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Use Google Groups with a screen reader

Google Groups works with several screen readers:

  • ChromeVox on Chrome OS
  • NVDA or JAWS on Windows
  • VoiceOver on Mac

Google Groups uses ARIA labels and headings to allow for easier screen reader navigation. You can navigate through the application using tabs or your standard screen reader keystrokes.

When you first open Google Groups, the focus is in the main content section, where you can browse and read topics. The application contains the following parts:

  • Google Groups buttons and search: This area lets you search your groups, change your settings, or take action on the page content, such as creating a new group or a new topic.
  • Navigation tree: Here you can select where you'd like to go, such as "Home," "My groups," or "Starred." You can use Tab and Shift + Tab or your screen reader's "next" and "previous" shortcuts to go to the next or previous headings, and use the up and down arrow keys to navigate within a section. On a section heading, the right arrow key expands the section, and the left arrow key collapses it. When you reach the navigation tree, your screen reader announces "Navigation Google Groups menu bar."
  • Main content section, where you can read or post topics. When you're in a forum view, you can use your screen reader's "go to list" shortcut to focus the list of topics. From there, use the Groups shortcuts j and k to select the next and previous topics, or use Tab and Shift + Tab to move in smaller steps.
  • Google bar: The Google bar provides links related to your Google Account, such as other Google applications, account notifications, and the link to sign out of your account.

In addition to your screen reader navigation keys, Google Groups keyboard shortcuts enable you to move quickly through the interface. For example, here are a few useful shortcuts:

  • Press o to open a topic, expand, or collapse a post.
  • Press c to start a new topic.
  • Press a to reply to a post.
  • Press j or k to select the next and previous topics in a forum.

Note: If you're using a screen reader with different modes, such as NVDA or JAWS, you'll need to be in focus mode (for NVDA) or turn off the virtual cursor (for JAWS) in order to use these single-letter keyboard shortcuts.

To open a list of all Google Groups keyboard shortcuts at any time, press the question mark (?) key. To close the list of shortcuts, press the question mark again, or press Escape. You can also view a list of keyboard shortcuts in the Help Center.

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