Overview of the Microsoft Immersive Reading Tools in Office 365

Handouts Media

Presented at 9:15am in Meadowbrook I/II on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.



  • Karen McCall, Senior Advisor, Accessible Document Design, Open Access Technologies

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


This session will provide an overview of the Immersive Reading Tools also known as Learning Tools in Microsoft Office 365 applications like Word, Outlook, OneNote and Edge. Although these tools help people with learning, cognitive or print disabilities, they are useful for everyone and Microsoft is always adding new features and tools.


The Immersive Reading Tools provide the ability to read text out loud, change the background colour for easy reading, dividing words into syllable and changing the width of the amount of text viewed on-screen. A new feature to the Immersive Reading Tools is the ability to focus visual attention on a line or two or three for easier reading. The ability to focus or provide guiding lines/shading for reading has been a part of video magnifiers for those with visual disabilities for years. Although not all of the tools are available in all of the Office 365 applications or Edge, there is a good selection of tools that would work for everyone. For example, you can read the text of a document or web page out loud, change the background colour so that the text stands out more, narrow the reading area and/or break words into syllables. In Edge, yu can also identify parts of speech (which is accessible using the JAWS screen reader).


  1. Where to find the Immersive REading Tools in Office 365 applications
  2. Which Immersive Reading Tools are avilable in which Office 365 applications
  3. How to use the Immersive REading Tools

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Karen McCall

Karen McCall, M.Ed., Senior Advisor, Open Access Technologies, has been providing a leadership role in the field of accessible document design and training on how to make digital content accessible for people with disabilities for over 20 years. She has written several books on this topic based on her experience making other people’s documents accessible to conform to laws in Canada, the US and internationally. Karen’s ground-breaking book on creating and working with tagged PDF documents, first published in 2005 is now in its fourth edition. Her books on creating accessible Word and PowerPoint content were first published in 2005 and have evolved into both updated books and self-paced online courses. She is a vocal advocate for a global inclusive education standard and the rights of people with disabilities.