What's new in accessibility for PowerPoint

We are committed to making Office 365 applications accessible by design on every device, so that

  • People with disabilities can communicate, consume, and create content on any device.

  • Everyone can easily create content that is accessible.

In this article, we'll share some highlights from recent updates on our journey to make PowerPoint 2016 for Windows better for customers who use a keyboard or assistive technology. We welcome your feedback so we can continue to improve PowerPoint for everyone.

We’ve made PowerPoint more consistent and reliable with screen readers, and we’ve enabled deeper and broader feature access with screen readers. We're working to make it easier and more efficient to author and read slides and speaker notes. This includes fundamentals like reliable High Contrast even in menus and galleries, and working screen readers on text and lists. It also includes features such as proofing, comments, and co-authoring.

To learn how to use these features with a screen reader and keyboard, choose the PowerPoint icon on Office Accessibility Center.

November 2016 updates

Here are some highlights of the November 2016 update of PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. Our accessibility improvements follow industry standards and can be used by any assistive technology.

Note: If you'd like to be among the first to access these improvements, join the Office Insider program.

Tip: To get full benefit from these improvements, we recommend Windows 10 Anniversary update using Narrator.

Screen reader and keyboard interaction

We've improved the experience of working with fundamental tasks such as keyboard navigation and text formatting.

  • Use screen reader and keyboard to navigate, read, edit, and present slides.

  • Full keyboard access to all features, by using F6, Tab and Arrow keys, Spacebar and Enter, and keyboard shortcuts.

  • Visible indicators of keyboard focus.

  • Screen readers use standard math words when you read or edit equation.

High Contrast

This update includes better compatibility with High Contrast settings.

  • Text formatting and page background now match your chosen High Contrast setting.

  • Ribbon commands, icons, and gallery content also match your High Contrast setting better.

Accessible authoring

  • Many popular Office templates are now accessible. You’ll find accessible templates for reports, presentations, cover sheets, even resumes. To use the templates from Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, just search for “Accessible templates” in the Search for Online Templates box.

  • Color contrast for PowerPoint slides documents meets accessibility guidelines for text, styles, and objects by default.

  • Run the Accessibility Checker by selecting a button in the Review tab on the ribbon.

  • Make slides more accessible by following Steps to fix instructions that match ribbon commands.

Save As or Export to PDF

  • Individual slides correctly tagged for conversion to PDF.

  • Correct heading tags now added to Title slide and following slides.

  • Correctly tag hyperlinks.

  • Improve tagging for table headers.

  • Correctly tag bulleted and numbered lists. This includes nested lists.

  • Mark documents with the language attribute.

Closed captions playback

Playback for videos that have closed captions. To find out more, see Accessibility features in video playback on PowerPoint.

Two audio tracks for language and audio description

People can select which audio track to play in videos with two audio tracks, such as those with other languages or audio description.

We want to hear from you

We welcome your feedback.

We want you to love working with PowerPoint. If you have a suggestion about making PowerPoint more usable for people with disabilities, please give us feedback or vote at PowerPoint User Voice Forum.

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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