Use a screen reader to change the indentation and spacing options in Outlook

Use a screen reader to change the indentation and spacing options in Outlook

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 with visual impairments 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 Outlook with your keyboard and a screen reader to set the amount of space before and after each paragraph and the size of its indents. We have tested it with Narrator and JAWS, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You can also create an indent only in the first line of a paragraph, or create a hanging indent, in which the first line of the paragraph is not indented, but subsequent lines are. Additionally, you can change the line spacing for a paragraph.

Notes: 

In this topic

Set paragraph spacing

  1. When composing a message, select the paragraph you want to set spacing for. If you want to set the paragraph spacing for the entire message, press Ctrl+A.

  2. To go to the Format Text tab, press Alt+O, P, G. The Paragraph dialog box opens, with the focus on the Indents and Spacing tab. You hear: "Paragraph window. Alignment." In JAWS you hear: "Paragraph dialog. Indents and Spacing page."

  3. To set the spacing before a paragraph, press the Tab key until you hear: "Before." Then press the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear the point value you want, or type the point value you want (for example, 6 or 18). (Smaller point values represent less space.)

  4. To set the spacing after a paragraph, press the Tab key until you hear: "After." Then press the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear the point selection you want, or type the point value you want (for example, 6 or 18).

  5. To close the Paragraph dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to your message window.

Set line spacing

  1. To change the line spacing of a paragraph, select the paragraph you want to format.

  2. To go to the Format Text tab, press Alt+O, P, G. The Paragraph dialog box opens, with the focus on the Indents and Spacing tab.

  3. To select a line spacing option, press the Tab key until you hear "Line spacing," followed by a line spacing option.

  4. Press Spacebar to open the options list. Then use the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear the line spacing option you want. To select, press Enter.

    If you select a customizable option, such as Multiple, to set the spacing size, press the Tab key. You hear "At" and the current spacing size. Then type a value.

  5. To close the Paragraph dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to your message window.

Set paragraph indents

Indent only the first line of a paragraph

  1. When composing a message, select the paragraphs in which you want to indent the first line of the paragraph.

  2. To open the Format Text tab, press Alt+O, P, G. The Paragraph dialog box opens, with the focus on the Indents and Spacing tab. You hear: "Paragraph window. Alignment." In JAWS you hear: "Paragraph dialog. Indents and Spacing page."

  3. To indent the first line of the paragraph, use the options in Indentation group. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Special, <indentation option>, editable combobox." In JAWS you hear: "Special column combobox, <indentation option>." To indent the first line, press Spacebar, and then use the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear: "First line." To select, press Enter.

  4. To set the first line indentation size, press the Tab key. You hear "By" and the current indentation size. Then type a value in inches, for example, 0.5.

  5. To close the Paragraph dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to your message window.

Note: All subsequent paragraphs that you type will be indented.

Indent all but the first line of a paragraph

  1. When composing a message, select the paragraph in which you want to indent all but the first line of the paragraph (hanging indent).

  2. To open the Format Text tab, press Alt+O, P, G. The Paragraph dialog box opens, with the focus on the Indents and Spacing tab. You hear: "Paragraph window. Alignment." In JAWS you hear: "Paragraph dialog. Indents and Spacing page."

  3. To indent all but the first line of the paragraph, use the options in Indentation group. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Special, <indentation option>, editable combobox." In JAWS you hear: "Special column combobox, <indentation option>."

    To create a hanging indent, press Spacebar, and then use the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear: "Hanging." To select, press Enter.

  4. To set the indentation size, press the Tab key. You hear "By" and the current indentation size. Then type the value in inches, for example, 0.5.

  5. To close the Paragraph dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to your message window.

Increase or decrease the indent of an entire paragraph

  1. When composing a message, select the paragraphs for which you want to increase or decrease the left or right indentation.

  2. To open the Format Text tab, press Alt+O, P, G. The Paragraph dialog box opens, with the focus on the Indents and Spacing tab. You hear: "Paragraph window. Alignment." In JAWS you hear: "Paragraph dialog. Indents and Spacing page."

  3. Use the options in Indentation group to do one of the following:

    • To modify indent from the left margin, press the Tab key until you hear: "Left."

    • To modify indent from the right margin, press the Tab key until you hear: "Right."

    To set the indentation size, type a number in inches. The indentation size is announced.

  4. To close the Paragraph dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to your message window.

See also

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Outlook

Use a screen reader to create bulleted or numbered lists in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

Use Outlook on the web with your keyboard and a screen reader to set the size of each paragraph's indents. We have tested it with Narrator, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

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.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • This topic assumes that the Reading pane is off.

  • When you use Outlook on the web, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Outlook on the web 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 Outlook on the web.

  • We're currently updating Outlook.office.com (Outlook on the Web). Some people are already using the new Outlook, and for others the classic version will be the default experience until we complete the update. For more information, go to Get help with the new Outlook on the web. Since the instructions in this topic apply to the new experience, we recommend that you switch from the classic experience to the new Outlook. To switch to the new Outlook, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Command, Try the new Outlook," and then press Enter. If you hear "Command toolbar" instead of "Command, Try the new Outlook," you're already using the new Outlook.

Increase or decrease the indent of a paragraph

  1. When composing a message, place your cursor somewhere in the paragraph for which you want to change the indentation. If you want change the paragraph indentation for the entire message, press Ctrl+A to select all text.

  2. Press the Tab key once. You hear: "Formatting options." Then do one of the following:

    • To increase the indent from the left margin, press the Right or Left arrow key until you hear "Increase indent, button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to the paragraph.

    • To decrease the indent from the left margin, press the Right or Left arrow key until you hear "Decrease indent, button," and then press Spacebar. The focus returns to the paragraph.

See also

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Outlook

Use a screen reader to create bulleted or numbered lists in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

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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