Accessibility Checker for PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPointPowerPoint is available to all current University of Worcester staff members and students.

Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible to people with disabilities

Accessible PowerPoint documents will:

  • Make your presentations smaller and faster to upload/download
  • Help to ensure that all of the audience can engage with the presentation
  • Make your presentations easier to convert into alternative formats and retain readability
  • Reduce the time required to convert existing presentations into specific accessible formats

Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible to people with disabilities


Ensure attendees are asked about any reasonable adjustments they may require prior to the session. This may include producing handouts in large print or printing them on coloured paper.

Handouts of your slides should be available to delegates at least 24 hours prior to your presentation.

When printing handouts, include no more than two slides per page.

Content of slides

When writing your presentation:

  • Limit amount of information on each slide and avoid long sentences.
  • Use plain English and avoid the use of abbreviations.
  • Provide text descriptions for pictorial elements or graphs. To do this, right click on 'Image', select 'format picture', click 'web tab' and then add in the description and click 'OK').

Style of slides

The way slides look is also very important to their accessibility:

  • Use standard slide layouts and check order of information in outline view to ensure accessibility for those reading slides using screen readers.
  • Use a dark text on light backgrounds to provide clear contrast. An off-white/cream background is generally accepted as being more accessible than pure white. Avoid using busy background images.
  • Use a sans serif typeface (Arial is best) of font size 24 or above (45 bold for titles).
  • Bullet points assist in making slides easier to follow.
  • Avoid adding text boxes where possible.
  • Do not use colour as the only indicator of meaning, such as priority items shown in red.
  • Avoid animations and sounds if not crucial to content of presentation. Animations may cause screen readers to read the slide twice.
  • When adding in information from Word, Excel and so on, embed the file name into the slide rather than cutting and pasting.

To do this:

  1. Open the PowerPoint presentation and the Word/Excel file you wish to embed into the slides.
  2. Select and copy the section from the Word/Excel file you wish to embed.
  3. Click on the section in the PowerPoint slide where you wish to embed the file.
  4. From the top menu bar select "Edit" then "Paste Special".
  5. Select the format you wish - Excel/Word etc.
  6. This should embed the item into the presentation. If you double click on the item you will be able to edit it in Word/Excel whilst it remains in the PowerPoint

Accessibility Checker

Before releasing materials, you should run the Accessibility Checker to make sure your Microsoft Office content is easy for people of all abilities to read and edit. This is listed under the ‘Review’ tab > click ‘Check Accessibility’

Powerpoint Accessibility Checker
Powerpoint Accessibility Checker Right Pane

Improve Accessibility with the Accessibility Checker