Use a screen reader to work with PDFs in the Office app

Use a screen reader to work with PDFs in the Office app

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

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 Office Support home.

Use the Office app with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to convert a document or picture into a PDF (Portable Document Format). You'll also learn how to sign a PDF.

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

Convert a document into a PDF

You can convert a document stored on your phone to a PDF that you can easily share with others.

  1. In the Office app, tap near the bottom of the screen with four fingers. The focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe left until you hear "Document to PDF," and double-tap the screen. The Choose files menu opens.

  4. Swipe right until you find the document you want, and double-tap the screen. The conversion starts.

    If the document is not in the Choose files menu, swipe left until you reach the Browse button, and double-tap the screen. Locate the file you want, and double-tap the screen to select it.

    Once the conversion is ready, the PDF opens.

  5. To exit the PDF, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen. You're prompted to decide what to do with the PDF. Swipe right until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen.

  6. You hear: "Save as." The focus is in the File name text field. If you want to change the name of the PDF, use the on-screen keyboard to type a new name, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen.

  7. Swipe left or right to find the location where you want to save the PDF, and double-tap the screen.

  8. To save the PDF, swipe right until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen. The PDF is saved and the focus returns to the Home tab.

Sign a PDF

Got an email with a PDF that you need to sign and email back? Instead of printing the document, signing it, and then scanning it back before sending, you can insert an electronic signature to the PDF to sign it quickly.

You can also sign several pages or several places on a page. If you added a signature where you shouldn't have, you can delete signatures you just inserted. The saved signature remains intact. Once you've saved the PDF, you can't delete the inserted signatures anymore.

Create and save your signature

When you create and save a signature, you can save it to sign other PDFs quickly. For instructions on how to use the saved signature, go to Sign a PDF with a saved signature.

  1. In the Office app, tap near the bottom of the screen with four fingers. The focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe left until you hear "Sign a PDF," and double-tap the screen. The Choose files menu opens.

  4. Swipe right until you find the document you want, and double-tap the screen. The PDF opens.

    If the document is not in the Choose files menu, swipe left until you reach the Browse button, and double-tap the screen. Locate the file you want, and double-tap the screen to select it.

  5. In the PDF, swipe right until you find the location where you want to insert your signature, and double-tap the screen.

  6. You hear: "Landscape." The window for creating your signature opens. The screen rotates to the landscape mode. Hold your phone horizontally.

  7. To create a signature, swipe right until you hear "Please, double-tap with single finger," and double-tap and hold the screen with one finger. Without lifting the finger off the screen, slide it on the screen to create your signature.

  8. Once you've done, lift your finger off the screen. You hear: "Signature done." Double-tap the screen. The new signature is saved and inserted to the PDF.

  9. The screen rotates to the portrait mode. Hold your phone vertically.

  10. If you need to delete the signature you just inserted, swipe left or right until you hear "Delete," and double-tap the screen.

  11. If you need to insert your signature elsewhere in the document, swipe right until you hear "Sign at other places," and double-tap the screen. Swipe left or right in the document until you find the location where you want to insert another signature, and double-tap the screen. You hear: "Insert saved signature." To insert the signature, double-tap the screen.

  12. You hear: "Done button." To exit the signature mode, double-tap the screen. You hear: "Back button." The PDF is displayed in the reading mode. To return to the Actions menu, double-tap the screen.

Sign a PDF with a saved signature

Once you've created and saved your signature, you can insert subsequent signatures in no time.

  1. In the Office app, tap near the bottom of the screen with four fingers. The focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe left until you hear "Sign a PDF," and double-tap the screen. The Choose files menu opens.

  4. Swipe right until you find the document you want, and double-tap the screen. The PDF opens.

    If the document is not in the Choose files menu, swipe left until you reach the Browse button, and double-tap the screen. Locate the file you want, and double-tap the screen to select it.

  5. In the PDF, swipe right until you find the location where you want to insert your signature, and double-tap the screen.

  6. You hear: "Insert saved signature." Double-tap the screen to insert your saved signature.

  7. If you need to insert your signature elsewhere in the document, swipe right until you hear "Sign at other places," and double-tap the screen. Swipe left or right in the document until you find the location where you want to add another signature, and double-tap the screen. You hear: "Insert saved signature." To add the signature, double-tap the screen.

  8. You hear: "Done button." To exit the signature mode, double-tap the screen. You hear: "Back button." The PDF is displayed in the reading mode. To return to the Actions menu, double-tap the screen.

Delete a saved signature

You can delete a saved signature and then create a new one. The signatures already inserted to a PDF won't be deleted.

  1. Open the PDF you want to sign as instructed in Sign a PDF with a saved signature.

  2. Double-tap anywhere in the PDF. You hear: "Insert saved signature."

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Delete saved signature," and double-tap the screen.

  4. You're prompted to confirm the deletion. Swipe right until you hear "Ok," and double-tap the screen.

  5. You can now create a new signature as instructed in Create and save your signature.

  6. Once you're ready, swipe left until you reach the Done button, and double-tap the screen.

  7. You hear: "Done button." To exit the signature mode, double-tap the screen. You hear: "Back button." The PDF is displayed in the reading mode. To return to the Actions menu, double-tap the screen.

Scan a picture into a PDF

Use your phone camera to take a picture of a document and convert the picture into a PDF that you can share via email, for example. You can take several pictures and turn them all into one PDF. You can also use one or more pictures that you've saved earlier to Photos.

  1. In the Office app, tap near the bottom of the screen with four fingers. The focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe left until you hear "Scan to PDF," and double-tap the screen. The camera mode activates.

  4. Do one or more of the following:

    • To take a picture with your phone camera, swipe right until you hear "Capture," and double-tap the screen. The crop view opens. You hear: "Top left corner."

      To crop the image, swipe right until you find the crop handle you want, double-tap and hold the screen, and slide your finger to adjust the cropping area. You may need someone to help you with this step. Once you're done, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen.

    • To convert saved pictures into a PDF, swipe right or left until you locate the image you want to use, and double-tap the screen to select it. Repeat this step until you've selected all the images you want. Once you're done, swipe right until you hear "Gallery done," and double-tap the screen.

    The preview opens, and Office app starts to process the images. You hear "Processing complete" when you can move to the next step.

  5. If you need to add other images to be converted into the same PDF, swipe right until you hear "Add image," double-tap the screen, and repeat step 4.

  6. To start converting the images into a PDF, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen. The PDF conversion starts.

  7. Once the conversion is complete, the PDF opens. To exit the PDF, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen. You're prompted to decide what to do with the PDF. Swipe right until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen.

  8. You hear: "Save as." The focus is in the File name text field. If you want to change the name of the PDF, use the on-screen keyboard to type a new name, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen.

  9. Swipe left or right to find the location where you want to save the PDF, and double-tap the screen.

  10. To save the PDF, swipe right until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen. The PDF is saved and the focus returns to the Home tab.

Convert a selection of saved pictures into a PDF

Select saved pictures from the Photos app and convert them into a PDF.

  1. In the Office app, tap near the bottom of the screen with four fingers. The focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe left until you hear "Pictures to PDF," and double-tap the screen. The Photos app opens.

  4. Swipe right until you hear a picture you want, and double-tap to select it. If you want to convert other pictures into the same PDF, repeat this step.

  5. Once you've selected all the pictures you want, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen. The preview opens.

  6. If you need to add other images to be converted into the same PDF, swipe right until you hear "Add image," double-tap the screen, and repeat step 4.

  7. To start converting the images into a PDF, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen. The PDF conversion starts.

  8. The PDF opens. To exit the PDF, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen. You're prompted to decide what to do with the PDF. Swipe right until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen.

  9. You hear: "Save as." The focus is in the File name text field. If you want to change the name of the PDF, use the on-screen keyboard to type a new name, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen.

  10. Swipe left or right to find the location where you want to save the PDF, and double-tap the screen.

  11. To save the PDF, swipe right until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen. The PDF is saved and the focus returns to the Home tab.

See also

Use a screen reader to work with files in the Office app

Use a screen reader to search in the Office app

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Office app

Learn the layout of the Office app with a screen reader

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate the Office app

Use the Office app with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to convert a document or picture into a PDF (Portable Document Format). You'll also learn how to sign a PDF.

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

Convert a document into a PDF

You can convert a document stored on your phone to a PDF that you can easily share with others.

  1. In the Office app, swipe down-then-up. The focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Document to PDF," and double-tap the screen. The Choose files menu opens.

  4. Swipe right until you find the document you want, and double-tap the screen. The conversion starts.

    If the document is not in the Choose files menu, swipe right until you reach the Browse button, and double-tap the screen. Locate the file you want, and double-tap the screen to select it.

    Once the conversion is ready, the PDF opens.

  5. To exit the PDF, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen.

  6. You hear: "Save." To save the PDF, double-tap the screen. The focus is in the file name text field. If you want to change the name of the PDF, double-tap the screen and use the on-screen keyboard to modify the file name, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen.

  7. Swipe left to find the location where you want to save the PDF, and double-tap the screen.

  8. Swipe right until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen. The PDF is saved and the focus returns to the Home tab.

Sign a PDF

Got an email with a PDF that you need to sign and email back? Instead of printing the document, signing it, and then scanning it back before sending, you can insert an electronic signature to the PDF to sign it quickly.

You can also sign several pages or several places on a page. If you added a signature where you shouldn't have, you can delete signatures you just inserted. The saved signature remains intact. Once you've saved the PDF, you can't delete the inserted signatures anymore.

Create and save your signature

Create and save your signature to sign PDFs quickly. For instructions on how to use the saved signature, go to Sign a PDF with a saved signature.

  1. In the Office app, swipe down-then-up. The focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Sign a PDF," and double-tap the screen. The Choose files menu opens.

  4. Swipe right until you find the document you want, and double-tap the screen. The PDF opens.

    If the document is not in the Choose files menu, swipe left until you reach the Browse button, and double-tap the screen. Locate the file you want, and double-tap the screen to select it.

  5. In the PDF, swipe right until you find the location where you want to insert your signature, and double-tap the screen.

  6. The window for creating your signature opens. You hear: "Landscape." The screen rotates to the landscape mode. Hold your phone horizontally.

  7. To create a signature, swipe right until you hear "Signature panel. Please, sign here," and double-tap and hold the screen with one finger. Without lifting the finger off the screen, slide it on the screen to create your signature.

  8. Once you've done, lift your finger off the screen. To save the signature, swipe right until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen. The new signature is saved and inserted to the PDF.

  9. The screen rotates to the portrait mode. Hold your phone vertically.

  10. If you need to delete the signature you just inserted, swipe left or right until you hear "Delete," and double-tap the screen.

  11. If you need to insert your signature elsewhere or to additional places in the document, swipe right until you hear "Sign in additional places," and double-tap the screen. Swipe left or right in the document until you find the location where you want to insert another signature, and double-tap the screen. You hear: "Your signature button." To insert the signature, double-tap the screen.

  12. When you're done, swipe left until you hear: "Done button." To exit the signature mode, double-tap the screen. The PDF is displayed in the reading mode. To return to the Actions menu, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen.

Sign a PDF with a saved signature

Once you've created and saved your signature, you can insert subsequent signatures in no time.

  1. In the Office app, swipe down-then-up. The focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Sign a PDF," and double-tap the screen. The Choose files menu opens.

  4. Swipe right until you find the document you want, and double-tap the screen. The PDF opens.

    If the document is not in the Choose files menu, swipe right until you reach the Browse button, and double-tap the screen. Locate the file you want, and double-tap the screen to select it.

  5. In the PDF, swipe right until you find the location where you want to insert your signature, and double-tap the screen.

  6. You hear: "Your signature button." Double-tap the screen to insert your saved signature.

  7. If you need to delete the signature you just inserted, swipe left or right until you hear "Delete," and double-tap the screen.

  8. To insert your signature elsewhere or to additional places in the PDF, swipe right until you hear "Sign in additional places," and double-tap the screen. Swipe left or right in the document until you find the location where you want to add another signature, and double-tap the screen. You hear: "Your signature button." To add the signature, double-tap the screen.

  9. When you're done, swipe left until you hear: "Done button." To exit the signature mode, double-tap the screen. The PDF is displayed in the reading mode. To return to the Actions menu, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen.

Delete a saved signature

You can delete a saved signature and then create a new one. The signatures already inserted to a PDF won't be deleted.

  1. Open the PDF you want to sign as instructed in Sign a PDF with a saved signature.

  2. Double-tap anywhere in the PDF. You hear: "Your signature button."

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Delete," and double-tap the screen.

  4. You're prompted to confirm the deletion. Swipe right until you hear "Yes," and double-tap the screen.

  5. The window for creating your signature opens. You can now create a new signature as instructed in Create and save your signature.

  6. Once you're ready, swipe left until you reach the Done button, and double-tap the screen.

  7. When you're done, swipe left until you hear: "Done button." To exit the signature mode, double-tap the screen. The PDF is displayed in the reading mode. To return to the Actions menu, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen.

Scan a picture into a PDF

Use your phone camera to take a picture of a document and convert the picture into a PDF that you can share via email, for example. You can take several pictures and turn them all into one PDF. You can also use one or more pictures that you've saved earlier.

  1. In the Office app, swipe down-then-up. The focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe left until you hear "Scan to PDF," and double-tap the screen. The camera mode activates.

  4. Do one or more of the following:

    • To take a picture with your phone camera, swipe right until you hear "Capture," and double-tap the screen. The crop view opens. You hear: "Crop image."

      To crop the image, swipe right until you find the crop handle you want, double-tap and hold the screen, and slide your finger to adjust the cropping area. You may need someone to help you with this step. Once you're done, swipe right until you hear "Confirm," and double-tap the screen.

    • To convert saved pictures into a PDF, swipe right or left until you locate the image you want to use, and double-tap the screen to select it. Repeat this step until you've selected all the images you want. Once you're done, swipe right until you hear "Double-tap to review" followed by the number of selected images, and double-tap the screen.

  5. If you need to add other images to be converted into the same PDF, swipe right until you hear "Add new," double-tap the screen, and repeat step 4.

  6. To start converting the images into a PDF, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen. The PDF conversion starts.

  7. Once the conversion is complete, the PDF opens. To exit the PDF, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen.

  8. You hear: "Save." To save the PDF, double-tap the screen. The focus is in the file name text field. If you want to change the name of the PDF, double-tap the screen and use the on-screen keyboard to modify the file name, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen.

  9. Swipe left to find the location where you want to save the PDF, and double-tap the screen.

  10. Swipe right until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen. The PDF is saved and the focus returns to the Home tab.

Convert a selection of saved pictures into a PDF

You can select pictures saved to an app such as Photos, Media, or Gallery depending on your device, and convert them into a PDF.

  1. In the Office app, swipe down-then-up. The focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe left until you hear "Pictures to PDF," and double-tap the screen. The app for your saved images opens. You may be prompted to allow the app to access your pictures.

  4. Swipe right until you locate the picture you want, and double-tap to select it. If you want to convert other pictures into the same PDF, repeat this step.

  5. Once you've selected all the pictures you want, swipe down-then-up. You hear "Double-tap to review," followed by the number of selected images, and double-tap the screen. The preview opens.

  6. If you need to add other images to be converted into the same PDF, swipe right until you hear "Add new," double-tap the screen, and repeat step 4.

  7. To start converting the images into a PDF, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen. The PDF conversion starts.

  8. The PDF opens. To exit the PDF, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen. You're prompted to decide what to do with the PDF. Swipe right until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen.

  9. You hear: "Save." To save the PDF, double-tap the screen. The focus is in the file name text field. If you want to change the name of the PDF, double-tap the screen and use the on-screen keyboard to modify the file name, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen.

  10. Swipe left to find the location where you want to save the PDF, and double-tap the screen.

  11. Swipe right until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen. The PDF is saved and the focus returns to the Home tab.

See also

Use a screen reader to work with files in the Office app

Use a screen reader to search in the Office app

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Office app

Learn the layout of the Office app with a screen reader

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate the Office app

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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