microsoft Services button.”

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Go to Sway link. Sway.”

  3. Press Enter. You hear the first name in a list of Microsoft apps. Press the Tab key until you hear “Sway.”

  4. Press Enter. You hear “Office Sway. Dash. Create and share amazing stories, presentations, and more.” The focus is on the Create New button.

Sway keyboard shortcuts

For keyboard shortcuts, see Sway keyboard shortcuts.

Explore the Sway user interface

With Sway, you can create interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more. You provide the content, such as text, images, videos, and embedded items. Sway does the rest, making sure that your finished layout looks beautiful on virtually any device.

Sway is a web app that includes these top-level pages:

  • Home page (http://www.sway.com), where you can get tutorials, examples, and related links. You don’t have to be signed in to Sway to view the home page.

  • My Sways, which lists all the Sways associated with the account you used to sign in. This includes Sways that you’ve created and any Sways that have been shared with you.

  • Authoring, the view where you create or edit a selected Sway.

  • Play, where you can view your Sway like a slide show.

When authoring in Sway, you work in four main areas:

  • The top navigation bar includes authoring commands and app-level options.

  • The task pane displays the Insert, Cards, Design, or Navigation panes.

  • Storyline is where you add, import, edit, format, and arrange the content of a selected Sway. To add a piece of content, insert a card. To display certain cards together in the finished Sway, make a group.

  • Preview shows you what your finished Sway looks like.

Common tasks in Sway

Sway structures content as individual cards. Each card represents an element in the document, for example, a title, image, or video. When you create a new Sway, it has a title card—You add the rest.

Insert a card

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+F6 until you hear “Close Cards Pane button, Insert F1, Help. To activate, press Spacebar.” In Narrator, you hear “Close Cards Pane button. Close Cards pane.”

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear the type of card you want to add (Heading, Text, Image, Video, Tweet, Embed, Automatic, Stack, Comparison, Slide Show, or Grid), then press Spacebar. You hear the type of card.

Save a Sway

Sway automatically saves your content as you work.

Share a Sway

You can share a Sway by using the options menu or by copying the URL from the browser and sending it to someone.

  1. Press Alt+Shift+S. You hear “Share” followed by either “The Share button is checked” or “Share. Share the Sway button. To activate, press space.” In Narrator, “Share” is followed by either “Share this toggle. Sway button pressed. Controls whether your Sway is visible to other people,” or “On. Share. Share this Sway button. Controls whether your Sway is visible to other people.”

  2. If the Share button is not checked, press Spacebar.

  3. You can choose “Share with the world” by publishing it on docs.com or you can “Share with friend” via Facebook, Twitter, or an embed code. Tab to your choice and then press Enter.

Find something in a Sway

  1. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear “Open search button. To activate, press Spacebar.”

  2. Press Spacebar and then type your search term.

  3. Press Enter. You hear “Searching dot-dot-dot” followed by the number of instances of your search term found. The focus is on the first instance.

  4. To move to the next instance, press Enter.

Read a Sway

An easy way to read a Sway with a screen reader is to first switch to Accessibility view.

  1. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear “Office App Switcher button menu.” The focus moves to the toolbar.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “More Options button menu.”

  3. Press Enter. You hear “More Sway Options link.” In Narrator, you hear “More Options button.”

  4. Press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Displays this Sway in a high-contrast design with full keyboard functionality and screen reader access to all content button.” Press Enter.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • In JAWS, turn on the Virtual Cursor by pressing Insert+Z. Scroll through the Sway using the Up Arrow key or the Down Arrow key.

    • In Narrator, scroll through the Sway by pressing Caps Lock+Right Arrow or Left Arrow.

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.

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