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Improve accessibility and ease of use

Learning Tools in Word

Support reading and writing by using Immersive Reader to customize how word documents appear while you read and edit. Immersive Reader provides options for a comfortable and easy to process experience by allowing you to listen to the text read aloud or adjust how text appears by modifying spacing, color and more.

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Use Immersive Reader in Word desktop

  1. Open your Word document.

  2. Select the View tab, then select Immersive Reader Icon for Immersive Reader  . Immersive Reader will launch a full screen experience. 

  3. Choose the Immersive Reader options that work for you from the ribbon.

  4. Once you click in your Word document to read or edit, the Immersive Reader ribbon will minimize. To make the ribbon visible so you can change Immersive Reader settings or close Immersive Reader, select the ... at the top of the screen. 

Immersive reader tool in outlook with cursor hovering over "close"

Column Width changes line length to improve focus and comprehension.

screenshot of the column width dropdown for immersive reader, options are very narrow, narrow, moderate, wide

Page Color can make text easy to scan with less eye strain.

screenshot of the page color dropdown menu for immersive reader. A color palette is shown and the background visible behind the dropdown is pastel orange

Line Focus removes distractions so that you can move through a document line by line. Adjust the focus to put one, three, or five lines in view at a time.

Screenshot of line focus. the majority of the email is darkened making only one line of text clear to read.

Text Spacing increases the spacing between words, characters, and lines.

Screenshot of the text spacing option of immersive reader, there is a greater distance between letters and between words

Syllables shows breaks between syllables, to improve word recognition and pronunciation.

Screenshot of the Syllable feature of immersive reader selected and showing a few word in an email separated into syllables. the word recommendation is shown as rec dot om dot men dot da dot tion

Read Aloud highlights each word as it reads your document to you.

  • Select the Settings icon, then:

    • Drag the Reading speed control to adjust reading speed. Move to the right to increase speed and to the left to decrease it. Press Play to hear the different speeds.

    • Use the Voice Selection dropdown menu to choose different voices for the reader. Select a voice and then press Play to hear it.

  • Select X to close Read Aloud

Tip: Get directly to Read Aloud by right clicking anywhere in your document and selecting Read Aloud. 

screenshot of the Immersive reader voice options toolbar. The mouse hovers over settings revealing a toggle for reading speed and dropdown for voice selection

Close Immersive Reader

Select the View tab, then select Immersive Reader, then select Close Immersive Reader

Immersive reader tool in outlook with cursor hovering over "close"

Keyboard shortcuts for Read Aloud

Start or exit Read Aloud: Ctrl+Alt+Space

Pause or play Read Alout: Ctrl+Space

Speed up reading speed: Alt+Right

Slow down reading speed: Alt+Left

Read the previous paragraph: Ctrl+Right

Read the next paragraph: Ctrl+Left

Use Immersive Reader in Word for macOS

Go to View > Learning Tools, and select your options:

  • Column Width changes line length to improve focus and comprehension.

  • Page Color can make text easy to scan with less eye strain.

  • Text Spacing increases the spacing between words, characters, and lines.

  • Syllables shows breaks between syllables, to improve word recognition and pronunciation.

  • Read Aloud lets you hear your document as each word is highlighted.

    Note: Use the playback controls to start and stop the narration, to change the speed of the reading, and to switch between reading voices.

Use Immersive Reader in Word for the web

  1. Select the View, then Immersive reader. Your document will open in a full screen format. 

Screenshot of the top navigation of word online, view has been selected and the cursor hovers over immersive reader

Using Immersive Reader

Once your document opens within Immersive Reader, you can do one or more of the following, depending on how you want to focus on the content in your document:

  • To hear the paragraphs read to you, select the Play button.

  • To listen from a certain point on your page, select that word.

Voice Options

Select the gear icon to open Voice Settings.

The Voice Speed slider controls the playback speed of the reader.

  • Select Voice Speed, then drag the control to the right or left. Move to the right to increase speed and to the left to decrease it.

  • Select your preference of Male or Female voice.

  • Press Play to hear the different speeds and voices.

Text options

You can change the appearance of your document by using Text options. The choices you make in text options can help remove visual distraction and improve text readability.

The Text Options menu lets you:

  • Change text size

  • Reduce crowding between letters

  • Change the font

  • Change background color

Parts of Speech

Parts of Speech controls grammar highlighting and helps readers understand complex sentences.

  • To use, select Parts of Speech (looks like three books).

  • Choose what to highlight:

    • Syl·la·bles splits words by showing small dots between syllables.

    • Under Parts of speech, turn on Nouns, Verbs, or Adjectives to highlight every noun, verb, or adjective on the page in a color that corresponds to the color of the label.

Grammar options in Immersive Reader

Reading preferences

  • Line Focus enables readers to narrow the focus of their reading experience by highlighting sets of one, three, or five lines within their chosen material in Immersive Reader.

  • Picture Dictionary gives you the ability to click on any single word and view visual support. You can also hear the word read aloud.

  • Translate allows you to view a selected word or the entire document in your preferred language.

Use the toggles to adjust your reading preferences.

Reading preferences

Shortcut keys for Immersive Reader

Use keyboard shortcuts to navigate.

  • Up/Down arrow scrolls line by line

  • Page Up/Page Down scrolls screen by screen

  • Left/Right arrow goes to previous/next page in your OneNote Notebook

  • Esc key closes the reader or menu

  • Tab advances to the next control in Immersive Reader settings

  • Space selects the current tool

Close Immersive Reader

Select the back arrow or tap Esc on your keyboard to exit Immersive Reader. 

Screenshot of cursor over back arrow in Immersive reader

Use Immersive Reader in Word for iPad

Some Immersive Reader tools are available in Word for iPad. To turn on Immersive Reader while reading or editing a Word document:

  1. Select View

screenshot of word in ipad showing "view>immersive reader" selected, choices are available for the page color, column width, and spacing of text

2. Select Immersive Reader

screenshot of word in ipad showing the top pane where you can select "view"

3. Choose from the following tools to make your document more comfortable to read and edit. 

  • Select Column Width to change the line length. This can improve focus and comprehension.  

screenshot of immersive reader with column width selected, options are very narrow, narrow, moderate, wide

  • Select Page Color to choose between

    • None (standard white page)

    • Sepia (pale yellow page with print feel)

    • Inverse (black background with white text)

screenshot of immersive reader with page color selected, options are none, sepia, inverse

  • Select Text Spacing to increase the distance between characters. 

screenshot of immersive reader with text spacing selected. the space between each letter of text is expanded

  • Select Read Aloud to have sections of text highlighted as your document is read out loud to you. To change Read Aloud settings:

    • Select the Settings icon, then:

      • Drag the Reading speed control to adjust reading speed. Move to the right to increase speed and to the left to decrease it. Press Play to hear the different speeds.

      • Use the Voice Selection dropdown menu to choose different voices for the reader. Select a voice and then press Play to hear it.

        screenshot of the Immersive reader voice options toolbar. The mouse hovers over settings revealing a toggle for reading speed and dropdown for voice selection

  • Select X to close Read Aloud

Note: Read Aloud reads text in the default speech language of your operating system. For information about supported languages and how to add additional text-to-speech voices, see How to download Text-To-Speech languages for Windows

  • Select Close Immersive Reader to close the assistive experience and return to the Word document as it is formatted.

screenshot of word in ipad showing the top pane where you can select "view"

Language support

Languages and products supported by Immersive Reader

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