Unique Slide Titles and PowerPoint Accessibility

Every slide title needs to be unique

Every slide in the slide deck should have a unique slide title.

Video Overview

Why should I have unique slide titles?

People who rely on assistive technology to review presentations will often navigate by the heading or title structure. If you end up converting the document to another format like PDF, the slide titles will come through as headings.

Failing Example

In the example below there are 5 different slides that share the exact same title.

There are 5 different slides that share the exact same title.

Passing Example

In order to apply unique slide titles simply add a number to the end of each slide. The quickest method to change the title of a slide is to edit in outline view.

  1. Select View
  2. Select Outline View

Then simply add a number or change the title altogether. The image below shows an outline view of a presentation with numbers added to make slide titles unique.

Note

The built in accessibility checker within PowerPoint is exceptional at notifying for this error.

Outline View and Textboxes in PowerPoint

Get Your Content in Outline View

Video Walkthrough

PowerPoint Accessibility Best Practices

In order for content to be the most accessible to people who use screen readers it is recommended that all content appears in outline view of PowerPoint. Outline view shows a text-based version of the content with your file.

Additionally, the outline view offers a snapshot of all of the major content types in your presentation. It is an excellent method for organizing and chunking your information. It is also a great way to create a quickly accessible version for people with disabilities!

To view outline view

  1. Select View
  2. Select Outline view
  3. Review titles and content to ensure all content from slide is located in outline view
Select View
Select Outline view
Review titles and content to ensure all content from slide is located in outline view

Avoid using added textboxes

The textbox feature will allow you to add extra content to a slide but it might not be accessible and it will not appear in Outline View properly. Additionally, it will cause extra problems when adjusting the reading and arrange order.

How do I ensure my content is in outline view

This is purely based on using a theme and a slide template.

  1. On the home ribbon, select Layout
  2. Select the template you would like use

The last step of this process is to actually use the content boxes to place your content. Do not add additional text boxes in this step. Simply click into one of the content boxes to add the desired information. Using a template will not only add all content to the outline view, but it will also be in the correct reading order!

Additional Information

Edit the slide master theme in order to develop custom templates and ensure all the content is in order and available in outline view.