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Re: PPT: alt tag on master slide


From: Karlen Communications
Date: May 21, 2019 6:15AM

Do you mean "does the screen reader read the Alt text while in Slide Master view?" Or are you wanting to have screen readers read the Alt text in Slide Layout view or Slide Show view?

I just checked a presentation I'm currently working on and while in Slide Layout view, the images I added in Slide Master view are not seen by the adaptive technology/screen readers/Text-to-Speech tools which is what I want. The images are decorative and used as "bling" and are not essential to the understanding of the content.

I can confirm that using the latest Office Insider for Office 365 subscription, PowerPoint desktop application, JAWS latest version is reading the Alt text on images on the Slide Master but is not reading the Alt text for those images once I switch to Slide Layout or Slide Show view...which is what I want. I don't want those decorative images to be seen by the adaptive technology.

While the latest version of Office 365 subscription PowerPoint desktop application does have the ability to mark an image on a slide as decorative, this is NOT backward compatible. This means that if I mark an image as decorative using "my" version of PowerPoint, if someone is using an earlier version, they will hear "graphic, and the dimensions of the image" My presentation will also be flagged by the accessibility checker as not being accessible because the images are missing Alt text in the earlier version of PowerPoint.

If you don't want the adaptive technology to see the images, the best way to add them is to put them on the Slide Master. You can add Alt Text to them on the Slide Master if you want. I used to do this but how many people go into Slide Master view, especially if they don't see the image on the slide? For me, as a person who uses a screen reader, putting images on the Slide Master that are just bling/filler means that I spend time reading the content and not "looking at the images which often had the Alt text 'decorative' instead of meaningful Alt text. I added the "decorative" designation to my decorative images instead of describing them because I just needed to know they are decorative - I don't need a description of them...which again would take time listening to but not gaining much information. Now I use a combination of putting decorative images on the Slide Master and using the Mark as decorative" check box in the Alt text Pane. Since I distribute my slides as a tagged PDF or as a Word tagged PDF, I don't worry about backward compatibility of the Mark as decorative feature. The Mark as decorative capability makes the images Artifacts when I tag the PowerPoint or Word documents.

Cheers, Karen

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Jonathan Avila
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2019 7:36 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PPT: alt tag on master slide

JAWS 2019 does seem to speak alt text from images on master slides with the most recent version of Office. I haven't tested out what version of JAWS And PowerPoint are required -- but I'm happy to hear that it is now supported at least with some combination.


Jonathan Avila, CPWA
Chief Accessibility Officer
Level Access
703.637.8957 office
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-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Tami J Tolpa
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2019 7:25 PM
Subject: [WebAIM] PPT: alt tag on master slide

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Hello! I'm fairly new to accessibility and this is my first time posting. I'm hoping I can get some help with PPT accessibility.

I've been tasked with creating a PPT template that is accessible for courses created by my department.

I'd like to use master slides, but I'd like to have the images contained on them have alt tags. Is this possible? I know that images on master slides in PPT are not read by screen readers, which makes me think that anything that requires an alt-tag needs to be on a regular slide. Is this the case?

There are icons on our master slides, and sometimes logos, and I would like them to have descriptions without having to move them from master slides to regular slides. To accomplish this, do I need a workaround, like an invisible box on the slide the contains the alt-tag?

Thanks for any input you can provide.

Kindest regards,

Tami J Tolpa
Graphic Designer
Cultivate Learning at University of Washington