Overview of the Microsoft Immersive Reading Tools in Office 365

Handouts Media

Scheduled 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 has over 19 years experience in accessible document design beginning with accessible instructional design and moving to accessible PDF, Word and PowerPoint content in 2005. She is a former Canadian delegate to the PDF/UA committee and has been a Microsoft MVP for Word since 2009 and a Microsoft Accessibility MVP since the category was created in 2014. Her book on creating and working with accessible PDF documents, first published in 2005, is now in its fourth edition.