Basic tasks using a screen reader with Skype (version 8)

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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 Skype with your keyboard and a screen reader, such as NVDA, or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to sign in and communicate with others. You can make calls or use instant messaging (IM) to chat. You can set Skype to start automatically when you start Windows.

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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to What are hotkeys and how do I use them in Skype?.

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

  • This topic makes note of the NVDA functionality as well. To learn more about NVDA, go to NV Access | Get Help.

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

In this topic

Open Skype and sign in

  1. To open Skype, press the Windows logo key and type Skype. You hear: "Skype." Press Enter.

  2. To sign in, press the Tab key until you hear the name of your account or "Use another account", and then press Enter.

    If you select to use another account:

    • With Narrator, type your email address, press the Tab key until you hear "Next," and then press Enter. Type your password, press the Tab key until you hear "Sign in to Skype," and then press Enter.

    • With NVDA, type your email address, press the Tab key until you hear "Next," and then press Enter. Type your password, press the Tab key until you hear "Sign in," and then press Enter.

Start Skype automatically when you start Windows

  1. In Skype, press Ctrl+comma sign (,) to open the Settings dialog. Press the Tab key until you hear “General,” and then press Enter.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear: “Automatically start Skype.”

  3. Press Spacebar to change the value. With NVDA, you hear “On” or "Off."

  4. To close the Settings dialog, press the Tab key until you hear “Close,” and then press Enter.

Make and answer a call

  1. In the Skype main window, press the Tab key until you hear: "People, groups and messages." Press Enter.

  2. Type the person's name, address, or phone number. The search is performed while you type.

  3. To move to the list of results, press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear the first result. If there are more results, browse the list using the Down and Up arrow keys. The screen reader announces the contacts as you move.

    To select a person, press Enter.

    When trying to access the result list, if no results are found for a name or address, you hear: "Invite to Skype". Press Enter to send an invitation. If no results are found for a phone number, you hear "Call number" and can press Enter to make the call.

  4. To start or answer an audio call, press Ctrl+Shift+P.

    To start a video call or toggle video on or off, press Ctrl+Shift+K.

  5. To hang up the call, press Ctrl+E.

Chat via IM

  1. In the Skype main window, press the Tab key until you hear: "People, groups and messages." Press Enter.

  2. Type the person's name, address, or phone number. The search is performed while you type.

  3. To move to the list of results, press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear the first result. If there are more results, browse the list using the Down and Up arrow keys. The screen reader announces the contacts as you move.

    To select a person, press Enter. The focus moves to the Type a message here text input field.

  4. Type in the message and press Enter to send it.

  5. The screen reader reads aloud any replies you receive. The focus remains in the text input field, so you can type and send more messages.

Sign out of Skype

  1. In the Skype main window, press Alt+F, S.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Yes," and then press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to move from Skype (version 6 or 7) to Skype (version 8)

Use a screen reader to add chat expressions in Skype (version 8)

Use a screen reader to buy Skype (version 8) Credit

What are hotkeys and how do I use them in Skype?

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Skype (version 8)

Use Skype with your keyboard and a screen reader, such as VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to sign in and communicate with others. You can make calls or use instant messaging (IM) to chat.

Notes: 

In this topic

Open Skype and sign in

  1. On your Mac, press Shift+Command+A to go to the Applications list in Finder.

  2. Type S to go straight to applications that start with an “S”, and press the Down arrow key until you hear: “Skype, application.”

  3. To open Skype, press Command+Down arrow key. You hear: "Sign in or create."

  4. Press Return, type your email address, press the Tab key until you hear "Next," and then press Return. Type your password and press Return.

Make and answer a call

  1. In the Skype main window, press Command+Shift+C, and then press Shift+Tab key until you hear: "People, groups and messages." Press Return.

  2. Type the person's name, address, or phone number. The search is performed while you type.

  3. To move to the list of results, press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear the first result. If there are more results, browse the list using the Down and Up arrow keys. The screen reader announces the contacts as you move. To select a person, press Return.

    Note: When trying to access the result list, if no results are found for a name or address, you hear: "Invite to Skype". Press Return to send an invitation. If no results are found for a phone number, you hear "Call number" and can press Return to make the call.

  4. To start or answer an audio call, press Command+Shift+R.

    To start a video call or toggle video on or off, press Command+Shift+K.

  5. To hang up the call, press Command+Shift+H.

Chat via IM

  1. In the Skype main window, press Command+Shift+C, and then press Shift+Tab key until you hear: "People, groups and messages." Press Return.

  2. Type the person's name, address, or phone number. The search is performed while you type.

  3. To move to the list of results, press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear the first result. If there are more results, browse the list using the Down and Up arrow keys. The screen reader announces the contacts as you move. To select a person, press Return.

    Note: When trying to access the result list, if no results are found for a name or address, you hear: "Invite to Skype". Press Return to send an invitation. If no results are found for a phone number, you hear "Call number" and can press Return to make the call.

  4. Type in the message and press Return to send it.

  5. The screen reader reads aloud any replies you receive. The focus remains in the text input field, so you can type and send more messages.

Sign out of Skype

  1. In the Skype main window, press Command+Shift+C, and then press Shift+Tab until you hear: "More options." Press Return.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Sign out," press Return, and press Return again to confirm.

See also

Use a screen reader to move from Skype (version 6 or 7) to Skype (version 8)

Use a screen reader to add chat expressions in Skype (version 8)

Use a screen reader to buy Skype (version 8) Credit

What are hotkeys and how do I use them in Skype?

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use Skype with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to sign in and communicate with others. You can make calls or use instant messaging (IM) to chat.

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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

  • This topic assumes that you are using an iPhone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an iPad.

In this topic

Open Skype and sign in

If needed, first download the Skype app from the App Store. To sign in to Skype, use your work or school account. Once you've signed in for the first time, the app opens without prompting you to sign in the next time unless you've specifically selected to sign out. Even if you have signed out, the app allows you to sign in with the previous account. On the Sign in with page, swipe right until you hear the name of your account, and then double-tap the screen.

  1. To open the Skype app, on the home screen, swipe right until you hear "Skype," and double-tap the screen.

    Tip: If you have more than one home screen, you can quickly move between home screens by swiping left or right with three fingers.

  2. When you open the app for the first time, you hear "Skype" again. Swipe right until you hear "Let's go," and double-tap the screen.

  3. To sign in for the first time, swipe right until you hear "Sign in or create," and double-tap the screen. To sign in using another account than before, swipe right until you hear "Use another account," and double-tap the screen.

  4. The Sign in page opens. Double-tap the screen to open the on-screen keyboard. Type your user name, swipe right on the keyboard until you hear "Next," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Double-tap the screen to open the on-screen keyboard. Type your password, and swipe right on the keyboard until you hear "Sign in," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. The focus moves to the Password field. Type your password using the on-screen keyboard. When done, swipe right on the keyboard until you hear "Return," and then double-tap the screen.

  7. Skype may open a dialog asking you to select some initial settings, such as permission to show notifications. To move in the dialog, swipe right or left. To select a button, double-tap the screen.

    You're now signed in to Skype.

Find a contact

  1. In the main view of Skype, swipe left or right until you hear "Search Skype," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. The on-screen keyboard appears on the bottom half of the screen. Use the keyboard to type the contact's name, email address, or phone number. The screen reader announces the number of search results found as you type.

  3. To go to the results while typing, swipe left until you hear the name and status of the correct person.

  4. To open the person's contact card, double-tap the screen. You can use the contact card to, for example, find out the person's availability, or start a video call, an audio call, or a chat. To browse the contact card, swipe right or left.

Make and answer a call

When you receive a call, you hear the phone ringing. Swipe right until you hear "Accept," and then double-tap the screen to answer the call.

To make a call:

  1. In Skype, open the contact card of the person you want to call. For instructions, refer to section Find a contact, above.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Video call" or "Audio call," and then double-tap the screen to start the video or audio call.

    To end the call, swipe right until you hear "End call," and then double-tap the screen.

Chat via IM

  1. In Skype, open the contact card of the person you want to chat with. For instructions, refer to section Find a contact above.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Type a message," and then double-tap the screen. The on-screen keyboard appears and you can type the message.

  3. When done, swipe left until you hear "Send message," and then double-tap the screen to send. The screen reader reads aloud any messages you receive. The focus returns to the message insertion field and you can continue typing another message.

    To return to the previous view after chatting, swipe left until you hear "Back," and then double-tap the screen.

Sign out of Skype

  1. In Skype main view, swipe left until you hear "My info," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right repeatedly until you hear "Sign-out," double-tap the screen, swipe right until you hear "Yes," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to move from Skype (version 6 or 7) to Skype (version 8)

Use a screen reader to add chat expressions in Skype (version 8)

Use a screen reader to buy Skype (version 8) Credit

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use Skype with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to sign in and communicate with others. You can make calls or use instant messaging (IM) to chat.

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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with an Android phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an Android tablet.

In this topic

Open Skype and sign in

  1. On your mobile device's home screen, swipe right or left with two fingers to go to the home screen where the Skype app is. Then swipe right with one finger until TalkBack announces the app. Double-tap the screen.

  2. When you sign in for the first time, if you have previously set up organizational accounts on your phone, Skype may suggest using those. Swipe right to hear the names of the suggested accounts. If you want to use another account, keep swiping right until you hear: "Use another account." To select an option, double-tap the screen.

    If you select a suggested account when signing in for the first time, Skype may ask you for some initial settings. To move in the dialog, swipe right or left. To select a button, double-tap the screen.

    Once you've signed in for the first time, the app opens without prompting you to sign in the next time unless you've specifically selected to sign out. If you have signed out, you must simply select the suggested account as explained above.

  3. On the sign-in screen, you hear: "Sign in to Skype Web view." Swipe right until you hear: "Edit box; enter your email, phone, or Skype." Double-tap the screen and use the on-screen keyboard to type your sign-in address, which is typically your email address.

  4. When done, swipe right until you hear "Next," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your password. When done, swipe right until you hear "Sign in," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Skype may open a dialog asking you to select some initial settings, such as a theme and permissions. To move in the dialog, swipe right or left. To select a button, double-tap the screen.

    You're now signed in to Skype and the Skype main view opens. To move between the items in this view, swipe right or left. TalkBack announces the items as you move.

Find a contact

  1. In the main view of Skype, swipe left or right until you hear "Search Skype," and double-tap the screen.

  2. You hear "Search edit box," and the on-screen keyboard appears. Type the contact's name, email address, or phone number. The screen reader announces the number of search results as you type.

  3. To go to the list of results, swipe right. If there are several results, swipe right until you hear the name and status of the contact you want.

  4. To open the person's contact card, double-tap the screen. You can use the contact card to, for example, find out the person's availability, start a video call, an audio call, or a chat. To browse the contact card, swipe right or left.

Make and answer a call

When you receive a call, you hear the phone ringing. Double-tap the screen to answer the call.

To make a call:

  1. In Skype, open the contact card of the person you want to call. For instructions, refer to section Find a contact, above.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Video call" or "Audio call," and double-tap the screen to start the video or audio call.

    To end the call, swipe right until you hear "End call," and double-tap the screen.

Chat via IM

  1. In Skype, open the contact card of the person you want to chat with. For instructions, refer to section Find a contact, above.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Type a message," and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to type the message.

  3. When done, swipe right until you hear "Send message," and then double-tap the screen to send. The screen reader reads aloud any messages you receive. You can continue typing another message using the on-screen keyboard.

    To return to the previous view after chatting, swipe left until you hear "Back," and then double-tap the screen.

Sign out of Skype

  1. In Skype main view, swipe left or right until you hear: "My info." Double-tap the screen to open the menu.

  2. Swipe right repeatedly until you hear "Sign-out," double-tap the screen, swipe right until you hear "Yes," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to move from Skype (version 6 or 7) to Skype (version 8)

Use a screen reader to add chat expressions in Skype (version 8)

Use a screen reader to buy Skype (version 8) Credit

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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