Giving your slides unique titles throughout your presentation will help users with vision impairments navigate your content more effectively. Users can skim or use a screen reader to scan through the slide titles and go directly to the slide they need.
If you do not wish to include slide titles in your visible content, you can position your titles off-slide so they not be visible in your presentation but will still be picked up by screen readers.
To use unique slide titles:
Note: if the Accessibility Checker picks up that you do not have a slide title, you can convert an existing text box in your slide to the Title placeholder. You can do this by selecting the text box of your choice and then selecting Set as Slide Title in the Accessibility Checker pane.
To hide a title off-slide:
Using accessible slide designs available in PowerPoint is an easy way of ensuring that your content is accessible. The slide design, colours, contrast, and fonts have all been considered for accessibility, as well as how easy screen readers can read the slide content.
To use an accessible slide design:
A screenreader will read out the content on your PowerPoint slides in the order they were added to the slide, and not necessarily in a logical order, the order you intended for, or even the order content appears in. This can happen if you have used a built-in template and made design adjustments but not in the Master Slide (microsoft.com), added more contents than the template was intended for, or began creating your slides from scratch.
To check the reading order of slide contents:
ScreenTips are small containers of descriptive text that appear when you hover your cursor over an element – this can include buttons, commands, images, or hyperlinks. ScreenTips can give additional information about elements, which can help users scan content more easily and quickly.
To add ScreenTips:
Equations must be added in the maths environment available in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, to ensure that mathematical characters and symbols accessible to screen readers.
There are three ways to add an equation:
Equations can be typed in using Unicode or LaTex (Word only) input and displayed in Professional 2-dimensional form or Linear 1-dimensional form.
Please refer to Microsoft’s guidance on writing equations or formulas and linear format equations using UnicodeMath and LaTeX in Word.
The multimedia principle proposed by Mayer (2001) suggests that users learn better through a mix of text (words) and media (pictures, illustrations), rather than text alone. This principle lends itself to how we prepare our presentations and what multimedia we choose to include. Such multimedia should be used with the aim to enhance or clarify the information you are imparting.
Videos, as one of the content types you can include in your PowerPoint, should be made accessible to users with vision, hearing, and cognitive impairments. Use videos files that contain subtitles, closed captions, and video description as much as feasible to help users understand dialogue, audio cues such as music or sound, and key visual elements.
See also our Videos guidance page for more information about accessibility.