Basic tasks using a screen reader with SharePoint Online

Basic tasks using a screen reader with SharePoint Online

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use SharePoint Online with your keyboard and a screen reader such as JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to move around and do basic tasks on the home page.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in SharePoint Online.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic makes note of the JAWS functionality as well. To learn more about JAWS for Windows, go to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

  • When you use SharePoint Online, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because SharePoint Online runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not SharePoint Online.

  • Some functionality in SharePoint Online is introduced gradually to organizations that have opted in to the First Release program. Organizations that do not participate in the First Release program may see a different user interface than the one described in this topic.

In this topic

Start SharePoint Online

  1. Go to portal.office.com or login.microsoftonline.com and sign in to your Office 365account.

  2. To open the SharePoint Home page, tab to the SharePoint link. You hear “Go to SharePoint, Link.” Press Enter.

By default, the SharePoint Online home page includes a left navigation pane made up of a search box, a list of SharePoint sites you are following (the Following group), a list of sites you have visited (the Recent group), and a list of links. At the top of the main screen is the Frequent group, which lists SharePoint sites you have visited or edited frequently. Below the Frequent group is the Suggested group, which lists related SharePoint sites.

Note: To learn more about navigation options and keyboard shortcuts in SharePoint Online, refer to Accessibility features in SharePoint Online.

Select sites to follow

The Suggested group on the main page includes a list of sites recommended for you. From this list, you can select sites you want to add to the Following group in the left pane.

  1. On the SharePoint home page, tab to the Suggested group. You hear “Use the arrows to navigate to the Follow this site check box.”

  2. To move to a different suggested site, press the Right Arrow key or the Left Arrow key.

  3. To move the focus to the Follow this site check box, press the Up Arrow key or the Down Arrow key. You hear “Follow site” followed by the name of the selected site; for example, “Follow site: Team site.”

  4. To select the Follow this site check box, press Spacebar.

See also

Use a screen reader to explore Following and Recent sites list in SharePoint Online

Get started using a screen reader with a modern document library in SharePoint Online

Keyboard shortcuts in SharePoint Online

Accessibility features in SharePoint Online

Use SharePoint Online with your keyboard and a screen reader such JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to do basic tasks. You can open and sign in to SharePoint Online, search for and select sites you want to follow, create and remove document libraries or pages, and more.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in SharePoint Online.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic makes note of the JAWS functionality as well. To learn more about JAWS for Windows, go to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

  • When you use SharePoint Online, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because SharePoint Online runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not SharePoint Online.

In this topic

Open SharePoint Online

  1. Go to https://www.office.com.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Sign in to your account," and then press Enter. The Pick an account window opens.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear the account or user name you want to use to sign in, and then press Enter. You hear: "Enter password, editing."

    If you don't hear the account you want, press the Tab key until you hear "Use another account, button" and then press Enter. Type the email or phone number of the account, and then press Enter.

  4. Type your password, and then press Enter. You hear: "Microsoft Office, home."

  5. To open SharePoint Online, press the Tab key until you hear "Go to SharePoint, link," and then press Enter. SharePoint Online opens to the main view.

Search for sites, document libraries, or pages

  1. In the SharePoint Online main view, press the Tab key until you hear: "Search box."

    Tip: To search the contents of a specific site only, you need to move to that site first.

  2. Start typing your search words, for example, the subject or theme of the site, document library, or page. The search results list is updated as you type.

  3. To navigate through the search results list, press the Up or Down arrow key. When you hear the site you want, press Enter.

Follow or unfollow a site

You can add interesting sites to your Following list and remove sites from the list when they are no longer needed.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • To follow a site, in the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "Follow this site, button, follow," and then press Spacebar.

    • To unfollow a site, in the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "Follow this site, button, stop following," and then press Spacebar.

Create a new document library to a site

In a document library, you can store, for example, files related to a specific project or client. You and your co-workers can also work on the files together and access them from any device at any time.

  1. In the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "New, collapsed, menu item," and then press Enter. The menu item expands.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Document library," and then press Enter. You hear: "Dialog, Create a document library." The focus is in the Name text field.

  3. Type a name for the new document library.

  4. Press the Tab key. You hear: "Description, editing."

  5. Type a description for the document library.

  6. Press the Tab key until you hear "Create button," and then press Enter.

    The new document library is now ready for you to start adding content to it. For instructions, go to Use a screen reader to create a new document in a document library in SharePoint Online, Use a screen reader to upload files to a document library in SharePoint Online, or Use a screen reader to create a folder in a document library in SharePoint Online.

Add a new page to a site

You can use a page to share ideas using, for example, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, images, and more.

  1. In the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "New, collapsed, menu item," and then press Enter. The menu item expands.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Page," and then press Enter. You hear: "Press Enter to change the page name and optionally the title background image."

  3. Type a title for the new page, and then press Esc.

    You can now add content to your page. For instructions, go to Use a screen reader to add content and text to an accessible SharePoint page or Use a screen reader to add images and media to a SharePoint page.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To publish the new page, press the Tab key until you hear "Save and close," then press the Right arrow key until you hear "Publish, menu item," and then press Enter.

    • To save and close the new page without publishing, press the Tab key until you hear "Save and close," and then press Enter. You can always publish the page later once you're ready.

Delete a document library or page

To delete a document library or page permanently, you first need to move it to the Recycle bin, and then empty the Recycle bin.

Move a document library to the Recycle bin

  1. In the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "<The current selection in the navigation pane>, link" or "Entering navigation control, <The current selection in the navigation pane>, link."

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Site contents, link," and then press Enter. The site contents page opens.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "List of contents within this site," and then press Caps Lock+Right or Left arrow key until you hear the document library you want to delete.

  4. To open the context menu, press Alt+Menu button. You hear: "Menu."

  5. In the menu, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Remove, unchecked menu item, checkbox," and then press Enter. You hear: "Delete, dialog."

  6. To move the document library to the Recycle bin, press the Tab key until you hear "Delete button," and then press Enter.

Move a page to the Recycle bin

  1. In the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "<The current selection in the navigation pane>, link" or "Entering navigation control, <The current selection in the navigation pane>, link."

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Pages, link," and then press Enter. The Site Pages page opens. The focus is on the first item in the list of pages.

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the page you want to delete, and then press Alt+Menu button. The context menu opens. You hear: "Preview button." If you hear "Pop up, Select all," press Esc to move the focus to the correct context menu.

  4. In the menu, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Delete, unchecked menu item, checkbox," and then press Enter. You hear: "Dialog, Delete," followed by the name of the page.

  5. To move the page to the Recycle bin, press the Tab key until you hear "Delete button," and then press Enter.

Empty the Recycle bin

Once you empty the Recycle bin, the items in it are deleted permanently.

  1. In the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "<The current selection in the navigation pane>, link" or "Entering navigation control, <The current selection in the navigation pane>, link."

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Recycle bin, link," and then press Enter. The Recycle bin page opens.

  3. To select all items in the Recycle bin, press the Tab key until you hear "Column headers," and then press Spacebar. You hear: "Checked."

  4. Press Alt+Menu button. The context menu opens. You hear: "Menu." If you hear "Pop up, Select all," press Esc to move the focus to the correct context menu.

  5. Press the Down arrow key until you hear Delete, unchecked menu item, checkbox," and then press Enter. You hear: "Dialog, delete."

  6. To delete all items in the Recycle bin permanently, press the Tab key until you hear "Delete button," and then press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to create a team or communication site in SharePoint

Use a screen reader to add images and media to a SharePoint page

Use a screen reader to add content and text to an accessible SharePoint page

Keyboard shortcuts in SharePoint Online

Learn how to navigate SharePoint Online using accessible features

Important: This section is a work in progress. Some of the content may be incomplete or inaccurate at this time. Please check back soon for the completed article. Thanks!

Use SharePoint Online app for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to do basic tasks. You can open and sign into the SharePoint Online app, search for sites and people, work with files, and more.

Notes: 

In this topic

Open the app and a SharePoint site

  1. To open the SharePoint Online app, navigate to the app on your phone, and then double-tap the screen.

  2. To sign in, swipe right until you hear “Sign in to SharePoint Online, button, “ and then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Text field, is editing, someone@example.com.” The focus moves to the user name text field.

  3. Double-tap the screen to activate the field, and then use the on-screen keyboard to type your Office 365 user name.

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear "Next, button" and then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Cancel button.”

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Password, secure text field," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your password.

  7. Swipe left until you hear "Sign in, button," and then double-tap the screen.

    If you hear "SharePoint would like to send you notifications," swipe right until you hear the response you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  8. The focus moves to the Frequent list on the Sites tab. To open a site, slide one finger down the screen until you hear the name of the site you want, and then double-tap the screen.

Search for sites

  1. On the Sites tab, swipe left or right until you hear "Search, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your search words. The list of search results is updated as you type.

  3. Swipe left or right to hear the search results.

  4. By default, SharePoint Online only lists the most relevant results based on your search words. To hear the hidden results if there are any, keep swiping left or right until you hear "More results, button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear the selected search category, for example, "Selected, People pivot."

    To go to the Sites category, swipe left or right until you hear "Sites pivot," and then double-tap the screen. Slide one finger down the screen to hear the extended search results.

  5. Once you hear the search result you want, double-tap the screen to go to the site.

Find people

You can use the People tab or Search to find people in SharePoint Online.

Find a colleague

To quickly find a person you're working with, use the People tab.

  1. In a SharePoint Online site, swipe right until you hear "People, tab," and then double-tap the screen. The People tab opens. People you work with are listed by default.

  2. To move through the list of contacts, swipe left or right until you hear the contact name.

  3. To open the person’s profile, double-tap the screen. You hear: “Back, button."

  4. Swipe right to move down in the list of details. You hear the details as specified for your organization, for example, a person's title, department, contact info, and the name of each file that the person has been recently working on.

Search for contacts

  1. On the Sites or People tab, swipe left or right until you hear "Search, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Use the on-screen keyboard to type the name of the contact. The list of search results is updated as you type.

  3. Swipe left or right to hear the search results.

  4. By default, SharePoint Online only lists the most relevant results based on your search words. To hear the hidden results if there are any, keep swiping left or right until you hear "More results, button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear the selected search category, for example, "Selected, Sites pivot."

    To go to the People category, swipe left or right until you hear "People pivot," and then double-tap the screen. Slide one finger down the screen to hear the extended search results.

  5. Once you hear the search result you want, double-tap the screen to go to the site.

Check the site activity details

  1. In a SharePoint Online site, swipe left or right until you hear "Menu, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. In the menu, swipe left or right until you hear "Activity," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. In the site, swipe right until you hear: "Activity, section." By default, the Activity list includes the most recent activity.

  4. To move in the list, swipe left or right, or slide one finger down the screen. You hear the names of the files in the list and the dates when the files were modified or uploaded as you move through the list.

List and work with recent files

  1. In a SharePoint Online site, swipe left or right until you hear “Menu, button,” and then double-tap the screen.

  2. In the menu, swipe left or right until you hear “Recent files,” and then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Recent files, Back button.”

  3. To move in the list of recent files, swipe left or right. VoiceOver announces the file names and when the files were modified or uploaded as you move through the list.

Open a recent file

  1. In the list of recent files, swipe left or right until you hear the file you want, and then double-tap the screen. The files open in the app in which it was created.

  2. To return to SharePoint Online, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and then double-tap the screen.

Check the details of a recent file

Install OneDrive on your phone and listen to VoiceOver read more detailed info about a file.

  1. In the list of recent files, swipe left or right until you hear the file you want, and then double-tap and hold. A context menu opens. You hear "Alert," followed by the name of the file.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Details, button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Back button." The focus moves to OneDrive.

  3. To move in the list of files, swipe left repeatedly. VoiceOver announces the file details as you move.

  4. To return to SharePoint Online, slide one finger across the top left corner of the screen until you hear "Return to SharePoint, button," and then double-tap the screen.

Browse all files in OneDrive

  1. In the list of recent files, swipe right until you hear "Open documents in OneDrive, button," and then double-tap the screen. The focus moves to OneDrive.

  2. To explore the list of files, slide one finger across the screen. VoiceOver announces the file names as you move through the list.

  3. To return to SharePoint Online, slide one finger across the top of the screen until you hear "Return to SharePoint, button," and then double-tap the screen.

Check your SharePoint Online profile

  1. In a SharePoint Online site, swipe left or right until you hear "Me, tab," and then double-tap the screen. The Me tab opens.

  2. Swipe left until you hear "My profile, button," and then double-tap the screen. The profile page opens, and the focus moves to the Back button.

  3. Swipe right to move down in the list of profile details. VoiceOver announces the details as you move in the list.

  4. To return to the Me tab, swipe left until you hear "Back button, and then double-tap the screen.

Modify your account settings

  1. In a SharePoint Online site, swipe left or right until you hear "Me, tab," and then double-tap the screen. The Me tab opens.

  2. Swipe or right until you hear "Settings, button," and then double-tap the screen. The Settings page opens, and the focus moves to the Back button.

  3. Swipe right to move down in the list of settings. VoiceOver announces each setting as you move in the list.

  4. To open and modify a setting, double-tap the screen.

  5. To navigate the options for the setting, swipe left or right until you hear the option you want. To activate an option or toggle a switch button, double-tap the screen.

  6. To save your changes and return to the Settings page, swipe left until you hear "Done, button," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Learn how to navigate SharePoint Online using accessible features

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or 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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