MS PowerPoint: Accessibility Best Practices
Use Default Slide Layouts
- From the Home tab, choose the New Slide dropdown menu.
- Select a slide template (do not use Blank slide template).
- Avoid using Text Boxes to create or arrange slide content (screen readers will always read Text Boxes last).
Keep Slide Content Clear, Concise, and Readable
- Use concise, non-figurative, and accurate language.
- Slides should appear clean and uncluttered with adequate foreground-background color contrast.
- Use standard fonts. For readability, sans-serif fonts, such as Arial, Verdana, and Helvetica are preferable.
Use Unique Slide Titles
- Create slide titles with the Title placeholder visible in default slide layouts. Do not use text boxes for titles.
- Use a unique slide title for each slide. If you have multiple slides that continue a topic, you can label them in the following way: “[TITLE OF SLIDE], 1 of 4,” “[TITLE OF SLIDE], 2 of 4,” etc.
- Check titles and document structure: from the View tab, select Presentation Views and click Outline View.
Insert Charts and Graphs with Data Tables
- Go Insert and select Chart. The PowerPoint datasheet view appears for you to enter your table data.
- Add values to the PowerPoint datasheet by selecting a cell and typing in the value. Remember to add labels for the rows and columns. Close the datasheet window by selecting ESC from your keyboard.
- Display the corresponding data table. For Office 2010, select the chart, select Layout from the chart tools menu, and choose Show data table from the Data Table For Office 2016, use the Add Chart Element from the Design tab to choose a layout that displays the data table with the chart (e.g., Data Table > With Legend Keys).
Keep Lists Readable
- Avoid presenting more than six points per slide at default font size.
- Use one line of text, ideally, and no more than two per point.
Use Alt Text for Informative Images
- Right click on the image, and select Format Picture, then Alt Text.
- Fill in the Description field (not the Title field).
Use Meaningful Text for Links
- Type out text that describes the link’s destination (e.g., “CITL Summer Intensive”). Avoid text like “Click here.”
- Select the text, right click on it, and choose Hyperlink from the menu.
- In the Insert Hyperlink window, enter a URL address in the Address field.
- Click the OK button to save the link.
Document Properties: Identify the Title and Author
- In Windows, click File, then expand the pull down menu for Properties to select the Summary On a Mac, click File, then select Properties, and then select the Summary tab.
- From the Summary tab of the Properties dialog, add or change the Title and the Author.
See also: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility checklist