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Accessibility in Google Slides

The Elgin Community College Accessibility Guides is an independent publication and is neither affiliated with nor authorized, sponsored, or approved by Adobe, Google, or Microsoft Corporation. For permission to use content from this presentation or link to this document, please contact the Elgin Community College Web Team at


This training guide includes a step-by-step guide to:

If you are using keyboard-only navigation to make Google Slides presentations accessible, view the keyboard shortcuts for Google Slides.

Slide Layouts

Learn how to use and create slide layouts.


  • 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.

Things to keep in mind

Google Slides provides some basic layouts by default. You can also create your custom layouts. The theme builder section describes custom layouts in detail.

Only add content to content placeholders. Do not insert text boxes because they are not accessible to assistive technologies.

Slide Titles

Make sure all your slides have unique titles. Without proper titles, the screen reader users will not know what the slide is about. Slide titles are headings in the presentation. If you have more than one slide for each topic, you can number the slides. This will tell the screen reader users that there is more than one slide for the topic.

For example,

Slide 1: Accessible PDF documents (1 of 3)
Slide 2: Accessible PDF documents (2 of 3)
Slide 3: Accessible PDF documents (3 of 3)

Slide 1: Accessible PDF documents (Continued 1 of 3)
Slide 2: Accessible PDF documents (Continued 2 of 3)
Slide 3: Accessible PDF documents (Continued 3 of 3)


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:

  1. Select the link text.
  2. Right-click the selected link text and select Link.
  3. 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 will not send you to the correct location on the website. Instead, use the full https:// URL. For example, will get the user to the correct location.
    Link example


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:

  1. Select Numbered list or Bulleted list from the panel.
    Lists menu
  2. Click on the little arrow button beside the lists to choose the type of symbols or numbers.
    Lists dropdown menus

Tables, Charts, and Graphs

Learn how to create accessible tables, charts, and graphs.

Alternative text

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. Users won’t understand the image and its content without the alt text. Visit the accessible content page to learn about how to write proper alt text.

Learn how to add alt text to your content.


You can add notes to each slide in a presentation. 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.

Accessibility Testing

Learn how to perform accessibility tests in Google Slides.