Background MS PowerPoint Techniques I CommonLook Office Techniques

Background

People with a visual impairment may need an alternative way of accessing the information conveyed by images and other non-textual objects (e.g., charts).

Picture of the Illustrations group which is part of the Insert tab in the PowerPoint ribbon. The Illustrations group allows the user to select one of the following types of illustrations: Pictures, Clip Arts, Shapes, Smart Art or Charts.A meaningful description of Pictures, Clip Art, Shapes, Smart Art objects, and Charts is required in order to provide this information. These object types are shown in the Illustrations group, part of the Insert tab in the PowerPoint ribbon.

Note: Objects are often included on slides for decorative purposes. To be handled correctly in PDF, such objects must be marked as “artifacts” (see CommonLook Office Techniques, below). Placing objects on PowerPoint templates ensures they will be marked as artifacts.

The following sections illustrate the techniques available in MS PowerPoint and CommonLook Office for adding alternative text to non-textual objects.

MS PowerPoint Techniques

Picture, Clip Art, Smart Art and Chart

Adding alternative text in PowerPoint 2007 Adding alternative text in PowerPoint 2010
Double-click on the object to display the Format tab. Double-click on the object to display the Format tab.
Click on the little arrow in the Size group to bring up the Size dialog.The Size group which is part of the Format tab in the PowerPoint ribbon. The Size group allows the user to open the Size dialog box to change the size of the selected object or to specify alternative text. Click the little arrow in the Picture Styles group to display the Format Picture dialog.The Picture Styles group is part of the Format tab in the PowerPoint ribbon. The Picture Styles group allows the user to open the Format Picture dialog box to specify alternative text.
Click on the Alt Text tab and provide a description of the selected picture, clip art, smart art, or chart. The description should communicate all relevant information about the object.Picture of the Size dialog box which allows the user to specify the alternative text for an object. Click on the Alt Text tab and provide a description of the selected picture, clip art, smart art, or chart. The description should communicate all relevant information about the object. Be sure to fill the “Description” field.Adding alternative text to images in PowerPoint 2010 indicating use of the Description field in the alt. text tab.

Shape

Shapes are typically used to create a more complex object (e.g., a flow chart). Before providing a textual description for a collection of Shapes, group them together to then provide one Alt. text.

To group a collection of shapes:

  1. Select all the items to be included in the group (this can be done by pressing the ctrl key as you select each of the shapes).
  2. Right click on one of the selected shapes.
  3. Select Grouping and then select Group.Picture of a number of shapes being grouped.
  4. Once the shapes have been grouped, follow the directions given above for adding alternative text.

Artifacts

Artifacts are objects intended for purely cosmetic purposes (i.e., they don’t contribute information to the presentation). While PowerPoint includes no support for marking objects as artifacts, CommonLook Office makes this possible.

CommonLook Office Techniques

Use CommonLook Office to mark objects as artifacts or add textual descriptions to meaningful graphics through the Text Tags checkpoint.