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Creating an Accessible PowerPoint Presentation


WebAIM: PowerPoint Accessibility: Detailed directions and screenshots provided

Microsoft Office: Creating accessible PowerPoint Presentations

Microsoft Office 2010 and later includes an Accessibility Checker

Authoring Techniques for Accessible Office Documents

Quick Tips:

Watch a 5 minute video describing and showing some of the quick tips listed below.

  1. Use of the PowerPoint slide layout templates is the most significant thing you can do to ensure your content is accessible
    • Don’t use Textboxes: Presentation designers often use “Insert Textbox” to create a unique slide layout.  This process makes the content contained in the textbox inaccessible to many users.
  2. Add alternate text to images and objects, this includes SmartArt graphics
  3. Title all slides with a unique name
  4. Hyperlink text should be easy to understand
    • Link text that describes the link
    • Include the link for those who are viewing a printed version of the presentation
  5. Microsoft Office 2010 and later include an “Accessibility Checker” under the File Menu -> “Check for Issues” button, choose “Check Accessibility”
  6. Handouts:  Think about extracting the text and creating an outline of your presentation rather than printing the slides (it saves paper!)

A note about PowerPoint for Mac:  All versions of PowerPoint for Mac through 2008 have serious accessibility limitations. For example, you cannot give images appropriate alternative text or export the presentation as an accessible PDF file.