Microsoft PowerPoint Accessibility
PowerPoint presentations are commonly used in training and instruction. Ensuring your PowerPoint presentation is accessible means that your entire audience is able to fully engage with, and learn from, the content you are creating. Creating accessible presentations can be done easily by implementing a few simple guidelines.
In the slide master, alt text, or hide any images or logos. This saves time later on.
Make sure each slide has a title that is unique to the content on the slide. Do not use “Slide 1,” “Slide 2,” and so forth.
- Hyperlinks are a clear and accurate description of the link destination. Avoid using “click here,” "read more," or “link.”
- Hyperlinking from an image or icon:
- Add the correct hyperlink, add a ScreenTip if necessary (for emails), add alt text (left click on the image, select Edit Alt Text. You can also select the image, go to “Picture Format” in the ribbon and select Alt Text.). Even if the image would otherwise be considered decorative, you will need to write alt text if the image is a link.
- Add a ScreenTip to email addresses. ScreenTips can be beneficial for screen reader users to know where a link is taking them. If you insert an email address in a presentation, highlight the email address, right click, edit hyperlink, select the ScreenTip tab and insert "Name Of's email."
Check out the ETS Alternative Text page
- All images including logos and icons. If the images add to the context, add correct alt text. If the image does not add to the context, mark the alt text as “decorative.” (there is a checkbox that allows you to mark as decorative)
- Example of good alt text: "Two children are playing with blocks on a carpeted floor."
- To easily add alt text in PowerPoint, right click on the image and select "edit alt text."
- If displaying a chart, graph, infographic or anything that requires a longer description to explain the content, add simple alt text to the image and then a long description. Long descriptions can be strategically placed below or beside an image.
- Long descriptions can also be added to a Word or PDF document and linked to from the presentation. (best practice, if you have more than one long description within a course/page/slide/presentation and choose the link out method, add symbolic numbers or letters to your images ie 1A, 2B, 3C, etc and use those as headings in your long description document so users can easily locate the description for the image they seek)
Correct reading/focus order of slide content is important to screen reader users. A screen reader will read the content on a slide in the order you place it in on the slide. This order needs to make sense to screen reader users.
- Using the Selection Pane (how to access selection pane on Mac, how to access Selection pane on Windows) you can go slide by slide to check Reading Order.
- The order the items will be read are from the bottom of the list up. So, arrange the items in the list with the first thing to be read at the bottom and work up.
- You can move slide items around (click and drag) to be in the correct Reading Order you want.
- Note: Sometimes moving the Reading Order around can change the look of a slide, if this happens, you can undo the move and possibly group items together.
- Select the “Review” tab and then “Check Accessibility.”
- Look for accessibility issues on each slide and correct them.