Use a screen reader to spotlight a file or folder in a document library in SharePoint Online

You can use a screen reader to highlight important files, folders, or links in a document library in SharePoint Online by pinning them to the top of the document library. When you pin an item, a thumbnail image appears at the top of the document library page, which makes it easier for users to find it.

Notes: 

In this topic

Spotlight an item in document library

Notes: 

  • The highlight area is specific to a single folder or library view. When you use custom views, you need to pin the item in each view where you want it to appear.

  • You can highlight a maximum of three items per library, folder, or view.

  • This procedure is not available in classic mode.

To spotlight an item in a document library:
  1. Sign in to your organization’s Office 365 account, start the SharePoint app, and then open your document library.

    Tip: Document libraries in SharePoint Online have two different views: classic and modern. For most people, modern is the default. However, if you hear “Check it out button” when navigating your document library, you’re using the classic view. To view modern document libraries, when you hear “Check it out button,” press Enter. After the view of your document library changes to the modern view and the focus moves from the Check it out button to the New link, you hear the name of your document library, followed by “New.”

  2. Go to the document library that contains the file, folder, or link you want to highlight.

  3. In List view or Tiles view, select the item you want to spotlight.

    Tips: 

    • To select an item, tab until you hear “Grid column headers, Use menus to sort, filter, or group by a column” and then use the Down Arrow key. (In Narrator, you hear “Table name” and the name of the next column.)

    • To switch between List view and Tiles view:

      • Make sure no files or folders are selected. The New button and View menu are available on the menu only when no files are selected in the document library.

      • Tab until you hear “New, Create a new folder or Office document in this location.”

      • Press the Right Arrow key until you hear “View menu,” and press Enter.

      • Press the Down Arrow key until you hear “List” or “Tiles,” and press Enter.

  4. Tab until you hear “Open.”

  5. Press the Right Arrow key until you hear “Pin to top,” and press Enter. A thumbnail image of the item appears at the top of your library.

    Tip: If the Pin to top option is not available on the menu bar, press the Right Arrow key until you hear “More commands, Other things you can do with the selected items submenu” and press Enter. On the submenu, press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Pin to top” and then press Enter.

Note: If you select the thumbnail image of the spotlighted item, it’s easy to work with the item:

  • To select a thumbnail image, tab until you hear “Pinned items list box.” Then, press the Right Arrow key until you hear the name of the spotlighted item you want. (In Narrator, you hear “Pinned items.”)

  • To open the selected spotlighted item, press Enter.

  • To open a context menu with a list of additional actions you can take on the spotlighted item, for example, Rename, Alert me, Version History, and Check out:

    1. Tab until you hear “Open.”

    2. Press the Right Arrow key until you hear “More commands, Other things you can do with the selected items submenu,” and press Enter.

    3. On the context menu, to make your selection, use the Down Arrow key and then press Enter.

Change the order of spotlighted items

When you have more than one item spotlighted, you can change the order in which they appear by moving an item to the left or right.

  1. Sign in to your organization’s Office 365 account, start the SharePoint app, and then open your document library.

  2. To view modern document libraries in SharePoint Online, press the Tab key until you hear “Check it out button.” Press Enter. After the view of your document library changes to the modern view and the focus moves from the Check it out button to the New link, you hear the name of your document library, followed by “New.”

    Tip: If you don’t hear “Check it out button,” you’re already using the modern view.

  3. Go to the document library, folder, or view where the item is spotlighted.

  4. To select the item you want to reorder, tab until you hear “Pinned items list box.” Then, press the Right Arrow key until you hear the name of the spotlighted item you want to move to a new position. (In Narrator, you hear “Pinned items.”)

  5. Tab until you hear “Open.”

  6. Press the Right Arrow key until you hear “Edit Pin,” and press Enter.

    Tip: If the Edit pin option is not available on the menu bar, press the Right Arrow key until you hear “More commands, Other things you can do with the selected items submenu” and press Enter. On the submenu, press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Edit pin” and then press Enter.

  7. To select Move right or Move left, use the Down Arrow key and then press Enter.

Unpin a spotlighted item

  1. Sign in to your organization’s Office 365, start the SharePoint app, and then open your document library.

  2. To view modern document libraries in SharePoint Online, press the Tab key until you hear “Check it out button.” Press Enter. After the view of your document library changes to the modern view and the focus moves from the Check it out button to the New link, you hear the name of your document library, followed by “New.”

    Tip: Tip If you don’t hear “Check it out button,” you’re already using the modern view.

  3. Go to the document library, folder, or view where the item is spotlighted.

  4. To select the item you want to unpin, tab until you hear “Pinned items list box.” Then, press the Right Arrow key until you hear the name of the spotlighted item you want to move to a new position. (In Narrator, you hear “Pinned items.”)

  5. Tab until you hear “Open.”

  6. Unpin the item:

    • If only one item is pinned, press the Right Arrow key until you hear “Unpin submenu” and then press Enter.

    • If more than one item is pinned, press the Right Arrow key until you hear “Edit Pin submenu” and press Enter. Press the Down Arrow key until you hear “Unpin,” and press Enter.

More information

Use a screen reader to create a custom view of a document library in SharePoint Online

Use a screen reader to edit a custom view of a document library in SharePoint Online

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