If you aren’t in the habit of considering accessibility when you’re creating PowerPoint slides, I’m sorry to say that people with disabilities who are reading them are probably pretty frustrated with you.Siteimprove Academy on screen of a tablet in a gift box. Text: Get FREE access to the new Accessibility for Microsoft Office course track. Get Started.

One valuable tip is:

Check. The. Reading. Order.

If you add or move elements, you have to make sure the reading order is correct so that assistive technology users read the information in the order that makes the most sense.

The Selection Pane displays your items in the opposite order they will be read because assistive technology will read them like “layers” from the bottom up.

How to Rearrange PowerPoint Reading Order

Rearranging a slide’s reading order is super easy.

  1. On the Home tab, choose Select or Arrange
  2. Click Selection Pane
  3. Click and drag items in the Selection Pane to move them, or select one and use the up and down arrows

PowerPoint screenshot with the Select Menu and Selection Pane highlighted.

Don’t forget! The Selection Pane displays your items in the opposite order, so make sure the thing you want read first is on the bottom and the thing you want read last is on the top.

Learn more about PowerPoint reading order and other ways to make your Microsoft Office files accessible with the new Accessibility for Microsoft Office courses from Siteimprove Academy!

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