Use a Screen Reader in Microsoft Word


 What screen readers are available in Microsoft Word?


 Screen readers make Microsoft 365 apps accessible to users with low or no vision.This article will focus on the screen readers available in Word: 



Use Read Aloud


  1. On the Review tab, select Read Aloud.

      Select Read Aloud

  2. To play Read Aloud, select Play in in the controls.

    Select Play

  3. To pause Read Aloud, select Pause.

    Select Pause

  4. To move from one paragraph to another, select Previous or Next.

    Select Previous or Next

  5. To exit Read Aloud, select Stop (x).

    Select Stop

Change Read Aloud settings 

  1. Select the gear icon in the controls at the top right.

    Read Aloud audio settings

  2. Use the Reading speed slider to change the reading speed.

  3. Under Voice Selection, select the voice you want.

  4. Listen to selected text with Read Aloud.

    Select the text to be read aloud.

    Start Read Aloud from Review tab or shortcut or select play on Read Aloud UI.


Use Speak

Speak is a built-in feature of Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Speak reads aloud only the text you select. Read Aloud reads the entire document starting from your cursor location like an audiobook.  

To use Speak:  

  1. Select a word or block of text in your document.

  2. In the Quick Access Toolbar, select the Speak selected text icon.

    Select Speak icon



Use Immersive Reader in Word Desktop 

  1. Open your Word document.

  2. Select the View tab, then select Immersive Reader Icon for Immersive Reader  . Immersive Reader will launch a full screen experience. 

  3. Choose the Immersive Reader options that work for you from the ribbon.

  4. Once you click in your Word document to read or edit, the Immersive Reader ribbon will minimize. To make the ribbon visible so you can change Immersive Reader settings or close Immersive Reader, select the ... at the top of the screen. 

Immersive reader tool in outlook with cursor hovering over "close"


Read Aloud highlights each word as it reads your document to you.

  • Select the Settings icon, then:

    • Drag the Reading speed control to adjust reading speed. Move to the right to increase speed and to the left to decrease it. Press Play to hear the different speeds.

    • Use the Voice Selection dropdown menu to choose different voices for the reader. Select a voice and then press Play to hear it.

  • Select X to close Read Aloud

screenshot of the Immersive reader voice options toolbar. The mouse hovers over settings revealing a toggle for reading speed and dropdown for voice selection

Tip: Get directly to Read Aloud by right clicking anywhere in your document and selecting Read Aloud. 

Additional Info

Screen reader support for Word – This is the official documentation from Microsoft Office Accessibility.


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Article ID: 162307
Tue 5/21/24 1:49 PM
Thu 6/13/24 4:42 PM