Review the information below to understand how PowerPoint and the PDF files produced from PowerPoint by CommonLook Office GlobalAccess can assist in meeting accessibility obligations.

On This Page:  Adding Alternative Text I Adding Structure I Creating HyperlinksApplying Accessibillity Guidelines

Adding Alternative Textual Description for Non-Textual Objects

People who are visually impaired require an alternative means of accessing the information conveyed by images and other non-text objects (for example, charts). Learn more about adding text description for graphic objects in MS PowerPoint.

Adding Structure

Proper use of styles, such as heading levels, helps ensure that the presentation is properly structured. This makes the CommonLook Office-produced PDF easier to navigate by people with a visual impairment using assistive technology. More about Adding Structure to PowerPoint.

Creating Hyperlinks in PowerPoint

To properly create a hyperlink in MS PowerPoint, type the text you’d like to hyperlink, right click it, and, from the context menu, choose hyperlink.  Then, in the address field, enter the URL for where the link should go.  Tip:  To make sure that the URL is correct, it might be helpful to go to the webpage, copy the URL, and then simply paste it into the text field for the address in PowerPoint.

Note:  If you want the link to open an email, go to a different file, or go to a different location in the same document, choose the appropriate button on the left side of the menu when creating the link in PowerPoint.

Applying Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)

While WCAG 2.0 is designed for web content, it’s a commonly cited source for general principles of accessibility in electronic content. The PDF format includes a number of powerful accessibility features required for conformance with WCAG 2.0 in PDF.

CommonLook Office enables WCAG 2.0 conformance during the PowerPoint-to-PDF conversion process, but in the current release, does not offer comprehensive checking of WCAG 2.0 success criteria.

The following table lists all WCAG 2.0 success criteria. Each is presented with corresponding support in PowerPoint and in PDF output from PowerPoint using CommonLook Office. If success criteria are partially or unaddressed in software the responsible party is indicated.

WCAG 2.0 SCSupport in PowerPoint 2007 & 2010In PDF output from PowerPoint
1.1.1Alternative text for graphicsCommonLook Office (figure management)
1.2.xBy multimedia authorBy multimedia author (after PDF creation)
1.3.1Minimal supportCommonLook Office (headings, artifacts, lists)
1.3.2Minimal supportCommonLook Office (order management)
1.3.3By authorBy author
1.4.1By authorCommonLook Office (color checker)
1.4.2By authorBy audio author (after PDF creation)
1.4.3By authorBy author
1.4.4SupportedSupported
1.4.5 – 1.4.9By authorBy author
2.1 – 2.4.2PowerPoint macros / VBCommonLook Office (no scripts conveyed)
2.4.3Minmal supportCommonLook Office (orders form fields)
2.4.4 – 2.4.5By authorBy author
2.4.6Minimal supportCommonLook Office (styles & heading levels)
2.4.7Supported by PPT/PPTXSupported by PDF
2.4.8 – 2.4.10By authorBy author
3.1.xBy authorBy author
3.2.1 – 3.2.2PowerPoint macros / VBCommonLook Office (no scripts conveyed)
3.2.3 – 3.2.4By authorBy author
3.2.5PowerPoint macros / VBCommonLook Office (no scripts conveyed)
3.3.1PowerPoint macros / VBCommonLook Office (no scripts conveyed)
3.3.2SupportedCommonLook Office (forms)
3.3.3 – 3.3.6PowerPoint macros / VBCommonLook Office (no scripts conveyed)
4.xLimited supportAll UI elements are standard