Use Hangouts Chat with accessibility features
You can use Hangouts Chat with a screen reader or keyboard shortcuts. For example, you can send a direct message, create or join rooms, or reply to a message or conversation.
Use a screen reader
On your computer, Chat works best with the following browsers and screen readers:
- ChromeVox—You don't need to do any additional setup to use Google Chat with ChromeVox on Chrome OS.
- NVDA—Mozilla® Firefox® is the recommended browser. For the best experience, NVDA should be in focus mode.
- JAWS—Firefox is the recommended browser, along with the latest version of JAWS. For the best experience, JAWS should be in forms mode or the virtual cursor should be disabled.
- VoiceOver—Chrome Browser is recommended. If you use Apple® Safari® instead of Chrome, go to the advanced settings and turn on Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage. For the best experience, turn off the VoiceOver Quick Nav feature.
See the publishers’ documentation for the most up-to-date details and instructions, including shortcuts, for the various recommended screen readers.
Use Chat keyboard shortcuts
To see a full list of keyboard shortcuts in Chat, press ? (Shift+/).
Navigate around Chat
- Use the Up and Down arrows until the direct message (DM) or room that you want is highlighted and press Enter to open it.
- By default, the focus is on the message or conversation box. To read messages in a DM or room, press Esc to exit the box and then use the Up arrow to go through the messages.
- Rooms have 2 levels:
- Level 1 is the list of conversations.
- Level 2 is messages within a conversation. Use the Up and Down arrows to move through the level and the Left and Right arrows to change the level.
Send a direct message
- For Chrome OS and Microsoft® Windows®, press Ctrl+P. For Apple® macOS®, press ⌘+P.
- Enter the username or use the Up and Down arrows to move through the suggestions list and press Enter.
- Enter the message and press Enter or Tab until Send is highlighted and then press Enter.
Create or find a room
- For Chrome OS and Windows, press Ctrl+O. For macOS, press ⌘+O.
- If you need to create a new room, enter the name and press Enter.
- If you need to find and join an existing room, use the Up and Down arrows to move through the list of rooms, press Tab to highlight + or Open, and then press Enter.
Start a new conversation or message within a room
- For Chrome OS and Windows, press Ctrl+S. For macOS, press ⌘+S.
- A new conversation or message box opens.
- Enter your message and press Enter.