PowerPoint templates – Best practices for making PowerPoint presentations accessible
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LinkedIn Learning. Learn the basics Get going quickly and easily with Microsoft video training. Quick Starts Get up to speed in no time with these popular guides. PowerPoint for PC in Microsoft automatically generates alt texts for photos, stock images, and the PowerPoint icons by using intelligent services in the cloud. Always check the autogenerated alt texts to make sure they convey the right message.
If necessary, edit the text. For charts, SmartArt, screenshots, or shapes, you need to add the alt texts manually. For the step-by-step instructions on how to add or edit alt text, go to Add alternative text to a shape, picture, chart, SmartArt graphic, or other object and Video: Improve image accessibility in PowerPoint.
In the Alt Text pane, spelling errors are marked with a red squiggly line under the word. To correct the spelling, right-click the word and select from the suggested alternatives.
In the Alt Text pane, you can also select Generate a description for me to have Microsoft cloud-powered intelligent services create a description for you. You see the result in the alt text field. Remember to delete any comments PowerPoint added there, for example, “Description automatically generated.
Note: For audio and video content, in addition to alt text, include closed captioning for people who are deaf or have limited hearing. People who use screen readers sometimes scan a list of links.
Links should convey clear and accurate information about the destination. For example, avoid using link texts such as “Click here,” “See this page,” Go here,” or “Learn more. You can also add ScreenTips that appear when your cursor hovers over text or images that include a hyperlink.
For example, this hyperlink text matches the title on the destination page: Create more with Microsoft templates. For the step-by-step instructions on how to create hyperlinks and ScreenTips, go to Add a hyperlink to a slide. An accessible font doesn’t exclude or slow down the reading speed of anyone reading a slide, including people with low vision or reading disability or people who are blind.
The right font improves the legibility and readability of the text in the presentation. For the step-by-step instructions on how to change fonts in PowerPoint go to Change the fonts in a presentation or Change the default font in PowerPoint.
To reduce the reading load, select familiar sans serif fonts such as Arial or Calibri. Avoid using all capital letters and excessive italics or underlines. A person with a vision disability might miss out on the meaning conveyed by particular colors. For headings, consider adding bold or using a larger font. The text in your presentation should be readable in a high contrast mode. For example, use bright colors or high-contrast color schemes on opposite ends of the color spectrum.
White and black schemes make it easier for people who are colorblind to distinguish text and shapes. Use the pre-designed Office Themes to make sure that your slide design is accessible. For instructions, go to Use an accessible presentation template or Use built-in slide designs for inclusive reading order, colors, and more.
Use the Accessibility Checker to analyze the presentation and find insufficient color contrast. It finds insufficient color contrast in text with or without highlights or hyperlinks in shapes, tables, or SmartArt with solid opaque colors.
It does not find insufficient color contrast in other cases such as text in a transparent text box or placeholder on top of the slide background, or color contrast issues in non-textual content. PowerPoint supports the playback of video with multiple audio tracks. It also supports closed captions and subtitles that are embedded in video files. Currently, only PowerPoint for Windows supports insertion and playback of closed captions or subtitles that are stored in files separate from the video.
For all other editions of PowerPoint such as PowerPoint for macOS or the mobile editions , closed captions or subtitles must be encoded into the video before they are inserted into PowerPoint. Supported video formats for captions and subtitles vary depending on the operating system that you’re using. Each operating system has settings to adjust how the closed captions or subtitles are displayed. For more information, see Closed Caption file types supported by PowerPoint.
Closed captions, subtitles, and alternative audio tracks are not preserved when you use the Compress Media or Optimize Media Compatibility features. Also, when turning your presentation into a video , closed captions, subtitles, or alternative audio tracks in the embedded videos are not included in the video that is saved. When you use the Save Media as command on a selected video, closed captions, subtitles, and multiple audio tracks embedded in the video are preserved in the video file that is saved.
Videos include an audio track with video descriptions, if needed, for users who are blind or have low vision. Videos that include dialogue also include closed captions, in-band closed captions, open captions, or subtitles in a supported format for users that are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
For more information, refer to Add closed captions or subtitles to media in PowerPoint. You can save your presentation in a format that can be easily read by a screen reader or be ported to a Braille reader.
Before converting a presentation into another format, make sure you run the Accessibility Checker and fix all reported issues. When your presentation is ready and you’ve run the Accessibility Checker to make sure it is inclusive, you can try navigating the slides using a screen reader, for example, Narrator. Narrator comes with Windows, so there’s no need to install anything. This is one additional way to spot issues in the navigation order, for example.
Press the Tab key to navigate the elements within the slide and fix the navigation order if needed. To move the focus away from the slide content, press Esc or F6. Rules for the Accessibility Checker. Everything you need to know to write effective alt text. Use the Accessibility Reminder to notify authors of accessibility issues. Make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities. Make your Excel documents accessible to people with disabilities. Make your Outlook email accessible to people with disabilities.
Closed Caption file types supported by PowerPoint. If you must use an image with text in it, repeat that text in the presentation. In the alternative text, briefly describe the image and mention the existence of the text and its intent. Add alt text to visuals in Microsoft Add alt text to visuals in Office When someone who can see reads a slide, they usually read things, such as text or a picture, in the order the elements appear on the slide.
In contrast, a screen reader reads the elements of a slide in the order they were added to the slide, which might be very different from the order in which things appear.
To make sure everyone reads the contents in the order you intend, it’s important to check the reading order. PowerPoint contains built-in slide layouts that you can apply to any slide. When you use them with a new slide, these layouts automatically make sure that the reading order works for everyone. Use built-in slide designs for inclusive reading order.
To determine whether hyperlink text makes sense as standalone information and whether it gives readers accurate information about the destination target, visually scan the slides in your presentation. For example, instead of linking to the text Click here , include the full title of the destination page. You can even use the URL of the page if it’s short and descriptive, for example, www. Add hyperlink text and ScreenTips. Visually scan the slides in your presentation.
Use an accessible slide design. Use strong contrast between text and background, so people with low vision can see and use the content. Use dark text on a white or off-white background, or reverse it and use white text on a dark background.
White and black schemes also make it easier for people who are colorblind to distinguish text and shapes. Use unique slide titles. They often see text merge or distort. For people who have dyslexia or have low vision, reduce the reading load. For example, they might benefit from familiar sans serif fonts, such as Arial or Calibri. Include ample white space between sentences and paragraphs.
Format text for accessibility. Video description makes video more accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The following procedures describe how to add alt text to visuals in your PowerPoint presentations in Microsoft Add alt text to images.
Add alt text to shapes. Add alt text to SmartArt graphics. Add alt text to charts. Make visuals decorative. For audio and video content, in addition to alt text, include closed captioning for people who are deaf or have limited hearing. To enable right-click on your Mac, make sure that the Secondary click option is selected in System Preferences.
PowerPoint does not automatically generate alt texts for images. If you want to add an image that is an icon, screenshot, or other image that is not a photograph, you need to add the alt texts manually.
Tip: To spell check and correct a word you typed, just right-click the word and select from the suggested alternatives. Tip: You have to right-click somewhere inside the frame that surrounds the entire shape, not inside one of its parts. Tip: You have to right-click somewhere inside the frame that surrounds the entire SmartArt graphic, not inside one of its parts.
Select a SmartArt graphic. Type sentences to describe the SmartArt graphic and its context to someone who cannot see it. Tip: You have to right-click somewhere inside the frame that surrounds the entire chart, not inside one of its parts.
Select Edit Alt Text The Alt Text pane opens on the right side of the slide. If your presentation has visuals that are purely decorative, you can mark them as such without needing to write any alt text. When a screen reader finds such an image, it simply announces they are decorative, so the user knows they are not missing any information. Select a visual. Select the Mark as decorative check box.
The text entry field becomes grayed out. The following procedures describe how to add alt text to visuals in your PowerPoint presentations in Office To make your presentations accessible to wider audiences, add alt texts to the images in your slides.
PowerPoint does not automatically generate alt texts. Tip: You can also select Generate a description for me to have Microsoft’s cloud-powered intelligent services create a description for you. This takes a moment, after which you see the result in the text entry field. Remember to delete any comments PowerPoint added there, for example, “Description generated with high confidence.
Tip: Include the most important information in the first line, and be as concise as possible. Use the following procedure to add alt text to shapes, including shapes within a SmartArt graphic. The following procedures describe how to make the hyperlinks, text, and tables in your PowerPoint presentations accessible. Select Hyperlink. The text you selected displays in the Text to Display box. This is the hyperlink text. For example, this hyperlink text matches the title on the destination page: Templates and Themes for Office Online.
Use one of the included accessible templates to make sure that your slide design, colors, contrast, and fonts are accessible for all audiences. In the Search all templates text field, type accessible templates and press Return. On the Table Design tab, select the Header Row check box. See Title a slide for related information.
To restore all placeholders for the selected slide, on the Home tab, select Reset. Point the mouse at the border of the Title placeholder box so that the pointer becomes a four-headed move pointer. Use the Selection Pane to set the order in which the screen readers read the slide contents. When the screen reader reads this slide, it reads the objects in the reverse of the order they are listed in the Selection Pane.
In the Selection Pane , to change the reading order, drag and drop items to the new location. PowerPoint has built-in slide designs that contain placeholders for text, videos, pictures, and more. To make sure that your slides are accessible, the built-in layouts are designed so that the reading order is the same for people who see and people who use technology such as screen readers.
In the thumbnail pane, locate the place where you want to add the new slide, and then right-click. On the Design tab, expand the themes gallery, and select the slide layout that you want.
PowerPoint automatically applies this layout to the new slide. Closed captions or subtitles must be encoded into the video before it is inserted into PowerPoint.
PowerPoint does not support closed captions or subtitles that are stored in a separate file from the video file. Videos include an audio track with video descriptions, if needed, for users that are blind or visually impaired. Videos that include dialogue also include closed captions, in-band closed captions, open captions, or subtitles in a supported format for users that are deaf or hard of hearing. In the alt text, briefly describe the image and mention the existence of the text and its intent.
Add alt text to images, tables, and shapes. The text in your presentations should be readable in High Contrast mode so that everyone, including people with visual disabilities, can see it well. Avoid using all capital letters, and excessive italics or underlines. To open the related tab, for example, the Picture tab, tap the Show Ribbon button.
Tap Alt Text and type a description for the element. For example, describe the content of the image. If your visuals are purely decorative and add visual interest but aren’t informative, you can mark them as such without needing to write any alt text.
Examples of objects that should be marked as decorative are stylistic borders. To open the related tab, for example, the Picture tab, select the Show Ribbon button. Select the Mark as decorative toggle button, and then select Done. Use one of the included slide Themes to make sure that your slide design is accessible. Most of the themes are designed for accessible colors, contrast, and fonts. To open the Home tab, tap the Show Ribbon button.
To open the Table tab, tap the Show Ribbon button. In alt text, briefly describe the image and mention the existence of the text and its intent. Add alt text to tables. The following procedures describe how to add alt text to visuals and tables in your PowerPoint presentations.
To open the Picture tab, tap the Show Commands button. To open the Shape tab, tap the Show Commands button. To open the Table tab, tap the Show Commands button. To open the formatting menu for the visual, tap the Show Commands button.
To open the Home tab, tap the Show Commands button. Each operating system has settings you can use to adjust how the closed captions or subtitles are displayed. The following table includes key best practices for creating PowerPoint for the web presentations that are accessible to people with disabilities. Visual content includes pictures, SmartArt graphics, shapes, groups, embedded objects, and videos.
Add alt text to shapes or embedded videos. Add hyperlink text. Change the text of a hyperlink. Circle or use animation to highlight information, rather than relying on laser pointers or color. Add shapes if color is used to indicate status. The text in your presentations should be readable so that everyone, including people with visual disabilities, can see it well.
Use the Accessibility Checker to find slides that don’t have titles. People who use screen readers and other assistive technology hear slide text, shapes, and content read back in a specific order.
Use a logical reading order. To ensure that tables don’t contain split cells, merged cells, or nested tables use the Accessibility Checker. Note: The Accessibility Checker inspects your presentation for all issues that can be fixed in the browser. For a complete inspection, open your presentation in the desktop app and use the desktop Accessibility Checker for Windows or Mac.
The following procedures describe how to add alt text to images and tables in your PowerPoint for the web presentations. The following procedures describe how to make the hyperlinks and tables in your PowerPoint for the web presentations accessible. Select the text to which you want to add the hyperlink, right-click, and select Link. The text you selected displays in the Display text box.
In the Display text box, edit the text you want to appear for the hyperlink. The following procedures describe how to make the slides in your PowerPoint for the web presentations accessible. Use one of the included accessible themes and templates to make sure that your slide design, colors, contrast, and fonts are accessible for all audiences. In your browser, go to Accessible PowerPoint template sampler.
On the Accessible PowerPoint template page, select Download. The template sampler is downloaded to your device. Open PowerPoint for the web in your browser, open the selected design, and create your presentation. In the Slide Layout dialog box, select a slide layout that includes title placeholders, and then select Change Layout. The new layout is applied to the slides. In the PowerPoint desktop version, you can use the Selection pane to turn visibility on or off for titles and other objects on a slide.
Improve accessibility with the Accessibility Checker. Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language.
Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region. If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.
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