Use a screen reader to open a new or existing document in Word 2016

You can create a Word document or open an existing one from your desktop or from any Word document you’re working on.

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

Note: The procedures in this topic are documented using Narrator and JAWS. For information about how to work with a specific screen reader, contact your assistive technology (AT) manufacturer.

In this topic

Create and open a Word document

To create a document as a blank document or in any template you choose, you can use the Windows search box. If you’re already working in Word, you can create a document right from the document you’re working on.

For quick access, pin Word to your Start screen or taskbar. After Word has been pinned to your Start screen or taskbar, you can move to the Word button and, to open Word, press Enter.

Pin Word to your Start screen or taskbar
  1. In your Desktop List view, tab to the Start button and press Enter.

  2. Press the Down Arrow key until you hear “All apps button” and press Enter.

  3. Press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Word 2016.”

  4. To open the Right-click context menu, press Windows Context key+F10.

  5. When you hear “Rightmost button, Pin to Start”:

    • To pin Word to your Start screen, press Enter.

    • To pin Word to your taskbar, press the Down Arrow key until hear “Pin to taskbar” and press Enter.

Use the search box on the desktop to open a document
  1. With the focus on the desktop, tab to the Search box, or just press Windows key.

  2. Type "word 2016" and press Enter. Word places the focus on the Blank document selection in the document gallery.

    • To open a new blank Word document, press Enter.

    • To open one of the other templates in the document gallery, use the arrow keys to move to the template you want. To download the template and open a new document in that template, press Enter.

    • To browse for more templates, open the Search box for online templates edit field. Press Alt+S, and then type the kind of template you want (for example, student report or budget), and press Enter.

Create a document from within Word
  • To open a blank Word document, press Alt+F+N, L.

  • To open a document in another template, press Alt+F+N. Press the Tab key until you hear “Blank document.” To move to the template you want, use the arrow keys and then press Enter.

  • To browse for templates online, press Alt+F+N, S. Type the kind of template you want and press Enter. When you hear the results, use the arrow keys to select the template you want, and press Enter.

Open an existing Word document

If you know the exact or approximate name of the document, use the search button. If you don’t remember the name of the document, to find it, you can open a list of documents in Word or in a Word document.

Use the search button on your desktop
  1. With the focus on the desktop, press the Tab key to go to the Search the web and Windows button.

  2. Press Spacebar, and then type the name of the file you want to open.

  3. In the Search list, use the Up Arrow key until you hear the name of your document in the list. (The best match is listed at the top of the list.)

  4. Press Enter.

Use Word Backstage view
  1. With the focus on the desktop, tab to the Search box.

  2. Type word 2016.

  3. In the Search list, use the Up Arrow key until you hear “Word 2016” and then press Enter.

  4. Word Backstage view (In Narrator, you hear “Word window.”) opens with the focus on the Blank document selection. To move to the Recent list, press the Tab key.

  5. To search for the document in the Recent list, use the Up and Down arrows to move through the Recent list until you hear the name of the document, and then press Enter.

    To search for the document in another location, go to step 6.

  6. To search for the document in another location, use the Down Arrow until you hear “Open other documents.” Backstage View opens with the focus on the File menu. On the File menu, press the Down Arrow until you hear “Open” and then press Enter. Then, do the following:

    1. In the Open list, use the Up and Down arrows until you hear the name of the location you want to search (for example, your OneDrive, a SharePoint site, or your PC), and then press Enter.

    2. In the group box you’ve selected, to move to your file or folder, use the Down Arrow key.

    3. When you hear the name of your file or folder, press Enter.

Open a document from within Word
  1. Press Alt+F, O, to select the Open tab on the File menu, then press the Tab key to move to the list of files.

  2. Word opens with the focus on the Recent group. To search for the document , press Enter. You can also use the Down Arrow to move to Open, press Enter, and then tab to your Recent group.

    In the Recent documents group box, use the Down Arrow to move through the list until you hear the name of the document, and then press Enter.

  3. To search for the document in another group, use the Up and Down arrow keys to move through the Open list until you hear the name of the location you want to search (for example, your OneDrive, a SharePoint site, or your PC).

    • When you hear the name of the location you want to search, press Enter.

    • In the group box you’ve selected, to move to the file or folder you want to open, use the Up and Down arrow keys.

    • When you hear the name of the file or folder, press Enter.

Keyboard shortcuts for opening Word documents

To do this

Press

Open the Right-click context menu on desktop

Numeric keypad Star key, or use Windows context key+F10

Open a new blank Word document from within Word

Alt+F+N, L

Open a new Word document in any template from within Word

Alt+F+N

Search for templates online from within Word

Alt+F+N,S

Open an existing Word document from within Word

Alt+F+O, the Tab key

More information

Get help for using a screen reader with Word 2016

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word 2016 for Windows

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