JAWS and Outlook

Checking Your Mail

When Outlook opens, you should be in the list view of your inbox.

Navigate your inbox | up arrow or down arrow

Open an email | enter

Delete an email | delete

Read an email | insert + down arrow

Close an open email | escape or Alt + F4

Sending and Replying

The commands for sending, replying, and forwarding work from an open message or from the inbox.

New email | Ctrl + N

Reply to email | Ctrl + R

Forward email | Ctrl + F

Reply all to email | Ctrl + Shift + R

Send email | Alt + S or Ctrl + enter

Switching and Sorting Mailboxes

Open the Go to Folder dialog | Ctrl + Y

Move a message | Use shift + F10 to open the context menu on the message you’d like to move. Then, navigate the context menu with up and down arrow. When you find move, press enter. A dialog will open that is very similar to the Go to Folder dialog. Use this dialog (via the arrow keys), you can select the folder you want the message to be moved to by pressing enter.

Dealing with Attachments

When you receive an email with an attached file, JAWS will typically announce “attachment” when you navigate to the message in your Inbox. You can then follow the steps below to retrieve the file:

  1. Open the email with the attachment by pressing enter.
  2. Your focus will be put at the top of the message. Use Shift + Tab to move your focus into the attachment area. With messages that involve multiple attachments, use left and right arrow to cycle through the attached files.
  3. You can open the attachment by pressing enter. You may also use Alt + Down Arrow to expand a list of other actions, including saving the file to your computer.

Now, for the alternative situation: you want to send an email with an attachment. You can do so by following the steps below:

  1. Open an outgoing email (new message, forward, reply, etc.).
  2. Press Alt, this will move your focus to the Ribbon.
  3. Use the left and right arrow keys to cycle through Ribbon Tabs until you find the Insert tab.
  4. Press tab until you arrive at the Attachments button and press enter.
  5. A dropdown menu will open. Using up and down arrow, you can move through the menu options. This menu is primarily populated by your recent documents. If the file you want to send is in this list, press enter and you’ll be returned to your outgoing email message (Skip to step 8).
  6. If the file you want to send is not among them, at the bottom of the menu, you’ll find a Browse this PC option. Press enter.
  7. The File Explorer dialog will open. Use this dialog the same way you would to open a saved document in Word.
  8. Once you’ve selected the attachment you want, you’ll be returned to your outgoing message. Now you simply need to address the email and add your message, then you can send.

To add multiple attachments, repeat the process outlined above again. Be careful to consider that Outlook has maximum file sizes for outgoing emails, so some files will either need to be sent separately or transmitted via a different medium.

Fixing Your View

The default View settings in Outlook are not optimized for a JAWS user. Changing your settings is easy, but it is also a process you may need to repeat in the future when adding new accounts or when the settings get inexplicably set back to default.

Turning Off Automatic Group By

  1. From Outlook, use alt to move into the Ribbon.
  2. In the Ribbon, use the left and right arrow keys to switch to the View tab.
  3. In the View tab of the Ribbon, use tab to move to Current View and press enter.
  4. A dropdown menu will open. Use the arrow keys to move to View Settings… and press enter. Note: you can accomplish steps 1 through 4 using the alt path: alt, then V, then Y, then 1, and then V.
  5. The Advanced View Settings dialog will open. Use tab to move to Group by and press enter.
  6. The Group By dialog will open. Use space bar to toggle off Automatically Sort according to arrangement.
  7. Use tab to move to the OK button and press enter.
  8. The Group By dialog will close and return your focus to the Advanced View Settings dialog. Tab to the OK button and press enter.
  9. The date categories in your inbox (ex. yesterday, Thursday, Last week, etc.) should now be gone.

Turning Off the Reading Pane

  1. From Outlook, use alt to move into the Ribbon.
  2. In the Ribbon, use the left and right arrow keys to switch to the View tab.
  3. Use tab to move through the View tab options until you arrive at Layout. Press enter.
  4. A dropdown menu will open. Use the arrow keys to move to Reading Pane and press enter.
  5. Another dropdown menu will open. Use the arrow to move to the Off option and press enter. Note: You can achieve steps 1 through 5 with the following alt path: alt, then V, then Y, then 2, then R, and then O.

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