Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams

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 Microsoft Teams with your keyboard and JAWS screen reader to chat with your contacts. You immediately hear an alert when someone sends you a message.

Notes: 

In this topic

Start a group chat

  1. In the Conversations tab, press C. Focus moves to the message composer box. You hear: "Compose new message, edit."

  2. To expand the composer box to access more editing options, press Alt+X. To collapse the box, press Alt+X again.

  3. Type your message. You can also add attachments or even emoji, stickers, or memes to spice up your message.

  4. To send a message, press Ctrl+Enter.

Start a private chat

  1. Press Alt+2 to open Chat. The list pane now shows your Favorites, if any, Recent contacts, and Suggested contacts.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear either "List box, favorite chats" (if you have saved some contacts as favorites) or "List box, recent chats."

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the name of the contact you want to chat with, followed by their availability information.

    Tip: If the contact you seek is not in your Favorites, Recent, or Suggested lists, press Alt+E to use the Search field to find them. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams.

  4. Press Enter. You hear: "Selected, compose new message, edit."

  5. Type your message and press Enter. You hear: "Message sent."

  6. When the person replies to your message, you hear "Message from," followed by the person's name and the text in the message.

    Note: If you receive a message from someone else than the person you're currently chatting with, or if you receive a message while in another view, you hear "Alert," followed by the sender's name.

Add an attachment

  1. Press Alt+A. The attachment picker opens.

  2. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the cloud location from where you'd like to add a file, and then press Spacebar.

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key to move in the list of folders or files, and press Enter to open a folder.

  4. When you hear the file you'd like to attach, press Enter. The file is attached to your message.

Attach a local file

  1. To attach a file from your computer to your message, press Alt+A.

  2. Press Tab until you hear "Upload button," and then press Enter. You hear: "Open dialog, File name." The Windows Open dialog opens.

  3. Press Tab to navigate the dialog.

  4. When you've found and selected your file, press Tab until you hear "Open button," and then press Enter.

Add an emoji

  1. In the message composer box, press Alt+Q.

  2. Press Tab to move to the emoji list. Press the Left or Right arrow key to move in the list.

  3. When you hear an emoji you'd like to add, press Enter. The emoji is added to your message.

Add a sticker or meme

  1. In the message or composer box, press Tab until you hear: "Menu, actions menu."

  2. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Choose a sticker," and then press Enter.

  3. To move to the stickers and memes category pane, press Shift+Tab. To move in the pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys. To select a folder, press Enter.

  4. To move to the list of stickers and memes in a category, press Tab. Then press the Left or Right arrow key to move through the list. To select, press Spacebar.

  5. Edit the sticker or meme text to your liking, and when you're done, press Tab until you hear "Done," and then press Spacebar.

See also

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to find and reply to alerts in Microsoft Teams

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Microsoft Teams using accessibility features

Use Microsoft Teams on Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to chat with your contacts. You immediately hear an alert when someone replies to your message.

Notes: 

In this topic

Start a group chat

  1. When you're on the Conversations tab, press C. The focus moves to the message compose box. VoiceOver announces: "Compose new message, edit text."

    TIP: To expand the compose box and access more editing options, press Option+X.

    The box is automatically collapsed when the message is sent. You can also press Tab once to move to the Collapse compose box button, and then press Control+Option+Space to select.

  2. Type your message.

    TIP: You can also add attachments or even emoji, stickers, or memes to spice up your message. To navigate to the emoji and stickers menus, press Tab once, and then press the Right arrow key until you hear the menu you want to open. Press Enter to open the menu, and then type what you want to search for, or press Tab to go straight to the gallery. To navigate the options in the gallery, use the Right or Left arrow keys.

  3. To send the message, press Control+Enter.

    TIP: When the compose box is not expanded, you can send a message by just pressing Enter.

Start a private chat

  1. Press Option+2 to open Chat. The list pane now shows your Favorites, if any, Recent contacts, and Suggested contacts.

  2. Press Command+F6 until you hear "Horizontal splitter."

  3. Press the Right arrow key until you hear the name of the contact you want to chat with, followed by their availability information.

    Tip: If the contact you seek is not in your Favorites, Recent, or Suggested lists, press Option+E to use the Search field to find them. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams.

  4. Press Control+Option+Spacebar. You hear: "Compose new message, edit text."

  5. Type your message and press Enter. You hear: "Message sent."

  6. When the person replies to your message, you hear "Message from," followed by the person's name and the text in the message.

Add an attachment

  1. In the compose box, press Option+A. The attachment picker opens.

  2. Press the Right or Left arrow keys until you hear the cloud location from where you'd like to add a file, and then press Control+Option+Spacebar to select.

  3. Press the Right or Left arrow keys to move in the list of folders or files.

  4. When you hear the file you'd like to attach, press Enter. The file is added and you can find it on the Files tab.

Attach a local file

  1. To attach a file from your computer to your message, press Option+A.

  2. Press Tab until you hear "Upload button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. The dialog for selecting a file opens.

  3. Press Tab to navigate the dialog.

  4. When you've found and selected the file, press Enter. The file is added to the thread. You can also find in on the Files tab.

Add an emoji

  1. In the compose box, press Option+Q.

  2. Press Tab to move to the emoji list. Press the Left or Right arrow key to move in the list.

  3. When you hear an emoji you'd like to add, press Control+Option+Spacebar. The emoji is added to your message.

Add a sticker or a meme

  1. In the compose box, press Tab until VoiceOver announces: "Attachment, menu item."

  2. Press the Right arrow key until VoiceOver announces: "Choose a sticker." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the menu.

  3. To move to the stickers and memes category pane, press Shift+Tab. To move in the pane, press the Right or Left arrow keys. To select a category, press Enter.

  4. To move to the list of stickers and memes in a category, press Tab. Then press the Left or Right arrow keys to move through the list. To select an item, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. If you want, you can edit the sticker or meme text. When ready, press Tab until VoiceOver announces: "Done, button." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to select the button.

    The sticker or meme is added to your message in the compose box.

See also

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to find and reply to alerts in Microsoft Teams

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Microsoft Teams using accessible features

Use Microsoft Teams for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to chat with your contacts. You immediately hear an alert when someone replies to your message.

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?.

  • 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

Start a group chat

  1. In the channel where you want to compose your message, on the Conversations tab, swipe right until you hear "Start a new conversation, text field." Double-tap the screen.

  2. Type the message using your on-screen keyboard. To go to the keyboard, swipe right until you hear: "Q."

  3. After typing, to send the message, swipe right or left until you hear "Send button" and then double-tap the screen.

    TIP: You can also send a message that includes a photo saved on your phone. To send a photo, while typing your message, swipe right or left until you hear: "Tap to attach images." Double-tap the screen. Swipe right until you hear "Photo library" and double-tap the screen. Then select a photo from your Photos library.

Start a private chat

  1. Swipe left or right until you hear "Chat tab," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Selected, Chat tab." The list pane shows your recent conversations, if any.

  2. Swipe left until you hear "New chat button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Search for recipients, Search field." The New Chat window opens and the focus is on the To field.

  3. To search for a contact, swipe right until you hear the first character on the on-screen keyboard.

  4. To type your search words, slide one finger on the keyboard until you hear the character you want, and then double-tap the screen. The character is added in the To field.

  5. The search results are listed as you type. To go to the results, swipe left or right until you hear the contact name. To select the contact, double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe right until you hear "Type your message here," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Text field, is editing, insertion point at start."

  7. Type your message using the on-screen keyboard as instructed above.

  8. To send the message, swipe left until you hear "Send button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Notification, message sent successfully."

    When the person replies to your message, VoiceOver announces a new or an unread message.

See also

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Microsoft Teams using accessibility features

Use Microsoft Teams for Android with Talkback, the built-in Android screen reader, to chat with your contacts chat with your contacts. You immediately hear an alert when someone sends you a message.

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?.

  • 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

Start a group chat

  1. In the channel where you want to compose your message, swipe right until you hear: "Type a new message button." Double-tap the screen.

  2. Type the message using your on-screen keyboard. To go to the keyboard, place a finger on the screen and drag it around until you hear a keyboard element.

  3. After typing, to send the message, swipe right or left until you hear "Send message button" and double-tap the screen.

    TIP: In your message, you can also send an emoji, a gif, or a photo saved on your phone. While typing your message, swipe right or left until you hear the option you want. Then double-tap the screen to select the option.

Start a private chat

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Chat tab," and then double-tap the screen. You hear the first item in the recent conversations list that's shown in the list pane.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "New chat button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Edit box, To, Search for contacts here." The on-screen keyboard is shown in the bottom half of the screen.

  3. To type your search words, slide one finger on the bottom half of the screen until you hear a character you want, then lift your finger, and then double-tap the screen. The character is added in the To field.

  4. The search results are listed and announced as you type. The focus moves to the first search result. To move in the list, swipe left or right until you hear the contact name. To select the contact, double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Type a message here, edit box," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Type your message using the on-screen keyboard as instructed above.

  7. To send the message, swipe left or right until you hear "Send message button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Message sent successfully."

  8. When the person replies to your message, you hear: "Message received, showing items <number of the current item and its position in the list of items>."

See also

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Microsoft Teams using accessibility features

Use Microsoft Teams with Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to chat with your contacts. You immediately hear an alert when someone sends you a message.

Notes: 

In this topic

Start a group chat

  1. In the channel where you want to start a chat, press C. The focus moves to the message compose box. You hear: "Start a new conversation. Type @ to mention someone, editing."

    Tip: To expand the compose box to access more editing options, press Ctrl+Shift+X. To collapse, press Ctrl+Shift+X again.

  2. Type your message. When done, press Enter to send.

    Note: If you expanded the compose box in the previous step, pressing Enter creates a new row. To send the message while the compose box is expanded, press Ctrl+Enter.

Start a private chat

  1. Press the Tab key until you hear “Search a new chat, new chat, button,” and press Enter. You hear: “To, editing. Start typing a name or group.”

  2. Type the name of the user you want to start a conversation with. As you type, Teams provides a list of suggestions. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate the list.

  3. Press Enter to select a suggested user from the list. You hear: “<user name> selected.”

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear: “Type a new message.” Type your message and press Enter to send. You hear “Sending” as the message is being sent. When you hear “Message sent,” you can type another message.

  5. When the person replies to your message, you hear "Message from," followed by the person's name and the text in the message.

    Note: If you receive a message from someone else than the person you're currently chatting with, or if you receive a message while in another view, the message pops up in a system notification. You hear "New notification from Microsoft Teams," followed by the sender's name and a preview of the message.

Add an attachment

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key until you hear "Press Enter to expand compose box and format your message."

  2. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Attach," and press Enter.

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the location from where you'd like to add a file, and then press Spacebar.

  4. Press the Tab key, or Up or Down arrow key to move in the list of folders or files, and press Enter to open a folder.

  5. When you hear the file you'd like to attach, press Enter. The file is attached to your message.

Add an emoji

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key until you hear "Press Enter to expand compose box and format your message."

  2. To open the list of emojis, press the Right arrow key until you hear "Choose an emoji," and press Enter.

  3. The list of emojis opens. The focus is in the search field where you can type the emoji you're looking for, such as, happy, blushing, or facepalm. To jump to the list of emojis after search, or even without using the search, press the Tab key. To navigate between the emojis, press the Right or Left arrow key.

  4. When you hear an emoji you'd like to add, press Enter. The emoji is added to your message.

Add a sticker or a meme

  1. In the message box, press the Tab key until you hear: "Press Enter to expand compose box and format your message."

  2. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Choose a sticker," and then press Enter.

  3. To move to the stickers and memes category pane, press Shift+Tab. To move in the pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys. To select a folder, press Enter.

  4. To move to the list of stickers and memes in a category, press the Tab key. Then press the Left or Right arrow key to move through the list. To select, press Spacebar.

  5. If there is a text field, you can edit the sticker or meme text. When you're done, press the Tab key until you hear "Done button," and press Spacebar.

See also

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Use Microsoft Teams on the web with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to chat with your contacts. You immediately hear an alert when someone sends you a message.

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?.

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

In this topic

Start a group chat

  1. In the Conversations tab, press C. The focus moves to the message composer box. You hear: "Compose new message, editing.

    TIP: To expand the composer box to access more editing options, press Alt+X. To collapse the box, press Alt+X again.

  2. Type your message. You can also add attachments or even emoji, stickers, or memes to spice up your message.

  3. To send a message, press Ctrl+Enter.

Start a private chat

  1. Press Alt+2 to open Chat. The list pane now shows your Favorites, if any, Recent contacts, and Suggested contacts.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear either "Favorite chats heading" (if you have saved some contacts as favorites) or "Recent chats."

  3. Press Down arrow until you hear the name of the contact you want to chat with, followed by their availability information.

    Tip: If the contact you seek is not in your Favorites, Recent, or Suggested lists, press Alt+E to use the Search field to find them. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams.

  4. Press Enter. You hear: "Compose new message, editing."

  5. Type your message and press Enter. You hear: "Message sent."

  6. When the person replies to your message, you hear "Message from," followed by the person's name and the text in the message.

    Note: If you receive a message from someone other than the person you're currently chatting with, or if you receive a message while in another view, you hear the sender's name, followed by the text in the message.

Add an attachment

  1. Press Alt+A. The attachment picker opens.

  2. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the cloud location from where you'd like to add a file, and then press Spacebar.

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key to move in the list of folders or files, and press Enter to open a folder.

  4. When you hear the file you'd like to attach, press Enter. The file is attached to your message.

Attach a local file

  1. To attach a file from your computer to your message, press Alt+A.

  2. Press Tab until you hear "Upload button," and then press Enter. You hear: "Open dialog, File name, editable edit." The Windows Open dialog opens.

  3. Press Tab to navigate the dialog.

  4. When you've found and selected your file, press Alt+O. The file is attached to your message.

Add an emoji

  1. In the message composer box, press Alt+Q.

  2. Press Tab to move to the emoji list. Press the Left or Right arrow key to move in the list.

  3. When you hear an emoji you'd like to add, press Enter. The emoji is added to your message.

Add a sticker or a meme

  1. In the message box, press Tab until you hear: "Attachment menu item."

  2. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Choose a sticker," and then press Enter.

  3. To move to the stickers and memes category pane, press Shift+Tab. To move in the pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys. To select a folder, press Enter.

  4. To move to the list of stickers and memes in a category, press Tab. Then press the Left or Right arrow key to move through the list. To select, press Spacebar.

  5. Edit the sticker or meme text to your liking, and when you're done, press Tab until you hear "Done button," and then press Spacebar.

See also

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to find and reply to alerts in Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Learn how to navigate Microsoft Teams using accessibility 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.

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