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This article is for people with visual impairments who use a screen reader program with Skype and is part of the Skype Accessibility content set. For more general help, visit Skype Support home.
Use Skype with your keyboard and a screen reader such as Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, or NVDA to chat with other Skype users via instant message (IM). The information provided in this article is for use with the latest version of Skype. For more information please go to How do I update Skype?
In this topic
Create a chat conversation
- In the Skype main window, press Ctrl+N.
- Type the person's name, address, or phone number. The search is performed while you type.
- To move to the list of results, press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear the first result. If there are multiple results, browse the list using the Down and Up arrow keys. The screen reader announces the contacts as you move.
- Depending on your results, the list may consist of your current contacts, more people who are mutual connections, for which you will hear "More people grouping." At the bottom of the list, if there are more results you will hear "More button." Press Enter to show the remaining results.
- To select a person, press Enter. The focus moves to the Type a message text input field.
Create a private conversation
You can invite another person to a private conversation with you. Messages, media files, and calls in a private conversation are encrypted.
- Private conversations can only be accessed on one device at a time.
- To keep the information you share private, private conversation content is hidden in the chat list notifications.
- In the Skype main window, press Alt+1 to move to the Chats tab, then press Shift+Tab. You will hear "New chat". Press Enter to open the New chat menu.
- To move between the list items in the list pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys.
- Press the Down arrow key until you hear "New private conversation." Press Enter.
- Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear "Search people," then press Enter to open the Search text input field and you will hear "Search."
- Type the name of the person you want to invite to a private conversation. The search is performed while you type.
- To move to the list of results, press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear the first result. If there are more results, browse the list using the Down and Up arrow keys. The screen reader announces the contacts as you move.
- To select a person, press Enter. An invitation to join the private conversation is sent to them. They must accept the invitation before you can send them private conversation messages.
Note: To switch between your Skype and private conversations with the same person, in the chat, press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear "Skype conversation" or "Private conversation", then press the Right or Left arrow key until you hear the conversation you want to switch to. Press Enter. The focus moves to the Type a message text input field.
Find messages in a conversation
You can quickly search for a message within the current conversation.
- In the chat, press Ctrl+F to open the search text input field and you hear "Find messages in current conversation."
- Type your search words and press Enter. You will hear the number of search results. The search results are ordered from newest to oldest.
- Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear the message containing the search result.
- To move to another search result, press Shift+Tab repeatedly until you hear "Previous result" or "Next result," then press Enter. Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear the message containing the search result.
React to a message
- In the chat, press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear the last message in the conversation.
- Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the message you want to react to.
Note: You can only react to messages that other people have sent to you. Reactions are not available in Private conversations.
- Press the Tab key until you hear "React to this message," and press Enter.
- Press the Tab key until you hear the reaction you want, and press Enter.
Delete a conversation
When you delete a chat, all the messages in the conversation are deleted, and the chat no longer shows in your recent chats.
Note: Deleting a conversation clears your copy of messages in a conversation and also removes the conversation from your chat list. If you start a new conversation with someone, where the conversation was previously deleted you won’t be able to see the conversation history.
- In the Skype window, press Alt+1 to move to the Chats tab.
- Press the Tab key to get to your list of chats.
- In NVDA you will hear "conversation lists grouping".
- In Narrator, if you have Favorites, you will hear "Favorites, favorite," and the name of the first result in Favorites. If not, you will hear "Chats" and the name of the first result in the Chats list.
- Use the Up and Down arrow keys to move to the conversation you want to delete.
- Press the Menu key to open the context menu, then press the Down arrow until you hear "Delete conversation." Press Enter.
- If you have both a Skype conversation and a private conversation with the same person, press the Tab key to select whether you want to delete the Skype conversation, private conversation, or both, and then press Enter.
- To confirm deleting the conversation, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Delete," and then press Enter.
Add files to a conversation
You can add files to your chat as messages. The files are stored in the conversation gallery, and you can access them in the message list or in the conversation gallery.
- In the chat, press the Tab key until you hear "Add files." Press Enter to open the Open file dialog.
- To locate and select the file you want, move in the dialog by using the Tab key and Up and Down arrow keys, and select the folders or files by pressing Enter. The selected file is added to the Type a message text input field.
Note: You can also add the file in the Gallery. To open the file dialog from the Gallery, press the Tab key until you hear "Gallery," press Enter, press the Tab key until you hear "Drop here to share," and then press Enter.
Technical support for customers with disabilities
Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.
If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.