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Accessibility Testing in Presentations

Color Contrast

Color blindness affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women. Make sure to check the color contrast of the content in the document. The WCAG guidelines require a color contrast ratio of 4.5:1. You can use different tools to check the color contrast between the background and foreground.


WebAIM provides a free color contrast checker tool. Learn how to use the color contrast checkers on the accessible content page.


BrightSlide is an add-on to PowerPoint. This tool offers many features, including the color contrast checker. By installing this tool, you can check the color contrast by right-clicking on the content. You will see the color contrast ratio at the bottom of the menu. Please note that this will only show you the contrast ratios for content with background color filled in using Shape Fill.

BrightSlide color contrast checker

You can also check the contrast ratio of all the text colors versus shape fill colors by generating a report. To generate the report:

  1. Go to BrightSlide > Theme Colors > Color Contrast Report.
    BrightSlide color contrast report
  2. Click on Color Contrast Report.
  3. BrightSlide will generate a report for all the color combinations being used in the theme.

Accessibility Checker

PowerPoint offers a built-in tool to check accessibility. After you have done your manual remediation of the document, it's good practice to add this step to be sure you haven't missed anything. To use the accessibility checker:

  1. Go to Reviews > Check Accessibility.
    Accessibility Checker
  2. Click on Check Accessibility. This opens another window on the right side of your screen.
    Accessibility checker results
  3. This pop-up shows the basic accessibility issues. When you click on the issue, the program will take you to the slide with that issue. The inspection results panel will also describe why and how to fix each issue. Please note that this does not cover all accessibility issues, and manual testing is often more reliable.

To check accessibility in the older versions of PowerPoint, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the File tab, and access the Info menu.

    Info menu
  2. Within the Info menu, click on Check for Issues dropdown. Then click on Check Accessibility.

    Check accessibility from info menu
  3. A new window will open on the right side displaying all the accessibility issues.

Manual Testing

Accessibility checkers do not cover all the accessibility issues. You will still need to check the following issues manually:

  • Valid alt text: make sure the alt text conveys the meaning of the content
  • Valid hyperlinks: make sure the hyperlinks are correct by testing and following the link to be sure the page you are linking to is still valid
  • Text in images: make sure the images do not include text except for a logo. If you do not have a choice, add all the text as alt text and display it on the screen
  • Color contrast