JAWS or NVDA

Use JAWS or NVDA screen readers with Google Drive on the web.

Blind and visually impaired users can use Google Drive on the web with JAWS and NVDA on the Windows platform. Here are some of the ways that you can use Google Drive with your screen reader:

  • Navigate Google Drive
  • Download a doc, file, or folder
  • Upload a doc, file, or folder
  • Share a doc, file, or folder
  • Organize files into folders
For the best experience, try the latest version of JAWS in your Firefox browser.

Navigate Google Drive

You can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate Google Drive on the web. To use shortcuts, press the screen reader “pass through” command or turn off the virtual cursor. Here's a list of a few more things that you can do:

  • To browse your list of documents, jump between check boxes.
  • To select a doc, file, or folder, mark the check box next to it (Note: JAWS doesn’t indicate a box is checked).
  • To go to various sections of the page, use regular navigation keys.

Download a doc, file, or folder

Steps to download a doc, file, or folder from Google Drive on the web:

  1. Go to http://drive.google.com
  2. Find the doc, file, or folder you want to download and check the box next to it by pressing the space bar. (Note: JAWS doesn’t indicate a box is checked.)
  3. Navigate to the More dropdown menu and press the space bar to expand it. (Note: More only shows if you've selected something.)
  4. Press the Down arrow until you locate the "Download" menu selection. Then, press Enter.
  5. Press Tab to navigate to the file format. You'll hear "Microsoft Word List box 1 of 7."
  6. Press the Up and Down arrows to pick the format of the item you want to download. Then, press Enter.
  7. Press Tab to go to the Download button.
  8. Press Enter to start the download.

Upload a doc, file, or folder

  1. Go to http://drive.google.com
  2. Navigate to the Upload menu and open it.
  3. Press the Down arrow and select either the "Files" or "Folder" menu selection.
  4. When the file selector dialog opens, use JAWS or NVDA to navigate it.
  5. Locate the doc, file, or folder you'd like to upload. Then, press Enter.
  6. In the "Upload settings" dialog that opens, locate the Start upload button and press Enter.
  7. You should receive a confirmation from your screen reader after your document has finished uploading. To open the uploaded item, navigate to it and then press Enter.

Share a doc, file, or folder

Share from Google Drive

  1. Go to http://drive.google.com
  2. Find the doc, file, or folder you want to share and check the box next to it by pressing the space bar (Note: JAWS doesn't indicate a box is checked.)
  3. Navigate to and select the Share button. The visibility option for your doc, file, or folder should be set to "Private" by default. (Note: If you're working in Google Apps, the default setting will be your domain's default sharing setting.)
  4. Navigate to "Add people: Choose from contacts." You can either manually type in the email addresses of people with whom you want to share the item or choose from your list of contacts. To manually enter email addresses, start typing and you'll get a list of matches and can choose from this list. To select people from your contacts, select the "Choose from contacts" link and do the following:
    1. Navigate through your list of contacts and press Enter either on a person's name or their email address.
    2. Navigate to and select the Done button.
  5. If you'd like to enter a message to the people with whom you're sharing the item, navigate to the "Add message" link and press Enter.
  6. Navigate to the Share & save button. Then, press Enter to send your sharing invitations.

Visibility options

There are three visibility options for docs, files, and folders:

  • Private: Only people explicitly granted permission can access the item.
  • Anyone with the link: Anyone who has the link can access the item.
  • Public on the web: Anyone on the Internet can find and access the item.

If you select "Anyone with the link" or "Public on the web," you'll also have the option to check a box allowing anyone to edit the item. Leave this box unchecked if you only want people to have view-access.

  1. To change the visibility option of a doc, file, or folder, press Tab to locate the "Change" link in the sharing dialog. Then, press Enter.
  2. Press Tab to locate each visibility option. Select the radio button of the visibility option you want for an item. (Note: Your screen reader won't read the labels for these radio buttons. They're listed in the following order: "Public on the web," "Anyone with the link," and "Private.")

Access levels

Editors of your doc, file, or folder can change its access levels. This includes changing the visibility options as well as adding or removing collaborators. Here are the steps to disallow editors from changing an item's access levels:

  1. Locate the second "Change" link in the sharing dialog. Then, press Enter.
  2. Select the "Only owner can change the permissions" radio button. Then, press Save.

Organize files in to folders

  1. Go to http://drive.google.com
  2. Find the doc, file, or folder you want to organize in to folders. Check the boxes next to them by pressing the space bar.
  3. Navigate either to the Organize button or the More dropdown menu and expand it.
  4. If you choose the More dropdown menu, use the Down arrow until you locate the"Organize" menu selection. Then, press Enter.
  5. Select the folder to which ;you want to add an item. To remove something from a folder, deselect that folder.
  6. Navigate to the Apply changes button. Then, press Enter.