Basics on how to use Outlook.com with the NVDA screen reader

Please note: As with all online content, although this information is correct as at the time of publication, the outlook.com online service is subject to change at any time. If you find it hard navigating with NVDA, you can always set up the Thunderbird email client to get your Outlook.com emails direct to your inbox.

Navigating Outlook.com with NVDA

Outlook.com is an online email client which can be set up to be used online or with your current email program (such as Mozilla Thunderbird). Taking the second option, allows you to download your emails directly to your email client instead of leaving your emails online. It is up to you. Some blind computer users find the second option a lot easier.

If you already have an outlook.com account

If you already have an email account, then it is a matter of entering your details (your username and password)  to sign into your email account at the following link https://login.live.com/login.srf?wa=wsignin1.0&rpsnv=12&ct=1444112175&rver=6.4.6456.0&wp=MBI_SSL_SHARED&wreply=https:%2F%2Fmail.live.com%2Fdefault.aspx&lc=1033&id=64855&mkt=en-us&cbcxt=mai

Signing up for an email account

If you don’t have an email account, then you will need to sign up for one. To sign up for an account you will need to go to the outlook.com website using the following web address https://signup.live.com/signup?cbcxt=mail&wreply=http%3a%2f%2fmail.live.com&id=64855&lic=1&OLrefer=merchsite&uaid=404710d3a9b04dc8aa7eb100c07ce09e

Once signed into your email account

To get a feel of the page once signed in, use the Ctrl + the Home key to take you to the top of the page. Next, use the NVDA key and the down arrow key for NVDA to start reading the page for you. At any time you can use the Ctrl key to silence NVDA.

With NVDA you can jump around with single letter navigation keys. The elements list can also be used in different parts of Outlook.com. Now and again you will hear NVDA say menu button collapsed sub menu. You may hear what it refers to as well (for example more services). When you hear this, press the spacebar to expand the menu, then arrow down the list to what you want, then press the Enter key. You might have to change NVDA into browse mode to see the options in the menu.

Outlook.com settings and shortcut keys

For instructions on how to set up outlook.com with the Mozilla Thunderbird email client, or to get a list of shortcut keys for Outlook.com, please go to the following link https://www.dropbox.com/s/erkxny6yj82plrc/Outlook.com%20settings%20plus%20shortcut%20keys%20for%20Outlook.com.zip?dl=0

To read any of your emails

Locate an email you want to read. Once found locate the subject line of the email then press the Enter key. This will open your email, then, it is a matter of using the NVDA key + the down arrow key to start NVDA reading the email for you. When you have read the email, to close it (and go back to your inbox), use the Esc key.  You will now be placed back where all of your emails are (in your inbox).

Adding a new person to your Contact list (also known as your address book)

To add a new contact to your contact list (also known as your address book), you will need to go to the top of the page. Use the Ctrl + Home key to do this. Locate the menu button collapsed more services button. Press the space bar to expand the submenu. You will have to change NVDA into browse mode so it can see the options given (People, Calender, and so on). Arrow down to the link called People, then press the Enter key. Locate the link called New contact, then press the Enter key. The next page that comes up will let you enter in their details (for example First name, last name and so on). There is a save button at the bottom, make sure you press the Enter key on the save button so your new contact is saved to your address book.

Adding a person to your contact list from an incoming email

While the email is open (and you decide you want to add that person to your contact list), locate the subject line of the email. This will be a heading. Just below the subject line will be the person’s name and email.  Just below their email address will be a link to add that person to your contact list. When they have been added, while still in the email, it will let you edit the contact you have just added. This will be a link. Press the Enter key on it and the contact details will come up for that person (for example first name, last name and so on). This can be tabbed through and changes made. Once done, tab down to save and press the Enter key. Your new contact should now be in your contact list.

Sending an email

To send an email, the easiest way is to go to the top of the page by pressing the Ctrl key + the Home key. NVDA will be placed at the top of the page. Press the letter B on your keyboard while in browse mode. Stop pressing it when you hear NVDA say new button. Press the Enter key so you can send a new email to someone. NVDA will default to the “To” field. Here, enter in the email address (for example freddofrog@littlepond.com).

When you have entered in the person’s email address, tab until you hear NVDA say message / subject. Here you will need to enter in the subject of the email (for example Are there any bigger ponds in the area?).

When the subject line has been typed in (so people on the receiving end know what the email is about), tab again until you hear NVDA say message body. Here, type in the details of the email.

You will need to go back into browse mode in NVDA. Use the NVDA key + spacebar to do this. Next, go back to the top of the page. Use the Ctrl key + the Home key to do this. When you are at the top of the page, press the letter B until you hear NVDA say button / send. Press the Enter key and your email should be sent.

Replying to an email

When you have located an email (and opened it and read it), to reply to the person who has sent it (while the email is still open), press the Ctrl key + the Home key. This should take you back to the top of the page. Press the letter B until you hear NVDA say button / reply. Now press the Enter key so you can reply to that person. You might be placed at the top of the page, so you may need to scroll down the page until you get to the body of the email. If you press the letter F, this will jump you down by form fields, and if you press the letter E, this will jump you down by edit areas. You need do this until you hear NVDA say message body or multi line. Depending on which way you drive NVDA, you may alter what you hear. You will need to change into focus mode so that you can type in a reply. After you have typed in your reply, you will need to change back into browse mode and go back to the top of the page. Press the letter B until you hear NVDA say Send button, then press the Enter key and the email will be sent for you.

Adding an attachment to your email

When your email has been typed up, change back into browse mode. Next, go to the top of the page. Now, press the letter B until you hear NVDA say Insert button, then press the Enter key. It will give you some options. These will be: Files as attachments, Pictures inline, and Share from OneDrive. Select the one you want (for example files as attachments).  The next screen that comes up will allow you to upload an attachment.

When you have located the file you want to attach to the email, simply press the Enter key on that file, and it will be attached to your email. Then, when you have finished adding all of your attachments change back into browse mode and go to the top of the page. Locate the send button and press the Enter key and your email will be on its way.

Opening an email with an attachment

When you come across an email with an attachment, (and after you have opened the email and read it), to get the attachment you can do it a couple of ways.

When you have opened the email, you can just arrow down the page until you hear the email that you are going to read. You will hear different things being read out by NVDA. You are looking for the attachment. The attachment will be below the show / hide active view. As you arrow down the page it will also tell you how many attachments you have and the name of the attachments. Below this section it will give you the options to save the attachment as a zip file or save it to your one drive account. You can also use the elements list in NVDA to bring up the attachments section. If it is done this way, you will need to look for the save as zip link or save to one drive link (and, once located) press the Enter key. The result will depend on which option is chosen. For example using the save as zip option will bring up a dialogue box that will give you the option to either open the attachment or save it. If you choose to save the file to your computer, a save as dialogue box will come up. Tab around until you hear NVDA say save button, then press the Enter key.  Make sure you note the name of the file and where it is going to be saved (for example the Desktop).

Forwarding an email to another person

To forward on an email to another person, if it is the email you have just read, while the email is still open, put NVDA into browse mode. Go to the top of the page with the Ctrl key + the Home key. Next, press the letter B until you hear NVDA say Reply button. Just below this button you will hear NVDA say collapsed sub menu More reply commands. Press the space bar on your keyboard. This will expand the sub menu. Simply arrow down to the forward clickable link, then press the Enter key.  You may have to press the Enter key twice, or press the space bar and the Enter key.

If it does it correctly, NVDA should default to the "to" field, so then it is just a matter of entering in the persons email address. If you wish to add any more information, simply type it into the body of the email. Then it is a matter of sending it after that.

To log out of your account

Go to the top of the page with the Ctrl key + the Home key. When NVDA is at the top of the page, press the letter B until you hear NVDA say your account name (for example FreddoFrog). Press the spacebar so the sub menu expands. Next, arrow down, until you hear NVDA say sign out, then press the Enter key. You should now be signed out of Outlook.com

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