Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Use a screen reader to add an appointment in Outlook [MS]

Use a screen reader to add an appointment in Outlook

Decorative icon. Screen reader content

This article is for people with visual impairments who use a screen reader program with Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Microsoft Support home.

Use Outlook 2016 with your keyboard and a screen reader such as JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to add an appointment to your calendar. You can also copy an appointment and let others know your availability for meetings.


  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook.

  • This topic assumes that you are using JAWS. To learn about JAWS for Windows, refer to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Complete guide to Narrator.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

In this topic

Add an appointment to your calendar

  1. To open the Outlook calendar from anywhere in Outlook 2016, press Ctrl+2.

  2. Press Alt+H, N1 to open a blank appointment window. Focus is on the Subject box.

  3. You hear: "Subject edit. Type in text." Type the subject.

  4. Press the Tab key to move to the Location box. You hear: "Location edit." In Narrator, you hear "Location. Editable edit." Type a location for the appointment.

  5. Press Alt+T to move to the Start time area. Focus is on the start date for the appointment.

    Tips: Outlook can understand date information in many different forms.

    • You can type in ordinary words instead of dates. For example, you can type Today, Tomorrow, or any of most holiday names. You can even type something like Two weeks from tomorrow.

    • You can also use different formats when you type an actual date. For example, you can type Apr 25, April 25, 25 April, or 4/25.

      Outlook automatically translates each of these into its standard format, MM/DD/YYYY.

  6. After you type in a date, press Enter. Focus changes to the Start time box. You can type in the time of day, or you can use the Up or Down arrow keys to browse through different times of day until you reach the one that you want.

    Tips: If your appointment lasts an entire day, you can mark it as an All day event.

    • Press Alt+D to move to the End Date box.

    • Press the Tab key three times to move to the All day event checkbox, then press Spacebar to select it.

    • To move to the Notes area, press Enter.

  7. After you enter the start time, press Alt+D, or press the Tab key, to move to the End Date area. Focus is on the End Date box.

  8. By default, Outlook enters the same date as the Start Date in this box. To accept this date, press Enter. Or, you can type over this date by using the same methods that you used to type in a Start Date (see Step 4). When you finish typing an End Date, press Enter.

  9. The focus moves to the End time box. The end time is automatically set to half an hour after the start time. To change it, type a new time, or browse the options using the Up or Down arrow key. When done, press Enter.

  10. To move to the Notes area, press the Tab key until you hear, "Notes edit." In Narrator, you hear, "Message editing.". Type any information that you want for the appointment.

  11. To save and close the appointment, press Alt+H, A, V.

Copy an existing appointment

When you copy an existing appointment in your calendar, all the information—including any online meeting links—is copied and added to the new appointment you create.

  1. Press Ctrl+2 to go to Outlook Calendar.

  2. The focus is on today. To navigate forward or backward in the calendar, use the arrow keys. To jump between calendar events, press the Tab key to go forward and Shift+Tab to go backward.

  3. When on the appointment you want to copy, press Ctrl+C. JAWS announces: "Copied selection to clipboard." Narrator announces the command.

  4. Navigate to the date and time you want to schedule the new appointment at, and press Ctrl+V. JAWS announces: "Pasted from clipboard." Narrator announces: "<time, date>, one event."

    The new appointment is added to your calendar. The subject of the new appointment starts with "Copy," but you can edit it if you want to.

  5. To open the appointment for further editing, press the Tab key, and then press Ctrl+O. When done, press Alt+H, A, V to save and close.

Let people know your availability

You can add a status indicator to your appointment to let other people know your availability. If someone tries to schedule a meeting with you, they'll find this, and know if you are available.

  1. Open the appointment in the calendar by selecting the appointment and pressing Enter.

  2. To add a status indicator, press Alt+H, B to go to the Free/Busy drop down.

  3. Press the down arrow to browse and Enter to select one of these options: Free, Working Elsewhere, Tentative, Busy, and Out of Office.

  4. To save and close the appointment, press Alt+H, A, V.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule a meeting in Outlook

Use a screen reader to read and reply to a meeting request in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Outlook Calendar

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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