• Add alt-text to Charts. Provide general information about the chart like its title, legend, labels, etc.
  • Provide a longer description. Add an in-depth text description and/or the data table below the chart. You can also provide this information in a separate document.
  • If the data is¬†available online, then link to it.

Columns and Layout

Use the slide Layout tool to organize content into various columns. Avoid using tables, tabs, or spaces to create layout.

Image Captions

Image captions are accessible; however, they are usually not a substitute for alt-text.


Use hyperlink Text to Display to explain the link location and purpose. You can add the URL for those who will print the document.

Link example:

Learn more about NYU Digital Accessibility. (

Math and Equations


The easiest and most accessible way to input equation is with the MathType for Microsoft Office. Students with screen readers can read the equations directly within the PowerPoint document, and it can also be converted to formats such as Braille.
You can also copy and paste ASCII text, MathML, or LaTex into MathType for conversion.

Although PowerPoint does have an equation editor, it does not currently work with screen readers. It is not recommended that you use the built-in PowerPoint equation editor. However, MathType is able to convert PowerPoint equations to MathType.


If you only have an image of the equation, then use the alt-text editor within PowerPoint to describe the equation. If you cannot use MathType, and you have the equation in ASCII text, MathML, or LaTex, then you can use MathML Cloud to get an image of the equation with suggested alt-text.


Objects (Insert > Object) are usually an embedded spreadsheet, graph, or image. These are not accessible within PowerPoint. Instead use the built-in table, image, and Chart features in the Insert tab.


Shapes (located in Insert > Shapes) are currently difficult to make accessible, and it is not advised that you use it. However, taking a screenshot with Snipping Tool for Windows or Grab for Mac allows you to get a static image of Shapes. You can add the static image to your document and describe it using alt-text.


SmartArt cannot be made fully accessible, and it should be avoided. However, taking a screenshot with Snipping Tool for Windows or Grab for Mac allows you to get a static image of SmartArt. You can add the screenshot image to your document and describe it with alt-text.

Superscripts and Subscripts

Screen readers will read the text as if everything was regular text. If the content is an equation, then visit the Math section for more.


Avoid using watermarks, because they disrupt the readability of the text. Instead, consider adding a prominent statement to the beginning of the document or page.