Use a screen reader to download a document in Word Online

Use a screen reader to download a document in Word Online

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.

Word Online automatically saves all your work to your OneDrive folder in the cloud. This article shows you how to use keyboard shortcuts and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to download your document from OneDrive to your PC as a Word document or a PDF.

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 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.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

  • In this task, we recommend that you use Internet Explorer as your web browser. 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.

In this topic

Download a Word document to your computer

  1. On your PC, open the Internet Explorer browser and go to Word Online.

  2. If you're not signed in already, you hear: "Microsoft Online, work together on Word documents." If needed, press the Tab key to move to the sign-in field. When in the sign-in field, you hear: "Dialog, sign in, email, phone, or Skype."

    Type your email address, phone number, or Skype username and press Enter.

    Type your password and press Enter.

  3. Word Online opens. The focus is on the New blank document template. To open an existing document from OneDrive, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Open from OneDrive, link," and press Enter.

  4. The Recent folder in OneDrive opens. To go to another OneDrive folder, press Shift+Tab repeatedly until you hear: "Files." Use the Up or Down arrow key to move between the folders. To select a folder, press Enter.

  5. A list or a grid of the documents and folders in that folder are displayed. The most recently opened folder or document is selected. To browse through the items, use the arrow keys. To open folders, press Enter. When you hear the document you want, press Enter. The document opens in Word Online.

  6. To move the focus to the ribbon and open the File tab, press Alt+Windows Logo key, F.

  7. Press A to move the focus to the Save As option, and press C to select document download.

  8. The Microsoft Word Online dialog box opens. The focus is on the Download button. Press Enter to select. The dialog box closes.

  9. An Internet Explorer notification bar opens. To move the focus to the notification bar, press Alt+N. The focus is on the Open button.

  10. To move to the Save button for selecting where to save the document, press the Tab key once. Press the Down arrow key to open the save context menu, and do one of the following:

    • To save the document in the default location, press Enter.

    • To save the document in a different location, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Save As," and press Enter. The Save As dialog opens. The focus is in the file name field. To change the current file name, just type a new one. To navigate between the dialog panes, press the Tab key. To move between items in a pane, press the Up or Down arrow key. To open a folder, press Enter. When you've found the location you want, press Alt+S to save the document.

    • To save the document in the default location and then open it, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Save and open," and press Enter.

  11. To open the downloaded document or the folder location of the document, press Alt+N to go to the notification bar, and do one of the following:

    • To open the document with the desktop version of Word, press Enter. If you get an Internet Explorer security confirmation pop-up, press Alt+A to accept and dismiss.

    • To select another app to open with, press the Down arrow key twice, and then Enter. If you get an Internet Explorer security confirmation pop-up, press Alt+A to accept and dismiss. To select the app to open with, press the Tab key once, and use the Down arrow key to move through the list of options. When on an option you want to select, press Enter.

    • To open the folder location of the saved document, press the Tab key and then Enter. The folder opens in Windows Explorer and the focus is on the document file.

Download your document as a PDF

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is handy for sharing a document with others, particularly when you don’t want them to make changes to the document.

  1. Sign in to Word Online and open your document as instructed in steps 1 - 5 of the previous task.

  2. To move the focus to the ribbon and open the File tab, press Alt+Windows Logo key, F.

  3. Press A to move to the Save As option, and then press P to select the PDF download option.

  4. The Microsoft Word Online dialog box opens. The focus is on the Download button. Press Enter to select. The dialog box closes.

  5. An Internet Explorer notification bar opens. To move the focus to the notification bar, press Alt+N. The focus is on the Open button.

  6. Press the Tab key to move to the Save button and do one of the following:

    • To save in the default location, press Enter.

    • To save in a different location, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Save as," and then press Enter. The Save As dialog opens. The focus is in the file name field. To change the current file name, just type a new one. To navigate between the dialog panes, press the Tab key. To move between items in a pane, press the Up or Down arrow key. To open a folder, press Enter. When you've found the location you want, press Alt+S to save the document.

  7. To open the downloaded document or the folder location of the document, press Alt+N to go to the notification bar, and do one of the following:

    • To open the document with the default PDF app, press Enter. If you get an Internet Explorer security confirmation pop-up, press Alt+A to accept and dismiss.

    • To select another app to open with, press the Down arrow key twice, and then Enter. If you get an Internet Explorer security confirmation pop-up, press Alt+A to accept and dismiss. To select the app to open with, press the Tab key once, and use the Down arrow key to move through the list of options. When on an option you want to select, press Enter.

    • To open the folder location of the saved document, press the Tab key and then Enter. The folder opens in Windows Explorer and the focus is on the document file.

See also

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

Use a screen reader to print a document in Word Online

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.

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