Immersive Reader in Outlook for the web and Outlook desktop allows you to adjust the text of an email to read in the way that works best for you. Use Read Aloud to hear emails read to you as each word is highlighted, or modify spacing, color and more for a comfortable and easy to process email experience. 

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

Use Immersive Reader in Outlook desktop

  1. Open your Outlook desktop application.

  2. Select View >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, 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 emails aloud.

  • 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

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

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 the More Options icon ... ), then Show in immersive reader

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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 Options.

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.

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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

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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. alternate text

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

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

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

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.

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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.

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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 the X to close Read Aloud.

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Learn more

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