Decorative icon. Screen reader content

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

Use Microsoft Whiteboard with your keyboard and a screen reader to do basic tasks, such as create a new whiteboard, add content to a whiteboard, and share a whiteboard with others. We have tested it with Narrator in Microsoft Edge 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.

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.

  • When you use Whiteboard for the web, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Whiteboard for the web runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Whiteboard for the web.

In this topic

Start using Whiteboard

It’s easy to get started with Whiteboard. You don’t need to download anything.

  1. In your browser, go to whiteboard.microsoft.com.

  2. You hear “Pick an account,” followed by your account information if you have previously signed in with the same browser. Do one of the following:

    • If the right account is selected, press Enter to sign in.

    • If the right account is not selected, press the Tab key to browse the other account options or to sign in with a new account. Press Enter to confirm your selection.

    After you have signed in, the Whiteboard main page opens.

Tip: You can also use whiteboards in Microsoft Teams meetings or add them as tabs in a chat or channel. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader with the Whiteboard app in Microsoft Teams.

Create a new whiteboard

  1. On the Whiteboard main page, press F6 until you hear “Microsoft Whiteboard,” and then press the Tab key until you hear: “Whiteboard gallery, create new whiteboard.” Press Enter to create and open the new whiteboard.

  2. To name your whiteboard, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear “Select to rename this whiteboard,” and then press Enter. Press Ctrl+A to select all text in the current name, type the new name, and then press Enter to save it.

Add content to your whiteboard

It's simple to add text notes, images, or files to your whiteboard canvas.

Add a text note

  1. In your whiteboard, press the Tab key until you hear “Action, create button," and then press Enter. If you hear some other option after "Action," press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear “Create, button,” and then press Enter. The focus moves to the Notes option.

  2. Press Enter. The Notes menu opens and you hear the first note color option. Press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear the color you want to use, for example, “Add soft red note,” and then press the SR key+Enter to move the focus to that color. Press Enter again to create a new note with the chosen background color.

  3. Type the text of your note. Your changes are saved as you type. When you are done, press Esc to close the note. The focus remains on the note, but it is not selected for editing. To edit the note, refer to Edit a text note on the canvas.

Edit a text note on the canvas

  1. In your whiteboard, press the Tab key until you hear the type of the note, for example, “Soft red note,” followed by “Not selected,” and the text of the note. Press Enter to select the note.

  2. To edit the text of the note, press Enter again. The focus moves to the end of the text, and you can now add, edit, and delete text.

  3. To change the color of the note, press Shift+F10 or the Windows Menu key to move the focus to the context menu. You hear: "Edit text." Press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear "Note background color picker," and then press Enter to open the color menu. Press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear the color you want to use, and then press Enter to select. The focus returns to the context menu.

  4. When you are done with the changes, press Esc twice to close the context menu.

Add an image

You can add images stored on your computer to the canvas. Remember to give all images an alternative text (alt text) description.

  1. In your whiteboard, press the Tab key until you hear “Action, create button," and then press Enter. If you hear some other option after "Action," press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear “Create, button,” and then press Enter. The focus moves to the Notes option.

  2. Press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear “Add image,” and then press the SR key+Enter. The Images menu opens.

  3. Press Enter to open the Windows Open dialog box. Press the Tab key to move between the elements of the dialog box, and use the arrow keys to move inside the selected element. Press Enter to open a folder, and press Alt+Up arrow key to return to the previous folder level. When you have navigated to the image you want to add, press Enter. The image is added to the canvas and the focus moves to the image.

  4. To add alt text to the image, press the Tab key once to move the focus to the context menu, press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear "Edit alt text," and then press Enter. The Alt Text dialog box opens with the focus in the text entry field.

  5. Type 1-2 sentences to describe the image.

  6. To save the alt text, press the Tab key until you hear "Save, button," and then press Enter. The focus returns to the context menu. Press Esc twice to close the context menu.

When you navigate to this image later, your screen reader announces it with the alt text, instead of just saying "Image."

Add a file

You can add a PDF or PowerPoint presentation from OneDrive to your whiteboard. The actual file is not added to the canvas: instead, each of its pages is added as a separate image.

  1. In your whiteboard, press the Tab key until you hear “Action, create button," and then press Enter. If you hear some other option after "Action," press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear “Create, button,” and then press Enter. The focus moves to the Notes option.

  2. Press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear “Add a PDF or PowerPoint document from OneDrive,” and then press the SR key+Enter. The Pick a file dialog box opens.

  3. Press the Tab key to move between the elements of the dialog box, and use the arrow keys to move inside the selected element. When you have navigated to the file you want to add, press Enter to select it. Then press the Tab key until you hear "Select, button," and press Enter. A file preview opens, showing all of its pages.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Select all, checkbox," and then press Enter.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear "Insert," followed by the number of pages, and then press Enter to insert the pages to your whiteboard. They are added to the canvas as a group of separate images, and the focus moves to this group.

When you navigate to these pages later, your screen reader announces them as "Document pages."

Delete an item from the canvas

You can remove any items that are no longer needed to make your whiteboard less cluttered.

  1. In your whiteboard, press the Tab key until you hear the details of the item you want to delete. Text notes are announced with the type of the note, for example, “Soft red note,” followed by “Not selected,” and the text of the note. Images and document pages are announced with their alt text description, or, if alt text is missing, as "Images" and "Document pages."

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To delete a text note, press Enter to select it, and then press Delete or Backspace to delete it. The note is deleted without asking for confirmation.

    • To delete an image or document page, press Shift+F10 or the Windows Menu key to move the focus to the context menu. You hear: "Delete, menu item." Press Enter. The item is deleted without asking for confirmation.

Tip: If you delete something by accident, simply press Ctrl+Z to undo the deletion.

Access your saved whiteboards

All your saved whiteboards are listed on the Whiteboard main page.

  1. On the Whiteboard main page, press F6 until you hear “Microsoft Whiteboard,” then press the Tab key until you hear: “Whiteboard gallery, create new whiteboard, button.”

  2. Press the SR key+Right or Left arrow key to move between your saved whiteboards. For each whiteboard, your screen reader announces its name and when it was last edited. When you reach the one you want to open, press Enter.

  3. To return to the Whiteboard main page, press the Tab key until you hear “App bar, my whiteboards, button,” and then press Enter.

Share a whiteboard

Share your whiteboard to collaborate with other people.

  1. Open the whiteboard you want to share as described in Access your saved whiteboards.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Share, button,” and then press Enter.

  3. Press Shift+Tab until you hear “Copy, button,” and then press Enter. Your screen reader announces when the shareable link is ready.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear “Copy, button,” and then press Enter to copy the link to the Windows clipboard.

  5. Paste the link to an email or instant message and send it to the people you want to collaborate with.

Tip: To access a whiteboard someone else has shared with you, simply open the link you have received. The whiteboard opens in your browser, and you might be asked to sign in as described in step 2 under Start using Whiteboard.

See also

Use a screen reader with the Whiteboard app in Microsoft Teams

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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