Human crowd forming a big number two on white background.

Design Ideas button within the PowerPoint user interface.

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.

Each slide has the same content on the topic of "what to look for in a mentor". Almost every slide idea generated has changed the text to be centre-aligned.
Design variations of the same content generated by Design Ideas. The majority have set the text into all capitals.

Centred text


  • 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.

The same text is presented, first centre-aligned, then left-aligned. The edge of the start of each line is highlighted. The centre aligned text has a haphazard
Centre-aligned text has a haphazard left edge. Each line starts in a different position.
Left-aligned text has a straight edge. Each line starts in the same position.
This diagram is based on an example created by Anthony T from

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.

PowerPoint slide, "What to look for in a mentor". Thee bullet points have been turned into centred text with icons using Design Ideas. The bullet points are: A desire to develop and help others. 
- A good mentor is sincerely interested in helping someone else without any “official” reward.
-The ability and availability to commit real time and energy to the mentoring relationship. 
-Current and relevant industry or organisational knowledge, expertise, and/or skills.
Created using Design Ideas from three initial bullet points. The content has been centre-aligned. Additional icons that help to reinforce the message. Content of this slide is based on Mary Abbajay’s article “Mentoring Matters: Three Essential Elements Of Success”.

What about the Accessibility Checker?

Currently, centre-aligned text is not within the ruleset of the Accessibility Checker.

How can you fix it?

  1. 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.
  2. Select the Left align button.
  3. 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.

The same slide as before now with left-aligned text.

Want to learn more?

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.

Three ways PowerPoint’s “Design Ideas” excludes your audience, and how to fix it: Part 2 – Centre alignment of longer text.

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