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 Creating Accessible Microsoft PowerPoint Presentations (Mac)

 Instructions for creating accessible PowerPoint presentations (Mac)

Slide Layouts

Using slide layouts provided within PowerPoint will ensure that files have correctly structured headings and lists, and proper reading order.

Creating Slide Layouts

1.    Select Home> New Slide, or select the New Slide button from the default  tool bar.

2.    Choose from the slide options menu the desired layout.

 screenshot of the slide options menu 


Alternative text for Images

Images can be given appropriate alternative text in PowerPoint. This text is read by a screen reader in a PowerPoint file and should remain intact when exporting to HTML or PDF.

1.    Right-click (or control + click) on the image and select Format Picture. A dialog box will appear.

2.    Select the Alt Text option in the sidebar.

3.    Remove the image filename from the Description field. This is a bug in PowerPoint for Mac.

4.    Enter appropriate alternative text to the Description field, not the Title field.

screenshot of the Format Picture window, emphasizing inserting alt text in the Description field. 


Data Tables

           PowerPoint can style rows and columns so they appear as data tables, but there is no way to add content in a way that will be identified by a
       screen reader.

           If your presentation contains more than the simplest tables, and if you have Adobe Acrobat, consider creating an accessible PDF and adding the
       additional accessibility information in Acrobat Pro.


PowerPoint automatically creates a hyperlink when a user pastes a full URL onto a page. These may not make sense to screen reader users, so more information is needed.

Editing Hyperlinks

1.    Select a hyperlink, right click, and select Hyperlink> Edit Hyperlink or command + k.

2.    Change the URL in the Display field to a more meaningful description.

screenshot of the Edit Hyperlink window, with the Display field highlighted.  


Outline and Notes Panels

PowerPoint contains two panels that can be used to enhance accessibility: the Outline panel and the Notes panel.

Outline Panel

           The Outline panel contains a text outline of the content that appears in your slides.

           Reviewing this panel can help ensure the content on the slides is logically sequenced, that slide titles are unique and meaningful,and that 
       reading order is appropriate for any user.

Notes Panel

            The Notes panel allows the speaker to add notes and information that will not appear on the slides.

            Placing image or chart descriptions in this area should be avoided. This information may not be accessed by a screen reader, so use with caution.


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