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Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365 and Windows 10


Windows 10 offers the Ease of Access center, with many built-in features to support people with disabilities. You can find the main accessibility related settings on the Ease of Access menu under Settings. You can also launch accessibility features like Narrator or Magnifier in the Ease of Access settings.

To quickly open the Ease of Access pane, press the Windows logo key+U. Or type Ease of Access in the Search box.

Make it easier to focus on tasks

Applies to: Windows 10


Windows offers lots of ways to minimize distractions so it's easier to focus on tasks. 

Don't be so animated

Minimize visual distractions by turning off animations, background images, and more. Select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Ease of Access  > Display . Then choose from the different options under Simplify and personalize Windows.

Clean up taskbar clutter

Choose which icons appear on the taskbar and reduce the number of items in view. Select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Personalization  > Taskbar , and then, under Notification area, choose Select which icons appear on the taskbar.

System icons, like the clock and battery indicator, can also be turned on or off. Select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Personalization , and then, under Notification area, choose Turn system icons on or off.

Simplify the Start menu

Many apps use Live Tiles to show updates on what’s happening in your world, like new email, your next appointment, or the weekend weather. If these animations are distracting, turn them off. Press and hold (or right-click) a tile, and then select More > Turn Live Tile off.

Quiet down those notifications

Focus assist lets you to set rules that help you avoid distractions. To use Focus assist, select the Start  button and type Focus assist settings in the search box, then choose if you want to get all notifications, priority ones only, or just alarms.  

You can limit late-night notifications using the Automatic rules section. To do that, select During these times and turn on the toggle. Then, select Start time or End time, pick a time, and select the check mark  to save your changes. You can also choose what days you want to apply the rule, and what types of notifications you'd still like to receive during the times you set.

If notifications are distracting when they appear on your screen, adjust which apps display notifications and fine-tune how they appear. To change notification settings, select the Start  button, then select Settings  > System  > Notifications & actions .




Office Accessibility Center

Office apps work with the accessibility settings and features of most devices. These settings can help to make them easier to use. For example, you can invert colors or change the color contrast to make the screen easier to see. Or, you can control the device with the keyboard instead of a mouse, and so on.

The way that you choose these settings depends on what kind of device you have: Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android.

Applies to: Office 365

Use Narrator

Narrator is a screen-reading app built into Windows 10, and Office 365 apps are optimized for Narrator. To get started, go to Get started with Narrator.

Use high contrast color

If you want more color contrast to see text and items on your screen better and make it easier on your eyes, you can turn on the high contrast mode. For further instructions, refer to Use high contrast in Windows

Magnify the screen content

Magnify parts of your screen content with the Magnifier tool. You can set Magnifier for full screen or for a Lens pane.\

  • To quickly start Magnifier, press the Windows logo key+the plus key (+).
  • To zoom in, press the Windows logo key+plus key(+).
  • To zoom out, press the Windows logo key+the minus key (-).
  • When the focus is on Magnifier, you can change its settings on the Magnifier toolbar.
  • Press Tab or Shift+Tab to move on the Magnifier toolbar. To select an option or options list, press Spacebar. To exit an option or options list, press Esc.
  • To exit Magnifier and close the tool, press the Windows logo key+Esc.

For more information, go to Use Magnifier to see items on the screen.

Change text size

You can change the size of text on the screen without adjusting your screen’s resolution.

  1. In any view, press the Windows logo key to go to the Search box.
  2. In the search box, type: "Make text larger." Press Enter to open the Customize your display page.
  3. On the Change the size of text, apps, and other items slider, move the indicator tab in the right-hand direction.
  4. You can also adjust the size of text in menu bars, titles and so on.
  5. To go to those controls, from the Customize your display page, select the Advanced display settings link, then choose Advanced sizing of text and other items.

Change the size of the mouse pointer

You can change the mouse pointer size and color to make it easier to use your mouse.

In any view, press the Windows logo key.

  1. In the search box, type "mouse ."
  2. Click the Additional mouse options link.
  3. In the Mouse Properties dialog box, choose the tab for the setting you want to change, then select options from that pane.

Use Cortana

Use Cortana, your virtual voice controlled assistant, to carry out basic tasks. To learn more about Cortana and how to set it up, refer to What is Cortana. Cortana is available only in certain countries and regions.

Tip: If you are using Cortana with voice for the first time, she will ask your permission to ask you a few questions to understand what is important to you. If you’re OK with this, press Tab until you hear “Accept” and then press Enter. If you don’t want to answer the questions, press Tab until you hear “No thanks” and press Enter.

Use Windows Speech Recognition

If you're using Speech Recognition for the first time, you have to set it up.

  1. In any view, press the Windows logo key.
  2. In the search box, type "speech." Then press Enter to open the setup wizard. Follow the wizard's instructions.
  3. After you complete the setup, you can use the tutorial to learn voice commands and train your PC to recognize your voice.


To learn more about Speech Recognition commands, refer to Windows Speech Recognition

Microsoft Accessibility Blog

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