Screen Reader Guide to Paypal Invoices

Screen Reader Guide to Paypal Invoices

This guide should work with both JAWS and NVDA. It will be easier to follow the instructions here if you are already familiar with various features of your screen reader, such as single letter navigation for headings, links, tables, etc, as well as how to enter and exit forms mode. Covering the instructions for enabling these features for each screen reader is beyond the scope of this guide, and this guide will assume that you already possess such knowledge.

First, you must be logged into PayPal. If you are not already logged in, on the PayPal home page, click on “Log In” and enter your username and password in their respective fields and confirm.

Next, click on “Send and Request” You will then be placed in a menu containing the options for sending money. Since we want to request instead, find the “Request” link above that.

Creating an invoice is a subset of the “Request” menu. Scroll past the buttons containing your contact list until you see a “Create an Invoice” link and click on that.

This invoice is essentially a number of tables. You’ll first see the “Preview” and “Send” options, which will show that you are at the beginning of the invoice. Click on “More Options” here, and select “Send via PayPal.” In JAWS, this is the first “unlabelled button”.

Type in the name or email address of the intended recipient. You will also be given the option to add multiple recipients here. From this point, scroll up to find a number of important options.

First, from the “Create Invoice” heading, and “Send” and “Preview” buttons, you’ll have the ability to add a custom logo and business information, a pre-filled invoice number, and date options pre-filled with the current date. You have the option to label the invoice “Due on Receipt”, “Due on a Specified Date” (which you can then enter mm/dd/yyyy), or select a certain number of days after the current date. For most invoices, this can be left with the default options after the email address is entered.

Keep going past the various email addresses to the “Customise” heading.


The first important item here is the currency selection. Click on the form field under the currency selection. To change the currency, leave forms mode and scroll up until you see the one you require – for example, “AUD, Australian Dollars” – and press enter on it. You may unfortunately need to do this several times, as in several instances, the correct selection was not saved. Confirm that the correct currency is selected before proceeding. NVDA has been significantly more likely to consistently save the correct currency.

From here, jump to the first table. This is the table in which to enter all of the items the invoice contains. Each row of the table contains an edit field. Enter each item name, quantity, price, tax, and (optionally) the item description in their specified text fields. Enter prices such that there are two decimals for the cent amount, so 10.00, 1.00, 8.05, etc. Note that the tax field can be left blank if no taxes are to be collected.

Once you are finished adding items, exit forms mode and scroll to the next table. This table contains a subtotal, which updates automatically based on the prices you entered above, as well as the option to add a discount either using a specific amount or a combo box which gives you several common percentages, the option to add a shipping cost and, finally, a total based on the information provided. This total is again automatically calculated for you based on the information you entered.

Below this table, several links give the option to allow the recipient to add a tip, add a note to the recipient, the ability to write your own terms of service for the recipient, and the option to attach a memo for yourself. All of these can be left blank if desired.

Finally, you have another version of the “Preview” and “Send” options, so that you can preview/send from either the beginning or end of the invoice.

Previewing the Invoice

After clicking on “Preview,” you will be presented with a screen reader navigable web page showing the invoice. This allows you to verify that all information is correct before sending. If it is, click on “Edit” to return to the “Create Invoice” screen and make any changes as desired. Click on send when you are satisfied with the invoice. If you have an email address associated with your PayPal account, you will receive an email confirming that the invoice was sent, as well as one when the recipient has paid it.

Accepting your money

The email will contain a link called “Clicking Here,” in the paragraph that reads, “To complete this payment, you must accept or deny it within 30 days by clicking here.” Click that link and you will be taken to a PayPal page to review the transaction. You will then be presented with a number of radio buttons which give you the option to convert the money into your currency and accept the payment, start a new balance in the new currency, or refuse and return the payment. Click on the first one after reviewing what the conversion will be, and then click accept. The money will then be in your PayPal account. It is then possible to get a PayPal credit card, transfer the money to a bank account, or use the money in the numerous sites across the web which accept payments through PayPal.