Use a screen reader to insert a table in Word

Use a screen reader to insert a table in Word

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 Word with your keyboard and a screen reader to add a table to your document. 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'll also learn how to expand your table by adding new rows or columns and format your table with the built-in table styles.

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.

  • When using Narrator, your keyboard will default to the Standard layout. To change this in the Narrator settings, press the Windows logo key+Ctrl+N. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Select keyboard layout, Standard." To change the layout to Legacy, press the Down arrow key once. You hear: "Legacy, selected." The new Narrator commands will not be available in the Legacy keyboard layout if keystrokes for legacy commands conflict with those used in new Narrator features.

  • 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 topic

Insert a table by specifying dimensions

You can specify the dimensions of a table, such as the number of columns and rows, and their height and width. Word will insert a basic grid-type table for your use.

Note: To make the table more accessible, and make it possible for screen readers to identify table columns correctly, give the table a header row.

  1. Select the location in your document where you want to insert the new table.

  2. To open the Insert Table dialog, press Alt+N, T, I.

  3. To specify the number of columns in the table, press Alt+C, and then type the number of columns you want.

  4. To specify the number of rows, press Alt+R, and then type the number of rows you want.

  5. If you want to use these dimensions again in the future, press Alt+S to select the Remember dimensions for new tables option.

  6. To close the Insert Table dialog, press the Tab key until you hear "OK," and then press Enter. Word adds the table to your document.

  7. To set up a header row, do the following:

    1. Go to the table in your document and move to any cell. Press Alt+J, T to open the Table Design tab.

    2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Header row," and press Spacebar to select it.

  8. Move to the table and type your information in the cells. You hear which column and row is currently selected, and which cells are header cells. Use the arrow keys to move in the table.

Insert a table by selecting from built-in formats

If you want to let Word do the formatting for you, select one of its built-in formats for tables.

  1. Navigate to the location in your document where you want to insert the new table.

  2. To choose from built-in table formats, press Alt+N, T, and then T to open the Quick Tables menu.

  3. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to move through the list of table formats. Press Enter to select the table you want.

    Word inserts the selected table into your document and places the focus at the top of the inserted table.

  4. Type your information in the cells. Use the arrow keys to move in the table.

Delete a table

If a table is no longer necessary, delete it from your document.

  1. Open your document, and then go to the table you want to delete. When the focus is in your table, you'll hear confirmation, such as “In Table 1.” When the focus moves off the table, you'll hear that you have left the table.

  2. To go to the Table Layout tab, press Alt+J, L.

  3. To delete the entire table, press D, T. The table is deleted, and the focus returns to the document.

See also

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

Use a screen reader to create charts in Word

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word on Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to add a table to your document by either specifying its dimensions or by choosing among several predesigned table formats. It's also possible to convert existing text to a table.

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.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in Word for Mac.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Mac OS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

  • We recommend you read and edit documents in Print Layout View. VoiceOver may not work reliably in other view modes.

In this topic

Insert a table

You can specify the dimensions of a table by the number of columns and rows. Word for Mac then inserts a basic grid-type table for your use. If you want to let Word for Mac do the formatting for you, select one of its built-in formats for tables.

Note: To make the table more accessible, and make it possible for screen readers to identify table columns correctly, set up a header row.

Specify table dimensions

  1. Place the cursor inside the document in the location where you want to insert the new table.

  2. Press F6 until you hear: "Home, selected, tab."

  3. Press the Right arrow key once to move to the Insert tab, then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Table, menu button" and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. To specify the number of columns in the table, press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key, and then press Control+Option+Right arrow key until you hear the number you want.

  6. To specify the number of rows, press Control+Option+Down arrow key, until you hear the number you want.

  7. To insert the table with the currently selected size, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    Word for Mac adds the table to your document and moves the focus to its top-left cell. Word also automatically selects the Table Design tab from the toolbar.

  8. To check that a header row is set up, press F6 until you hear: "Table design, selected, tab." Then press the Tab key until you hear: "Header row, checked, check box." If Header Row is not checked, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  9. Press F6 to return to your document. If necessary, use the Up or Down arrow key to move to the table.

  10. Navigate to the cell you want by pressing Control+Option+an arrow key in the direction you want to move. Type your information in the cells. Press the Tab key to move to the next cell, or Shift+Tab to move to the previous cell. If you press the Tab key in the last cell, a new table row is created.

Format a table using a built-in format

  1. Create a table as described in Specify table dimensions, and make sure the focus is somewhere inside the table.

  2. Press F6 until you hear "Table design, selected, tab," and then press the Tab key until you hear: "Table grid, selected, button."

  3. To choose from the built-in table formats, press the Right arrow key until you hear the format you want, and then press Control+Option+Spacebar to apply.

  4. To return to the document, press F6.

Add table columns or rows

You can quickly expand your table by adding more rows or columns.

  1. Make sure the focus is somewhere inside the table, then use Control+Option+arrow keys to navigate inside the table to find the place where you want to add a new row or column.

  2. Press F6 until you hear "Table design, selected, tab" and then press the Right arrow key until you hear: "Layout, tab."

  3. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the Layout tab.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear one of the following:

    • "Insert above, button" adds a row above the current row.

    • "Insert below, button" adds a row below the current row.

    • "Insert left, button" adds a column to the left of the current column.

    • "Insert right, button" adds a column to the right of the current column.

  5. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to insert the selected item to the table.

Delete a table

If a table is no longer necessary, delete it from your document.

  1. Make sure the focus is somewhere inside the table you want to delete.

  2. Press F6 until you hear "Table design, selected, tab" or "Layout, selected, tab."

    Word remembers which tab you last used when working with tables. If you land on the Table Design tab, press the Right arrow key once, then press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the Layout tab.

  3. On the Layout tab, press the Tab key until you hear "Delete, menu button" and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Delete table" and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Edit table properties

In addition to using built-in formats, you can change table properties individually. For example, you can define text alignment, row height, column width, or write alternative text (alt text) to make the table more accessible for screen readers.

  1. Make sure the focus is somewhere inside the table you want to edit.

  2. Press F6 until you hear "Table design, selected, tab" or "Layout, selected, tab."

    Word remembers which tab you last used when working with tables. If you land on the Table Design tab, press the Right arrow key once, then press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the Layout tab.

  3. On the Layout tab, press the Tab key until you hear "Properties, button" and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. The Table Properties menu has five tabs:

    • Table

    • Row

    • Column

    • Cell

    • Alt Text

    Use the Right and Left arrow keys to find the tab you want, then press Control+Option+Spacebar to open that tab.

  5. Press the Tab key to browse the options on the selected tab. VoiceOver tells you how to access each option. For example, on the Table tab, you can define text alignment to the whole table.

  6. To switch to another tab, press the Tab key until you hear the name of the current tab again, then use the Right and Left arrow keys to find the tab you want, and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  7. To close the Table Properties menu, press the Tab key until you hear "OK, default, button" and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. If you did not change any settings, or if you don't want to save your changes, press Esc to exit the menu.

    The focus returns to the Properties button.

  8. To return to the document, press F6.

Convert text to a table

You can create a table by converting normal text to a table. For example, you may have some text that was a table in another program, but lost its formatting when the text was copied into Word for Mac.

  1. Select the text you want to convert.

    Note: For the best results, the text should have columns separated with Tab and rows separated with Enter.

  2. Press F6 until you hear: "Home, selected, tab."

  3. Press the Right arrow key once to move to the Insert tab, then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Table, menu button" and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. Press Down arrow until you hear "Convert text to table" and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    The Convert Text to Table menu opens.

  6. Use the Right and Left arrow keys to browse the options in the menu. Word offers you the number of columns and rows that best fit the selected text, but you can change the values individually. VoiceOver tells you how to access each option.

  7. To close the Convert Text to Table menu, press the Tab key until you hear "OK, default, button" and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. If you did not change any settings, or if you don't want to save your changes, press Esc to exit the menu.

    The focus returns to the toolbar.

  8. To return to the document, press F6.

See also

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

Use a screen reader to create charts in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word for Mac

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to add a table to your document. You can also expand your table by adding new rows or columns and format your table with the built-in table styles.

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.

  • For touch capabilities in Word for iOS, go to Word for iPhone touch guide

  • 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.

  • We recommend you read and edit documents in Print Layout View. VoiceOver may not work reliably in other view modes.

In this topic

Insert a table

Note: To make the table more accessible, and make it possible for screen readers to identify table columns correctly, set up a header row.

  1. Move to the location in your document where you want to insert the new table, and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Slide one finger across the top of the screen until you hear "Show ribbon, button" and then double-tap the screen. You hear the currently selected tab, for example, "Home tab."

  3. Double-tap the screen. The tabs menu opens.

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear "Insert tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Table button," and then double-tap the screen.

    A default table with 3 rows and 3 columns is inserted in the document. The focus is inside the new table.

  6. To set up a header row, slide one finger across the bottom half of the screen until you hear "Style options button," and then double-tap the screen. Slide one finger across the bottom half of the screen until you hear "Unselected, Header row, button," and then double-tap the screen to select.

    If VoiceOver announces that the Header Row option is already selected, you can proceed to edit the table.

  7. To close the tabs menu, slide one finger across the right edge of the screen until you hear "Hide ribbon button," and then double-tap the screen. The on-screen keyboard opens.

  8. To move the focus inside the new table, slide one finger across the screen until VoiceOver announces a cell in the table.

  9. Once the focus is inside the table, swipe left or right to navigate inside the table. To add text or numbers in a cell, double-tap the screen, and then use the on-screen keyboard to type your content.

Add table columns or rows

You can quickly expand your table by adding more rows or columns.

  1. In the document, slide one finger across the screen until you hear "Entered into table," followed by the table and cell details.

  2. To enter the editing mode, double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear the option you want, for example, "Insert right, button" or "Insert below, button," and then double-tap the screen.

Delete a table

If a table is no longer necessary, delete it from your document.

  1. In your document, slide one finger across the screen until you hear "Entered into table," followed by the table and cell details.

  2. To enter the editing mode, double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Delete button," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. To delete the entire table, slide one finger across the bottom half of the screen until you hear "Delete table, button," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to add a table to your document. You can also expand your table by adding new rows or columns and format your table with the built-in table styles. By adding alternative texts to your tables, you can make your content accessible for wider audiences.

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.

  • For touch capabilities in Word for Android, go to Word for Android touch guide

  • 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

Insert a table

Note: To make the table more accessible, and make it possible for screen readers to identify table columns correctly, set up a header row.

  1. Move to the location in your document where you want to insert the new table.

  2. Slide one finger at the bottom right corner of the screen until you hear "Not checked, More options, switch," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Tab menu," followed by the currently selected tab.

  3. Double-tap the screen. The tabs menu opens.

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear "Insert tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Table button," and then double-tap the screen.

    A default table with 3 rows and 3 columns is inserted in the document. The focus is on the Table tab.

  6. To set up a header row, swipe right until you hear "Style options menu," and then double-tap the screen. Swipe right until you hear "Header row, Unchecked, switch," and then double-tap the screen to select.

    If TalkBack announces that the Header Row option is already checked, you can proceed to edit the table.

  7. To move the focus inside the new table, slide one finger across the screen until TalkBack announces a cell in the table.

  8. Once the focus is inside the table, swipe left or right to navigate inside the table. To add text or numbers in a cell, double-tap the screen, and then use the on-screen keyboard to type your content.

Add table columns or rows

You can quickly expand your table by adding more rows or columns.

  1. In the document, slide one finger across the screen until you hear "Entering table," followed by the table and cell details.

  2. Slide one finger across the bottom of the screen until you hear the option you want, for example, "Insert right, button" or "Insert below, button," and then double-tap the screen.

Add alternative text to a table

To make a table accessible for a wider audience, add alternative text to it.

  1. Move to the table to which you want to add the alternative text.

  2. Slide one finger at the bottom right corner of the screen until you hear "Not checked, More options, switch," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Tab menu, Table, selected."

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Alt text menu," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Edit box for title," and then double-tap the screen. The on-screen keyboard opens at the bottom of the screen.

  5. Type a descriptive title text.

  6. Swipe right until you hear "Edit box for description," and then double-tap the screen. The on-screen keyboard opens at the bottom of the screen.

  7. Type a description of the table.

  8. Once you're done, swipe down-then-left to close the on-screen keyboard.

  9. To return to the Table tab menu, swipe down-then-left.

Delete a table

If a table is no longer necessary, delete it from your document.

  1. In the document, slide one finger across the screen until you hear "Entering table," followed by the table and cell details.

  2. To delete the entire table, slide one finger across the bottom of the screen until you hear "Delete menu," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Delete table, button," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word Mobile with Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to add a table to your document. You can also expand your table by adding new rows or columns and format your table with the built-in table styles. By adding alternative texts to your tables, you can make your content accessible for wider audiences.

Notes: 

In this topic

Add a table

Note: To make the table more accessible, and make it possible for screen readers to identify table columns correctly, set up a header row.

  1. Move to the location where you want to insert a table, and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Table," and then double-tap the screen.

    A default table with 3 rows and 3 columns is created.

  3. To set up a header row, swipe right until you hear "More options," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Tell Me." Swipe right until you hear "Style options," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Header row." Double-tap the screen to add a header row.

    If Narrator announces that the Header Row option is already on, you can proceed to edit the table.

  4. To close the ribbon, swipe left until you hear "More options," and then double-tap the screen. The on-screen keyboard appears, and the focus is inside the table.

  5. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your content in the table.

Add table columns or rows

  1. In your document, swipe right or left until you hear the table you want to add columns or rows to, and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear the option you want, for example, "Insert right," and then double-tap the screen.

Add alternative text to a table

To make a table accessible for a wider audience, add alternative text to it.

  1. In your document, swipe right or left until you hear the table you want to add alt text to, and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "More options," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Tell Me." Swipe right until you hear "Alt text," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Title." The on-screen keyboard appears.

  3. Double-tap the screen, and then type a descriptive title for the alternative text.

  4. Swipe right. You hear: "Description."

  5. Double-tap the screen, and then type a description for the alternative text.

  6. Once you're done, swipe left until you hear "Done," and then double-tap the screen.

Delete a table

  1. In your document, swipe right or left until you hear the table you want to delete, and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Delete," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Delete table," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to check spelling in a document in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Use Word Online with your keyboard and a screen reader to add a table to your document. We have tested it with Narrator, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You'll also learn how to expand your table by adding new rows or columns and format your table with the built-in table styles.

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.

  • When using Narrator, your keyboard will default to the Standard layout. To change this in the Narrator settings, press the Windows logo key+Ctrl+N. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Select keyboard layout, Standard." To change the layout to Legacy, press the Down arrow key once. You hear: "Legacy, selected." The new Narrator commands will not be available in the Legacy keyboard layout if keystrokes for legacy commands conflict with those used in new Narrator features.

  • 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 Word Online, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge 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

Insert a table

Note: To make the table more accessible, and make it possible for screen readers to identify table columns correctly, set up a header row.

  1. Move to the location in your document where you want to insert the new table.

  2. To open the Table menu, press Alt+Windows logo key+N, T.

  3. To specify and select the number of columns and rows in the table, press Shift+arrow keys. You hear the number of selected rows and columns.

  4. To insert the table with the selected dimensions, press Enter.

  5. To set up a header row, go to any cell in the table. Press Alt+Windows logo key+J, T to open the Table Design tab. Press the Tab key until you hear "Header row," and then press Spacebar to select it.

    If the screen reader announces that the Header Row option is already on, you can proceed to edit your table.

  6. The focus moves to the new table. Use the arrow keys to move in the body of the table.

  7. Type your information in the cells. You hear which column and row is currently selected, and which cells are header cells.

Add table columns or rows

You can quickly expand your table by adding more rows or columns.

  1. Move inside the table, and then use the arrow keys to navigate inside the table to find the place where you want to add a new row or column.

  2. Press Alt+Windows logo key+J, L. The Table Layout tab opens.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To add a row above the current row, press A.

    • To add a row below the current row, press B, E.

    • To add a column to the left of the current column, press L.

    • To add a column to the right of the current column, press R.

    The focus moves to the document body, inside the table.

Format a table using a built-in table style

If you want to let Word Online do the table formatting for you, select one of its built-in styles for tables.

  1. Move to any cell inside the table you want to format.

  2. To open the Table Styles menu, press Alt+Windows logo key+J, T, S

  3. Use the arrow keys to browse through the styles. The screen reader announces the name of each style as you land on it.

  4. To choose and apply a built-in table style, press Enter. The focus moves to the document body, inside the table.

Add alternative text to a table

To make a table accessible for a wider audience, add alternative text to it.

  1. Move to any cell inside the table to which you want to add alternative text.

  2. Press Alt+Windows logo key+J, T, E. The Alternative Text dialog opens. The focus is in the Title text field.

  3. Type a descriptive title for the table.

  4. Press the Tab key. The focus moves to the Description text field.

  5. Type a description of the table.

  6. Once you're done, press the Tab key until you hear "OK," and then press Enter.

Delete a table

If a table is no longer necessary, delete it from your document.

  1. Move to any cell inside the table you want to delete.

  2. To delete the entire table, press Alt+Windows logo key+J, T, and then D, T. The table is deleted, and the focus returns to the document body.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to insert a picture or image in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word Online

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

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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