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 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 SharePoint Online with your keyboard and a screen reader to create a team or communication site, and modify the site layout. We have tested it with Narrator, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

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 Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 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.

  • 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: "Create a new site."

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

  3. Type a name for the site. As you type, your screen reader announces whether the site name is available.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Site description, edit," 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 the current classification, for example, "Confidential." 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 set the default language for your site, press the Tab key until you hear "Select a language," followed by the default language. To change the language, press Spacebar and then press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the language you want. To select, press Enter.

  7. 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: "Create a new site." The focus is on the Team site option.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Communication site," and then press Enter. You hear: "Site name, edit."

  3. Type a name for the site. As you type, your screen reader announces whether the site name is available.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Site description, edit," 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 the current classification, for example "Confidential." 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 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, menu item," and then press the Right arrow key until you hear: "Edit page, menu item." Press Enter to select.

  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." Press Enter to select. You hear: "Section settings."

  4. To change the default layout, press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear the option you want. The option in focus is selected and applied to the section.

  5. To close the dialog, press Esc.

Add a new section

  1. On the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "New, menu item," and then press the Right arrow key until you hear: "Edit page, menu item." Press Enter to select.

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

  3. To browse the layout list, press the Left or Right arrow key to move in the list until you hear the layout you want. To add the section with the selected layout on the home page, press Enter.

Add a new web part

  1. On the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "New, menu item," and then press the Right arrow key until you hear: "Edit page, menu item." Press Enter to select.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear the section that you want to edit, and press Enter. You hear: "Add a new web part in column one."

  3. If you want to add the web part to the first column in the section, press Enter. Otherwise, press the SR key+Right arrow key until you find the section column where you want to add the web part, and press Enter.

  4. The list of available web part elements opens. To browse the list, press the Tab key once, press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear the web part element you want, and then press Enter to insert it to the column.

    Depending on the selected web part, new dialog boxes may open. Press the Tab key or Left and Right arrow keys to navigate them, and press Enter to make a selection.

Edit a web part

You can edit web parts using either the editing options on the web part specific toolbar or the default toolbar that is available for all web parts.

  1. On the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "New, menu item," and then press the Right arrow key until you hear: "Edit page, menu item." Press Enter to select.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear the section you want to edit, and then press Enter.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear the web part you want to edit, and press Enter.

  4. Depending on the web part you're editing, the focus moves either to the web part specific toolbar or the web part content. Do one of the following:

    • To move the focus from the content to the web part specific toolbar, press Alt+F10.

    • To explore the editing options on the web part specific toolbar, press the Right or Left arrow keys until you hear the option you want, and press Enter to select.

  5. To move the focus from the web part content area to the default toolbar available for all web part types, press Alt+F10. You hear: "Edit web part, button." To select, press Enter. The focus moves to the editing options pane.

    Tip: If you want to move the focus from the web part specific toolbar to the default toolbar, press the Tab key until you hear: "Edit web part."

  6. To move through the available options in the pane, press the Tab key. To expand a menu, press Spacebar. To select an option, press Enter.

    To close the options pane, press Esc.

Move a web part

  1. On the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "New, menu item," and then press the Right arrow key until you hear: "Edit page, menu item." Press Enter to select.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear the right section, and then press Enter.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear the web part you want to edit, and press Enter.

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

  5. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Move web part," and press Enter.

  6. To move the web part up or down, press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the location you want. To confirm the move, press 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 as draft," and then press Enter.

  2. To publish your changes, press the Tab key until you hear "New, menu item," and then press the Right arrow key until you hear either "Publish" or "Republish." Press Enter to select.

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

Basic tasks using a screen reader with SharePoint Online

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate 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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