Accessibility in Google Slides
This Elgin Community College Accessibility in Google Slides Guide is an independent publication and is neither affiliated with, nor authorized, sponsored, or approved by Google. For permission to use content from this presentation or link to this document, please contact Elgin Community College Web Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This training guide includes a step-by-step guide to:
- Utilize Slide Layouts to style presentations
- Add Slide Titles
- Write accessible hyperlinks
- Arrange content in ordered lists
- Make tables, charts, and graphs accessible
- Add alternative text to images
- Utilize the Notes section
- Perform accessibility tests in Google Slides
If you are using keyboard-only navigation to make Google Slides presentations accessible, view the keyboard shortcuts for Google Slides.
Slide: a single page in the presentation.
Slide layouts: templates that include formatting, placement, and placeholder boxes for content.
Placeholder: a container that holds different types of content, such as text, graphs, charts, images, videos, etc.
Add all content only to content placeholders. Do not manually insert text boxes because they are not accessible to assistive technologies.
Google Slides provides some basic layouts by default. You can also create your custom layouts. The theme builder section describes custom layouts in detail.
Slide titles are headings in the presentation. Make sure all your slides have unique titles. Without proper titles, the screen reader users will not know the purpose of the slide. If you have more than one slide for each topic, you can number the slides. For example,
Slide 1: Student Enrollment Trends (1 of 3)
Slide 2: Student Enrollment Trends(2 of 3)
Slide 3: Student Enrollment Trends (3 of 3)
Slide 1: Google Web Core Vitals (Continued 1 of 3)
Slide 2: Google Web Core Vitals (Continued 2 of 3)
Slide 3: Google Web Core Vitals (Continued 3 of 3)
Numbering this way will tell the screen reader users that there is more than one slide for the topic.
Hyperlinks are one of the most important pieces of information in a presentation and provide expanded details on a topic. Visit the accessible content page to learn how to write accessible hyperlinks. To add hyperlinks in Google Slides:
- Select the link text.
- Right-click the selected link text and select Link.
- A dropdown window appears. Add the hyperlink text in the Text field and include the full URL in the search field below it. You cannot link to “smart URLs.” For example, linking to elgin.edu/automotive will not send you to the correct location on the website. Instead, use the full https://; for example, https://www.elgin.edu/academics/departments/automotive/ will get the user to the correct location.
Lists are helpful to organize information, provide styling, and call out a particular process. Use ordered lists when the order matters; otherwise, use unordered lists. The screen readers announce the number of items in the lists which makes it easier for users to scan information. To use lists,
- Select Numbered list or Bulleted list from the panel.
- Click on the little arrow button beside the lists to choose the type of symbols or numbers.
This section includes a step-by-step process of adding alt text to images, charts, and graphs. The alt text is crucial for screen reader users. Without the alt text, users won’t understand the image and its content. Visit the accessible content page to learn about how to write proper alt text. Learn how to add alt text to your content.
In Google Slides, you can add notes to each slide. Keep in mind that the notes section is accessible to the screen readers. You can access the notes section at the very bottom of the slide. People with dyslexia have a hard time reading excess information on the slide, so please make sure you limit the amount of text on the slide. Include important information on the slide, and add the in-depth information in the notes section.