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I want to make my Powerpoint Slides accessible.

For this, I use the AccessibilityChecker feature.

It tells me that I should check the reading order of some slides:

Results of AccessibilityChecker

And here's how it tells me to fix it:

Fixing instruction

The problem is: I don't really seem to have an option to mark a slide as "fixed". So the more slides I have like this, the more problems are reported, and I will always have to check back again to ensure that I didn't miss one of them. It would be great to be able to just mark a checkbox like "Solved", so I only see new slides (or changed ones) popping up as possible problems.

The AccessibilityChecker also tells me, that if I use a layout slide, this won't be a problem. But often there's no appropriate layout slide, and as soon as I'm inserting an image by copy&paste, the hint is displayed in the AccessibilityChecker.

So I tried creating a custom layout slide, and indeed, this doesn't trigger the hint! But I don't want to create a layout slide for each custom slide I need...

So is there any other way to solve this problem?

I have uploaded the presentation so you can check yourself:

slide 4 and 5 look identical, but while slide 4 was built in a custom way, slide 5 is built using a layout slide. Other than that, I don't see a difference. But the AccessibilityChecker only complains for slide 4.

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If you enter text into placeholders provided by the master slide/layout, you can be certain of the reading order of the text. If you enter text by creating text boxes, the reading order may not be what you expect it to be (it'll depend on the order in which you entered the text), but as long as it's in the correct order, it's no less accessible than text in placeholders.

You can easily check the order: click off the slide so that nothing's selected, then press TAB to select each shape in turn. The order in which shapes are selected will be the order in which their text (if any) is read by accessibility technology.

PPT has no direct way of tracking which slides have changed so I guess you're stuck with clicking through the whole presentation when you do an accessibility check.

I don't have the Mac handy right now, but I wonder if you can check just a subset of slides by selecting them in sorter view before running the accessibility check. Worth a try ...

  • Thank you. These are some good hints. But the answer to my question would be "No, there's no way of manually marking slides as in correct reading order", right? – Joshua Muheim Nov 14 '16 at 8:11
  • I suspect not. While it's relatively simple to make sure that they ARE in the correct reading order, it appears that you'll get the warning if the slides aren't based on text boxes. I suppose you could put a sock in its mouth by basing your slides on standard title+bullet layouts and leaving the placeholders blank or inserting dummy text in them and then moving them off-slide. – Steve Rindsberg Nov 15 '16 at 2:44
  • In fact it IS good practice to have a specific layout available for each slide type. But yeah, some slides just don't fit into a pattern. Thank you. – Joshua Muheim Nov 15 '16 at 12:51
  • Totally agree; I hope nothing I said could be interpreted to suggest NOT using the provided layouts (or custom-designed ones) rather than just adding a blank slide and throwing stuff at it. Sometimes that's the only way, but it's the best way ONLY when it's the only way. – Steve Rindsberg Nov 15 '16 at 20:08

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