Get started in Google Sheets with a screen reader

What is Google Sheets?

Google Sheets is an online spreadsheet application that lets you create and format spreadsheets and collaborate with other people in real time. Learn more about Google Sheets features.

Set up your screen reader for Google Sheets


If you use ChromeVox on Chrome OS, no setup is required to use Google Sheets.

NVDA, VoiceOver, JAWS

If you're using NVDA, VoiceOver, or JAWS, enable screen reader support by pressing Control + Alt + Z (Windows) or Command + Option + Z (Mac).

In general, the screen reader's application mode provides a better experience than document mode.

Get started with Google Sheets (26.3 minutes)

In this video, you’ll learn how to get started with Google Sheets, using NVDA with Firefox.

Tips for using Google Sheets

Accessibility menu

Once you've enabled screen reader support, an Accessibility menu is available to help you navigate and read your document. To use the Accessibility menu, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Accessibility menu in the main application menu bar. Press Alt + A (Chrome on Windows, Chrome OS), Alt + Shift + A (Windows), or Control + Option + A (Mac).
  2. Press the down arrow to hear sub-menus, including Speak, Go to range, and Focus toolbar. Press the right arrow to open a sub-menu, and press Enter to select an option.

Keyboard shortcuts

Because Google Sheets is different from a typical website, some standard screen reader shortcuts don't apply. For the best experience, use the Google Sheets keyboard shortcuts to move around the spreadsheet.

If you ever forget a key combination, you can open a list of keyboard shortcuts within Google Sheets by pressing Control + / (Windows, Chrome OS) or Command + / (Mac). Along with a list of shortcuts, the dialog contains a link to view all Google Sheets shortcuts in the Help Center. To close the dialog, press Escape.

Find help documentation

As you use Google Sheets, you can find help documentation at any time by following these steps:

  1. Open the Help menu: Press Alt + H (Chrome on Windows, Chrome OS), Alt + Shift + H (Windows), or Control + Option + H (Mac).
  2. Press H to select Help.
  3. In the search field, type a search term, such as "screen reader," then press Enter. The help documentation opens in a dialog where you can read or navigate to other topics.
  4. To dismiss the dialog and return to the spreadsheet, press Escape.

Related articles

  • Manage spreadsheets: Learn how to create, copy, or rename spreadsheets, organize spreadsheets in folders, and other basic tasks.
  • Navigate: Here you'll learn how to move your focus within the spreadsheet and how to use the menus and other controls.
  • Edit a spreadsheet: Find out how to enter data, add and remove rows or columns, and add images, links, or other types of content to your spreadsheet.
  • Format a spreadsheet: Learn how to adjust the formatting of cells, text, and numbers in your spreadsheet, and how to determine the current format.
  • Advanced spreadsheet features: Get started with formulas, charts, data validation, filters, forms, and pivot tables.
  • Collaborate on a spreadsheet: This article covers the steps to share your spreadsheet, interact with collaborators, and work with comments and notes in your spreadsheet.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: This page lists all of the available keyboard shortcuts that you can use in Google Sheets.
  • Google Drive accessibility: Visit the screen reader help pages for Google Drive.

Matt is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about the page.

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