Quip Accessibility

Quick tips

A few quick tips to get you started:

  • We recommend using Quip in a web browser, rather than the Quip native app, when navigating with assistive technology.
  • You can toggle a read-only mode that's more compatible with screen readers and other assistive technologies using Ctrl + Alt + Z on Windows, Cmd + Opt + Z on Mac.
    • We highly recommend using this mode to read and comment on documents as it is significantly more accessible than the default editing mode.
  • Alt + F6 will cycle between regions of the document, saving your location in each region when you return. This is useful for jumping from document text to a menu or the conversation, then returning to your previous reading location.
  • You can open the Keyboard Shortcuts menu using Ctrl + / on Windows, Cmd + / on Mac.

Standard layout of a Quip document

When you're looking at a document on a Quip site, the window contains three main regions: the sidebar, the top banner, and the document itself. Generally speaking, each region works like so:

  • The sidebar has links for navigating around Quip—either from document to document or between different lists of documents.
  • The banner has options to share, export, or print whatever document you currently have open.
  • The document region includes comments and conversation in addition to the document itself.

With that in mind, let's dive a little deeper into each region.


The sidebar has a collapsed mode and an expanded mode. It has the same elements in both modes, but some of the elements are accessed differently in each. There is a button that switches between the modes at the very end of the sidebar.

In both modes, the sidebar has four regions:

  • The first region has eight sitewide navigation buttons. These buttons work the same way in collapsed mode and expanded mode.
    • The first button, Search, opens a popup that searches Quip sitewide.
    • The next two buttons, Updates and Folders, are links that take you to those pages.
    • The next four buttons each toggle a panel with a useful view of what's going on in Quip. The panel is in the tab order of the page after the sidebar, and you can use the Alt + F6 shortcut to cycle to it while it's open. The four views you can open from the sidebar are:
      • Notifications
      • Recent, which shows all your recently viewed documents and chats.
      • Tasks, which shows all the incomplete tasks assigned to you in Quip.
      • Shared with Me, which shows all the documents and chats shared with you in reverse chronological order.
    • The last button, Apps & Templates, opens a popup with template documents you can use to jumpstart a Quip document.
  • The second region contains all the documents, chats, and spreadsheets you've favorited.
    • In expanded mode, your favorites are directly navigable in the sidebar.
    • In collapsed mode, your favorites are in a panel that works the same way as the panels in sitewide navigation.
  • The third region has unread chat messages and your frequent chat contacts.
    • In expanded mode, your chats are directly navigable in the sidebar.
    • In collapsed mode, your chats are in a panel that works the same way as the panels in sitewide navigation.
  • The fourth region is your account menu, where you can edit your profile, set your sitewide notification preferences, and switch Quip accounts if you have more than one. The menu is the same in expanded mode and collapsed mode. After the menu is a button that toggles between expanded and collapsed modes.

The first three regions — Site navigation, Favorites navigation, and Chat navigation — are landmark regions, so you can navigate directly to them.


The banner at the top of the page has menus and options related to the document, spreadsheet, or chat you've loaded.

  • The title bar allows you to retitle the document.
  • The Document menu (or Spreadsheet menu, for spreadsheets), includes options for sharing, exporting, and printing, as well as viewing the document's history.
  • The Edit menu has options to cut, copy, search within the document, and copy an anchor link to a specific part of the document. All the options in the Edit menu have keyboard shortcuts, which can be found in the keyboard shortcuts menu accessible via Ctrl + / on Windows or Cmd + / on Mac.
  • The View menu has options to show or hide the document outline, the table of contents, and a page count.
  • The Insert menu lets you insert Live Apps and different types of text. You can also open it from within a document by typing @.
  • The Format menu has formatting options, like bold, italics, or changing text to a list item, quote, or other text type.
  • The Folder button tells you where the document is filed in your company's organization.
  • The Favorite button allows you to favorite (and unfavorite) the document.
  • The conversation bubble opens and closes the document's conversation pane.
  • If the document isn't shared with anyone, there will be a Private button in the banner. Clicking it will open the sharing menu.
  • If the document has link-sharing turned on, there will be a Link button in the banner. Clicking it will open the link-sharing preferences menu.
  • The Share menu lets you add people to a document, or change its sharing settings.
  • And the compose button allows you to create new documents, spreadsheets, chat rooms, and folders.


The document region has two main sections. The first is the document itself, and the second is the conversation pane. Note that the document is much more accessible while in read-only mode (Ctrl + Alt + Z on Windows, Cmd + Opt + Z on a Mac).

Conversation pane
Within the conversation pane, document members can send messages to each other and talk about the document contents. The conversation pane also acts as a log of all document activity in chronological order, including edits and comments. (If you want details on the edits or comments in the conversation pane, just click “View Changes” or “View Comments” on the relevant entry.)

The conversation pane is open by default, but can be hidden or re-opened by using the conversation bubble button in the banner at the top of the page, or by using a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Alt + C on Windows, Cmd + Opt + C on a Mac).

In addition to messages in the conversation pane, the document can have comments interspersed throughout. Comments can be associated with a whole paragraph, a bullet point, or any other section of the document. They can also be associated with specifically highlighted text within a text section.

In either case, when you're in read-only mode your screen reader will indicate the presence of comments. For example, in a section with 3 comments, your screen reader will indicate “3 comments on this section” before the commented section. When you've navigated to an element with comments, you can use your screen reader's “Activate” functionality to open a dialog with the comments, the same way you would press a button. You can read the comments, “like” comments other people have written, and reply with your own comments.

Useful keyboard shortcuts

Action Windows Shortcut Mac Shortcut
Open keyboard shortcuts dialog Ctrl + / Cmd + /
Toggle read-only mode Ctrl + Alt + Z Cmd + Opt + Z
Jump to next region Alt + F6 Alt + F6
Jump to previous region Shift + Alt + F6 Shift + Alt + F6
Toggle sidebar Ctrl + Alt + V Cmd + Opt + V
Toggle conversation pane Ctrl + Alt + C Cmd + Opt + C
Open comments on a line or section Shift + Ctrl + C Shift + Cmd + C

Check out Quip's keyboard shortcuts documentation or open the keyboard shortcuts dialog (Ctrl + / on Windows or Cmd + / on a Mac) for a full list of keyboard shortcuts.

Import and export

Quip supports importing and exporting documents from other formats, including Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Exporting documents
The option to export a document can be found in the Document menu in the banner at the top of the page. You can get there using Alt + F6 or landmark navigation to jump to the top banner, open the Documents menu, arrow down to Export, and select their format in the desired submenu. A file of the type you choose will begin downloading immediately, and it'll have the same name as your Quip document.

Importing documents
The option to import a document is in the compose menu, which is the “New...” button in the Banner at the top of the page. The “Upload or Import” option in that menu opens a dialog with options to upload a file from your computer or open a document from other sources, including Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, and Box.

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