- Include alternative text with all non-text elements (visuals, charts, tables, etc.).
- Make sure slide contents can be read in the order that you intend.
- If designing a new slide, use the built-in slide layout.
- Add meaningful hyperlink text and ScreenTips.
- Ensure that color is not the only means of conveying information.
- Use sufficient contrast for text and background colors.
- Give every slide a unique title.
- Use a simple table structure, and specify column header information.
- Use a larger font size (18pt or larger), sans serif fonts, and sufficient white space.
- Make videos accessible to visually impaired and hearing-impaired users.
What do those things mean?
Visual content includes pictures, clip art, SmartArt graphics, shapes, groups, charts, embedded objects, ink, and videos. Alt text helps people who can’t see the screen to understand what’s important in images and other visuals.
Avoid using text in images as the sole method of conveying important information. If you must use an image with text in it, repeat that text in the document. In alt text, briefly describe the image and mention the existence of the text and its intent.
- How to add alt text to images in Microsoft Power Point for Mac
- How to add alt text to images in Microsoft Power Point for Windows
- How to add alt text to SmartArt graphics
- How to add alt text to shapes
- How to add alt text to charts
- How to add alt text to tables
For more hints and guidelines for writing good alt text, visit the page Writing for Accessibility: Alt Tags and Long Descriptions.
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.
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.
People who use screen readers sometimes scan a list of links. Links should convey clear and accurate information about the destination. For example, instead of linking to the text Click here, include the full title of the destination page.
Ensure that color is not the only means of conveying information.
People who are blind, have low vision, or are colorblind might miss out on the meaning conveyed by particular colors. For example, add an underline to color-coded hyperlink text so that people who are colorblind know that the text is linked even if they can’t see the color. For headings, consider adding bold or using a larger font.
Use sufficient contrast for text and background colors.
Make sure there is strong contrast between text and background, so people with low vision can see it well. 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.
People who are blind, have low vision, or a reading disability rely on slide titles to navigate. For example, by skimming or using a screen reader, they can quickly scan through a list of slide titles and go right to the slide they want.
Screen readers keep track of their location in a table by counting table cells. If a table is nested within another table or if a cell is merged or split, the screen reader loses count and can’t provide helpful information about the table after that point. Blank cells in a table could also mislead someone using a screen reader into thinking that there is nothing more in the table. Screen readers also use header information to identify rows and columns.
People who have dyslexia describe seeing text “swim together” on a page (the compressing of one line of text into the line below). They often see text merge or distort. For people who have dyslexia or have low vision, reduce the reading load. For example, they may benefit from familiar sans serif fonts, such as Arial or Calibri. Avoid using all capital letters and excessive italics or underlines. Include ample white space between sentences and paragraphs.
Subtitles typically contain a transcription (or translation) of the dialogue. Closed captions typically also describe audio cues such as music or sound effects that occur off-screen. Video description means audio-narrated descriptions of a video’s key visual elements. These descriptions are inserted into natural pauses in the program’s dialogue. Video description makes video more accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.