Making Accessible PowerPoint Slides

People are gradually getting the hang of putting alt text for their images in Powerpoint slides, but there is more to do. Sheri Byrne-Haber provides advice on making accessible PowerPoint slides by using the inbuilt accessibility checker. Some of her advice is reproduced below the screenshot of the accessibility checker. 

The screenshot below shows an example of the Accessibility checker tab in PPT

Screenshot of PPT slide showing accessibility tab for making accessible powerpoint slides.
Alt text is really important if the slide deck is being shared either in PowerPoint or saved as a PDF. It allows screen readers to access the picture descriptions. PowerPoint has a handy accessibility checker within the Review tab. It picks up any images without descriptions and a few other things.

Some presenters use only picture slides and in this case it’s essential to provide alt text descriptions. Providing the text of the speech in the notes section increases accessibility. The notes section is also the best place to put long descriptions rather than in alt-text. 

Use the master template for repeated images such as company logos. This hides the information from the screen reader so it doesn’t have to swipe through every time.  Graphics marked as decorative in the alt text box will allow screen readers will ignore them. 

Captioning is essential for videos, but people need to have choice in whether to use it or not. Not all videos need described audio, but first running the video with eyes closed will give an indication. Byrne-Haber’s article has many other useful tips. 

Accessibility Toolbar