Sequence Content Preparation I Section 508Additional

CommonLook Office PowerPoint Checkpoints. CommonLook Office addresses Section 508 requirements in the PDF files it creates from PowerPoint presentations. For efficiency and ease-of-use the application first identifies applicable checkpoints based on presentation content. CommonLook Office then leads you through tasks associated with each checkpoint to ensure the resulting PDF file is accessible and conforms with Section 508.

The nature and sequence of the checkpoints in CommonLook Office is carefully chosen to help address typical PowerPoint presentations. Other less common uses of PowerPoint, including forms, are also covered.

CommonLook Office goes far above and beyond the original Section 508 regulations to make it easy to create highly accessible PDF files in a comprehensive, methodical manner.

Sequence of Checkpoints

CommonLook Office begins with Content Preparation Checkpoints to help prepare the presentation for conversion followed by the Section 508 Checkpoints and finally, a check for skipped heading levels in Additional Checkpoints.

Once you are comfortable with CommonLook Office you may opt for a variety of workflows. Beginning or occasional users should proceed through the checkpoints in the order presented.

Content Preparation Checkpoints

The Content Preparation Checkpoints help ensure that presentation content is ready to comply with Section 508 when converted to PDF. Proper consideration and handling of PowerPoint objects, lists and styles is vital to ensuring readability with assistive technology and thus to compliance with Section 508’s paragraph (d) and PDF/UA as well as accessibility guidelines including WCAG 2.0.


Presentations often include situations in which multiple graphical objects (images, arrows and so on) are used together to make a single point. This checkpoint allows users to group objects for specific placement in the logical order and to provide a single place to apply alternative text. More information on the Grouping checkpoint.

Overlapping Objects

Check for overlapping objects that may hide text in the output PDF. More information on the Overlapping Objects checkpoint.


Verify that lists are correctly identified. More information on the Lists checkpoint.

Style Mapping

Verify that PowerPoint styles are mapped correctly to PDF tags. More information on the Style Mapping checkpoint.

Section 508 Checkpoints

Derived from the 2001 US Federal regulations, these checkpoints are documented here.

Additional Checkpoints

Logical Heading Levels

While unaddressed in the current Section 508 regulations, WCAG 2.0 recommends and PDF/UA requires that heading levels be logical. In PDF, heading levels provide vital navigability to users with assistive software such as JAWS, NVDA or other software capable of PDF navigation by headings. This checkpoint verifies that heading levels (H1, H2, H3, etc.) are logical. More information on the Logical Heading Levels checkpoint.

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