Use a screen reader to insert a picture or image in an email in Outlook

Screen reader content Screen reader content

This article is for people with visual impairments who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Microsoft Support home.

Use Outlook with your keyboard and a screen reader to insert images into your email messages. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You'll learn how to insert embedded pictures into the email message body from your computer or from a source on the web, such as Bing. You'll also learn how to add alt text to an image.

Decorative icon Need instructions on how to insert pictures in Outlook, but not using a screen reader? See Attach files or insert pictures in Outlook email messages.

Notes: 

In this topic

Insert a picture from your computer

To insert embedded pictures, your message must be formatted using the HTML or rich text formats. For instructions on how to attach images to emails, refer to Open or add attachments.

  1. While writing an email, place the focus where you want to insert the picture.

  2. Press Alt+N, P, 2, and then D. The Insert Picture dialog box opens and shows the default folder for the pictures on your computer, for example, the Pictures folder.

  3. In the Insert Picture dialog box, to move between folders and then select one, do the following until you find the folder that contains your picture:

    Tip: To quickly move to the parent folder of the current folder, press Alt+Up arrow key.

    1. Press Shift+Tab twice to move the focus to the list of folders and files.

    2. To move between the folders and files, use the arrow keys.

    3. When you hear the name of a folder you want to open, press Enter.

  4. To insert a picture from the current folder, do one of the following:

    • Use the arrow keys to move the focus to the file you want, and press Enter.

    • Press F6 until you hear "File name," and start typing the file name for the picture. To move through the search results, press the Down arrow key. To insert the selected result, press Enter.

The focus returns to the email.

Insert a picture from an online source

Note:  Bing  Image Search filters are based on the highly respected Creative Commons license system. To better understand the licensing options, refer to Filter images by license type. Remember, you're responsible for respecting the rights of others' property, including copyright.

  1. In an email, place the focus where you want to insert the image.

  2. Press Alt+N, P, 2, and then O. The Online Pictures dialog box opens. The focus is in the search text field.

  3. Type a word or phrase that describes the type of picture you want. With Narrator or NVDA, press Enter to start the search. With JAWS, press Alt+Enter. You hear the number of results. The focus is on the first result.

  4. Use the arrow keys to move through the results. You hear a description of each image you select.

    Tip: To type a different word or phrase, press the Tab key until you hear "Clear search," press Enter, and then type new search words.

  5. When you find an image you want to download and insert, press Spacebar to select the image, press the Tab key until you hear "Insert," followed by the number of selected images, and then press Enter. The focus returns to your message, and Outlook starts to download the image.

Add alt text to an image

Write alt text for the images you inserted to make your email accessible for all recipients. To learn how to write alt text, refer to Everything you need to know to write effective alt text.

  1. While writing an email, navigate to the picture that you want to add alt text to. When the focus is on an image, you hear "Grouped object," or a description of the image, followed by "Image" or "Graphic," and the layout of the image, for example, "Inline with text."

  2. With the focus on the image, press Shift+Right arrow key once to select the image.

  3. To open the context menu, press Shift+F10.

  4. In the context menu, press A. The Alt Text pane opens and the focus is in the alt text description text box.

  5. Type the alt text for the image.

  6. When done, press Esc to return the focus to the message.

See also

Use a screen reader to save an image or attachment from an email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to add a signature in Outlook

Change your profile photo

Reduce the size of pictures and attachments in Outlook email

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

Use Outlook for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader for macOS, to insert pictures and images into an email. You'll learn how to insert images from your computer or download pictures from the Internet to be added in your email. You'll also learn how to add alt text to the images in your email.

Decorative icon Need instructions on how to insert pictures in Outlook, but not using a screen reader? See Insert pictures in Office for Mac

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in macOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

In this topic

Insert a picture from your computer

To insert pictures, your message must be formatted using HTML.

  1. In the email you're composing, place the focus where you want to insert the picture.

  2. To go to the menu bar, press Control+Option+M. You hear: "Menu bar, Apple."

  3. Press Control+Option+Right arrow key until you hear "Format," press the Down arrow key until you hear "Insert picture ellipses," and press Control+Option+Spacebar. The file picker dialog box opens.

  4. To browse to the file location where the picture has been saved, press the Tab key until you hear the current location, followed by "Where, pop-up button," for example "Applications, Where, pop-up button." Press the Down arrow key until you hear the location you want, and then press Control+Option+Spacebar to select it.

  5. When on the correct location, press the Tab key, and then press the Up or Down arrow keys to browse to the subfolder or file you want. To enter a subfolder, press the Right arrow key.

  6. Use the arrow keys to place the focus on the picture you want to insert, and press Return or Control+Option+Spacebar. The picture is inserted into the email.

Insert a picture from an online source

Searching for and inserting online pictures directly from Outlook for Mac isn't currently supported. However, you can still search for a picture online, save a local copy, and then insert the local copy into the email.

Note:  Bing  Image Search filters are based on the highly respected Creative Commons license system. To better understand the licensing options, refer to Filter images by license type. Remember, you're responsible for respecting the rights of others' property, including copyright.

  1. Use your web browser to go to www.bing.com. The focus moves to the Bing Search box.

  2. In the Search box, type a keyword for the type of image you're looking for. The list of search results is updated as you type. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the result you want, and press Return. The Bing search results page opens.

  3. To filter the search results to images only, in the Bing search results, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Link, images," and then press Return.

  4. Press the Tab key until you find the image you want to insert. VoiceOver announces the images as "Link, image, image results for," followed by your search keywords.

  5. To open the full-sized image, press Return.

  6. To download the image, press the Tab key until you hear: "See the source image, image, main." The focus is now on the image. Press Command+S.

  7. The Export as dialog box opens. To choose the save location, press the Tab key until you hear the current save location, followed by "Where, pop-up button," and then use the arrow keys until you hear the location you want, and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select. To save the image, press the Tab key until you hear "Save, button," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  8. You're now ready to insert the picture you just saved to an email. For instructions, refer to Insert a picture from your computer.

Add alt text to an image

Make your email more accessible and add an alternative text in the images in your email.

  1. In your email, navigate to the image you want to add alt text to, and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select it.

  2. With the focus on the image, press Shift+Command+2. You hear: "Alt text, description." The Alt Text pane opens, and the focus is on the alt text description text box.

  3. Type alt text for the image.

  4. To exit the Alt Text pane, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Close tab button," and then press Spacebar.

See also

Use a screen reader to save an image or attachment from an email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to add a signature in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

Use Outlook for iOS with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader for iOS, to insert embedded pictures and images into the email message body. You'll learn how to insert images from your iPhone or download pictures from the Internet to be added to your email.

To learn how to attach images to an email, refer to the "Open or add attachments" section in Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

In this topic

Insert a picture from your iPhone

Note: Make sure you allow Outlook for iOS to access your Photos app in your iPhone Settings.

  1. In the email message body, place the focus where you want to insert the picture.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Attach file or photo button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. To insert a picture from your phone, swipe right until you hear "Choose photo from library button," and then double-tap the screen. The Photos app opens.

  4. If you want to browse your photos in the Albums view, swipe right until you hear "Albums button," and double-tap the screen. Swipe right or left until you find the album you want, and double-tap the screen to open it.

  5. Swipe right or slide one finger on the screen until you hear the name and details of the photo you want. To select the photo, double-tap the screen.

  6. To insert the selected photo, tap near the top of the screen with four fingers, swipe right until you hear "Add button," and double-tap the screen. The picture is inserted, and the focus moves to the email message body.

    Tip: If you're prompted to select whether to reduce or keep the original image size, swipe right until you hear the option you want, and then double-tap the screen.

Insert a picture from an online source

Searching for and inserting online pictures directly from Outlook for iOS isn't currently supported. However, you can still search for a picture online, save a local copy, and then insert the local copy into an email.

Note:  Bing  Image Search filters are based on the highly respected Creative Commons license system. To better understand the licensing options, refer to Filter images by license type. Remember, you're responsible for respecting the rights of others' property, including copyright.

  1. Use your web browser app to go to www.bing.com.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Enter your search terms," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Use the on-screen keyboard to type a search keyword for the type of image you're looking for. The list of search results is updated as you type. Tap near the top of the screen with four fingers, swipe right until you hear the search result you want, and double-tap the screen. The Bing search results page opens.

  4. To filter the search results to images only, in the Bing search results, swipe right until you hear "Images link," and double-tap the screen.

  5. To navigate to the image results, swipe right. VoiceOver announces the images as "Image results for," followed by the search keywords, and "Link image."

  6. When you hear the details of an image you want to download, double-tap the screen to open the full-sized image.

  7. Swipe left until you hear: "Tap to activate or exit full screen, image." The focus is now on the image.

  8. Double-tap and hold one finger on the screen until you hear an audio cue. Swipe right until you hear "Add to photos," and double-tap the screen to save. You hear: "Dismiss context menu button." The picture is saved to All Photos in the Photos app.

  9. You're now ready to insert the picture you just saved to an email. For instructions, refer to Insert a picture from your iPhone.

See also

Use a screen reader to save an image or attachment from an email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to add a signature in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

Use Outlook for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to insert embedded pictures and images into the email message body. You'll learn how to insert images from your phone or download pictures from the Internet to be added to your email.

To learn how to attach images to an email, refer to the "Open or add attachments" section in Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

In this topic

Insert a picture from your phone

Note: Make sure you allow Outlook for Android to access your photos, media, and files on your phone in the App permission section in Settings.

  1. In a new email message, swipe right until you hear "Attach files," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Choose from photo library," and then double-tap the screen. The photo library opens showing your most recent photos.

  3. Do one or both of the following:

    1. To browse your recent photos, swipe right until you hear the details of the photo you want, and double-tap the screen. 

    2. To look for older pictures on your phone, swipe left until you hear "Show root," and double-tap the screen. Swipe right until you hear "Photos," and double-tap the screen. Swipe right until you hear the name of the folder you want, and double-tap the screen. Swipe right until you find the photo you want, and double-tap the screen. Swipe left until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen.

  4. If you're prompted to select whether to reduce or keep the original image size, swipe right until you hear the option you want, and then double-tap the screen. The picture is inserted, and the focus moves to your email message.

Insert a picture from an online source

Searching for and inserting online pictures directly from Outlook for Android isn't currently supported. However, you can still search for a picture online, save a local copy, and then insert the local copy into the email. 

Notes: 

  • Make sure you allow the web browser app to access your photos, media, and files on your phone in the App permission section in Settings.

  • Bing  Image Search filters are based on the highly respected Creative Commons license system. To better understand the licensing options, refer to Filter images by license type. Remember, you're responsible for respecting the rights of others' property, including copyright.

  1. Use your browser app to go to www.bing.com. The focus is in the Bing Search text field.

  2. Double-tap the screen and then use the on-screen keyboard to type a search keyword for the type of image you're looking. The list of search results is updated as you type. To close the on-screen keyboard, swipe down-then-left.

  3. Swipe right until you hear the search result you want, and double-tap the screen. The Bing search results page opens.

  4. To filter the search results to images only, in the Bing search results, swipe right until you hear "Images link," and double-tap the screen.

  5. To navigate to the image results, swipe right. TalkBack announces the images as "Image result for," followed by the search keywords.

  6. When you hear the details of an image you want to download, double-tap the screen to open the full-sized image.

  7. Swipe right until you hear: "Tap to activate or exit full screen, graphic." The focus is now on the image.

  8. Double-tap and hold one finger on the screen until you hear your search word, followed by "Tap to activate or exit full screen." Swipe right until you hear "Download image," and double-tap the screen to save. The picture is saved to the Download folder in the gallery app, for example Photos or Gallery.

  9. You're now ready to insert the picture you just saved to an email. For instructions, refer to Insert a picture from your phone.

See also

Use a screen reader to save an image or attachment from an email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to add a signature in Outlook

Use a screen reader to set up your email account in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

Use Outlook on the web with your keyboard and a screen reader to insert embedded pictures and images into an email. We have tested it with Narrator in Microsoft Edge and JAWS and NVDA in Chrome, but it might work with other screen readers and web browsers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You'll learn how to insert images from your computer or from an online location.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • This topic assumes that the Reading pane is off.

  • When you use Outlook on the web, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Outlook on the web runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Outlook on the web.

  • We're currently updating Outlook.office.com (Outlook on the Web). Some people are already using the new Outlook, and for others the classic version will be the default experience until we complete the update. For more information, go to Get help with the new Outlook on the web. Since the instructions in this topic apply to the new experience, we recommend that you switch from the classic experience to the new Outlook. To switch to the new Outlook, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Command, Try the new Outlook," and then press Enter. If you hear "Command toolbar" instead of "Command, Try the new Outlook," you're already using the new Outlook.

In this topic

Insert a picture from your device

Spice up your emails and add a picture from the local storage on your device.

  1. In the email you're composing, place the focus where you want to insert the picture.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Discard button," then press the Right or Down arrow key until you hear "Insert pictures inline button," and then press Enter. The Open dialog box opens.

  3. In the Open dialog box, navigate to the picture you want insert, and then press Alt+O or Enter. The picture is inserted into the email.

Insert a picture from an online source

Searching for and inserting online pictures directly from Outlook on the web isn't currently supported. However, you can still search for a picture online, save a local copy, and then insert the local copy into an email.

Note:  Bing  Image Search filters are based on the highly respected Creative Commons license system. To better understand the licensing options, refer to Filter images by license type. Remember, you're responsible for respecting the rights of others' property, including copyright.

  1. Use your web browser to go to www.bing.com. The focus moves to the Bing Search box.

  2. In the Search box, type a keyword for the type of image you're looking for. The list of search results is updated as you type. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the result you want, and then press Enter. The Bing search results page opens.

  3. To filter the search results to images only, in your Bing search results, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear "Link, Images," and then press Enter.

  4. Press the Tab key until you find an image you want to insert. The images are announced as "Link, Image result for," followed by your search term.

  5. To open the full-sized image, press Enter.

  6. Press the Tab key until you hear: "See the source image." The focus is now on the image.

  7. Press Shift+F10. The context menu opens.

  8. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Save picture as," and press Enter. The Save as dialog box opens. The focus is on the file name field.

  9. To choose a save location, press the Tab key and the arrow keys until you hear the location you want. To select, press Enter. To save the image, press Alt+S.

  10. You're now ready to insert the picture you just saved to an email. For instructions, refer to Insert a picture from your device.

See also

Use a screen reader to save an image or attachment from an email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to add a signature in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Mail

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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