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Use a screen reader to work with files in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to work with files in Microsoft Teams

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 Microsoft Teams with your keyboard and a screen reader, such as JAWS or NVDA, to open files shared by your team and upload your files for team members to view.

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 for Microsoft Teams.

  • This topic assumes that you are using JAWS. To learn about JAWS for Windows, refer to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic makes note of the NVDA functionality as well. To learn more about NVDA, go to NV Access | Get Help.

  • 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

Open a file

  1. With JAWS, in a channel, press the Tab key until you hear "Conversations." To switch the virtual cursor mode off, press Insert+Z, and then press the Right arrow key to move to Files. Press Enter to open the Files tab. When using NVDA, press the Tab key to move to Conversations, and then press the Right arrow key to move to Files. Press Enter to open the Files tab.

  2. With NVDA, the focus moves to the first file in the list. With JAWS, press the Tab key until you reach the first file in the list. Use the Down and Up arrow keys to find the file you'd like to open, and then press Enter. The file opens in the File Viewer.

    Tip: To quickly find a file, press Ctrl+E to move to the Search field, type /file, press Enter, and then type the name of the file. To browse the search results use the Down arrow key. When you hear the file you want to open, press Enter to open it in the File Viewer.

  3. To open and edit the file in an Office 365 app, press the Tab key until you reach the button for more editing options, and press Spacebar. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the app you want use, and press Enter.

    Tip: For more information about using the Office 365 apps with a screen reader, refer to Use a screen reader and keyboard shortcuts with Office apps.

  4. When you're done with the file, press Alt+Tab to switch the focus back to Microsoft Teams.

  5. Press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear "Close document stage," and press Enter. The focus returns to the files list.

Upload a file

  1. With JAWS, in a channel, press the Tab key until you hear "Conversations." To switch the virtual cursor mode off, press Insert+Z, and then press the Right arrow key to move to Files. Press Enter to open the Files tab. When using NVDA, press the Tab key to move to Conversations, and then press the Right arrow key to move to Files. Press Enter to open the Files tab.

  2. Press the Tab key until you reach the New button on the toolbar.

  3. Press the Right arrow key to move to the Upload button, and then press Enter. The Open file dialog opens.

  4. The focus is in the File name field. To navigate between the areas in the dialog, press the Tab key. To navigate within an area, use the arrow keys. To select, press Enter or Spacebar.

  5. When you've found and selected your file, press Alt+O to upload it. The focus returns to the files list.

See also

Use a screen reader to create and modify teams in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Use Microsoft Teams for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to view files shared within your team. You can open and edit files.

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 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.

Open and edit a file

  1. After you have activated a channel in the Teams tab, swipe right or left until you hear "Files tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. If there are any files in the channel, the focus is on the first item in the list. Swipe right or left until you hear the file you'd like to open, and then double-tap the screen. The file opens in a file viewer or the related Office 365 app. For more information about using the Office 365 apps with a screen reader, refer to Use a screen reader and keyboard shortcuts with Office apps.

    When you're done viewing the file, swipe right or left until you hear "Back button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. You can edit the file directly if it opens in the file-specific application. If the file opens in a file viewer, first swipe right or left until you hear "Open button," and then double-tap the screen. Your edits are automatically saved when you edit the file.

See also

Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Microsoft Teams using accessibility features

Use Microsoft Teams on the web with your keyboard and a screen reader such as JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to open files shared by your team and upload your files for the others to see.

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 Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Complete guide to Narrator.

  • This topic makes note of the JAWS functionality as well. To learn more about JAWS for Windows, go to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic makes note of the NVDA functionality as well. To learn more about NVDA, go to NV Access | Get Help.

  • 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 Microsoft Teams on the web, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser and Narrator as your screen reader. Because Microsoft Teams on the web 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 Microsoft Teams on the web.

    If you use Chrome or Firefox as your web browser, we recommend that you use JAWS or NVDA as your screen reader.

In this topic

Open a file

  1. With Narrator, make sure the scan mode is off. To toggle, press Caps lock+Spacebar. In a channel in the Teams view, press the Tab key until you hear "Conversations," and then press the Right arrow key to move to Files. Press Enter to open the Files tab.

    Note: The number of tabs may vary depending on your channel.

  2. The focus moves to the first item in the list. Use the Down and Up arrow keys to find the file you'd like to open, and then press Enter. The file opens in the File Viewer.

  3. To open the file in a new browser tab in the related Office 365 app, press the Right arrow key until you reach the button for more editing options.` Press Enter, and then the Down arrow key until you hear the name of the related online app. Press Enter again to open the file.

    You can now navigate inside the file, hear the screen reader read the contents and edit if you like. For more information about using the Office 365 apps with a screen reader, refer to Use a screen reader and keyboard shortcuts with Office apps.

  4. When you're done with the file, press Ctrl+Shift+Tab to switch the focus back to the File Viewer in Microsoft Teams.

  5. Press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear "Close document stage," and press Enter. The focus returns to the files list.

Tip: To quickly find a file , press Ctrl+E to move to the search field at the top of the screen. Type /files, press Enter, and start typing the name of the file. The list of search results is updated as you type. Press the Down arrow key to browse the list until you hear the result you want, and then press Enter. The selected file opens in File Viewer.

Upload a file

  1. With Narrator, make sure the scan mode is off. To toggle, press Caps lock+Spacebar. In a channel in the Teams view, press the Tab key until you hear "Conversations," and then press the Right arrow key to move to Files. Press Enter to open the Files tab.

    Note: The number of tabs may vary depending on your channel.

  2. Press the Tab key until you reach the New button on the toolbar.

  3. Press the Right arrow key to move to Upload, and then press Enter. The Windows Open dialog opens.

  4. Press the Tab key to move between the areas in the dialog. To move within an area, press the arrow keys. Press Enter or Spacebar to select.

  5. When you've found and selected your file, press Alt+O to upload it. The focus returns to the files list.

See also

Use a screen reader to create and modify teams in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

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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