Accessibility tools

Verify the accessibility of a presentation using PowerPoint’s different tools

PowerPoint has built-in tools that help identify potential accessibility concerns:

  • Outline View
  • Notes panel
  • Accessibility Checker

The Outline View

The Outline View in PowerPoint contains a text-only outline of the content that appears in the slides.

This view displays content that has been added to the placeholder objects in the built-in slide layouts (e.g., Title Slide, Title and Content, Two Content, etc.).

Reviewing this information helps you check that the following is true:

  • Slide titles are unique and descriptive
  • Content is logically sequenced
  • Reading order is appropriate


To access the Outline View:

  1. Go the the View tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Select the “Outline View” option under the Presentations Views group.

Note: If extra pictures or objects are added to a slide, they will not appear in the Outline view.

The PowerPoint View tab showing the Presentation Views Group with the Outline View option selected.  The View tab and Outline View option are both highlighted.
Find the Outline View in the View tab.

Notes panel

A presenter can use the Notes panel to add notes and extra information about a slide. This content will not appear on the slide.

This panel is not accessible across all combinations of assistive technologies or Office software, including different versions and operating systems. Therefore, do not include important information in this area.

As an alternative, when a presenter wants to share with the audience without it being visible during a presentation, they should create two versions of the presentation:

  • One version to present without the information
  • Another version to share with the audience that includes the extra content on the slides or at the end

The accessibility checker

Like the other Microsoft Office applications, PowerPoint has the built-in Accessibility Check tool that helps identify potential accessibility concerns.


To start the Office accessibility checker:

  1. Go to the File tab on the Ribbon.
  2. Select the “Check for Issues” button from the Info menu.
  3. Choose the “Check Accessibility” option.

Previous pages about PowerPoint

General guidelines     Structure guidelines