Accessibility Checker

The Accessibility Checker is an easy to way to check your document for common accessibility issues.

Mac users: Accessibility Checker is available starting with PowerPoint for Mac 2016


1. Use easy to read fonts

Use common fonts like Arial and Times New Roman.

Arial and Times New Roman fonts.

2. Use the lists built into PowerPoint

Using the list buttons in PowerPoint helps screen readers users know when a list begins and makes it possible to move between list items. Avoid creating lists manually with dashes or other symbols.

List buttons can be found on the home tab for both Mac and Windows versions.

List styles are located...

Windows PowerPoint 2016

3. Use colors that contrast well

  • Do the text and headings strongly contrast from the background?
  • Would everything still be easy to understand if printed from a black and white printer?
Use the Colour Contrast Analyzer Tool to find out if the colors meet objective accessibility standards.

4. Avoid using color as the sole way to convey meaning

Some people may not detect change of color. Screen readers don't announce colored text or highlights. You can use colors, but also share the information in a way that doesn't only rely on color to convey the message.

Example of using color to communicate information via text:
"Fox" and "dog" are nouns in the following sentence:
The quick brown fox jumps over the the lazy dog.

Outline View

Make sure all text content appears in the outline view, as this is the primary way some students read the content. Also, ensure there is a unique title for each page.

It is recommended to begin in the outline view, then change the design and add images.


Alternative Text (Alt-Text) provides brief descriptions of images for use with screen readers. Read more about writing Alt text

PowerPoint for Mac 2016

  1. Right-click image, then select Format Picture...
  2. Select Layout & Properties in the side panel
  3. Enter Alt Text in the description field

Windows PowerPoint 2016

  1. Right-click image, then select Edit Alt Text
  2. Enter Alt Text in the side panel


Simple tables with header rows are easily accessible to screen readers.

Video and Audio

Instead of inserting the audio or video file directly within your presentation, insert a hyperlink to the external media. Embedded video and audio in PowerPoint can be difficult to check for accessibility. Keyboard accessibility, video captions, and screen reader compatibility are just some of the issues that arise with embedded media.

Note that the video content you link to should have captions for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing.