Explore Microsoft Word's accessibility features

Explore Microsoft Word's accessibility features

Have you explored the accessibility features in Microsoft Word? These are not exclusively for those with disabilities or other learning differences. We can all benefit from this built-in technology.

Take a few minutes to explore the features listed below. They might just help make your busy working life a little easier.


Working from home and doing a lot of typing? Why not give your hands a rest and try dictating your notes? Just click the Dictate button on the right of the Home tab toolbar and start speaking! You can edit punctuation or speak the commands as you go.

Read Aloud

Working at your computer for long periods of time can make you tired and lose focus. Give your eyes a break by using the Read Aloud function. Accessed via the Review tab, this will read any document you have open with a single click, starting at the location of your cursor. Once activated, a simple command bar appears at the top right of your document to control play, stop, advance, and even to select a different voice or change the reading speed.

Immersive Reader

The Immersive Reader can help alleviate symptoms of visual stress. Located under the View tab, select Focus to eliminate all distractions from your screen and allow you to focus solely on your document. Select Immersive Reader for options such as adjusting column width and text spacing, changing the colour of your background, and changing the line focus to help highlight certain areas as you read.

Immersive Reader is available across Microsoft Word, Outlook and OneNote, and online via the Microsoft Edge browser. This video gives a really good overview of using the features online:

Many of us are already using these features by choice rather than necessity. So why not give these a go and see what works best for you.

Find out more

  • For more information or help with assistive technology please email us at atech@abdn.ac.uk.
  • For more guidance on accessibility and working from home, please visit our Toolkit resource Accessibility for Users


Author: Assistive Technology Team, DDIS