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Creating Accessible PowerPoint Slides

It is important that PowerPoint slide content is in proper reading order so screen readers read it correctly for users with a vision or reading disability. Learn how to Create More Accessible Slides with proper reading order in this video.


To learn more, click on the buttons inside the tabbed menu.

  • In addition to color, use text, patterns, or shapes to communicate ideas.
  • Add descriptive alt text to pictures, charts, and other visual objects.
  • Group layered images, like a picture with callout lines, into a single object.
  • To get an idea how your slides might look to someone who’s colorblind, select View > Grayscale.

Use the techniques presented in this video, Improve Image Accessibility in PowerPoint, to make the charts, graphs, and images in your PowerPoint slides accessible to users with a vision or reading disability.

The colors and styles you use for slides, text, charts, and graphics go a long way toward improving accessibility in PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoint templates make compliance with accessibility easy. Learn how to Use more accessible colors and styles in slides by watching this video.

The elements that make presentations clearer and easier to comprehend for people with dyslexia also make them better in general. The tips in this video, Design Slide for People with Dyslexia, will help.

  • Use simple, sans serif fonts with adequate spacing between letters. Use at least an 18-point font size. Good sans serif font examples include:
    • Calibri
    • Franklin Gothic Book
    • Lucida Sans
    • Segoe UI
  • Avoid compressed fonts, fonts with uneven line weights, fancy fonts, and italic or underlined fonts.
  • To keep your text easily readable, limit the number of lines in each slide and leave plenty of space above and below each line. Apply the “6 by 7” rule: 6 words per line and 7 lines per slide.
  • Use speaker notes to provide more in-depth information. By default, speaker notes are formatted in a readable, sans serif font. Distribute your slides after your presentation, so your audience can refer to the slides and notes later to recall the verbal presentation delivery.
  • Bright white slide backgrounds can make text harder to read. Choose an off-white or cream background. Text should be dark, with lots of space around the letters. A dark background and white text also work.
  • Images are a great way to break up blocks of text and make your slide easier to scan. Add alt text to every image in your presentation.
  • A colorful, high-contrast graphic layout, combined with pictures and text, creates a structured design. Structured layouts are easier for people with dyslexia to understand.

To make a presentation more accessible to people with disabilities, save it in an alternate format that can be read by a screen reader. Your audience can open it on a personal device or port it to a Braille reader. This video, Save a Presentation in a Different Format will show you how easy it is to provide alternative means of engagement.