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Reading problems in Microsoft Word when opening a document.

Reading problems in Microsoft Word when opening a document.

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When opening a document (usually from someone else) either via network or email attachment you may experience problems with reading the document.

Applies to

  • JAWS
  • Fusion


There can be two sets of problems that may be either preventing or making reading difficult with JAWS.

Microsoft Word protected view

Protected view is a security feature introduced to protect customers from known security issues with certain types of older Word document formats. When this is turned on or when launching a document received externally (for example from an attachment) the document is held in a non-editing state. This will prevent JAWS reading because there is no editing cursor for JAWS to track. You can fix this problem by enabling editing.

Microsoft Word document view/zoom settings

Although it is possible for a user to set a notional default view for Microsoft Word this setting can be disrupted by a document from a third party where it has been saved with different view settings. If you experience problems reading the document eg. blank lines being spoken when there clearly should be text you can take the following actions that may help to correct the issue.

Method 1: Set view to print layout

Press the following keys in sequence: Alt, W. P

Method 2: Set document zoom to 100 percent

Press the following keys in sequence: Alt, W, Q and either press number 1 one or use cursor keys to go to 100 percent, then press ENTER.

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