Effective Spell Checking with a Screen Reader in Office 2016 and Later

Many of us know to start spell check in any Microsoft product (Outlook, Word, Excel, etc) is F7. But did you know there are commands you can use once you get into the Spell Check Dialogue? Instead of using Tab or your mouse to navigate to the button you want/need to activate, try using these commands:

  • Start Spell Check – F7

  • Repeat reading spelling error and type of error- Insert + F7 (JAWS users only)

  • Accept suggested word – Alt + C

  • Ignore suggested word – Alt + I

  • Read spelling error in context of the sentence – Insert + C (JAWS users only)

  • Move to suggested words –Tab and then arrow through suggestions. Use Alt + C to accept or Alt + I to ignore.

JAWS users can also move to the next misspelled word without activating the Spell Check. To do so, you need to perform the following steps:

  1. Turn Quick Keys on by pressing Insert + Z

  2. Press the letter M to hear a misspelled word

  3. Turn Quick Keys off by pressing Insert + Z

  4. Use your reading and navigation keys to correct the error in context.

  5. When finished, repeat these steps as many times as necessary.

For those who do not know what Quick Keys is, it is a way of navigating an editable document (such as an email or Word doc) as though it were a web page or other HTML non-editable text. This allows you to use navigation to read the document without making accidental changes. It also allows you to move quickly through long documents that have tagged headers, links, or other HTML elements you’d normally see on a webpage.

Interested in learning more about spell checking with a screen reader? Here are some resources that may help:

Use a Screen Reader to Check Spelling and Grammar

Check spelling with Word and Screen Reader - YouTube (note this video is older and the interface looks visually different, but the commands still apply)

Check Spelling in a Google Doc (look for the heading ½ of the way down the page)