Use a screen reader to read Visio diagrams

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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 Visio with your keyboard and a screen reader to open and read Visio diagrams. We have tested it with Narrator and JAWS, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.


In this topic

Open a diagram in Visio

  1. After opening Visio, the focus is in the template selection pane. Press Shift+Tab until you hear "Recent," followed by the name of the most recently used file.

  2. If the first file is not the one you want to open, use the Down and Up arrow keys to move in the Recent list.

  3. Press Enter to open the currently selected file.

Tip: If the file you want is not in the list of recent files, press Alt+O. You hear: "File, Open." Browse your computer and any network locations, such as OneDrive, for the file you want to open.

Read a diagram in Visio

In some diagrams such as flowcharts, your screen reader announces the shapes in the order they were added to the diagram. You also hear the starting and ending points for connectors. Inside calendar shapes, the screen readers move in chronological order from one day to the next. The screen readers also announce formatting details such as size, position, and color of the Visio shapes.

  1. After opening a diagram, press the Tab key to move the focus to the first shape on the first page. Your screen reader announces its name.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To read the elements of a diagram one by one, press the Tab key to move the focus to the next shape.

    • To read the whole diagram continuously from the beginning, press the SR key+R. To stop the continuous reading, press Ctrl.

  3. If the diagram contains several pages, press Shift+F4 to open the Page dialog. With Narrator, you hear: "Page window, page 1, selected." With JAWS, you hear: "Page dash 1." Use the Down and Up arrow keys to select a page from the list, and then press Enter to open it.

See also

Use a screen reader to create a Visio diagram

Keyboard shortcuts for Visio

Learn how to navigate Visio using accessible features

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

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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