This article describes assistive technology features that you can turn on when using Outlook to make reading and writing email easier for you. For help to creating e-mails that are accessible to others, see Creating Accessible Emails in Outlook.
Before you start, you will need access to:
- Microsoft Outlook, which is part of Microsoft365.
- All current students and employees can access the online version through a web browser.
- All current students and employees can install the desktop version on personal devices.
- The desktop version is installed on all college-owned computers.
You can use combinations of keys instead of a mouse or trackpad to navigate and perform most menu operations (e.g., Reply, Move message) in Outlook.
- Keyboard shortcuts can be easier than using a mouse or trackpad for individuals with mobility or vision disabilities.
- Using keyboard shortcuts for common tasks can help all users work more efficiently.
- See Microsoft's Keyboard shortcuts in Outlook for a list of shortcuts available in the online and desktop versions of Outlook.
Dark mode (online only)
Can be toggled on and off for individual messages or for all Outlook content.
Turn Dark Mode on/off for individual messages:
- Click the Sun icon in the toolbar beneath a message to view it with a light background
- Click the Moon icon to view it on a dark background.
Turn Dark Mode on for all messages:
- Open Outlook in your browser and log in.
- Click Settings
- Toggle Dark Mode on.
Read e-mail in immersive reader
Microsoft's Immersive Reader provides a suite of accessibility tools, such as font and spacing adjustments, line focus, and color overlays.
- Click View in the top ribbon/tool bar
- Choose Immersive Reader.
- As you highlight emails in your mailbox, they now open in Immersive Reader.
When using the online version of Outlook, you can only open one email at a time in Immersive Reader and some features may not be available.
- With the Mail window open, click (ellipsis) in the top menu bar
- Choose Show in immersive reader.
- Click the arrow in the top left to return to your mailbox.
- Repeat with the next email.
See Microsoft's Immersive Reader for Outlook article for more details.
Listen to e-mail
Have email read aloud to you using the Read Aloud feature or built-in text-to-speech software tools on your device.
See Listen to your outlook email messages for instructions specific to the device (Mac/iOS or Windows) and version of Outlook (online or desktop) you are using.
Text prediction (online)
This setting is on by default but can be disabled. While on, Outlook will predict your next word or phrase as you type,
When text prediction is on:
- Press Tab or (right arrow key) to add the suggested word(s) to your message
- Keep typing to ignore the suggestion
See Microsoft's Editor text predictions article shows how to disable and re-enable this feature.
Request accessible content
Turn this Microsoft365 account-level setting on to display a "A recipient has requested accessible content" when other Bryn Mawr users send or forward you email. Depending the email composer's settings, this may also turn on accessibility checking for that message.
- Log in to your Bryn Mawr webmail.
- Click (Settings) in the top left corner.
- Start typing "accessible content" in the search bar on the settings pane, then choose that option when it pops up.
- Check the Ask users to send accessible content box
- Close the settings window.
Support for screen reader users
If you use a screen reader, see Microsoft's Screen Reader Support for Outlook for detailed, device-specific information on how to navigate, perform tasks, and read content in Outlook using it.
If you have any additional questions or problems, don't hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!