Using Immersive Reader in Microsoft Word

Aug 11, 2022 | Word Hints and Tips

It is important that anything created in Microsoft Word is accessible to everyone. If you have trouble reading and editing your Word documents then Immersive Reader may be just what you need.  There are many options you can adjust depending on what disability you have such as the spacing, colour, size of the text or even getting the text read aloud if required.

How to use immersive reader

  1. From the View Tab select Immersive Reader 
Immersive reader icon

2. The screen will open in full screen size 
3. The immersive reader ribbon will appear allowing adjustments to be made related to how the immersive reader displays or reads the information in the document 

The following options are available: 

Immersive reader ribbon in Microsoft Word

Column width – changes the line length to improve focus and comprehension.  Options available are very narrow, narrow, moderate and wide 

Page Colour – reduces eye strain by changing the colour of the page.  Some preset options are available but any colour from the normal colour palette can be used 

Line focus – Removes distractions by reducing the number of lines visible at any time.  Options available are none, 1, 3 or 5 

Text spacing – increases the spacing between words, characters and lines 

Syllables – shows the breaks between syllables to help pronunciation 

Read Aloud – Reads the document out loud with it’s own set of options to adjust 

Close Immersive reader – closes the immersive reader pane 

Read Aloud 

Read aloud has its own mini toolbar that can control how read aloud works 

Read Aloud in Microsoft Immersive Reader

Previous – jumps to the previous paragraph 

Pause – pauses the reading.  If paused the option changes to Play 

Next – jumps to the next paragraph 

Settings – allows reading speed to be adjusted or the voice to be changed from female to male 

Stop – stops Read Aloud, remaining in the Immersive Reader to allow other adjustments to be made 

NOTE: The read aloud option can be accessed at any time, whether you are in the immersive reader or not, by right clicking and choosing the option Read Aloud 

Keyboard Shortcuts for Read Aloud 

Who doesn’t love a great keyboard shortcut?  Here are some really useful ones specifically for use with Read Aloud. 

Ctrl + Alt + Space – Start or exit Read Aloud 

Ctrl + Space  – Pause or play Read Aloud 

Alt + Right  – Speed up reading speed 

Alt + Left  – Slow down reading speed 

Ctrl + Right  – Read the previous paragraph 

Ctrl + Left  – Read the next paragraph 

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about how to use the Immersive Reader in Microsoft Word, there’s some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft Word? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft Word Courses I run.