Accessibility in PowerPoint

Office Accessibility Center > Accessibility support for PowerPoint

PowerPoint 2016 includes accessibility features that make it easy for users with limited dexterity, low vision, or other disabilities to work with files. This means you can use keyboard shortcuts, a screen reader, or a speech recognition tool to work with PowerPoint 2016.

In this topic

Explore the PowerPoint 2016 user interface

  • To learn how to set accessibility preferences and navigate Office 2016 applications, refer to Accessibility features in Office 2016.

  • This topic assumes that JAWS users have the Virtual Ribbon Menu feature turned off.

When you open a PowerPoint 2016 presentation or create a new one, the name of your presentation is centered at the top of the screen. Because you are in Normal view, app controls such as Minimize and Close are in the upper-right corner. By default, the Quick Access toolbar resides at the upper-left side of the screen. This toolbar can be customized and contains commonly used commands, such as Save, Undo, Redo, and Start From Beginning.

Below the toolbar is a set of ribbon tabs, such as Home, Insert, Design, Transitions, Animations, Slide Show, and View. The ribbon sits below this row of tabs (JAWS calls it the "lower ribbon"). When you select a tab, a tab-specific ribbon appears. Each ribbon includes commands organized in groups. For example, if you select the Insert tab, a ribbon appears. From that ribbon, you can pick different items, such as tables, pictures, shapes, or equations, to insert into your presentation.

Three panes appear below the ribbon. The Slides pane is on the left. It includes thumbnails of the slides or the text on your presentation slides. On the right is the active slide, and underneath that is the Notes pane. The lower-right corner of the screen contains View buttons and Zoom controls.

These toolbars, panes, and controls remain until you switch to a different view.

Views

The order of content and availability of commands change when you switch views. On the View tab, five views in the Presentation View group appear in this order: Normal, Outline View, Slide Sorter, Notes Page, and Reading View. Also on the View tab, the Master Views group has three options: Slide Master, Handout Master, and Notes Master.

To learn more about views and which to use, refer to Choose the right view for the task in PowerPoint

Use a screen reader and keyboard shortcuts

  • To navigate in PowerPoint 2016 and to cycle through screen elements, press the Tab key (forward) or Shift+Tab (backward).

  • To select an item, press Enter.

  • To browse within menus or lists, press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key, and then, to make a selection, press Enter.

  • To exit a menu or mode, press Esc.

For more details, see Use keyboard shortcuts to create your presentation.

PowerPoint 2016 includes accessible names that can be read by screen readers as you work in the application. You can use Narrator, the built-in screen reader in Windows, or a third-party screen reader, such as JAWS. For information on using PowerPoint 2016 with a screen reader, refer to Get started using a screen reader with a PowerPoint presentation.

Do common tasks

For steps to accomplish common tasks in PowerPoint 2016, refer to the following articles:

Use Tell Me

When you don’t know the keyboard shortcut or when you want to know about more options, use the Tell me what you want to do box.

  1. Optional. Select the text, cell, or other Office object you want to work with.

  2. Press Alt+Q. You hear “Tell me what you want to do.”

  3. Type a keyword or phrase, and then, to browse the search results, press the Down Arrow key. For example, for options related to fonts, such as italics and font size, type font. Some results may be submenus with more choices.

  4. To choose a result, press Enter.

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.

Learn how to make the most of the PowerPoint for Android accessibility features.

Notes: 

In this topic

Explore the PowerPoint for Android User Interface

PowerPoint for Android opens by default in the Normal view. In this view, at the top in the middle, you can find the name of the document. Below the document name, there’s a menu bar with the following items from left to right:

  • File

Double-tapping the File button opens the File menu which contains the following buttons from top to bottom:

  • New

  • Open

  • Save

  • Save As

  • History

  • Print

  • Share

  • Close

  • Feedback

  • Office Apps

  • Slide show

Double-tapping the Slide show button opens the Slide show view which contains the following items and areas from top to bottom:

  • A menu bar with the following items from left to right:

    • Slide number indicator

    • Ink switch

    • Ink tools menu

    • Link screen switch

    • End show button

  • Slide show area

  • Notes area with switch to expand the area

  • Slides list

  • Add slide

  • Share

  • Undo

  • Double-tap Add slide to add a new slide in the presentation.

  • Double-tap Share to share your presentation.

  • Double-tap Undo to undo the last action.

Below the menu bar, you can find the main content area where the slides are visible. Drag one finger in this area to hear the slide numbers. Tap a slide to select it. Double-tap the slide, and you hear: “Edit button.” Double-tap the screen, and you enter the Editing view.

The Editing view contains the following items from top to bottom:

  • Top: Menu bar buttons

  • Back

  • More options

  • Notes

  • Share

  • Undo

Main content area

  • Shows a single editable slide

Bottom: Tell Me button, buttons on the context-sensitive menu bar, and Expand/Collapse switch

  • Tell Me

The buttons on the context-specific menu bar change depending on what is selected in the main content area (for example, a whole slide, a table, or a text box in the slide). By default, it contains the following items when the focus is on an entire slide:

  • Tell Me

  • Layout

  • Table

  • Picture

  • Shape

  • Text box

  • Camera

  • Undo

  • Expand/Collapse switch

Note:  Double-tapping these items opens menu for further options.

Double-tapping the Expand/Collapse switch opens or hides the Tab menu bar which contains the following items from left to right:

  • Tab menu list

  • Tell Me button

  • Undo button

  • Redo button

  • Expand/Collapse switch

The Tab menu list contains the following tabs:

  • Home

  • Insert

  • Draw

  • Design

  • Transitions

  • Slide Show

  • Review

  • View

Double-tapping the menu list items opens new editing options.

Use TalkBack screen reader, touch gestures, and external keyboard shortcuts

PowerPoint for Android works with the screen reader TalkBack. When TalkBack is on, you hear a spoken description of whatever you select or activate on your device. This includes commands, locations, lists, and buttons, in addition to the contents of PowerPoint screens, menus, and pop-up windows .

To learn more about TalkBack, go to Get started on Android with TalkBack.

To find more about how to work with touch in TalkBack, refer to Explore by touch in TalkBack.

If you’re using an external keyboard, refer to Use TalkBack keyboard shortcuts.

Turn on TalkBack

You can turn TalkBack on either when you set up your Android phone or later after the setup. You can also activate a shortcut for turning on TalkBack. For instructions, refer to Turn on TalkBack.

  1. To turn on TalkBack after setup, go to Settings > Accessibility.

  2. Tap TalkBack and tap the toggle switch to turn it on.

  3. Select OK.

Use global and local context menus

As you navigate using TalkBack, two context menus are available to help you find settings and controls. The global context menu contains commands that work anywhere. The local context menu commands depend on the focused item.

To learn more about the global and local context menu, refer to Use global and local context menus.

Use Tell Me

Use the Tell me search when you want to know about more options, quickly do a task, or check where an option or tab is located on the screen.

For more info on Tell Me, refer to Do things quickly with Tell Me.

  1. In the Editing view of your PowerPoint presentation, swipe left or right with one finger until you hear: “Tell me button. Double-tap to activate.” Then double-tap the screen with one finger. You hear: “Tell me what you want to do.”

  2. Swipe right until you hear: “Edit box, tell me what you want to do.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Showing <keyboard language> keyboard.”

  3. To type a search word, slide your finger across the keyboard at the bottom of the screen until you hear the character you’d like to type, and then lift your finger. As you type, a list of search results opens.

  4. To browse the search results, swipe left or right with one finger. You hear the search results. Some results may have submenus with more choices. TalkBack announces search results with submenus. You hear: “<Search result> menu, double-tap to activate.” To open the menu, double-tap the screen.

  5. To choose a result, double-tap the screen.

Use PowerPoint for Android with speech recognition

Speech recognition tools can help you use voice commands to operate PowerPoint for Android instead of touch navigation or an external keyboard. For more information on how to download and turn on Voice Access app, refer to Get Started with Voice Access.

Zoom in or out

Zoom in to your presentation content, for example, to check a picture in a slide.

To zoom in to a slide, place two fingers on the screen and then slide them apart. To zoom back out, pinch your fingers together.

Let TalkBack read alt texts

To get an idea what an image, table, text box, or a shape in your presentation is all about, listen to their alternative texts (if available).

  1. To navigate to an object on a slide, swipe left or right until you hear: “<Alt text title> <object type> <alt text description>. ”Custom actions, launch context menu, double-tap to activate.”

  2. To move away from the object, swipe left or right.

Change color contrast and invert colors

To make the content easier to read and select, you can increase contrast or invert colors on your device.

Note: Changing color contrast and inverting colors are experimental features. They are not guaranteed to work with all buttons and surfaces.

  1. On any view, swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers. You hear: “Notification shade.” The notification area opens.

  2. Swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen. You hear the name of the option in focus.

  3. Swipe left or right until you hear: “Open Settings button. Double-tap to activate.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Settings.”

  4. Tap anywhere on the screen, and then swipe left or right until you hear: “Accessibility, double-tap to activate.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Accessibility.”

  5. Do either or both of the following:

    • Swipe right until you hear: “High contrast text, experimental, off-switch, double-tap to activate.” Then double tap the item. You hear: “On.”

    • Swipe right until you hear: “Color inversion, experimental, may affect performance, off-switch, double-tap to activate.” Then double tap the item. You hear: “On.”

Create accessible PowerPoint presentations

You can format text boxes, shapes, tables, and images in PowerPoint for Android to make them more accessible to everyone. For tips on how to make a presentation accessible, refer to Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible.

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.

See also

Use an external keyboard with PowerPoint for Android

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