Discover a new way to read documents with Immersive Reader in Microsoft Office 365

Preview of immersive reader in Microsoft Word desktop app.
Immersive reader in Microsoft Word desktop app.

What is Immersive Reader

Immersive reader is a tool that enhances the readability and accessibility of Microsoft documents.

When immersive reader is enabled, the text is displayed in a large font on a plain background with no additional distractions on the screen. Users can customise the way the text is shown and change the font, size and style, background colour and adjust the spacing between letters and lines.

The features include:

  • Text-to-speech – users are able to set the narrating voice and its speed, as well as have the spoken word highlighted on screen.
  • Syllables – words are broken down into syllables.
  • Line focus – show a limited number of lines on a page.
  • Grammar tools – highlight nouns, verbs and adjectives.
  • Pronunciation tool.
  • Picture dictionary.
  • Translate words or entire text into a number of languages

Number of immersive reader functions available vary depending on whether the document is accessed via the desktop app or online. From our experience, best immersive reader functionality is available using Microsoft Office 365 online.

Watch the video below for an in-depth overview of the Immersive reader

Benefits of using the Immersive Reader

Improves comprehension

Tools that read text out loud, break it into syllables, and increase spacing between lines and letters.

Encourages independent reading

A teaching aid that helps teachers support students with different abilities.

Simple to use

Test drive Immersive Reader with your own content.

Available for free

Immersive reader is available to use for free on the following platforms:

  • Word (Online, Desktop and Mac, iPad and iPhone app)
  • Outlook (Online and Desktop)
  • OneNote (Online, Universal App, Mac and iPad, free add-in in Desktop)
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Edge browser
  • Office Lens (iPhone and iPad)

LIPA staff and students can access the Immersive Reader in the supported apps using Microsoft Office 365.

Where do I find the Immersive Reader?

Immersive Reader can be found in the supported Microsoft Office 365 apps (see list above) and can be accessed in a variety of ways.

For example, in Word document preview mode you will see it at the top right of the page:

Immersive reader button highlighted at the top right of the previewing page in Microsoft Word Online
Immersive reader button highlighted at the top right of the preview page in Microsoft Word Online

In Word editing mode you will find it in ‘View’ tab at the top menu:

Immersive reader button highlighted in View tab in Microsoft Word Online
Immersive reader button highlighted in View tab in Microsoft Word Online

Guidance adapted from Microsoft. More information is available here.

Last updated: 21/5/2020

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