Microsoft PowerPoint Accessibility

Microsoft PowerPoint Guidelines


  • Use a simple template theme with little use of color, otherwise it can be distracting and/or difficult to understand for those with learning disabilities, as well as those who have any visual impairments, such as color blindness.
  • Ensure that color is not the only means of conveying information.
  • Ensure that there is sufficient color contrast. Poor color combinations with low contrast can make reading difficult for those with visual impairments. Black text on a white background is best.
  • If using animations or transitions, ensure that they are brief and do not distract from the content on the slides. Complex transitions can be distracting.
  • Use an accessible font (Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman) for their readability and legibility on computer screens.
  • Use a sufficient font size. If your presentation will be viewed on a projector, you may need to increase the font size. (minimum 18 pt – 24 pt)
  • When using acronyms or abbreviations of, for example, a name or title, provide an expanded form or explanation.


  • Avoid too much text on each slide as it can be information overload.
  • Ensure that the reading order of text boxes and other content in slides are in the correct reading order.
  • Ensure that each slide has a unique title. If slides have the same title, it can be confusing for screen reader users to figure out which slide they are on.
  • Provide a descriptive link for hyperlinks. Screen readers are able to skip from link to link without reading any of the surrounding text. For this reason, links that say “click here” do not provide enough meaning. Also, copy-and-pasted URLs might be too long and confusing for screen reader users to read.
  • Provide alternate text for images and charts, that way screen readers can describe the content.
  • Use simple tables when presenting data. For complex tables, either divide them into multiple tables, or provide alternate text.
  • If posting online, it is best to provide an accessible PDF version of the PowerPoint. When exporting as a PDF, distracting slide transitions are removed, the file size is relatively small, and every computer usually has a free PDF reader. Also, heading structure and other accessibility information will remain intact if you export the file correctly.
  • Use the Accessibility Checker – Available for Office 2010, 2013, and 365 for PC and Office 2016 for Mac.

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