WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Design ideas in PowerPoint


From: Karlen Communications
Date: Feb 4, 2020 8:04AM

In the current desktop version of PowerPoint through Office 365, many of the
elements used to position the design ideas are marked as decorative,
however, if you Tab around the slide, you run into things called "freeform
1" "freeform 2" "rectangle 1" or "circle 1" so they are not accessible/you
can't add Alt Text to them, even in older iterations of PowerPoint. Another
problem is when you have a table on a slide and PowerPoint Designer/Design
Ideas give you suggestions on how to make your table look spiffy. You cannot
adjust the logical reading order on those slides so that the slide title and
the table are navigated to before you navigate to the bling in the
background. Trying to do so will make the content in the slide title and
table disappear.

It is a bit better when you convert the PowerPoint to tagged PDF although at
the moment, both Acrobat and the Microsoft conversion tool are giving a lot
of unnecessary <Span> and <Part> Tags and I've seen lots of <H1> Tags nested
under a <figure> Tag when there is no figure or image on the slide.

With PowerPoint Designer/Design Ideas Pane any designation of the objects
used to position, shape or size the design are NOT backward compatible and
as a person who uses a screen reader, it gets annoying pretty quickly when
hearing a lot of freeform this and freeform that, rectangle this and circle

Another tool to avoid for the same reasons is the Quick Start tool in
PowerPoint. Once again, you have some spiffy looking designs but the
designers did not consider accessibility or inclusion in their designs.

I do have an example of what happens when you use PowerPoint Designer on a
slide with a table but don't think I can post images to this list. Let me
know if you want to see it. For those using screen readers or Text-to-Speech
tools, I can isolate the slide and send it to you as a single slide

Cheers, Karen

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of
Vemaarapu Venkatesh
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 7:20 AM
Subject: [WebAIM] Design ideas in PowerPoint

Hi all, Greetings!

Has anyone tried to explore design ideas feature in PowerPoint? Design ideas
will let you create visually pleasing and well organized presentations by
suggesting a list of blueprints. Upon selecting any one of suggested design
ideas, we can observe that pleasing changes in our presentations. As of
today screen readers just announces design ideas as design idea 1, design
idea 2 etc. but no meaningful alt text. What kind of alt text can we expect
on these design ideas to help screen reader users understand these design
ideas as it contains spatial arrangement of objects, color and border
information etc.