Article Series Summary
- PowerPoint’s design ideas feature is great, but it can worsen the accessibility of your content. It may recommend these behaviours that can exclude members of your potential audience:
- PowerPoint’s accessibility checker often ignores these issues or does not check for them at all.
- In this article we explain why this is important and how to fix it.
PowerPoint’s Design Ideas feature helps us create attractive slides quickly. Unfortunately, some of its suggestions do not follow accessibility best practice, creating barriers that may exclude members of your audience. In this blog post we explain one of these issues and how to fix it. The examples shown here use the default PowerPoint template but are likely to occur whichever template you use.
- Centre-aligned text can be difficult to read if it spans more than one line in length.
- This can be a particular barrier to readers with dyslexia.
- When presented in this way your presentation appears less professional.
- Design Ideas often centre aligns text.
- It’s easy to left align the text but you may wish to adjust the alignment of any images.
Why is the alignment of text important?
Never centre align text that spans more than one line. It is harder to read a centre aligned paragraph of text because each line starts at a different edge. This can be particularly challenging for readers with dyslexia.
What does Design Ideas do?
Some of the options presented by Design Ideas centre align text. The Office accessibility checker does not check for centre aligned text. If you like a design that has centre-aligned text text, follow these steps to fix it.
What about the Accessibility Checker?
Currently, centre-aligned text is not within the ruleset of the Accessibility Checker.
How can you fix it?
- In PowerPoint, select the frame that holds the content design ideas has adjusted. While you could select each text box individually, selecting the frame means you will change all the text boxes at the same time.
- Select the Left align button.
- You may wish to move the images to better position them above the text. The simplest and quickest way to do this is to select the images and use the cursor keys to move all the images simultaneously.
Following these steps will change the text from centre to left-aligned.
Want to learn more?
- Does Center-Aligned Text Matter For Accessibility And Usability?
- Why center align text in 2018?
- Avoid justified, centered or right-aligned text in content.
- Why You Should Never Center Align Paragraph Text.
Read the other articles in this series
PowerPoint’s design ideas feature is great, but it can worsen the accessibility of your content. It may recommend these behaviours that can exclude members of your potential audience:
PowerPoint’s Design Ideas feature is a marvellous innovation. It makes slide design quick, simple, and within reach of anyone. Currently, it introduces three issues that can exclude members of your audience. The tips we shared in this post make these issues simple to resolve. If you see these issues in your colleagues’ presentations, send them this article so they will know what to do.
Over to you!
Add your comments, questions, and reflections below. Did we get something wrong? Have an important tip to share? Let us know.