Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Calendar

Decorative icon. 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 Calendar with your keyboard and screen reader to explore and navigate the different views and move between them. 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.

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.

  • As of October 1, 2017, table navigation using a screen reader has been temporarily disabled.

In this topic

Navigate the main view and screen elements

The Outlook Calendar consists of the following screen elements:

  • The Folder pane on the left

  • The current calendar view on the right

  • The ribbon tabs above the panes

  • The status bar at the bottom of the screen

To cycle through the elements in the main view, press F6 (forward) or Shift+F6 (backward).

Navigate the ribbon tabs

Outlook Calendar opens with the Home tab selected. The Home tab has buttons, for example, for creating a new appointment or a meeting request and sharing a calendar.

  • To navigate to the row of ribbon tabs, press Alt. You hear “Ribbon tabs,” followed by the currently selected tab.

  • To move between the ribbon tabs, press the Left or Right arrow key and then press the Tab key once to move to the options on the ribbon.

Navigate the current calendar view

When you land in the calendar view, you hear the selected date and time, events (if any) and the currently selected calendar view.

  • To move between the calendar events, use the Tab key or Shift+Tab. You hear the event details. To open an event in a separate window, press Enter. To exit an event, press Esc.

  • Use the arrow keys to move in the calendar and hear when you are available.

  • To go to a specific date, press Ctrl+G. A date picker appears. The focus is on the Date field. Enter the date and press Enter. To return to today, press Alt+H, O, D.

Navigate the folder pane

When you land in the folder pane, you hear “Calendar folders,” followed by the name of the currently selected folder.

In the folder pane, you can select which calendars are shown in your calendar pane. You can select, for example, the holiday calendar for your country or shared calendars from your work colleagues.

  • To navigate the folders, press the Up or Down arrow key. You hear the name of each folder as they are highlighted.

  • To collapse a folder, press the Left arrow key. To expand a folder, press the Right arrow key.

  • To select a calendar, press Spacebar.

Move between views

Switch between a new event window and the main calendar view

  1. Press Ctrl+N to open a blank appointment window. The focus is on the Subject text field. You hear: “Subject, editing.”

  2. To switch back to the main calendar view, press and hold the Alt key, and then press the Tab key repeatedly to cycle through the active applications. You hear the names of the running programs.

  3. Release the Tab key when you hear: “Calendar.”

Navigate the File menu

In the File menu, you can, for example, modify the calendar settings and set out-of-office replies.

  1. Press Alt+F to open the File menu.

  2. To move between the File menu options, press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the option you want, and then press Enter to select a menu item or the Tab key to cycle through the items in a tab.

  3. To close the File menu and return to the main view, press Esc.

Navigate to the calendar settings

You can modify calendar settings in the Outlook Options window. You can, for example, set your working hours and working days and define the default reminders time.

  1. To open the Outlook Options window, press Alt+F, T.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear: “Calendar.”

  3. To move through the list of settings, press the Tab key. Press Spacebar to select a setting you want to change.

  4. To close the Outlook Options window and return to the main view, press Enter.

Navigate to the reminders window

  1. To view all the current reminders, press Alt+V, M. You hear the number of reminders.

  2. Press the Up or Down arrow key to move between the reminders.

  3. Press Spacebar to open the selected reminder or press Esc to exit the reminders window.

Navigate between the main views of Outlook

  • To navigate to Mail, press Ctrl+1.

  • To navigate to Calendar, press Ctrl+2.

  • To navigate to Contacts, press Ctrl+3.

  • To navigate to To Do, press Ctrl+4.

Use Tell Me

To find an option or perform an action quickly, use the Search text field. To learn more about the Search feature, go to Find what you need with Microsoft Search.

Note: Depending on the Office version of you are using, the Search text field at the top of the app window might be called Tell Me instead. Both offer a largely similar experience, but some options and search results can vary.

  1. Select the item or place in your document, presentation, or spreadsheet where you want to perform an action. For example, in an Excel spreadsheet, select a range of cells.

  2. To go to the Search text field, press Alt+Q.

  3. Type the search words for the action that you want to perform. For example, if you want to add a bulleted list, type bullets.

  4. Press the Down arrow key to browse through the search results.

  5. When you've found the result that you want, press Enter to select it and to perform the action.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule appointments or meetings in Outlook

Use a screen reader to read and reply to a meeting request in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Make your Outlook email accessible to people with disabilities

Use the calendar in Outlook for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in macOS screen reader, to explore and navigate the different views and move between them.

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

Navigate the main view and screen elements

Press F6 (forward) or Shift+F6 (backward) to cycle through the elements in the following order:

  • The navigation pane and the day picker grid on the left

  • The ribbon above the navigation pane and day picker grid with buttons for hiding the navigation pane and creating a new event

  • The calendar pane showing the current calendar contents

  • The quick access toolbar below the navigation pane for navigating between the main views of Outlook

  • The banner at the top of the screen. It contains buttons for accessing Search and showing your recent activity.

Navigate the navigation pane and the day picker grid

When you land in the navigation pane, you hear: “Navigation pane.” In the navigation pane table, you can select which calendars are shown in your calendar pane. Above the navigation pane, you'll find the day picker grid where you can select the day you want to display in the calendar pane.

  • To browse the available calendars, press the Up or Down arrow key. VoiceOver reads the calendar names as they are highlighted. VoiceOver also announces whether the calendar is shown or hidden in the current calendar pane.

  • To select or deselect a calendar, press Spacebar.

  • To navigate from the navigation pane to the day picker grid above the navigation pane, press Shift+Tab until you hear: "Leaving navigation pane, next month button."

    • To move the focus to the day picker grid, press Control+Option+Right arrow key until you hear the currently selected month, followed by "Grid."

    • To move within the grid, press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key, then press Control+Option+Up, Down, Left, or Right arrow key until you hear the day you want. To show the events of the day in the calendar contents, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Navigate the calendar pane

When you land in the calendar pane, VoiceOver announces the subject and the details of the first event in the current calendar. If the current calendar view doesn't contain any events, you hear the selected date range.

  • To move between the calendar events, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab. VoiceOver announces the event details.

  • To open and edit the event, press Command+O or Control+Option+Spacebar. To learn how to edit or read the event details, refer to the "Set up your calendar view" section in Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook.

  • Depending on your view, do one of the following to move in the calendar:

    • To move to the next day, week, or month, press Command+Right arrow key.

    • To move to the previous day, week, or month, press Command+Left arrow key.

  • To return to today, press Command+T.

Navigate the app menu bar

The app menu bar contains the main Outlook tools for creating, viewing, and formatting your calendar events. It is divided into several tabs, such as FileEditFormat, and Tools.

  • To move the focus to the app menu bar, press Control+Option+M. You hear: "Menu bar, Apple."

  • To navigate between the tabs on the menu bar, press Command+Option+Right or Left arrow key. To expand the tab currently in focus, press Command+Option+Spacebar.

  • After expanding a tab, use the Down or Up arrow key to browse its options, and press Command+Option+Spacebar to select an option.

Move between views

Switch between a new event window and the main calendar view

To open a blank appointment window, press Command+N. The focus is on the Subject text field. To switch between the new event window and the main calendar view, you can use the Dock.

  1. To move to the Dock, press Control+Option+D.

  2. Press Control+Option+Left or Right arrow key until you hear: “Microsoft Outlook.”

  3. Press the Up arrow key until you hear “Calendar” or the subject of the appointment you want to switch to, and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Navigate the File menu

In the File menu, you can, for example, create new appointments and meeting requests.

  1. In the calendar in Outlook for Mac, press Control+Option+M. You hear: "Menu bar, Apple."

  2. Press the Right arrow key until you hear: "File."

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the option you want, and then press Control+Option+Spacebar to select the option.

Navigate to the calendar preferences

You can modify the calendar settings in the Outlook Preferences window. You can, for example, set your working hours and days and define the default reminder time.

  1. To open Outlook Preferences, press Command+Comma (,).

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Calendar, button,” and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  3. To move through the available settings, press the Tab key. To select a setting you want to change, press Spacebar.

  4. To close the Outlook Preferences window and return to the main view, press Command+W.

Navigate to the reminders window

  1. To move to the Dock, press Control+Option+D.

  2. Press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear: “Microsoft Outlook.”

  3. Press the Up arrow key until you hear the number of reminders.

  4. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the reminders window.

Navigate between the main views of Outlook

  • To navigate to Mail, press Command+1.

  • To navigate to Calendar, press Command+2.

  • To navigate to People, press Command+3.

  • To navigate to To Do, press Command+4.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule appointments or meetings in Outlook

Use a screen reader to read and reply to a meeting request in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Make your Outlook email accessible to people with disabilities

Use the calendar in Outlook for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to explore and navigate the different views and move between them.

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

Navigate the main view

When you open the calendar in Outlook for iOS, the default main view shows the agenda view of upcoming events. To learn how to change the view, refer to the "Set up your calendar view" section in Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook.

To explore the main view, slide one finger across the screen or swipe left or right. VoiceOver announces the items as you move.

The main view contains the following main elements:

  • At the top of the main view, the Show navigation pane button, the name of the current month, the Agenda view button for changing the current calendar view, and a button for creating a new event.

  • The date selector is located below the buttons, with the current date highlighted.

  • Below the date selector, the current and upcoming calendar events are presented as a list. Swipe up or down to scroll the list forwards and backwards.

  • At the bottom of the screen, under the list of the calendar events, are the Email, Search and Calendar buttons for moving between the main Outlook views.

Navigate the calendar contents view

  1. To navigate to the calendar contents, do one of the following depending on the selected view:

    • In the Agenda view, swipe right until you hear: "Agenda." To browse events in the future, swipe up. To browse past events, swipe down.

    • In the Day view, swipe right until you hear "Day, today," followed by the current date and the number of events scheduled for today. To review events in the coming days, swipe up.

    • In the 3-Day view, swipe right until you hear "Timeslot events," followed by the details of the first event of the day. To browse to events in the future, swipe up.

    • In the Month view, swipe right until you hear the first event in the current month's view. To browse to events in the future, swipe right. If you have multiple entries for a single day, double-tap the screen to switch to the Agenda view and review each event separately.

  2. To open the currently highlighted event, double-tap the screen. The event details pane opens.

Navigate the event details pane

The event details pane contains the full event details. You can also edit details of an event you've created. To learn how to edit the details, refer to the "Set up your calendar view" section in Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook.

The top of the details pane contains a toolbar with the Back button for returning to the calendar main view, the name of the calendar the event belongs to, the email address of the calendar user, and the Delete button.

To navigate the event details pane, swipe left or right to move between the elements on the pane. VoiceOver reads the name of each highlighted element. You can also slide one finger across the screen to explore the event details pane. VoiceOver announces the items as you move.

Move between views

Navigate to and inside the Outlook settings

You can change calendar settings such as notifications and calendar integration options.

  1. Tap with four fingers near the top of the screen. You hear: “Calendar navigation menu button, shows navigation pane.” Double-tap the screen to select.

  2. Swipe right until you hear “Settings button,” and then double-tap the screen to open the Settings window.

  3. To move between the different setting categories, swipe left or right until you hear the category you want, and then double-tap the screen to select. Some settings open in a separate window. If so, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and then double-tap the screen to return to the Settings window.

  4. To close the Settings window and return to the main view, swipe left until you hear “Close button,” and double-tap the screen.

Switch between Outlook Calendar and Outlook Mail

  • To switch from Outlook Mail to Outlook Calendar, tap with four fingers near the bottom of the screen. You hear: “Calendar tab.” Double-tap the screen.

  • To switch from Outlook Calendar to Outlook Mail, tap with four fingers near the bottom of the screen, swipe left until you hear “Mail tab,” and double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule appointments or meetings in Outlook

Use a screen reader to read and reply to a meeting request in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Make your Outlook email accessible to people with disabilities

Use the calendar in Outlook for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to explore and navigate the different views and move between them.

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

Navigate the main view and screen elements

When you open the calendar in Outlook for Android, the main view showing the calendar for the current and following week is displayed. To navigate through and within the main view and screen elements, do the following:

  • To move the focus through the screen elements, swipe right or left.

  • When the focus is on a button or selectable element, double-tap the screen to perform the action or select the element.

  • To cycle through the main regions of the screen only swipe up-then-down until you hear: "Controls." Then swipe up or down to cycle through the main regions in the following order:

    • The Navigation drawer button

    • The Day picker expand button

    • The Day picker bar

    • The Filter button

    • The Add new event button

    • Any pop-up dialog box that might be open, such as an account sign-in dialog box)

  • To resume the default navigation, swipe left or right.

The main calendar screen elements and regions

The main view contains the following main elements and regions:

  • The menu bar at the top of the screen

  • The current calendar view

  • The navigation bar at the bottom of the screen

Menu bar

The menu bar contains the Navigation drawer button in the top left corner which lets you access your account and Outlook for Android settings. It also contains the Day picker button to expand or collapse the current calendar grid. When you navigate to the Day picker button, TalkBack announces the current month and year, for example, "July 2021."

Current calendar

The current calendar shows the Day picker at the top and your agenda for the next few days below the picker.

  • To navigate the Day picker, swipe right or left until you hear "Events on," followed by the week day and date in focus. Keep swiping right or left until you find the date you want to select, and double-tap the screen. 

  • To expand the calendar grid the Day picker is currently showing by three more weeks, swipe left or right until you hear the current month, followed by "Day picker expand," and double-tap the screen. To collapse the Day picker view, swipe left or right until you hear "Day picker, collapse," and double-tap the screen.

  • To browse the events on the selected day, swipe right or left. To access the details of an event, double-tap the screen. To learn how to edit or read the event details, refer to the "Set up your calendar view" section in Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook.

Navigation bar

The navigation bar is located at the bottom of the screen. It contains quick access buttons for switching between Mail, Search, and Calendar. When the focus moves to the navigation bar, you hear the name of the currently selected view. To learn how to switch between the views, refer to Switch between views.

Navigate to the account settings

  1. Swipe right or left until you hear "Open navigation drawer, button," and double-tap the screen. You hear: "Menu."

  2. Swipe right or left to move between your calendar accounts. Each account has one or more visibility settings, such as Calendar or Birthdays. When you hear Talkback announce something you don't want to include in your calendar, for example, "Checked, Birthdays calendar visibility, checkbox," double-tap the screen to toggle it off or back on.

  3. To return to the calendar, swipe down-then-left.

Navigate to the app settings

  1. To open the Settings menu, swipe right or left until you hear "Open navigation drawer, button," and double-tap the screen. You hear: "Menu."

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Settings," and double-tap the screen. To navigate the available settings categories, swipe left or right.

  3. To close the Settings menu and return to the calendar, swipe down-then-left.

Switch between views

  1. To switch from the Calendar view to Search or Mail, and back to Calendar swipe right or left until you hear "Mail, tab" "Search, tab," or "Calendar, tab," and then double-tap the screen. TalkBack announces the currently selected view as "Selected," followed by the name of the view.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule appointments or meetings in Outlook

Use a screen reader to read and reply to a meeting request in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Make your Outlook email accessible to people with disabilities

Use the calendar in Outlook on the web with your keyboard and a screen reader, to explore and navigate the different views and move between them. 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.

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 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.

  • The layout of Outlook on the web conforms to the most recent international guidelines about accessible keyboard navigation. If you're using certain keyboard shortcuts specific to your screen reader, you can take advantage of the ARIA markup on the page.

  • The Calendar related instructions are documented with the Reading Pane off.

  • 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

Navigate the main view and screen elements

When you open the calendar in Outlook on the web, the main view is displayed. You hear the current date and whether there are events for that day. You also hear the total number of events for the current month. To navigate through and within the main view and screen elements, do the following:

  • Press the Tab key to move the focus through the screen elements.

  • To cycle through the main regions of the screen only, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Jump to," followed by the name of the region you want to move to, and then press Enter. The focus moves through the main regions in the following order:

    • The New event button

    • The date picker

    • The calendar list

    • The view switcher

    • The calendar view options

    • The calendar view

  • When the focus is on a button or selectable element, press Enter to perform the action or select the element.

The main regions

The calendar in Outlook on the web contains the following main regions:

  • The horizontal navigation bar at the top

  • The navigation pane on the left

  • The current calendar

Horizontal navigation bar

The horizontal navigation bar is at the top of the screen below the URL address field. It contains the App Launcher, the Search text field in the middle, and access to general information, such as Help and Settings on the right.

Navigation pane

The navigation pane contains the New event button at the top, and a date selector and a calendar list below it. On the left side of the pane, you can find the view switcher, which contains quick access buttons for Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and To Do.

To move between the items in the navigation pane, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab.

Current calendar

The current calendar shows the selected view of the current calendar, such as week or month. To browse the calendar, press the Up or Down arrow key.

At the top of the current calendar, there's a toolbar where you can explore the current month and year, select the previous or next month, or use a month picker to select the view for the current calendar (Day, Work week, Week, Month, or Today) and share calendars. Press the Left, Right, Up, or Down arrow key to move between the toolbar items, and then press Enter to select an item.

To start creating a new event from the current calendar, press Ctrl+N. The event composer replaces the current calendar on the screen. Press the Tab key to move between the event fields. To save the event, press Shift+Tab until you hear “Save button,” and then press Enter. To exit the event composer without saving, press Esc. The focus returns to the current calendar.

Switch between views

You can switch from the Calendar view to the MailPeople, or Files view or to the To Do app, or even to another Microsoft 365 app.

  1. Press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear: "Navigation pane, region landmark," and then press Shift+Tab once. You hear: "Calendar, button."

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the name of the view or app you want, and press Enter.

Navigate to the app settings

  1. To open the Settings pane, press Ctrl+F6 or Shift+Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Banner, Search, landmark," press the Tab key until you hear "Settings button," and then press Enter.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Complimentary, Search Outlook settings, and then use the Down arrow key to browse the options available in the Settings pane.

  3. To review all Outlook settings, press the Down arrow key until you hear "View all Outlook settings button," and press Enter. The Settings window opens. Use the Tab key, Shift+Tab, and the Up or Down arrow keys to navigate the window.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule appointments or meetings in Outlook

Use a screen reader to read and reply to a meeting request in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Make your Outlook email accessible to people with disabilities

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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