Open Immersive Reader for Outlook

Immersive Reader in Outlook for the web and desktop allows you to adjust email text in a way that works best for you. Use Read Aloud to listen to emails being read out loud as each word is highlighted. Modify spacing, color and more for a comfortable, easy-to-process email experience. 

See which Immersive Reader features for Outlook desktop and Outlook for the web are supported in your language.

Use Immersive Reader in Outlook desktop

Important: The following steps are for versions 2111 or later.

  1. Open your Outlook desktop app.

  2. Select the View tab, then select Immersive Reader Icon for Immersive Reader  . Immersive Reader will launch in your email pane. 

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

Screenshot of the immersive reader ribbon in outlook desktop. Options left to right are column width, page color, line focus, text spacing, syllables, read aloud, close immersive reader

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, improving 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 emails aloud.

  • Drag the Reading speed control to adjust reading speed. Move to the right for text to be read faster and to the left for it to be read slower. 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

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 View > Immersive Reader > Close Immersive Reader

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

Open Immersive Reader in Outlook for the web

  1. Log in to your account at Office.com and select Outlook.

  2. Open an email.

  3. Select View > Immersive reader. The selected email will open in a full screen format. 

Screenshot of the top of outlook web showing the view tab selected and mouse hovering 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 Play.

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

Voice Options

Select Voice Settings  Settings icon.

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 select 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 press Esc on your keyboard to exit Immersive Reader. 

Screenshot of cursor over back arrow in Immersive reader

First, enable Read Aloud

  1. Open your Outlook desktop application.

  2. Select File > Options > Ease of Access.

  3. Select the checkbox next to Show Read Aloud.

Next, launch Read Aloud

  • From an email you're reading, select Read Aloud in the Message tab.

  • From a reply message window, select the Review tab, then Read Aloud

  • The reader will start reading immediately. To listen from a certain point in an email, select that word. Otherwise, the reader will begin with the first line of text in your message.

  • A toolbar will appear after you've selected Read Aloud. Select the Pause icon to stop listening.

Voice and speed options

Use the toolbar to Play, Pause, and skip to the next or previous paragraph using the arrows. 

Select the settings icon to adjust the reader's voice and playback speed:

  • 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.

Learn more

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