Basic tasks to create a presentation in PowerPoint with a screen reader

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use PowerPoint 2016 with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to create, read, and edit presentations. A PowerPoint presentation is a slide show. Each slide is a canvas for the pictures, words, and shapes that help you build your story.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Use keyboard shortcuts to create your presentation.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic makes note of the JAWS functionality as well. To learn more about JAWS for Windows, go to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

  • Several procedures in this topic refer to the Backstage view. In Office programs such as PowerPoint, Backstage view refers to the page that opens after you select the File tab. The Backstage view contains the set of commands you use to do things to a presentation file, like open it and save it, while the ribbon contains the set of commands for working in a presentation, like inserting a slide or adding a comment.

In this topic

Open PowerPoint

To open PowerPoint 2016, press the Windows logo key, type PowerPoint, and press Enter. PowerPoint opens in a view showing recent presentations, a search field, templates, and themes. The focus is on the Blank Presentation template.

Open a presentation

PowerPoint keeps a list of files you have recently opened, so it is easy to find them again.

  1. After opening PowerPoint 2016, press the Tab key until you hear the name of a presentation, followed by "Button, Alt, F, 1."

  2. If the first recent presentation is the one you want to open, press Enter. If not, press the Down arrow key until you find the right one, and then press Enter.

  3. If the presentation you are looking for is not in the list of recent presentations, pressing the Down arrow key eventually takes you to the Open Other Presentations hyperlink at the end of the list. Press Enter to open the Open pane, where you can look for files on your computer and in network locations you are connected to, such as OneDrive.

Read slide contents in Normal view

The main areas of the Normal view are the thumbnail pane, the slide editing area, and the Notes pane. To cycle through these areas, press F6.

Each slide has one or more placeholders, that is, text boxes and other content elements.

  1. When the focus is on a slide, press Tab to cycle between its placeholders. Your screen reader announces the placeholder type as you move between them, for example, "Title text box, editing."

  2. To read the contents of the placeholder, press Caps Lock+M when using Narrator.

  3. After reading the contents, press Esc to return focus to the slide.

Read slide contents in other views

In addition to Normal view, PowerPoint provides several other views for working with slides. Each view offers unique capabilities. The following views are especially helpful:

  • Outline. Provides a text-only view of slide contents. To open Outline View, press Alt+W, P, and then O. To switch between thumbnails and the outline in Normal view, press Ctrl+Shift+Tab.

    Note: Narrator sometimes does not announce Outline view after pressing Alt+W, P, O.

  • Slide Sorter. Displays all your slides in order horizontally in rows so you can cut, copy, paste, and rearrange slides easily. Screen readers identify slides by the number and title. To open Slide Sorter view, press Alt+W, I. To return to Normal view, press Alt+W, L.

  • Reading. Offers a way to review a presentation that is similar to Slide Show view. To open Reading View, press Alt+W, D. To return to the previous view, press Esc.

  • Slide Master. Enables you to make design changes that apply to all of your slides. To open Slide Master view, press Alt+W, M. The Slide Master tab (Alt+M) is added to the ribbon between the File and Home tabs. To close Slide Master view, press Alt+M, C.

Navigate through slides

You can use the thumbnail pane to quickly move between slides.

  1. Press F6 until you hear "Slide," followed by its title, and "1 of 2," for example. This tells you that the focus is in the thumbnail pane.

  2. When the focus is in the thumbnail pane, screen readers read the slide titles as you move through the slides. To go to the next or previous slide, press the Up or Down arrow key.

Tip: Sometimes, your screen reader loses focus and does not read a slide title. If this happens, press Alt+Tab twice to try to move focus out of the PowerPoint window and back to the thumbnails.

Choose a theme and create a presentation

A theme is a pre-set slide design that contains a slide layout, colors, and fonts. Some themes also include decorative graphics, such as a background image, a horizontal line, or a decorative border. Using a theme can help give your presentation a polished appearance.

Note: Not all themes are accessible for people with disabilities.

  1. When you start PowerPoint, it opens in Backstage view, where you can choose from one of the built-in themes and templates.

    Note: Unless your team has created an accessible PowerPoint theme template and made it available in the Backstage gallery, we recommend that you choose the default blank presentation.

    Use the arrow keys to move through the themes. Screen readers identify themes by name, not by color or design.

  2. To select the theme you want, press Enter. A preview pane opens, and you hear: "Create <name of the theme> button." The focus is on the Create button.

  3. To create the presentation, press Enter. The presentation opens in Normal view with one title slide. You hear: “Slide 1, slide.”

  4. Press the Tab key to move the focus to the title placeholder on the first slide, and start typing the text for the title.

  5. When you finish typing, press Esc.

  6. To move to the next placeholder, which is for the subtitle, press the Tab key and then start typing.

Insert a new slide

With the title slide done, you're ready to add slides for the rest of your presentation. Each theme has a collection of predefined slide layouts. For example, there might be a title slide, a slide that includes a title box and a content box, and a slide that's arranged in two columns.

Tip: To make your slide accessible, it's important to give each slide a title.

To add a new slide based on the layout of the current slide, press Ctrl+M.

To add a slide that uses one of the other layouts in your chosen theme, follow these steps:

  1. To open the list of slide layouts, press Alt+H, I. The focus moves to the list, and you hear the name of the first slide layout.

  2. Use the arrow keys to browse to the slide layout that you want. You hear the layout name, for example, Two Content or Content with Caption. To insert a new slide with the currently selected layout, press Enter.

Tip: To duplicate a slide and its contents, move the focus to the slide or slide image in the slide thumbnail pane and press Ctrl+D. In Narrator, when the focus is on the slide thumbnail pane, you hear "Slide," followed by its title, and "1 of 2," for example. When the focus is on a slide, you hear the slide number and “Slide.”

Save your presentation

It’s a good idea to save your work often. Follow these steps to name and save your presentation for the first time:

  1. Press Alt+F, A to open the Backstage view with focus on the Save As tab. Press the Tab key to set focus on the first file folder location listed in the Save As pane. You'll hear the name of the default location, such as "OneDrive - Microsoft".

    To choose a different location, such as the Documents folder on your PC, press the Down arrow to move through the list of available locations until you reach the one you want. For example, you might move past various web locations to "This PC".

  2. Press the Tab key to move to the file naming area. The focus lands on the Navigate Up button.

    • If you want to continue to look for the folder that you want, press Enter.

    • Otherwise, press the Tab key to hear the name of the folder. For example, you might hear: "Documents."

  3. To move to the File name box, press the Tab key.

  4. Type a name for your presentation.

    Tip: By default, PowerPoint saves your presentation as a standard PowerPoint 2016 file, with the file extension .pptx. If you want to save the presentation as a different file type, press Tab, and then press the Down Arrow key to browse through the options. Use the Down and Up arrow keys to navigate the options, and press Enter to make your selection.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear "Save button," and then press Enter.

To save your work at any time, press Ctrl+S.

Add text to a slide

To add content to a slide, you should be in Normal view.

Add text in Normal view

  1. To move the focus to a slide, press F6 until you hear the slide number and "Slide.”

  2. Press the Tab key to go to a text placeholder. You hear, for example, “Title text box, editing,” for the slide’s title.

  3. Begin typing the text you want on the slide.

  4. To move the insertion point to the next title or body text placeholder, press Ctrl+Enter.

    Note: If there aren't any more text placeholders, pressing Ctrl+Enter inserts a new slide with the same slide layout as the original slide, and places the focus on the new slide's first placeholder.

Format text

You can use different font styles, such as bold or italic, and create bulleted or numbered lists using keyboard shortcuts.

Change the font style

  1. In a text placeholder, select the text to which you want to add bullets or numbering.

    Tip: To learn how to select text in PowerPoint using your keyboard, go to Select and edit text and objects in Use keyboard shortcuts to create your presentation.

  2. Use the following keyboard shortcuts to change the font style:

    • Press Ctrl+B to make the selected text bold.

    • Press Ctrl+I to make the selected text italic.

    • Press Ctrl+U to underline the selected text.

    • Press Ctrl+Spacebar to remove all styles from the selected text.

Create a bulleted list as you type

  1. At the start of a new line, type * (asterisk), and then press Spacebar or Tab.

  2. Type any text that you want. A filled round bullet is automatically created after you press Enter.

  3. To create a new list item, press Enter.

  4. To stop creating the list, press Enter, and then press Backspace.

Create a numbered list as you type

  1. At the start of a new line, type 1. (the number 1 followed by a period), and then press Spacebar or Tab.

  2. Type the text you want. A numbered bullet is automatically created after you press Enter.

  3. To create a new list item, press Enter.

  4. To stop creating the list, press Enter, and then press Backspace.

Add pictures

You can use graphics and photos to make your presentations livelier.

Note: The following steps assume that your pictures are stored in the Pictures folder of your PC.

  1. When the focus is on a slide, press Tab to cycle through its placeholders. Your screen reader announces the placeholder type as you move, for example, "Title text box, editing."

  2. When you find the placeholder where you want to add a picture, press Alt+N, P. The Insert Picture dialog opens. By default, the dialog shows the Pictures folder of your PC.

  3. The focus is initially in the File name field. Type the beginning letters of your picture's file name, and then press the Down arrow key to browse the search results.

    • Narrator does not read the first matching result automatically. You hear only: "End of line." Press Caps Lock+D to hear the file name.

    • If there are more results, pressing the Down arrow key makes the screen reader read them.

    • If there are no results, you hear "Down arrow" instead of "End of line."

  4. Press Enter to add the picture to the selected placeholder in your presentation.

Add speaker notes

You can put helpful facts and annotations in the speaker notes and refer to them as you present.

  1. To make sure that the Notes pane is open for the slide you want to annotate, select Normal view by pressing Alt+W, L.

  2. Press F6 until you hear: “Slide notes, pane.”

  3. Type your notes.

  4. To return the focus to the slide, press F6 until you hear the title of the slide, followed by “Slide.”

    Tip: Sometimes, your screen reader loses focus and does not read a slide title. If this happens, press Alt+Tab twice to try to move focus out of the PowerPoint window and back.

Give your presentation

After your presentation is ready, showing it to others is simple.

  1. Open your presentation in PowerPoint.

  2. To start the slide show, press F5.

  3. Press Spacebar to move to the next slide. To go to the previous slide, press Backspace.

  4. To exit the slide show, press Esc.

For more information, refer to Use keyboard shortcuts to deliver your presentation.

See also

Use a screen reader to print presentations in PowerPoint

Use a screen reader to read or add speaker notes and comments in a presentation

Use keyboard shortcuts to create your presentation

Use keyboard shortcuts to deliver your presentation

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate PowerPoint using accessible features

Use PowerPoint 2016 for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to reate, read, and edit presentations. A PowerPoint presentation is a slide show. Each slide is a canvas for the pictures, words, and shapes that help you build your story.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Mac OS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

  • PowerPoint has different views designed for carrying out various tasks. For example, to add content to your slides, you usually work in the Normal view, or perhaps in the Outline View if you're creating an outline or a storyboard for the presentation. The Slide Show view works for presenting your slides on a computer, while the Presenter View is useful for showing different screens for the presenter and the audience.

In this topic

Open PowerPoint

  1. On your Mac, press Command+Shift+A to open the Applications view in Finder.

  2. Press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow to enter the Applications group, then use the arrow keys to browse the applications.

  3. When VoiceOver announces “Microsoft PowerPoint application,” press Control+Option+Spacebar to open PowerPoint.

  4. In the view that opens, there are 5 buttons in the pane on the left. Using the buttons, you can sign in to your Microsoft Account, create a new presentation, access recent and shared presentations, and open a presentation from a file location.

    To navigate to the pane, press Shift+Tab repeatedly until VoiceOver announces: "Sign in, menu button" or "New, radio button." To navigate to the other buttons in the pane, use the arrow keys. To select a button, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    To move to the list of files, press Tab, and then navigate with the arrow keys. To select and open a presentation, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Open a presentation

  1. In PowerPoint, press Command+O.

    A dialog for selecting the location and the file opens. If you've opened a PowerPoint file previously, that file is already selected.

  2. To navigate the dialog, use Tab and the arrow keys. VoiceOver announces the items as you move. To enter a list in the dialog, press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key. To select and open a file, press Control+Option+Spacebar when on the file.

Read the slide contents

Read slide contents in Normal view

  1. To go to the Normal view, press Command+1.

  2. In your PowerPoint presentation, press F6 repeatedly to navigate to the Thumbnail Pane.

  3. Press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow to enter the pane.

  4. Press the Up or Down arrow keys to navigate the slides in the Thumbnail Pane. VoiceOver announces the slide titles as you move.

  5. When on the thumbnail of a slide you want to read, press Tab to move to the slide area.

  6. To select the contents of the slide, press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow. VoiceOver reads the number of items on the slide and the name of the item that is currently selected. For example, on a slide containing a title text box and a text box with textual content, VoiceOver announces: "In Slide Editor Pane, layout area, 2 items, Title TexBox, textbox."

  7. To select and read the contents of a text box, press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow, and VoiceOver reads the text.

  8. To move to the next item on the slide, first press Control+Option+Shift+Up arrow to revert back, and then press the Down arrow key.

  9. To select and read the contents of the item, press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow, and VoiceOver reads the text.

Read slide titles in Slide Sorter view

  1. To go to the Slide Sorter view, press Command+2.

  2. Press the F6 repeatedly until VoiceOver announces: "Slide Sorter, list."

  3. To enter the list, press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key. VoiceOver reads the title of the slide that is currently selected.

  4. Use the arrow keys to navigate the slides and sections. VoiceOver reads the titles as you move.

Read slide notes in Notes Page view

  1. To go to the Notes Page view, press Command+3.

  2. Press F6 until VoiceOver announces: "Notes Page view, layout area."

  3. Press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to select the page and go to the first item on the page. The first item is an image of the slide.

  4. To navigate to the Notes Page section, press the Down arrow key. VoiceOver announces: "TextBox, textbox."

  5. To read the notes texts, press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key.

Read slide contents in Outline View

  1. To go to the Outline View, press Command+4.

  2. Press F6 repeatedly until VoiceOver announces: "Outline Pane, layout area."

  3. Press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to select the pane. VoiceOver starts reading the contents of the slides starting from the first slide.

Read the presenter notes in Presenter View

  1. To go to the Presenter View, press Option+Enter.

  2. To move to the presenter notes section, press the Right or Left arrow key repeatedly until VoiceOver announces: "Notes pane, layout area."

  3. Press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to select the notes, and VoiceOver reads them. To cancel the selection, press Control+Option+Shift+Up arrow key.

Read the slide contents in Slide Show view

  1. To start a slide show, press Command+Shift+Enter.

  2. To read everything that's on a slide, press Control+Option+A.

    To read the items separately, first press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to enter the slide. Then navigate the areas with the arrow keys. VoiceOver reads the items and texts as you land on them.

Navigate through the slides

To navigate the slides in the Slide Show view:

  • Press N to move to the next slide.

  • Press P to move to the previous slide.

  • Press Function+Right arrow key to move to the last slide.

  • Press Function+Left arrow key to move to the first slide.

  • Press Control+Option+Shift+M to open the context menu. Navigate the options in the menu with the Down arrow key. VoiceOver announces the items as you move.

    For example, to navigate to a certain slide in your presentation, press the Down arrow key until VoiceOver announces: "By Title, submenu." Press the Right arrow key once to move to the submenu, and the Down arrow key to navigate the slides. VoiceOver announces the slide titles as you land on them. When on a slide you want to go to, press Control+Option+Spacebar and the slide opens.

Choose a theme and create a blank presentation

A theme is a pre-set slide design that contains a slide layout, colors, and fonts. Some themes also include decorative graphics, such as a background image, a horizontal line, or a decorative border. Using a theme can help polish the appearance of your presentation.

  1. Start PowerPoint. PowerPoint opens in a view where you can choose from one of the built-in themes and templates. Press the Up arrow key once. VoiceOver announces: "Search all templates." You're in a search field.

  2. To find the most accessible themes, type accessible in the field.

  3. To go to the search results, press the Down arrow key once. VoiceOver announces: "Grid, you are currently on a grid."

  4. To browse the search results, press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow once, and then use the arrow keys to move around. When on a theme you want to use, press Enter.

  5. To move to the title placeholder on the first slide, press Tab. VoiceOver announces: "Edit text, title layout is selected." To remove the placeholder text, press Backspace and type your own title. When finished typing, press Esc.

  6. Press Tab to move to the subtitle placeholder. VoiceOver announces: "Edit text, subtitle is selected." To remove the placeholder text, press Backspace and type your own subtitle. When finished typing, press Esc.

Insert a new slide

To add a new slide based on the layout of the current slide, press Control+M.

Add text to a slide

  1. Press Command+1 to make sure you are in the Normal view.

    Tip: You can also insert content to your slides in the Outline View. To switch to the Outline View, press Command+4.

  2. To move to a placeholder on the slide, press Tab.

  3. To remove the placeholder text, press backspace, and type your text.

Format your text

With formatting, you can improve the readability of your text and draw attention to what's important. PowerPoint offers many options for formatting your content, such as lists, hyperlinks, colors, and different font formatting options.

  • To add lists to your text:

    • To insert a bulleted list, type * and press Spacebar, type the list item and press Enter.

    • To insert a numbered list, type 1. and press Spacebar, type the list item and press Enter.

  • To use other text formatting options:

    • To apply bolded text formatting, press Command+B.

    • To apply italics, press Command+I.

    • To apply underlining, press Command+U.

    • To increase the font size, press Command+Shift+>.

    • To decrease the font size, press Command+Shift+<.

    • For additional font formatting options, such as font color, press Command+T to open the Font dialog. Press the Tab key to move around in the dialog. To select an item, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  • To add a hyperlink, press Control+K.

Save your presentation

To save your presentation, press Command+S. To save the same presentation with a different name, location, or file format, press Command+Shift+S.

For information on how to save in another file format or in a format compatible with earlier versions of PowerPoint, refer to Save a presentation using a screen reader.

Add pictures

  1. Press F6 repeatedly until you land on a tab.

    There are 8 tabs altogether, and the one you're looking for is the Insert tab, which is the second one from the left. If you need to move between the tabs, press the Left or Right arrow key. When you're on the Insert tab, VoiceOver announces: "Insert, tab, 2 of 8." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to select the tab.

  2. On the Insert tab, press the Tab key until VoiceOver announces: "Pictures, menu button." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the menu.

  3. To move on the menu, press the Down or Up arrow key. VoiceOver announces the menu options. To select an option, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. A dialog for selecting a file opens. To navigate in the dialog, use the Tab and arrow keys. To insert the picture, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

For more information on working with pictures, refer to Use a screen reader to insert and edit pictures and tables in PowerPoint.

Add speaker notes

You can add speaker notes to help remind you of what to say when presenting to an audience.

  1. Press Command+F1 to go to the Normal view.

    Tip: For adding speaker notes in the Notes Page view instead, follow the instructions in Add speaker notes.

  2. Go to the slide on which you want to add notes, and press F6 until VoiceOver announces: "Notes Pane, layout area."

  3. Type your notes for the slide. When you're done, press F6 to leave the Notes Pane.

Give your presentation

  1. To start a slide show, press Command+Shift+Enter.

  2. To advance to the next slide, press N.

    Tip: To return to the previous slide, press P.

Exit the Slide Show view

To exit the slide show, press Esc.

See also

Use a screen reader to work with slides in PowerPoint

Use a screen reader to print presentations in PowerPoint

Keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use PowerPoint 2016 for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to create, read, and edit presentations. A PowerPoint presentation is a slide show. Each slide is a canvas for the pictures, words, and shapes that help you build your story.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For touch capabilities in PowerPoint 2016 for iOS, go to PowerPoint for iPhone touch guide.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

  • This topic assumes that you are using an iPhone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an iPad.

In this topic

Open PowerPoint

  1. On your iPhone, swipe right or left with three fingers to go the home screen where the PowerPoint app is.

  2. Then swipe right with one finger until VoiceOver announces the app.

  3. Double-tap the screen to open the app.

Open a presentation

  1. When you open PowerPoint, it opens in the view where you left it previously. If you closed the app completely, it opens in the view listing the most recent presentations. To navigate to the list and the items on it, swipe right until you hear VoiceOver announcing the list items.

  2. If you don't have any recent files or you want to open another file, keep swiping right until VoiceOver announces: "Open, button." Double-tap the screen to select it.

  3. To navigate forward on the list of places, swipe right. To go back to the list, swipe left. To open a folder or file, double-tap the screen when on the item.

Read slide contents

  1. Open the presentation in PowerPoint.

  2. Swipe right repeatedly until you reach the slide title text box. VoiceOver reads the slide title.

  3. Swipe right again to move to the next text box on the slide. VoiceOver reads the contents of the text box.

  4. To switch to another slide, keep swiping right until you reach the slide thumbnail pane below the current slide. To navigate the thumbnail pane, keep swiping right until you hear VoiceOver announce the next slide. Then double-tap the screen to select and open the slide.

    Note: If you're using the phone in landscape orientation, the slide thumbnail pane appears to the left of the slide, and you need to swipe left instead.

  5. To read the slide contents, swipe left repeatedly until you reach the slide. VoiceOver reads the contents.

    Note: If you're using the phone in landscape orientation, you need to swipe right to read the slide contents.

Navigate through the slides

To navigate the slide thumbnails in the Normal view (the view that opens when you open a PowerPoint presentation), keep swiping right until you reach the slide thumbnail pane. VoiceOver announces, for example: "Slide 1 of 9, <slide title>." To navigate to the next thumbnail, swipe right.

To navigate the slides in the Slide Show view:

  • Swipe left with three fingers to move to the next slide.

  • Swipe right with three fingers to move to the previous slide.

Choose a theme

When you start creating a new PowerPoint presentation, you can pick a theme to help polish the appearance of your presentation. A theme is a pre-set slide design that contains a slide layout, colors, and fonts. Some themes also include decorative graphics, such as a background image, lines, or a decorative border.

  1. Open PowerPoint.

    PowerPoint opens in a view where you can choose from one of the built-in themes and templates.

    Note: If you have worked on or viewed PowerPoint presentations previously, PowerPoint opens showing the recent items instead of the new themes. To move to the New button for showing the themes, swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "New, button." Double-tap the screen to select.

  2. To navigate the available themes, swipe right. VoiceOver announces the themes as you land on them.

  3. When on a theme you want to use, double-tap the screen.

Insert a new slide

You can add a new slide to your presentation using a button in the thumbnail pane in PowerPoint. To navigate to the button, swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "New slide, button." Double-tap the screen to add a new slide.

Save your presentation

  1. In your PowerPoint presentation, swipe left or right until VoiceOver announces: "Save and close, button." Double-tap the screen to select.

    Tip: You can also place your finger on the screen and drag it around to explore the items on the screen. VoiceOver announces the items when you land on them. For example, to find the Save and Close button, drag your finger to the top left corner of the screen.

  2. If you're saving the presentation for the first time, PowerPoint confirms that you really want to save. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Save, button." Double-tap the screen to select.

  3. Type a name for the presentation using the on-screen keyboard.

  4. Drag your finger on the screen to find a location where you want to save, such as your phone or a location on OneDrive. VoiceOver announces the locations as you move. When on the location you want to save to, lift your finger and double-tap the screen. If there are folders to open, swipe right until you're on a folder, and then double-tap to open it.

  5. To save the presentation, swipe left until you hear "Save, button." Double-tap the screen to select. Your presentation is saved.

Add text to a slide

  1. In a PowerPoint presentation, go to the slide where you want to add text. For a title text box, VoiceOver announces: "Title text box, text box, text field." For a text box, VoiceOver announces: "Text box, text box, text field." Double-tap to select the text box.

  2. To type with the on-screen keyboard, drag your finger across the lower part of the screen until VoiceOver announces the letter you want. Lift your finger and double-tap the screen to select the letter. When finished typing, place your finger on the screen and drag it to the Hide keyboard button located halfway up the screen near the right edge. To hide the keyboard, lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

  3. To move to the next text box, swipe left until VoiceOver announces the other text box.

  4. Double-tap the screen to start adding text to the field. Use the on-screen keyboard to type.

Format your text

With formatting, you can improve the readability of your text and draw attention to what's important. PowerPoint offers many options for formatting your content, such as lists, hyperlinks, colors, and different font formatting options.

  1. On the slide where you want to format text, select the text box containing the text.

  2. Make sure the keyboard is hidden. To hide the keyboard, place your finger on the screen and drag it to the Hide keyboard button located halfway up the screen near the right edge. When VoiceOver announces the button, lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

  3. To select basic font formatting options, such as bold, italic, or underline, swipe right until VoiceOver announces the button you want. Then double-tap the screen to apply.

Add a bulleted list

  1. On a slide, go to the text box where you want to add the list.

  2. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Bullet points, button." Double-tap the screen to start a bulleted list.

Add a numbered list

  1. On a slide, go to the text box where you want to add the list.

  2. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Numbering, button." Double-tap the screen to start a numbered list.

Increase the font size

  1. On a slide, select the text box containing the text you want to format.

  2. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Show ribbon, button." Double-tap the screen to select.

  3. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Fonts, <name of the current font>, <current font size>, button." Double-tap the screen to select.

  4. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Plus, button." Double-tap the screen to increase the size by one point.

Decrease the font size

  1. On a slide, select the text box containing the text you want to format.

  2. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Show ribbon, button." Double-tap the screen to select.

  3. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Fonts, <name of the current font>, <current font size>, button." Double-tap the screen to select.

  4. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Minus, button." Double-tap the screen to decrease the size by one point.

Change the font color

  1. On a slide, select the text box containing the text you want to format.

  2. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Show ribbon, button." Double-tap the screen to select the button.

  3. The Home menu opens. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Font Color, button." Double-tap the screen to open the Font Color menu.

  4. Swipe right to navigate the options. When on a color you want to use, double-tap the screen to select.

Add speaker notes

You can add speaker notes to help remind you of what to say when presenting to an audience.

  1. Open your presentation in the Normal view in PowerPoint.

  2. Swipe right until VoiceOver announces: "Notes, button." Double-tap the screen to select.

  3. VoiceOver announces: "Slide notes, text box, text field." Double-tap the screen to open the notes area for editing.

  4. Type your notes using the on-screen keyboard.

  5. When you're finished, swipe left until VoiceOver announces the Close button. To close the speaker notes area, double-tap the screen.

Give your presentation

  1. Open your presentation in PowerPoint.

  2. Swipe right with one finger until VoiceOver announces: "Start slide show from this slide, button." Double-tap the screen to start the slide show.

  3. To proceed to the next slide, swipe left with three fingers. To go back to the previous slide, swipe right with three fingers.

  4. VoiceOver reads the contents of the first text box as you land on a slide. To read the rest of the slide contents, swipe right with one finger. The focus moves to the next item and VoiceOver reads the contents.

    Tip: When you hear a knock, you have reached the end of the slide and there is no more content to read.

Exit the Slide Show view

To exit the slide show at the end of the presentation, just swipe left with three fingers. The slide show ends and you return to the Normal view.

To exit the slide show presentation at any time:

  1. In the Slide Show view, swipe down with three fingers to bring up the slide show toolbar.

  2. Place a finger on the screen and drag it slowly to the top left corner. VoiceOver announces: "End slide show, button."

  3. Lift your finger and double-tap the screen to exit the slide show.

See also

Use a screen reader to work with slides in PowerPoint

Use a screen reader to show your presentation with PowerPoint

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use PowerPoint for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to create, read, and edit presentations. A PowerPoint presentation is a slide show. Each slide is a canvas for the pictures, words, and shapes that help you build your story.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For touch capabilities in PowerPoint for Android, go to PowerPoint for Android touch guide.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with an Android phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an Android tablet.

In this topic

Open PowerPoint for Android

Make the most of the PowerPoint for Android features and take your presentations with you wherever you go by signing in to PowerPoint for Android. You can also use the app without signing in.

  1. On the start screen or in the Apps menu of your device, swipe left or right until you hear "PowerPoint," and then double-tap the screen. PowerPoint for Android opens.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Sign in," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Get things done on the go."

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Sign in button," and then double-tap the screen.

    Note: If you don't have an account, swipe right until you hear "Sign up for free," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. To open the on-screen keyboard, double-tab the screen, and then type the email address or phone number that you used to create your account.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Next button," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. To open the on-screen keyboard, double-tab the screen, and then type your password.

  7. Swipe right until you hear "Sign in button," and then double tap the screen.

Open a presentation

In PowerPoint for Android, you can quickly open a presentation that you've worked on recently or you can browse in OneDrive or your device for the file.

  1. In the opening view of PowerPoint for Android, swipe right until you hear "Open button," and then double-tap the screen.

    Tip: To quickly open a presentation you recently worked on, swipe right until you hear the name of the presentation, and then double-tap the screen.

  2. In the Open menu, swipe right until you hear the location you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right or left until you hear the name of your presentation, and then double-tap the screen. The presentation opens in the Reading view.

  4. To move to the Editing view, swipe right until you hear: "Slide one, selected."

  5. Double-tap the screen. You hear: "Edit button."

  6. Double-tap the screen. The presentation opens in the Editing view.

Read slide contents in the Editing view

You can check the slide contents while you're working on your presentation in the Editing view.

  1. Swipe left or right until you hear: "Slide number, slide edit control." The focus is now on the main content area.

  2. Swipe right and TalkBack announces the first slide element. If the element is a text element, TalkBack reads its contents.

  3. Swipe right until you've listened to all elements on the slide.

  4. If the slide has speaker notes, swipe right until you hear: "Slide notes, <the speaker notes>."

Read slide contents in other views

  • In the Slide show view, TalkBack announces the contents of the slide automatically when you open the slide. You can also slide one finger slowly on the top part of the screen and TalkBack announces the slide elements and their contents.

  • In the Reading view, swipe left or right. TalkBack announces the slide number, heading, and if the slide has notes or comments.

Navigate through slides

Check that your slides are in the right order and that all content is in your presentation.

  • In the Editing view, to move to the next slide, swipe up with two fingers. To go to the previous slide, swipe down with two fingers.

  • In the Reading view, to move to the next slide, swipe right with one finger. To go to the previous slide, swipe left with one finger.

Choose a theme

To spice up your presentation or give your slides a unified look and feel, choose and apply a theme from the many PowerPoint for Android designs.

  1. In the Editing view, swipe right until you hear "Expand, switch, not checked," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Tab menu, <current tab> selected."

  2. Double-tap the screen. The tab menu opens.

  3. Swipe left or right until you hear "Design tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Themes menu," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Themes."

  5. Swipe right until you hear the theme you want, and then double-tap the screen. The selected menu is applied to the whole presentation, and the focus returns to the Design tab.

Insert a new slide

You can add as many slides as you want to your presentation.

  1. In the Editing view, swipe right until you hear "Expand, switch, not checked," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Tab menu, <current tab> selected."

  2. Double-tap the screen. The tab menu opens.

  3. Swipe left or right until you hear "Insert tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "New slide button," and then double-tap the screen. The new slide has now been added, and is displayed in the main content area.

Save your presentation

If you're signed in, PowerPoint for Android automatically saves your presentation to OneDrive as you work. If you want to save a copy of the presentation on your device, it's easy with TalkBack.

  1. In the Reading view, swipe left until you hear "File button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "File menu open."

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Save as button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. To open the on-screen keyboard, double-tap the screen and then type the file name with which you want to save your file.

  4. When you're done, swipe left until you hear the location where you want to save the file, for example, "This device, presentations." To select the location, double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe left or right to the folder you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe right until you hear "Save button," and then double-tap the screen. The file has been saved, and the focus returns to the Reading view.

Add text

Use TalkBack to easily add text in the slides and get your message out there.

  1. In the Editing view, swipe left or right until you hear: "Slide number, slide edit control." The focus is now in the main content area.

  2. Swipe right and TalkBack announces the first slide element. If the element is a text element you hear: "Title text box" or "Text box."

  3. On the text element, double-tap the screen. You hear: "<Text box type>, selected, Cut button." A context menu pops out and the focus is on the Cut button.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Edit text button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Showing <keyboard language> keyboard."

    Tip: To paste a copied piece of text, swipe right until you hear "Paste button," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. To type text, drag your finger across the lower half of the screen. TalkBack announces the characters on the on-screen keyboard. When you hear a character you want, lift your finger. The character is added in the text box.

    If predictive text input is activated, you can select the suggested words in the same way.

Format text

To make your presentation more accessible for different audiences, you can, for example, increase the font size or apply bold formatting to make the text more legible.

  1. In the Editing view, move to the text box that you want to format as instructed in Add text.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Expand, switch, not checked," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Tab menu, <current tab> selected."

  3. Double-tap the screen. The tab menu opens.

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear "Home tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear the text formatting option you want and then double-tap the screen.

    Some options have submenus for formatting. To access the submenus, swipe right until you hear "<Formatting option>, menu" and then double-tap the screen. Swipe right in the submenu until you hear the option you want and then double-tap the screen.

Add pictures

Sometimes a picture says more than a thousand words, so why not add a picture to liven up your presentation. You can add a picture from your device or cloud storage.

  1. In the Editing view, swipe left until you hear "Photos button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Recent menu." The Open from menu opens. The focus is on the Recent option.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear the location from where you want add the picture, and then double-tap the screen.

  3. In the selected location, navigate to the image you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Save image button," and then double-tap the screen. The image is added on the slide.

For more detailed instructions on how to add pictures, read Use a screen reader to insert and edit pictures and tables in PowerPoint.

Add speaker notes

With speaker notes you can add reminders or talking points for the presenter.

  1. In the Editing view, swipe left or right until you hear "Notes button," and then double-tap the screen. The Notes pane opens at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Notes control," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Showing <keyboard language> keyboard."

  3. Type the notes text as instructed in Add text. The characters or words are added in the Notes pane.

  4. When you're done typing, tap the screen once.

  5. Swipe left until you hear "Done button" and then double-tap the screen. The focus returns to the slide.

Deliver your presentation

When it's time to share your presentation with your audience, start the slide show.

  1. In the Editing view, with the first slide of the presentation open, swipe left or right until you hear "Present button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Slide one, selected." The Slide show view opens with the focus on the first slide in the Thumbnail pane.

  2. To show the next slide, swipe right and then double-tap the screen. To go back and show the previous slide, swipe left and then double-tap the screen.

Exit the Slide show view

When you want to stop presenting, in the Slide show view, swipe right until you hear "End show button," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to work with slides in PowerPoint

Use a screen reader to add and format text in PowerPoint

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate PowerPoint using accessible features

Use PowerPoint Mobile with Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to create, read, and edit presentations. A PowerPoint presentation is a slide show. Each slide is a canvas for the pictures, words, and shapes that help you build your story.

Notes: 

In this topic

Open PowerPoint

  1. On your device's home screen, swipe right until you hear "PowerPoint," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Start page, pane," followed by your account name and "Button."

Note: If you left a presentation open when you last used PowerPoint, the app opens where you left off.

Open a presentation

The start page has a list of recently opened presentations.

  1. On the PowerPoint start page, swipe right until you hear the name of a presentation, followed by the file location. If the first presentation in the list is not the right one, keep swiping right until you find the one you want.

  2. Double-tap the screen to open the currently selected presentation. You hear: "PowerPoint window, slide," followed by the title of the first slide. You are now in the slide selection view.

Navigate through slides

  1. In the slide selection view, swipe right or left to navigate between slides. Narrator reads the title and page number of each slide.

  2. When you locate the slide you want to open, double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Edit button," and then double-tap the screen. The slide opens in the editing view and you hear: "Slide, pane."

  4. To return to the slide selection view, swipe right until you hear "Off, back, button," and then double-tap the screen.

Read slide contents

  1. Open the presentation you want to read in PowerPoint.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Present button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Landscape mode." Rotate the device 90 degrees counter-clockwise, otherwise the swipe directions given here work differently.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Title text box" or "Text box," and then swipe down with 3 fingers to read the contents.

  4. If there are more text boxes on the slide, swipe right to get to the next one, and then swipe down with 3 fingers to read the contents.

    Tip: When you hear "Back, button collapsed" after swiping right, you know that the slide has no more content.

  5. To navigate to the next slide, swipe left until you hear "Next slide button," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. When you reach the last slide, you hear: "End of slide show." Double-tap the screen to exit the presentation view.

    Tip: To exit the presentation view at any point, swipe right until you hear "Back, button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen.

  7. Rotate the device 90 degrees clockwise to turn your device back to portrait orientation. You hear: "Portrait mode."

Choose a theme

  1. While viewing a slide in PowerPoint, swipe right until you hear "More options, button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Home, button collapsed."

  2. Double-tap the screen, swipe right until you hear "Design, 4 of 8," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Themes button," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right or left until you hear the theme you want to use, for example "Gallery" or "Celestial," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Applying theme."

    Note: Narrator announces if your device needs to download missing fonts to apply the selected theme.

  5. To close the Design menu, slide your finger around the bottom edge of the screen until you hear "Back, button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen.

Insert a new slide

PowerPoint adds any new slides after the slide you last opened, so before adding a new slide, you need to navigate to the right location as explained in Navigate through slides.

  1. In the slide selection view, swipe right until you hear "New slide button," and then double-tap the screen.

Save your presentation

  1. In the slide selection view, swipe right until you hear "File button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Save button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear the name of the presentation, which is "Presentation" by default.

  3. To change the name, double-tap the screen, and use the on-screen keyboard to type the new name. Finish typing the name by selecting Enter on the keyboard.

  4. To close the Save menu, slide your finger around the bottom edge of the screen until you hear "Back, button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen.

PowerPoint automatically saves all changes to your presentation using the name you entered.

Add text

  1. While viewing a slide in PowerPoint, swipe right until you find the text box where you want to add text, and then double-tap the screen to open the text box for editing.

  2. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your text.

  3. Slide your finger around the bottom edge of the screen until you hear: "Back, button collapsed." Double-tap the screen to close the keyboard.

    The focus stays on the Back button. Double-tap the screen again to return to the slide selection view.

Format your text

You can add a bulleted or numbered list to any text box in your presentation. Lists help you to organize the text.

  1. While viewing a slide in PowerPoint, swipe right until you find the text box where you want to add bullets or numbers, and then double-tap the screen to open the text box for editing.

  2. To add bullets or numbering:

    • To add a bulleted list item, swipe right until you hear "Off, bullets, button, double-tap to toggle on," and then double-tap the screen.

    • To add a numbered list item, swipe right until you hear "Off, numbering, button, double-tap to toggle on," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Use the on-screen keyboard to type the list item.

  4. To add another list item, slide your finger around the bottom right corner of the screen until you hear: "Enter." Double-tap the screen to insert a new list item, and use the keyboard to type.

  5. To finish your list, slide your finger around the bottom edge of the screen until you hear: "Back, button collapsed." Double-tap the screen to close the keyboard.

    The focus stays on the Back button. Double-tap the screen again to return to the slide selection view.

Add pictures

You can use any picture you have saved to your device in your presentation.

  1. While viewing a slide in PowerPoint, swipe right until you hear "Photos button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Photos window." The focus is on the most recent photo and Narrator announces the file name.

  2. Swipe right until you find the picture you want to use, and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Selected," followed by the file name of the picture.

  3. Slide your finger around the bottom edge of the screen until you hear "Insert app bar button," and then double-tap the screen.

    The Photos app is closed and the picture is inserted in the slide.

Add speaker notes

You can use speaker notes to include additional information or comments which you don't want to be included in the actual presentation.

  1. While viewing a slide in PowerPoint, swipe right until you hear "Off, notes, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe left until you hear "Slide notes, editable text," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your note.

  4. Slide your finger around the top right corner of the screen until you hear "Close button," and then double-tap the screen to close the keyboard.

  5. Double-tap the screen to close the Notes pane.

Give your presentation

  1. Open the presentation you want to give in PowerPoint.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Present button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Landscape mode." Rotate the device 90 degrees counter-clockwise, otherwise the swipe directions given here work differently.

  3. Swipe left until you hear: "Slide 1," followed by the title and "Slide show control." Double-tap the screen to move to the next slide.

  4. Double-tap the screen to move forward in the presentation. When you reach the last slide, you hear: "End of slide show." Double-tap the screen to exit the presentation view.

  5. Turn your device back to portrait orientation. You hear: "Portrait mode."

See also

Use a screen reader to work with slides in PowerPoint

Use a screen reader to add and format text in PowerPoint

Learn how to navigate PowerPoint using accessible features

Use PowerPoint Online with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to create, read, and edit presentation. A PowerPoint presentation is a slide show. Each slide is a canvas for the pictures, words, and shapes that help you build your story.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint Online.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic makes note of the JAWS functionality as well. To learn more about JAWS for Windows, go to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

  • When you use PowerPoint Online, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because PowerPoint Online runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not PowerPoint Online.

In this topic

Open PowerPoint Online

Sign in to PowerPoint Online and take your presentations with you where ever you go.

  1. In your browser, go to Office Online.

  2. Press Tab until you hear "PowerPoint, link" and then press Enter.

  3. To sign in using your Microsoft account, press Alt+A. To sign in using a work or school account, press Alt+N.

  4. Press Enter. Type your credentials and press Enter.

  5. PowerPoint Online opens. You hear: "Microsoft PowerPoint Online." The focus is on the File tab, on a new blank presentation option.

Open a presentation

In PowerPoint Online, you can quickly open a presentation that you've worked on recently or you can browse your OneDrive folders for your file.

  1. On the File tab, press Tab or Shift+Tab until you hear either the name of the presentation that you want to work on or "Open from OneDrive" and then press Enter.

    • If you selected Open from OneDrive, OneDrive opens. Press Tab and the arrow keys to locate your file, and then press Enter.

      Tip: If you're already working on a slide in the Editing view, to move to the Open menu, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the current tab and then press F, O. Press Tab to move to your file or save location in the Open menu, and then press Enter.

  2. The file opens in the Reading view. To change to the Editing view, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Edit presentation" and then press Enter. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Edit in browser" and then press Enter.

Read slide contents in the Editing view

You can check the slide contents while you're working on your presentation in the Editing view.

  1. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Slide panel," and then press Tab. The screen reader announces the first element on the slide and reads its content.

  2. To move to the next element and read it, press Tab.

Read slide contents in other views

Your screen reader can read the slide contents in the Reading or Slide show views.

Read slide contents in the Reading view

  1. To navigate to the Reading view, in the Editing view, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the current tab, and then press W. You hear: "Selected, View tab."

  2. Press D. The Reading view opens.

  3. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Group" and then press Caps Lock+M. The screen reader starts to read the slide contents.

  4. To stop the screen reader, press Ctrl.

Read slide contents in the Slide show view

  1. To navigate to the Slide show view, in the Editing view, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the current tab, and then press W. You hear: "Selected, View tab."

  2. Press B. The first slide of your presentation opens in Slide show view.

  3. Press Tab until you hear the name of your presentation, and then press Caps Lock+M. The screen reader starts to read the slide contents.

  4. To stop the screen reader, press Ctrl.

Read slide contents in an accessible view

  1. To go to the more accessible view, in the Reading or Slide show view, press Ctrl+; (semicolon).

  2. Press Tab until you hear the name of your presentation, and then press Caps Lock+M. The screen reader starts to read the slide contents.

  3. To stop the screen reader, press Ctrl.

Navigate through slides

Check that your slides are in the right order and that all content is included.

  1. In the Editing view, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the number and title of the current slide. The focus is on the Thumbnail pane.

  2. To navigate in the Thumbnail pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys. The screen reader announces the number and title of the slide and if the slide has notes or comments.

  3. To move from the Thumbnail pane to the slide, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Slide panel," and then press Tab.

  4. To navigate through the slide, press Tab until you've gone through all elements on the slide.

Choose a theme

To spice up your presentation or give your slides a unified look and feel, choose and apply a theme from the many designs available in PowerPoint Online.

  1. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the current tab, and then press G. You hear: "Selected, Design tab."

  2. Press H. You hear: "Office theme."

  3. Press Tab until you hear the theme you want, and then press Enter.

Insert a new slide

You can add as many slides as you want to your presentation.

  1. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear “Home tab” and then press Enter. If the focus is on another tab, press Tab or Shift+Tab until you hear “Home tab” and then press Enter.

  2. Press Tab until you hear "New Slide Button", and then press Enter. The New Slide dialog box opens, and you hear the name of the selected slide layout.

  3. Press Tab until you hear the slide layout you want to insert, and then press Enter or Alt+Enter.

Tip: To quickly add a new blank slide based on an existing slide layout, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the number and title of the current slide. The focus is on the Thumbnail pane. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the slide you want, and then press Ctrl+M.

Save your presentation

PowerPoint Online automatically saves your presentation on OneDrive as you work. If you want to save a copy of the presentation on your device, it's easy with your screen reader and keyboard shortcuts. You can download your presentation either as PowerPoint PPTX, PDF, or ODP file.

Note: The changes you make to your local copy won't be automatically saved to the original file on OneDrive.

  1. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the current tab, and then press F. You hear: "File, close menu, menu item."

  2. Press L. The Download As menu opens.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the download option you want and then press Enter. You hear: "Click here to download <the selected download format>, link." To select the link, press Enter.

  4. Press Caps Lock+Right or Left arrow key until you hear "Save button" and then press Enter. The file has been downloaded to your device.

Add text

Use the screen reader and keyboard shortcuts to easily add text on the slides and get your message out there.

  1. To move the focus to an editable area on a slide, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: “Slide panel.”

  2. To move to the first placeholder on the slide, press Tab. The type of placeholder is announced. If it’s a text placeholder, press Enter, and then type the content.

  3. When you're finished, press F2.

  4. To move to the next placeholder, press Tab. To edit the placeholder, press Enter. To exit, press F2. Repeat for all placeholders on the slide.

Format text

To make your presentation more accessible for different audiences, you can, for example, increase font size or apply bold formatting to make text more legible.

  1. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear “Home tab” and then press Enter. If the focus is on another tab, press Tab or Shift+Tab until you hear “Home tab” and then press Enter.

  2. To move the focus to an editable area on a slide, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: “Slide panel.”

  3. To move to the first editable area on the slide, press Tab.

  4. To select the editable area, press Enter.

  5. To select all text in the area, press Ctrl+A. To select a part of the text in the area, press the arrow keys until you hear the text and then press Ctrl+Shift+arrow keys to select the piece of the text you want.

  6. Use the following shortcuts to apply the most common formatting options to the selected text:

    • Bold: Ctrl+B

    • Italics: Ctrl+I

    • Underline: Ctrl+U

    • Increase font size: Ctlr+]

    • Decrease font size: Ctrl+[

  7. To access more formatting options, with the text selected, press Caps Lock+Left arrow key until you hear the formatting option you want, for example, "Bullets button." To select an option, press Spacebar. To expand combo-boxes, press Alt+Down arrow key.

Add pictures

Sometimes a picture says more than a thousand words, so why not add a picture to liven up your presentation. In PowerPoint Online, you can add images from your own repository or use pictures directly from the Internet.

Tip: To add pictures in just the right place and of an exact size, use a slide based on a slide layout designed for pictures, such as Picture with Caption. For more details, see Insert a picture using a screen reader in PowerPoint Online.

Add pictures from your device

  1. On a slide on which you want to add a picture, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the current tab, and then press N. You hear: "Selected, Insert tab."

  2. Press P. The Windows Open dialog opens, the focus is in the file name field.

  3. Press Tab and the arrow keys until you hear the picture file you want, and then press Enter.

Add pictures from the Internet

  1. On the slide where you want to add a picture, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the current tab, and then press N. You hear: "Selected, Insert tab."

  2. Press F. The Search Bing Images dialog opens, the focus is on the search field.

  3. Type your search words and press Enter.

  4. Press Tab until you hear the first search result.

  5. Press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear the picture you want to insert, and then press Enter.

  6. Press Tab until you hear "Insert button," and then press Enter.

Add speaker notes

With speaker notes you can add reminders or talking points for the presenter.

  1. On the slide where you want to add speaker notes, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the default language, for example, "English, U.S., button."

  2. Press Tab until you hear "Off, Notes button," and then press Enter. If you hear "On, Notes button," you can move to the next step.

  3. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: "Slide notes, editing."

  4. Type your speaker notes for the slide.

Give your presentation

When it's time to share your presentation with your audience, use the keyboard shortcuts and your screen reader to start the slide show.

  1. In the Editing view, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear the current tab, and then press W. You hear: "Selected, View tab."

  2. Press B. The slide show starts from the first slide in the presentation.

    Tip: To start the slide show from the current slide, press C.

  3. In the slide show, press Tab until you hear the presentation name. The focus moves to the slide show.

  4. To go to the next slide, press N. To go to the previous slide, press P.

Exit the Slide show view

When you want to stop presenting, press Esc. The focus returns to the Editing view.

See also

Use a screen reader to work with slides in PowerPoint

Use a screen reader to add and format text in PowerPoint

Keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint Online

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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