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Edit drawings with a screen reader

You can edit drawings on your computer using a screen reader.

Note: Before following the steps below, make sure you've turned on Docs screen reader support.

Use keyboard shortcuts

To open a list of shortcuts in your drawing, press Ctrl + / (Windows, Chrome OS) or ⌘ + / (Mac). You can search for actions such as insert or resize. To return to your drawing, press Escape.

Take quick actions by searching the menus

  1. Press Alt + / (Windows, Chrome OS) or Option + / (Mac).
  2. Type a command, such as Rename or Insert
  3. Press the down arrow to hear search results. For example, if you type Insert, the options include adding an image, a comment, and other choices. 
  4. To choose an action, press Enter.

Use the menus, top-level buttons, and toolbar

Note: If there are no buttons and menus at the top, press Ctrl + Shift + f (Windows, Chrome OS, or Mac).

To browse the menus:

  1. Open the File menu using the shortcut key for your browser:
    • Windows with Chrome browser: Alt + f
    • Windows with other browsers: Alt + Shift + f
    • Chrome OS: Alt + f
    • Mac: First press the pass-through keys Ctrl + Option + Tab, then Ctrl + Option + f
  2. Press the right arrow to explore other menus, including Edit, View, Insert, Format, Arrange, Tools, Table, Help, and Accessibility.

Tip: To get help, open the Help menu and select Get help with. Press Tab to reach the search box, then type your search, such as Images, and press Enter. The help opens in a box where you can read or navigate to other topics. To return to the drawing, press Escape.

From the menus, you can move to two other sets of controls:

  • Top-level buttons: These buttons are for drawing-level actions, such as renaming, starring, sharing, or moving the drawing to a different folder. From the menus, press Shift + Tab.
  • Toolbar: The toolbar has options for editing and formatting, such as colors and borders. From the menus, press Tab.

Use the Accessibility menu to read or move around your drawing

  1. Open the Accessibility menu using the shortcut key for your browser:
    • Windows with Chrome browser: Alt + a
    • Windows with other browsers: Alt + Shift + a
    • Chrome OS: Alt + a
    • Mac: First press the pass-through keys Ctrl + Option + Tab, then Ctrl + Option + a 
  2. Press the down arrow to hear options, such as Speak, Comments, and more.
  3. Press the right arrow to open a sub-menu, and press the down arrow to explore options in the sub-menu.
  4. Press Enter to select an option.

Editing and formatting basics

In your drawing, you can add or change content and formatting.

Add a text box, shape, or image

  1. Press Alt + / (Windows, Chrome OS) or Option + / (Mac) to search the menus.
  2. Type insert to get a list of items you can add.
  3. Use the arrow keys to explore the list.
  4. Press Enter to make your selection.

Change formatting

To explore the formatting styles that you can apply, open the Format menu in the menu bar:

  1. Open the Format menu using the shortcut key for your browser:
    • Windows with Chrome browser: Alt + o
    • Windows with other browsers: Alt + Shift + o 
    • Chrome OS: Alt + o
    • Mac: First press the pass-through keys Ctrl + Option + Tab, then Ctrl + Option + o 
  2. Press the down arrow to hear options, then press Enter to select.

Learn more about how to create, edit, and format drawings.

Add alt text

  1. Select the object in your drawing.
  2. Open the Format menu in the application menu bar.
  3. Select Alt text.
  4. In the Alt text dialog, enter a description for the image or drawing, then select Enter.

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

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