Create more accessible PowerPoint presentations

Improve image accessibility in PowerPoint

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Use these techniques to make the charts, graphs, and images in your PowerPoint slides accessible to users with a vision or reading disability.

Explore tips for image accessibility

  • 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.

Add alt text to a chart

  1. With the chart selected, select Format > Format Selection.
    Or right-click the chart, and select Format Chart Area.

  2. Select Size & Properties Screenshot of the Size & Properties button on the Format Chart Area pane. .

  3. For Alt Text, type a description.

Add alt text to a picture

  1. With the picture selected, select Format > Size and Position.

    Screenshot of the Size and Position button on the Format tab.

    Or right-click the picture, and select Format Picture.

  2. Select Size & Properties Screenshot of the Size & Properties button on the Format Chart Area pane. .

  3. For Alt Text, type a description.

Group layered images

  1. Select all of the images you want to group.
    As you select each image or drag a highlight around them, press and hold the Shift key.

  2. Select Format > Group.

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Many people use charts, graphs, and pictures in their PowerPoint slides. But not everyone SEES these elements the same way—or at all.

Here are some ways to ensure that your images and graphics are more accessible to those of us with a vision or reading disability.

When you create a chart or graph for a slide, don’t rely solely on COLOR to communicate an idea.

For instance, this column chart represents data categories with eight different colors.

Let’s see how this might look to a user with colorblindness.

Select View, then Grayscale.

It’s hard to tell which column represents which city.

To make visual elements like charts more accessible, use color AND text or color AND shape. And, use high-contrast colors, like black or dark blue on a white background, or white on a dark gray background.

Also, be sure to add alt text with a description of your chart, graph, or picture. Specific details are a big help to someone who relies on a screen-reading program to go through your slides.

Select the chart and select Format Chart Area.

Select Size & Properties, and then select Alt Text.

In the Description box, type your alt text. Good alt text says what the chart is about and summarizes its main points.

Remember that a screen reader also reads the contents of the Notes pane, so that’s another good place to add information about the slide.

When using a picture or clip art in your slide, remember that screen readers can’t read text WITHIN an image.

If the words in the picture are important to your audience, repeat them in alt text with the image description.

Finally, take care when you layer multiple images. This image, for example, is made up of four separate pieces: two screenshots, a circle, and an arrow.

Making sense of this stack of images can be a real headache for people who use screen readers.

Instead, group these elements into a single image. Select Format, and then select Group.

As usual, remember to add your alt text.

For more about creating accessible documents, go to

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