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, Karlen Communications

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. has been working in the field of accessible document design since 1999. She began her career in website accessibility and auditing and moved to accessible Word, PowerPoint and PDF documents in 2004. Karen is:

A Canadian delegate of the ISO 14289 or PDF/UA (Universal Accessibility) committee and has been for a number of years. A Canadian delegate to the ISO 32000 PDF committee. A Microsoft MVP for Word (Most Valued Professional) since 2009. A Microsoft Accessibility MVP since 2017 when this category of MVP was established.

Karen has written several books on the topic of accessible document design for Word, PowerPoint and PDF documents as well as smaller publications with specific techniques for working with Office applications if you are using adaptive technology and/or the keyboard.

Karen is the president of Karlen Communications.