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Move more efficiently through the ribbon using your keyboard

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Hi, Microsoft 365 Insiders! We are Doug Geoffray and Shireen Salma from the Accessibility team, and we are thrilled to share the new and improved keyboarding experience when moving through the ribbon in your favorite desktop apps.

Move more efficiently through the ribbon using your keyboard

Using your keyboard to move through the ribbon in apps such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can be quite inefficient, inconsistent, and, at times, frustrating. For example, when you select Insert > Shapes and open the Shapes gallery, you are presented with over 100 options that can only be moved through using arrows.

What has changed

To help you quickly reach the desired group on a given ribbon tab, we have added tab stops for each group of tools, such as Recently Used Shapes, Lines, and Arrows in the Shapes gallery. When you are in the group you want, use the arrows to locate the desired tool.

In addition, we are introducing an index on each group to help people who use screen readers to better understand how many groups are available and which group is in focus. For example, when moving through the Shapes gallery, you would hear “Recently Used Shapes, 1 of 8” indicating that there are 8 groups in this gallery, of which “Recently Used Shapes” is the first one.

Lastly, we have improved the keyboard interaction to be consistent and efficient. Below is the list of keyboard shortcuts and corresponding actions.

Keyboard Input Action
Tab Navigates quickly between groups in a gallery control and takes you to first item of the group.
Shift + Tab Navigates to the last item in the previous group.
Left Arrow/Right Arrow Navigates through the item within a group in grid fashion.
Up Arrow/Down Arrow Moves through list items up/down the same column in a group. When reaching the end of a column, moves to the first/last button in the next/previous group.
Home/End Navigates to the first or last item in the group.


This feature is available to Insiders running Version 2304 (Build 16318.10000) or later.

Don’t have it yet? It’s probably us, not you.

Features are released over some time to ensure things are working smoothly. We highlight features that you may not have because they’re slowly releasing to larger numbers of Insiders. Sometimes we remove elements to further improve them based on your feedback. Though this is rare, we also reserve the option to pull a feature entirely out of the product, even if you, as an Insider, have had the opportunity to try it.


We want to hear from you! Please share your feedback with us right from the app by selecting Help > Feedback.