Use a screen reader to add alt text to a picture in a document in Word Online

Use a screen reader to add alt text to a picture in a document in Word Online

Note: This article has done its job, and will be retiring soon. To prevent "Page not found" woes, we're removing links we know about. If you've created links to this page, please remove them, and together we'll keep the web connected.

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 Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to add alternative (alt) text to pictures, graphics, and photos in your document in Word Online. For people who can't see the picture, alt text should provide the essence of the picture in writing.


  • If you use Narrator with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you have to turn off scan mode in order to edit documents, spreadsheets, or presentations with Office Online. For more information, refer to Turn off virtual or browse mode in screen readers in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

  • 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 Word 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.

  • Because Word 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 Word Online.

  • Make sure that you are in Edit view.

  • The Format tab, which contains picture tools such as the Alt-Text button, appears on the ribbon only after you select a picture in your document.

  1. Select the image that you want to add alt text to.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the name of a ribbon tab, press Tab until you reach the Format tab, then press Enter.

  3. To move to the Alt-Text button, press the Tab key, and then press Enter. The Alternative Text dialog box opens with the focus in the Title box. (In Narrator, you hear “Image selected.”)

  4. Tab to the Description box and type the text you want.

  5. Tab to the OK button and then press Spacebar.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert a picture in a document in Word Online

Use a screen reader to save a document in Word Online to a OneDrive folder

Keyboard shortcuts in Word Online

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

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.

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.