Remember that Office Web Apps run in your web browser, and they work a little differently than the Office desktop programs you might be familiar with. For example, you’ll need to switch from Reading view to Editing view when you want to edit. When you create a new document, the Web Apps open in Editing view, but when you open a file (by following a link, for example), the Web Apps open in Reading view. To switch to Editing view, press Tab until you get to the Edit command, and then choose the command for editing in the web app.
A couple of other differences to keep in mind:
- The Web Apps do not have accelerator keys, so pressing and holding the Alt key does nothing.
- Instead of F6, use Ctrl+F6 to move between the command ribbon and the content of your document.
In this article
Accessible view in Word and PowerPoint Web Apps
Using screen readers
Accessible view in Word and PowerPoint Web Apps
Word Web App
To generate a view of documents in PDF format, which is available to screen readers, open the document in Reading view, and press the Tab key to the View document in more accessible mode command. Then press Enter.
PowerPoint Web App
To view presentations in a format that is available to screen readers, open the presentation in Reading view, and tab to File > Help > Accessible Mode. (In SharePoint 2010, tab to File, press Enter, and then press the Down Arrow key to the Outline View command. Then press Enter.)
Many features and commands are available directly by using the keyboard. You can press the Tab key and Shift+Tab to move back and forth between elements on any page. You can also find keyboard shortcuts for many commands. For more information, see the following topics:
Keyboard shortcuts in Word Web App
Keyboard shortcuts in Excel Web App
Keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint Web App
Keyboard shortcuts in OneNote Web App
Using screen readers, including Windows Narrator
Here are some tips for using various screen readers in Office Web Apps.
In JAWS screen reader, press Insert+Z to turn off Virtual PC cursor mode.
In Windows Eyes screen reader, press Ctrl+Shift+A to turn off Browse Mode.
In Windows Narrator, there are a number of tips and tricks that you’ll want to be aware of. Here they are, by program.
Note To get started with Windows Narrator, see Use Windows 8 Narrator with Office 2013
Word Web App
Navigation To navigate commands in Word Web App, use Tab, Shift+Tab, and Enter. Use Ctrl+F6 to move the focus between the command ribbon and the content of your document.
Text In Reading view, tab to the View document in more accessible mode command. Press Enter, and then press Enter again to open the document rendered as a PDF. In Editing view, select the entire document (Ctrl+A). Narrator reads text formatting such as background color, font color, size, and style when you press Caps+0.
Note Narrator doesn’t read formatting such as headers, styles, tables, lists, spelling errors, and alignment.
Hyperlinks Hyperlinks work, but Narrator does not identify them as links while reading the document
Rich Media Narrator reads videos as images. Select content with Shift+Left/Right/Up/Down for Narrator to call out images (using the arrow keys won’t work). Narrator reads Alt text for videos and images
Excel Web App
Navigation To navigate commands in Excel Web App, use Tab, Shift+Tab, and Enter. Use Ctrl+F6 to move the focus between the command ribbon and the cell grid.
Cell grid Tab or use arrow keys to move from one cell to another. Select a cell or range for Narrator to read it. Narrator reads text formatting such as background color, font color, size, and style when you press Caps+0.
Sheets: adding, deleting, and renaming tabs Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear, “Scroll to the first sheet button,” then tab to get to the sheet tabs. When focused on a sheet tab, press Shift+F10 to get additional options such as Insert, Delete, Rename, and Hide/Unhide.
Charts: chart type, alt text title and description Narrator reads charts as images, including the name of the chart and its tooltip, but no other details.
Formulas Press F2 in a cell, and use Ctrl+A to select the formula
Comments Narrator reads a comment after reading the content of a cell
Hyperlinks Narrator reads link text and destination after reading the content of a cell
PivotTables Tab, use arrow keys, or tap to select a cell in the PivotTable. Then press Ctrl+F6 to open the PivotTable Fields pane. Use the arrow keys to move from one field button to another, and press Enter to select a field. Press Tab to jump to the lower section of the pane, where you use the arrow keys to access the contextual commands. Press Esc to close context menus.
Note Narrator does not read the following kinds of elements: tables, conditional formatting and slicers, and form controls.
PowerPoint Web App
Navigation To navigate commands in PowerPoint Web App, use Tab, Shift+Tab, and Enter. Use Ctrl+F6 to move the focus to different parts of the PowerPoint Web App interface (from a slide to the thumbnail pane, for example), and to move in and out of the content of a slide
Thumbnail pane Press Ctrl+F6 to switch focus to the thumbnail pane, then tab or use Up/Down arrow keys to move through the slides. To edit the selected slide, Press Ctrl+F6 again: once to go to the slide’s speaker notes (if the notes area is open), once again to go to the slide content.
Speaker notes Press Ctrl+F6 until speaker notes are selected
Slide text Narrator reads the type of placeholder and its content. Narrator reads text formatting such as background color, font color, size, and style when you press Caps+0.
SmartArt Narrator reads the content of the SmartArt. Press Enter to edit SmartArt text.
Slide objects such as shapes, text boxes, images, and charts Narrator reads text box shapes and information about images.
Comments Press Ctrl+F6 to move focus to the command ribbon. Tab to View, press Enter, and then tab to Show Comments > Comments Pane. If the command pane is already open, press Ctrl+F6 to move focus to the pane.
Not supported Narrator does not read slide content in Reading view, Slides Show view, or the Notes pane. Instead, in Reading view, go to File > Help > Accessibility Mode for an outline view that is accessible to screen readers. For many kinds of objects (for example, images, media, and charts), Narrator identifies the object only as “object placeholder.” For other kind of objects (such as Office art shapes), Narrator does not read the object at all. For hyperlinks, Narrator reads the link text and destination, but the link is not clickable. Narrator does not read spell-check misspellings.
OneNote Web App
Navigation To navigate commands in OneNote Web App, use Tab, Shift+Tab, and Enter. Use Ctrl+F6 to move the focus between the command ribbon and the content of your notebook. To move from one note container to another on a page, press Ctrl+A three times, and then use Tab and Shift+Tab to move back and forth among the note containers.
Section and page tabs Tab through the section and page tabs. To expand or collapse a section, press Enter while the section tab is selected. To jump to the content of a page, press Enter while the page tab is selected. When you go to a password-protected section, press Enter and then type the password.
Search Tab until you hear, “Empty line,” and then type your search
Text The easiest way to read a page is to use Ctrl+A to select all the content on the page (press Ctrl+A three times).
Ink (drawings) Narrator reads ink drawings as images
Not fully supported Narrator reads the content of a bulleted list or tag with no indication that it is a list of items or a tagged item. Narrator reads the content of the table with no indication of rows or columns
For information about the accessibility features of your browser, go to your browser’s website.
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