Use a screen reader with the Accessibility Checker

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 the Accessibility Checker with your keyboard and a screen reader to make sure your Office content is easy for people of all abilities to read and edit. 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 can run the Accessibility Checker on your email messages before sending or on your documents or spreadsheets before sharing them, for example.

Notes: 

Check for and fix accessibility issues in your content

  1. To run the Accessibility Checker, press Alt+R, A, 1. The focus moves to the Accessibility Checker pane on the right side of the screen.

  2. To move to the results, press Shift+Tab once. You hear: "Inspections results," followed by the first category of findings and the description of the category.

    The findings are categorized into errors, warnings, tips, and intelligent services with how-to-fix recommendations for each. For more information, refer to Rules for the Accessibility Checker.

  3. To move to the first group of issues inside the category, press the Down arrow key once. You hear the type and number of issues in that group, for example, "Missing alternative text, seven."

  4. To expand the group, press Spacebar.

  5. To move to the first item inside the group, press the Down arrow key once. You hear the item with the accessibility issue and the place where to find it, for example, "Picture three, slide two."

  6. To expand the item and display the options on how to fix the issue, press Alt+Down arrow key. The Recommended Actions menu opens.

  7. To browse the options in the Recommended Actions menu, press the Down arrow key until you hear the action you want. To select an action, press Spacebar.

  8. Take the recommended action you selected.

    For example, if you selected Add a description for a missing alt text, the Alt Text pane opens left of the Accessibility Checker pane and you can type an alt text description for the item.

  9. Go through all inspection results listed in the Accessibility Checker pane.

See also

Rules for the Accessibility Checker

Everything you need to know to write effective alt text

Office Accessibility Center

Use a screen reader and keyboard shortcuts with Office apps

Use the Accessibility Checker with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in macOS screen reader, to make sure your Office for Mac content is easy for people of all abilities to read and edit.

You can run the Accessibility Checker on your email messages before sending or on your documents or spreadsheets before sharing them, for example.

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.

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

Check for and fix accessibility issues in your content

  1. Press F6 until you hear the current tab, for example, "Selected, Home tab."

  2. Press Control+Option+Right or Left arrow key until you hear "Review tab," and then press Spacebar.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Check accessibility, unchecked checkbox."

  4. To run the Accessibility Checker, press Spacebar. The focus moves to the Accessibility Checker pane on the right side of the screen.

  5. To move to the results, press the Tab key until you hear "Table," followed by the first category of findings.

    The findings are categorized into errors, warnings, tips, and intelligent services. For more information, refer to Rules for the Accessibility Checker.

  6. To move to the first group of issues inside the category, press the Down arrow key once. You hear the issue type, for example, "Missing alternative text."

  7. To move to the first item inside the group, press Control+Option+Down arrow key once. You hear the item with the accessibility issue and the place where to find it, for example, "Picture three, slide two." The item is selected on the slide.

  8. Fix the reported issue.

  9. To move back to the Accessibility Checker pane, press F6 until you hear: "Accessibility Checker pane."

  10. Go through all inspection results listed in the Accessibility Checker pane as instructed above and fix the issues.

See also

Rules for the Accessibility Checker

Everything you need to know to write effective alt text

Office Accessibility Center

Use a screen reader and keyboard shortcuts with Office apps

Use the Accessibility Checker with your keyboard and a screen reader to make sure your Office Online content is easy for people of all abilities to read and edit. 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 can run the Accessibility Checker on your email messages before sending or on your documents or spreadsheets before sharing them, for example.

Notes: 

Check for and fix accessibility issues in your content

  1. To run the Accessibility Checker, press Alt+Windows logo key+R, Q. The focus moves to the Accessibility Checker pane on the right side of the screen.

  2. To move to the results, press the Tab key once. You hear the first category of findings, for example, "Errors."

    The findings are categorized into errors, warnings, tips, and intelligent services. For more information, refer to Rules for the Accessibility Checker.

  3. To move to the first group of issues inside the category, press the Down arrow key once. You hear the issue type, for example, "Missing alternative text."

  4. To move to the first item inside the group, press the Down arrow key once. You hear the item with the accessibility issue and the place where to find it, for example, "Picture three, slide two."

  5. To select and move to the item with the issue, press Enter.

  6. Fix the reported issue.

  7. To move back to the Accessibility Checker pane, press Ctrl+F6 once. You hear: "PowerPoint for the web, Recheck button."

  8. Go through all inspection results listed in the Accessibility Checker pane as instructed above and fix the issues.

  9. Once you're done, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "PowerPoint for the web, Recheck button," and then press Enter. If the Accessibility Checker discovered new issues, fix them too.

See also

Rules for the Accessibility Checker

Everything you need to know to write effective alt text

Office Accessibility Center

Use a screen reader and keyboard shortcuts with Office apps

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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