Themes and Layouts  

  • Use the built-in themes and slide layouts.
  • Use accessible slide masters/templates.
    • Avoid adding text boxes or objects on top of the content boxes already provided in layout templates.

Slide Title 

  • Use a unique title for each slide. If you do not wish to display the title, make it match the background color or hide it from view.
  • Use the Outline View to ensure slide titles are meaningful and logically sequenced.


  • Use 18-point font size or above.
  • Use a sans serif font.


  • Use clear, consistent layouts and organizations schemes for presenting content.
  • Do not overcrowd slides with too much content. Use the 7 x 6 rule (seven lines per slide, six words per line in).
  • Leave sufficient white space in each slide.
  • Use the speaker notes feature to add more in-depth detail and print slides for learners.

Colour and Contrast 

  • Do not use a colour to convey a meaning.
  • Use sufficient colour contrast between text and background (contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text).

Listed Items 

  • Use Bullets, Numbering, or Multilevel List options to create lists properly.


  • Add alternative text to images.
  • Mark images that contain no information or meaning as “decorative”, so they aren’t picked up by an assistive device.

Graphs, Charts and SmartArt 

  • Add alternative text to graphs or charts or SmartArt.
  • Add caption or in-text descriptions to graphs or charts or SmartArt.

Embedded Audio and Video 

  • Add text transcripts and/or captions to embedded audio and video.


  • Insert table properly using the Insert tab.
  • Apply table style options using the Table Design tab: check the Header Row check box.
  • Use a simple table structure (do not merge cells).
  • Add alternative text to table.
  • Do not use images in tables.
  • Do not “draw or erase” cells.
  • Define hyperlinks (i.e., ensure that the hyperlink has context and describes where it leads).
  • Link to accessible webpages/documents/videos.

Reading Order  

  • Set reading order of slide content using the Reading Order pane.

Animations and Transitions 

  • Avoid using automatic animations and transitions.
  • Ensure animations are brief and do not distract from important content.

Presentation Properties 

  • Add a descriptive title to the presentation through the Info section of the File tab.
  • Use a meaningful file name for the presentation.

Accessibility Check 

  • Review presentation using the built-in MS Office Accessibility Checker.
  • Make appropriate changes to the presentation as indicated/required.


  • Photo by tommy via Getty Images. Used with permission.

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