Welcome to a comprehensive guide on how to create an accessible PowerPoint presentation. In this guide, you’ll learn the best practices for making a PowerPoint accessible and how to use the built-in accessibility checker to ensure your presentations are inclusive for all audiences.
Best Practices for Making a PowerPoint Accessible
Before diving into the process of making your PowerPoint accessible, it’s essential to understand some best practices:
- Use a built-in theme.
- Add alternate text to all images.
- Give every slide a unique title.
- Ensure list elements are properly identified within the PowerPoint.
- Format links properly.
- Use table headers in tables.
- Set the reading order.
By following these practices, you can create a PowerPoint presentation that is more accessible and inclusive for all users.
Using the Accessibility Checker in PowerPoint
To begin, launch the accessibility checker in PowerPoint by selecting the File button, then Info, and then Check for Issues. Click on Check Accessibility, which will bring up a list of errors that need to be fixed within the document.
Go through each error, starting with missing alternate text for images. Add appropriate alt text to each image, describing what the image represents. For example, “A screenshot from Adobe Acrobat with a parent figure tag on display.”
Next, ensure that hyperlinks are properly formatted. While you may want to leave the full URL for presentational purposes, it’s better for accessibility to use descriptive link text instead.
As you go through your slides, make sure each slide has a unique title, and list elements are properly identified. Additionally, check that any tables are using table headers for added accessibility.
In some cases, you may have images that can be marked as decorative if they do not add significant information to the presentation. Mark these images as decorative, and the accessibility checker will no longer flag them as errors.
Once you’ve addressed all errors, the accessibility checker may provide warnings about the reading order of the slides. To fix this, open the reading order pane and rearrange the content so that it is read in the correct order. For example, ensure the slide number is read last.
With all errors and warnings resolved, your accessible PowerPoint is ready to go! Remember, while accessibility checkers are not always perfect, PowerPoint’s checker is more fine-tuned, and following its guidance will help you create more inclusive presentations.
Remember, creating accessible PowerPoint presentations not only benefits those with disabilities but also ensures your content is available to a broader audience, making your presentations more effective and inclusive.
Start from scratch
Sometimes its easier to simply copy and paste the content from an inaccessible PowerPoint into a new accessible template:
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