DRAFT Quick Reference Guide and Tutorial for Screen Reading with Jaws,
prepared by Maeve May.

Follow the links for specific Topics using Jaws and Windows Shortcuts and Notes for Jaws users.

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Powerpoint Shortcuts, exercise and notes for Jaws Screen Reader

Jaws Shortcuts for Powerpoint

 Run a slide show presentation Shortcuts

You can use the following shortcut keys while running your slide show presentation in full-screen mode.

  • N, ENTER, PAGE DOWN, RIGHT ARROW, DOWN ARROW, or the SPACEBAR (or click the mouse) Perform the next animation or advance to the next slide
  • P, PAGE UP, LEFT ARROW, UP ARROW, or BACKSPACE  Perform the previous animation or return to the previous slide
  • number+ENTER Go to slide number
  • B or PERIOD Display a black screen, or return to the slide show from a black screen
  • W or COMMA Display a white screen, or return to the slide show from a white screen
  • S or PLUS SIGN Stop or restart an automatic slide show
  • ESC, CTRL+BREAK, or HYPHEN          End a slide show

Create and edit presentations Shortcuts

  • CTRL+N.                                          Create a new presentation

  • CTRL+M.                                        Insert a new slide

  • CTRL+D.                                         Make a copy of the selected slide

  • CTRL+O.                                         Open a presentation

  • CTRL+W.                                         Close a presentation

  • CTRL+P.                                          Print a presentation

  • CTRL+S.                                          Save a presentation

  • F5.                                                    Run a presentation

  • ALT+F4.                                          Quit PowerPoint

  • CTRL+F.                                          Find text

  • CTRL+H.                                          Replace text     

  • CTRL+K.                                          Insert a hyperlink

  • F7.                                                    Check spelling

  • ESC.                                                Cancel a menu or dialog box action

  • CTRL+Z.                                          Undo an action

  • CTRL+Y.                                          Redo or repeat an action

  • SHIFT+F4.                                       To repeat the last Find action

Note   If pressing F6 doesn't display the task pane you want, try pressing ALT to place focus  on the menu bar, and then pressing CTRL+TAB to move to the task pane.          

  • SHIFT+F6                                       Move to a pane from another pane in the program window (counterclockwise direction)

  • CTRL+F6                                        When more than one window is open, switch to the next window

  • CTRL+SHIFT+F6                          Switch to the previous window

  • CTRL+F9                                        Minimize a window to an icon (works only for some Microsoft Office programs)

  • CTRL+F10                                     Maximize or restore a selected window

Work in an outline

  • alt+shift+left arrow                          promote a paragraph

  • alt+shift+right arrow                       demote a paragraph

  • alt+shift+up arrow                          move selected paragraphs up

  • alt+shift+down arrow                     move selected paragraphs down

  • alt+shift+1                                       show heading level 1

  • alt+shift+plus sign                          expand text below a heading

  • alt+shift+minus sign                       collapse text below a heading

  • alt+shift+a                                       show all or collapse all text or headings

  • slash (/) on the numeric keypad   turn character formatting on or off

Navigation Shortcuts

Switch panes in Normal view


Switch panes in Normal view in reverse order


Next Object


Prior Object


Up a Level


Prior Slide


Next Slide


Say Next Screen


Say Prior Screen


Retreat Slide Show


Read table column by column


Read table row by row (PowerPoint 2000 only)


Read notes in Normal or Slide Show view


Say Font


Say object dimensions and location


Say PowerPoint version


Say selected object


Say shape animation information


Say slide information


Say status bar information


Read spell check dialog


Up one level in Save as or Open dialogs


Back to previous folder in Save as or Open dialog boxes



Creating a Powerpoint Presentation - an exercise using Jaws Screen Reader

 Open Powerpoint, Start, Programs, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Powerpoint.

 The first slide of your presentation will be automatically inserted  -  as it is your first slide it will be A Title Slide is which is normally used to introduce the presentation.  Title slides consist of one title placeholder and a sub-title placeholder.

Layout of Powerpoint Screen

Familiarise yourself with the layout of the screen.  Pressing F6 will move you through the panes and toolbars. 

Original View:  Slide view.  Your cursor will be placed in the first placeholder.  You can type straight away and then press Control Tab to move to the next placeholder.  If you return to this view from any other view you may need to press Tab to activate the placeholder again.

Second View: Task Pane on the right, which will change its options to either Layout, Design Templates, or Animations plus some others, depending on what you have chosen,

Third:  Notes mode.  This is for writing speaker notes which will be explained later and sits below the slide view.

Fourth toggle: outline/slide mode pane on the left side of the screen.  If using this method to insert text you will need to be in outline mode. To toggle between Slide mode and Outline mode press Control Shift Tab. 

 If you keep pressing F6 it will go through all these modes again.

 Preferred Method for working in Powerpoint when using a keyboard is Slide view only without notes and outline view to make it simpler.

 To make this the default view, Press Alt, T for  Tools, then Options, Control Tab to View, tab down to the option:  Default View, Open all documents using this view.  Arrow down the drop down list and choose:  Normal Slide View only.  Press Spacebar to select then press Enter.  All future powerpoint presentations will start with only the Slide View option.   However, the task panes will reappear when you need to make choices, so you will need to press F6 occasionally to make selections.  It is best to use F6 to move to the Task Pane and Shift F6 to return to the slide view.  If you press F6 twice it will open up the Notes and Outline view again.

Creating a new presentation from Beginning:  Practice Exercise 1.

Create a new presentation.  Control N.

Type Powerpoint Exercise No 1 this will be inserted into a text placeholder in the first title slide.

  • Press Ctrl Enter to move into the sub-title placeholder and type your name.
  • You have now finished the first slide (title slide)
  • Now is a good time to save your presentation as Powerpoint Exercise No 1. 
  • Control S.

Note:  If you press Ctrl and Enter too many times it can also give you a new slide which you may not want at the time.  If this happens just press Ctrl Z to undo last action.

Bulleted Slide

In the following example you are going to insert a bulleted layout slide with three levels of bullets under the heading Education.

  • Press Ctrl M to insert a new slide.  It will automatically insert a bulleted  layout slide  (This is the default for all new slides except the first).  It has a title placeholder and a bulleted text placeholder. Your cursor will automatically be in the title placeholder.

  • Type:  Education Bulleted Text Example

  • Press Ctrl Enter to move to next placeholder

  • Type Primary School  (this is a Level 1 bullet point)

  •  Press Enter to move to next line.

  • Then press Tab key to demote the next point (down to a lower level ie level 2)

  • Type Private, ( which is a level 2 bullet point)press Enter  

  • Type Public, (also a level 2 bullet point)

  • Press Enter first,   Then press Shift Tab to promote the bullet point up one level ie ( back to level 1)

Note: Pressing Enter will take you to the next line on the same level.  If you want to change the level you have to press Tab to move to the right (ie down a level) or Shift Tab to move to the left or up one level

  • Type Secondary, (first level bullet)  press Enter

  • Press Tab to move to second level bullet, Type Private, press Enter

  • Type Public (still a second level bullet), press Enter.,

  • Then to demote even further to a 3rd level bullet Press Tab, type Selective, press Enter

  • Type Comprehensive, press Enter.

  • Now to promote back to a level 1 bullet press Shift Tab twice.  Type Tertiary.

  • Save the changes to your presentation.  You now have two slides in your presentation.

As the text in these bullets is quite short, it may look better if the placeholder was indented a bit to make it more horizontally centred.

  • Press the Shortcut menu (ie right click) button on the keyboard which is left of the Right Ctrl key and below the Right Shift key. 

  • Press up arrow twice to select the Format Placeholder dialog box. Press Enter.

  •  Press Ctrl Tab to move the tabbed section called Position.  Press Tab once to reach the horizontal positioning of the placeholder.  Type 6 this will mean the placeholder will be positioned 6 cm from left of slide.  Press Enter.

  • Press Ctrl S to save your changes again.

  • Note: The placeholder will move more over to the centre of the slide.  Although it may look as if it overlaps over the edge of the slide, this will not matter in the presentation.

Practise creating Bulleted Slide

  •         To practise creating a bulleted slide press Ctrl M to create a new slide.

  •         Type in the Title placeholder:   Database Objects

  •         Press Ctrl and Enter to move to the bulleted text placeholder

  •         Type the following text:   The Database program consists of 4 basic elements:

  •         (text finished), Press Enter

  •         Press Tab to move to a second level point and type: Data Tables to store data  press Enter.

  •         Type:  Forms to enter data.  Press Enter

  •         Type:  Queries to filter data.   Press Enter

  •         Type:  Reports to print data

  •         Change the position of the bulleted text placeholder by pressing the shortcut key, selecting Format Placeholder, ctrl Tab across to position, type 4 to move the placeholder 4cm from left margin.

  •         Save the presentation.


  •         Press Ctrl M to insert a new slide.

  •         Note: This will insert another bulleted slide.  However it may be good to have a graphic on the side. You need to change the layout of the slide to one that accommodates a graphic.  You can choose one that has the graphic on the left or one on the right.

  •         Press Alt O, then L to access the Slide Layout options. Press down arrow to move through the options.  Pressing down-arrow several times will take you to the Slide Layout called Title, Text and Content.  Press Spacebar to select this.  Press F6 to take you back to the Slide view.  Type the Title:  Inserting Clipart.

  •         Press Ctrl  Enter to move to the next placeholder.

  •         Type the words:   There are two ways of inserting graphics:  Press Enter

  •         Press Tab to move to level 2 bullet point: 

  •         Type as clipart from the Clipart Gallery  Press Enter

  •         Type: or inserting a graphic file saved on your floppy, CD or hard drive.

  •         You have now completed the text in the text placeholder which is placed on the left side of the slide and is sized to allow room for an object on the right side. 

  •         Press Ctrl and Enter to move you to the content placeholder.

  •         To now insert a graphic from Clipart Gallery.  Press Alt I, type P, press Enter to bring up the Clipart Gallery in the Task pane.  Type the keyword for a picture (an appropriate picture here would be a picture of a presentation so type presentation).  Press Enter.  Allow a minute for the computer to find relevant pictures.  Arrow down and press spacebar to select one of the graphics presented. 

  •         Note: It is also possible to insert graphics which are not clipart and saved either on your floppy or hard drive, by clicking on Insert, Picture, from File, locating the folder where your graphic is stored, selecting the name of the graphic file and click OK

Practise creating a Text and Clipart Slide

  •         Create a new slide Ctrl M.  Press F6 to move to the Layout task pane. 

  •         Change the layout to Title, Content, Text. Which places the picture on the left side.

  •         Press Shift F6 to take you back to Slide View,  Press Tab to move to title placeholder.

  •         Type:   Graphic Types.   Press Ctrl and Enter twice.  Once will move you to the Content placeholder and the second time to move you to the text placeholder.

  •         Type:  Bitmap Graphics with millions of colours. Press Enter

  •         Type:  Vector Graphics limited to 256 colours.

  •         Press Alt I, then type P for picture, press Enter to select Clipart gallery.

  •         Type a keyword for the sake of this exercise we will use painting.  Press Enter and wait for the computer to find pictures relevant to the keyword.  Arrow down and select one by pressing spacebar.

  •         Press Ctrl S to save the presentation.

Changing the appearance of the slides

  •         Create a new bulleted slide by pressing Ctrl M. 

  •         Type Background Options

  •         Press Ctrl Enter to move to the bulleted text placeholder.

  •         Type Experiment with:  Press Enter.

  •         Press Tab to move one level down (or to the right)

  •         Type: Moving between Slides. Press Enter.

  •         Type: Changing Design Templates applicable to all slides.  Press Enter

  •         .Type: Changing the Layout of slides.

  •         You have now finished entering the text for the slide.

Moving between Slides and panes:

        You should now have 6 slides.  Move between slides by pressing Page up/Page down key.  When you do this the cursor will temporarily disappear.  Using the Page down key return to slide no 2.  Press Tab to move to Title placeholder, press Tab to move to bulleted text. Press Spacebar to activate the cursor at the end of the placeholder.

        Applying or Changing a Design Template:  Design templates give a matching colour coordinated background and text scheme to all slides. These often include some background graphics.

        Press Alt O, and then type D twice to access  Slide Design Templates.  Press down arrow until you reach a design you think you may like. (Note sometimes it is necessary to press TAB first and then arrow down.) Press Spacebar to select a design.  The design template will be applied to all of the four slides. You can change your design at any time.

Changing the Layout of a Slide

Press Alt O, then L to access the Slide Layout options. Press down arrow to move through the options.  Check out the options available.  For this exercise choose Slide Layout called Title, content and text.  (around the middle of the options) Press Spacebar to select this.  The text placeholder will automatically resize to allow for a new object to be inserted and the text you typed will possibly get smaller. 

Now that you have a space on the left hand side for an object, you can insert a picture

Insert a picture from Clipart Gallery as you did for previous slide by pressing Alt I, type P, press Enter to bring up the Clipart Gallery in the Task pane.  Type the keyword (audience) for a picture.  Press Enter.  Allow a minute for the computer to find relevant pictures.  Arrow down and press spacebar to select one of the graphics presented. 

Save your changes

Adding Animations to the slides

  • You now have 6 slides.  To activate the slide show press F5.

  • Press Page down to move through the slides.  Page up moves you back up one.

  • Press Esc to get out of slide show mode.

  •  As there are no animations all text will come in at the same time on each slide.  To make it that each sentence comes in separately and each slide comes in with some movement, you need to add animation.

  • Press Alt D then type C to change the task pane to animations.

  • You may need to press Tab first to get to the animation schemes, arrow down through the selection.  Press Spacebar to select one, then tab down to the command button Apply to All Slides and press Enter to apply it to all of the slides rather than just the active one.

  • Press F5 again to run the slide show.  You will now need to press Page down to activate each new bullet point or heading.

  • You can also set the animations to run automatically which will be covered later.

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