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

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

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 Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to create a team or communication site, and modify the site layout.

A team site connects you and your team to the content, information, and apps you use every day. For example, you can use a team site to store and collaborate on files, view links to important web pages, and see recent site activity in the activity feed. Typically, all or most members can contribute to a team site, and the information is limited only to the members of the team or project and specific stakeholders.

On a communication site, you can share information with a wider audience in your company. For example, you can share news, reports, statuses, and other information. Typically, only a small set of members contribute to a communication site.

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 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

Create a team site

  1. In your SharePoint Online homepage, press the Tab key until you hear "Create site," and then press Enter You hear: "Dialog, Create a new site."

  2. The focus is on the Team site option. To select, press Enter. You hear: "Sharepoint, Microsoft Edge, Site name, editing."

  3. Type a name for the site. As you type, Narrator announces if the site name is available.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Site description, editing," and then type a description for your site.

  5. To change the privacy settings for your site, press the Tab key until you hear: "Privacy settings, Public." To expand the list, press Spacebar, and then press the Down arrow key. You hear: "Private." To select, press Enter.

  6. To set the classification of the information on your site, press the Tab key until you hear "Internal only. " To change the value, press Spacebar and then press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the option you want. To select, press Enter.

  7. To change the default site design, press the Tab key until you hear "Choose a design, collapsed, menu," and then press Spacebar to expand the menu. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the option you want, and then press Enter.

  8. Press the Tab key until you hear "Next button," and then press Enter. You hear: "Add additional owners." Type the names or email addresses of additional site owners.

  9. Press the Tab key until you hear "Add additional members," and then type their names or email addresses.

  10. To complete the team site setup, press the Tab key until you hear "Finish, button," and then press Enter.

    The focus moves to the new site.

Create a communication site

  1. In your SharePoint Online homepage, press the Tab key until you hear "Create site," and then press Enter You hear: "Dialog, Create a new site." The focus is on the Team site option.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear Create a new site, Communication site," and then press Enter. You hear: "Sharepoint, Microsoft Edge, Site name, editing."

  3. Type a name for the site. As you type, Narrator announces if the site name is available.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Site description, editing," and then type a description for your site.

  5. To set the classification of the information on your site, press the Tab key until you hear "Internal only. " To change the value, press Spacebar and then press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the option you want. To select, press Enter.

  6. To change the default site design, press the Tab key until you hear "Choose a design, collapsed, menu," and then press Spacebar to expand the menu. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the option you want, and then press Enter. The following options are available:

    • Topic: the default design, to share information such as news, events, and other content.

    • Showcase: to use photos or images to showcase a product, team, or event.

    • Blank: to create your own design.

  7. To complete the communication site setup, press the Tab key until you hear "Finish, button," and then press Enter.

    The focus moves to the new site.

Modify the site layout

After you've created your site, you can modify the site layout to better suit you and your audience.

Choose a section layout

  1. On the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "New, collapsed, menu item," and then press Caps Lock+Right arrow key until you hear: "Edit menu item." To select, press Enter.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear the section you want to modify.

  3. To move to the toolbar, press Alt+F10. You hear: "Edit section, button." To select, press Enter. You hear: "Dialog, Section settings."

  4. To change the default layout, press Caps Lock+Left or Right arrow key until you hear the option you want, and then press Enter.

  5. To close the dialog, press Caps Lock+Left or Right arrow key until you hear "Close, button," and then press Enter.

Add a new section or web part

  1. On the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "New, collapsed, menu item," and then press Caps Lock+Right arrow key until you hear: "Edit menu item." To select, press Enter.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Add a new section or a web part," and then press Enter. A list of available section and web part elements opens.

  3. To browse the elements list, press the Tab key until you hear "Featured list," and then press Caps Lock+Left or Right arrow key to move in the list until you hear the element you want. To select and add the element on the home page, press Enter.

Edit a web part

  1. On the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "New, collapsed, menu item," and then press Caps Lock+Right arrow key until you hear: "Edit menu item." To select, press Enter.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear the right section, and then press Caps Lock+Left or Right arrow key until you hear the web part you want to edit.

  3. To move to the toolbar, press Alt+F10. You hear: "Edit web part, button." To select, press Enter. The focus moves to the available editing options which depend on the type of the web part.

  4. To move through the options, press the Tab key. To expand menus, press Spacebar. To select an option, press Enter.

  5. To close the options dialog, press Caps Lock+Left or Right arrow key until you hear "Close, button," and then press Enter.

Move a web part

  1. On the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "New, collapsed, menu item," and then press Caps Lock+Right arrow key until you hear: "Edit menu item." To select, press Enter.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear the right section, and then press Caps Lock+Left or Right arrow key until you hear the web part you want to move.

  3. To move to the toolbar, press Alt+F10. You hear: "Edit web part, button."

  4. Press Caps Lock+Left or Right arrow key. You hear: "Press Enter or Space to enter Move mode, button." To select, press Alt+Enter.

  5. To move the web part up or down, press Shift+Alt+Up arrow key or Shift+Alt+Down arrow key, respectively, until you hear the location you want. To confirm the move, press Alt+Enter. To cancel the move, press Esc.

Save and publish your changes

  1. To save your layout or content changes, press the Tab key until you hear "Save and close, menu item," and then press Enter.

  2. To publish your changes, press the Tab key until you hear "New, collapsed, menu item," and then press Caps Lock+Right arrow key until you hear: "Publish, menu item." To select, press Enter.

See also

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

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

Keyboard shortcuts in SharePoint Online

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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