What's new in accessibility for PowerPoint for Mac and iOS

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We are committed to making Microsoft 365 applications accessible by design on every device, so that

  • People with disabilities can communicate, consume, and create content on any device.

  • Everyone can easily create content that is accessible.

In this article, we'll share some highlights from recent updates on our journey to make PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, PowerPoint for iPad, and PowerPoint for iPhone better for customers who use a keyboard and assistive technology. We welcome your feedback so we can continue to improve PowerPoint for everyone.

Note: The improvements in this update are available to Microsoft 365 subscribers. If you'd like to be among the first to access these improvements, join the Office Insider program.

We’ve made PowerPoint more consistent and reliable with VoiceOver, and we’ve enabled deeper and broader feature access with VoiceOver. We're working to make it easier and more efficient to author and read presentations and slides. This includes fundamentals like working with VoiceOver on text, tables, and lists. It also includes features such as comments and co-authoring.

To learn how to use these features with a screen reader and keyboard, choose the PowerPoint icon on Office Accessibility Center.

December 2016 Highlights

Here are some highlights of the December 2016 update of PowerPoint for Mac and iOS.

Screen reader and keyboard interactions

We've improved the experience of working with fundamental tasks such as keyboard navigation and text formatting.

  • VoiceOver offers information about text formatting and simpler navigation to hyperlinks on iOS.

  • You can navigate in dialog boxes, menus, and panes more efficiently with the keyboard and with VoiceOver.

  • VoiceOver uses standard math terminology to read or edit equations.

  • You can use VoiceOver to interact with and modify shapes. This includes accessing the selection handles on shapes to edit and resize them.

Collaboration and co-authoring

VoiceOver announces useful information during co-authoring, such as noting that information is locked by another editor.

Increased contrast

This update includes better compatibility with the Increased Contrast Setting.

  • Text formatting and page background now match your contrast settings.

  • Ribbon commands and gallery content also match your contrast settings.

Accessible authoring

Many popular Office templates are now accessible. You’ll find accessible templates for reports, presentations, cover sheets, even resumes. To use the templates from PowerPoint on Mac, just search for “Accessible templates” in the Search for Online Templates box.

  • Color contrast for text, styles, and objects in PowerPoint slides meets accessibility guidelines by default.

  • Accessibility Checker is now available on Mac. You can start from a button in the Review tab on the ribbon.

  • You can add and edit alternative text to images on Mac and iOS.

Save As or Export to PDF

You can count on the PowerPoint PDF tools to:

  • Display the tagged document title.

  • Correctly tag hyperlinks.

  • Correctly tag bulleted and numbered lists. This includes nested lists.

  • Mark documents with the language attribute.

We want to hear from you

We welcome your feedback. We want you to love working with PowerPoint. If you have a suggestion about making PowerPoint more usable for people with disabilities, please give us feedback or vote at PowerPoint User Voice Forum.

Technical support for people with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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