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Word accessibility features Screen reader compatibility

Last updated: May 20, 2018

Screen reader compatibility for Microsoft Office accessibility features.

The results include two types of test:

Works as expected

These tests use conformant HTML or WCAG sufficient techniques, and work in all tested browser / screen reader combinations.

Screen ReaderNVDAJAWSVoiceOverWin-EyesDolphinSaToGo
BrowserIEFFIEFFMaciOSIEIEIE
Should work. Works in 100% Word inserted PNG image with Alt Text in Title and Description fields Good
Should work. Works in 100% Word inserted PNG image with Alt Text in the Description field Good

Expected to work

These tests use conformant HTML or WCAG sufficient techniques and might be expected to work in screen readers. This doesn't always happen.

Screen ReaderNVDAJAWSVoiceOverWin-EyesDolphinSaToGo
BrowserIEFFIEFFMaciOSIEIEIE
Should work. Fails in 26% - 50% Word inserted PNG image marked as decorative in Edit Alt Text Good
Should work. Fails in 1% - 25% Word inserted PNG image with Alt Text in Title field Good
Should work. Fails in 1% - 25% Word table with Alt Text in Description field Good
Should work. Fails in 1% - 25% Word table with Alt Text in Title and Description fields Good
Should work. Fails in 1% - 25% Word table with Alt Text in Title field Good
Should work. Fails in 51% - 75% Word table with header row Good

Expected to fail

These tests use non-conformant HTML or WCAG failures and are expected to fail in screen readers.

Screen ReaderNVDAJAWSVoiceOverWin-EyesDolphinSaToGo
BrowserIEFFIEFFMaciOSIEIEIE
Should fail. Fails in 76% - 100% Word inserted PNG image with no Alt Text
Should fail. Fails in 76% - 100% Word table with no header row Bad

Key

Tests expected to fail (due to authoring errors) are marked with Expected to Fail.

Test notes

All tests were carried out with screen reader factory settings. JAWS in particular has a wide variety of settings controlling exactly what gets spoken.

Screen readers allow users to interact in different modes, and can produce very different results in each mode. The modes used in these tests are:

In the «What the user hears» column: