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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 to open files shared by your team and upload your files for team members to view. We have tested it with JAWS and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

Notes: 

In this topic

Open a file

  1. In a channel, 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.

  2. The focus moves to the first file or folder 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 an Office 365 app, press the Tab key until you hear: "More edit options," and press Enter. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the app you want to use, and press Enter.

    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 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.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode. In JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode.

  1. In a channel, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Teams and Channels list," then press the Down arrow key until you hear "Files."

  2. Press Enter to open the Files tab.

  3. The focus moves to the first file or folder in the list. Use the Down and Up arrow keys to find the file you'd like to open. With NVDA, press Enter. With JAWS, press Enter twice. The file opens in the File Viewer.

  4. To open the file in an Office 365 app, with NVDA, press D or Shift+D until you hear: "File has opened in full screen mode." With JAWS, press R or Shift+R until you hear the file name. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "More edit options," and press Enter. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the app you want to use, and press Enter.

    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.

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

  6. To close the file, with NVDA, press D or Shift+D until you hear "File has opened in full screen mode." With JAWS, press R or Shift+R until you hear the file name. Press the Down arrow key 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, 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.

Upload a file

  1. In a channel, 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.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear: "New."

  3. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Upload," and then press Enter. The Windows Open file dialog opens.

  4. Navigate to the file you want to upload from your computer. To move between the areas in the dialog, press the Tab key. To move 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.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode. In JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode.

  1. In a channel, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Teams and Channels list," then press the Down arrow key until you hear "Files."

  2. Press Enter to open the Files tab.

  3. Press Shift+Tab until you hear "List", and then press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear "Upload."

  4. To open the Windows Open dialog, press Enter.

  5. Navigate to the file you want to upload from your computer. 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.

  6. 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 on Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in macOS screen reader, to open files shared by your team and upload your files for 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 macOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

In this topic

Open a file

  1. In a channel, press the Tab key until you hear: "Conversations." Then press Option+Right arrow key to move to Files, and press Return. VoiceOver starts reading the information of the first attached file.

  2. Use the Down and Up arrow keys to find the file you'd like to open, and then press Return to open it in the file viewer.

    Tip: To quickly find a file, press Command+E to move to the Search field, type /file, press Return, 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 Return to open it in the File Viewer.

  3. To edit the file, press the Tab key until you reach the button for editing options and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select. A submenu opens.

  4. In the submenu, use the Down and Up arrow keys to choose between editing the file in the associated Office app or in Microsoft Teams on Mac itself, and then press Return to select.

    Note: When opening Office files, you'll be prompted to open the file in the Online version of the Office product, and an additional sign-in may be required.

  5. Edit the file in your chosen editor. Your edits are automatically saved.

  6. To close the file in an Office app, press Command+Q to close the app. Then press the Tab key until you reach the Close button and press Return.

Create a new file

  1. In a channel, press the Tab key until you hear: "Conversations." Press Option+Right arrow key to move to Files, and press Return.

  2. Press Shift+Tab key until you reach the New button on the toolbar, and press Return.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the file type you'd like to create, and then press Return.

  4. Type a name for your file, press the Tab key until you reach the Create button, and press Return.

  5. Add your content in the file. The file is automatically saved in the channel's Files tab.

Upload a file

  1. In a channel, press the Tab key until VoiceOver announces "Conversations," Then press Option+Right arrow key to move to Files, and press Return. VoiceOver starts reading the information of the first attached file.

  2. Press Shift+Tab key until you reach the New button.

  3. Press the Right arrow key until you reach Upload. Press Return to open the file dialog.

  4. In the dialog, use the Tab key and arrow keys to navigate. Use Spacebar to select.

  5. When you've found and selected the file, press Return.

    The file is uploaded and available on the Files tab in your channel.

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 iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS 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 iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

Open and edit a file

  1. In a channel, swipe right or left until you hear "Files and tabs tab, two of two," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right or left until you hear "Files button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. The focus is on the back button. 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.

  4. When you're done viewing the file, do one of the following:

    • In a file viewer, swipe right or left until you hear “Close button,” and then double-tap the screen.

    • In a file-specific application, swipe right or left until you hear “Close file button,” and then double-tap the screen. The file list for the application opens. Drag your finger around the top of the screen until you hear “Return to Teams button,” and then double-tap the screen.

  5. You can edit the file directly if it opens in a file-specific application. If the file opens in a file viewer, first swipe right or left until you hear "Edit 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

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.

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 to open files shared by your team and upload your files for team members to view. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

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 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. 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.

  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 Tab key until you hear "More edit options," and press Enter. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the name of the related online app, and press Enter.

    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.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode, in JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode, and in Narrator it is called the scan mode.

  1. In a channel, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Teams and Channels list," then press the Down arrow key until you hear: "Files." With Narrator, press D or Shift+D until you hear the conversation name, then press Shift+I until you hear: "Files."

  2. Press Enter to open the Files tab.

  3. The focus moves to the first file or folder in the list. Use the Down and Up arrow keys to find the file you'd like to open. With Narrator, press Shift+Enter. With NVDA, press Enter, and with JAWS, press Enter twice. The file opens in the File Viewer.

  4. To open the file in a new browser tab in the related Office 365 app, press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear "More edit options," and then press Enter. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the name of the related online app, and press Enter.

    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.

    Note: With Narrator, if the file does not open in a new tab, press the SR key+Spacebar to switch the screen reader mode.

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

  6. To close the file, press the Up or Down arrow key 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. In a channel, 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.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear: "New."

  3. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Upload," and then press Enter. The Windows Open dialog opens.

  4. Navigate to the file you want to upload from your computer. 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.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode, in JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode, and in Narrator it is called the scan mode.

  1. In a channel, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Teams and Channels list," then press the Down arrow key until you hear: "Files." With Narrator, press D or Shift+D until you hear the conversation name, then press Shift+I until you hear: "Files."

  2. Press Enter to open the Files tab.

  3. Press Shift+Tab until you hear "List", and then press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear "Upload."

  4. To open the Windows Open dialog, press Enter. With Narrator, press Shift+Enter.

  5. Navigate to the file you want to upload from your computer. To move between the areas in the dialog, press the Tab key. To move within an area, use the arrow keys. To select, press Enter or Spacebar.

  6. 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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