On this page: Background and Purpose | What We Do | Guidelines and Standards

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Accessible Hyperlinks (MS PowerPoint)

Background and Purpose

For hyperlinks to be accessible by assistive technology, the following considerations need to be made:

  • Hyperlinked text should either be:  Sufficiently descriptive so that users can easily identify, before selecting the link, the location to which the link is targeted, OR, the link’s target should be easily determinable when taken in context with the surrounding content of the document.  Generic phrases such as “click here” should be avoided.
  • Links should have sufficiently descriptive alternative text so that the user knows where the link will take them when the link is “activated.”   (“Activation” of  a link can be accomplished by clicking on it with the mouse or with keyboard navigation.)
  • The hyperlink address (in MS PowerPoint) must be entered correctly so that the link takes the user to the correct target.  Two elements must be considered here.  First, does the link take the user to a destination (the link is not “broken”) and, second, does the link take the user to the intended destination?
  • Hyperlinks need to be tagged correctly in the PDF so that assistive technology devices are able to navigate to the link target.

What We Do

Note: This may encompass one or more checkpoints depending on the standard that the document is being run against.

  • CommonLook Office GlobalAccess lists the links in the document and asks the user to verify and/or correct the textual description of each link.  By default, the text that has been hyperlinked in the PowerPoint presentation will be set as the “Textual Description” (alternative text).  If needed, edit the alternative text.
  • CommonLook Office GlobalAccess will test the links to make sure that they are not “broken” (that they take the user to a destination).  Note:  CommonLook Office GlobalAccess will not verify that the link target is the correct destination.  This must be done by the user.
  • When the PDF is generated, all hyperlinks will be tagged correctly.
  • CommonLook Office GlobalAccess will automatically set the tabbing order in the document to follow the document structure.

Screen shot of the CommonLook Office Global Access panel for adding or editing Alternative Text to links.

A note regarding Annotation Types (PDF U/A):  CommonLook Office GlobalAccess only creates widget (form) annotations and link annotations.  This checkpoint is otherwise not applicable in CommonLook Office Global Access.

Guidelines and Standards

This checkpoint is relevant to the following regulations, guidelines and standards:

DocumentPublishedScopeConformance Criteria
Section 508 – 2001 Regulations (USA)2001“Web-Based Information & Applications”Not Specified
W3C WCAG 2.02008Web ContentSC 2.4.4
Health and Human Services – HHS (USA)2013PDF File 508 ChecklistID 1.8 – 1.11
ISO 14289 (PDF/UA)2012PDF TechnologySection 7.18.2
Section 7.18.5
Section 7.18.3