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Microsoft PowerPoint 2000-2003 Documents

PDF Version (19 KB) | PDF Checklist (13 KB)

PowerPoint documents are typically used for presentations – in which case tips such as the ones below will allow you to create a truly coherent presentation for all those who are attending it. By using large point text and avoiding cluttered screens, you are making the presentation easier to read for people with visual disabilities as well as people without.

If you are planning on transmitting the PowerPoint electronically (such as putting it on a website), make sure that it is adequately structured and configured as to allow screen readers to read the information and understand the PowerPoint as it was meant to be understood.


For presentations:

  • Use high contrast between foreground and background
  • Use a minimum of 16 point font
  • Use a sans serif font – such as Arial, Helvetica or Verdana
  • Have a plain background – avoid busy patterns
  • Avoid cluttered screens (too many images or words)

For electronic transmission:


To create a PDF with PowerPoint 2000 – 2003:

  1. Go to the toolbar. Click on the “Acrobat” tab.
  2. The first box on the left is the “Create Adobe PDF” box.
  3. Select “Create PDF”.
  4. Name the file as desired, select a destination folder, and click “Save”.

Alternative Text

Any pictures, graphs or text boxes within a document must be given alternative text. Alternative text must give an accurate description of what the item is, so that the user’s assistive technology may convey what information is demonstrated by the item. Alternative text can be provided for pictures, images, Clip Art, SmartArt, charts, graphs, text boxes, AutoShapes and WordArt.

Creating Alternative Text for Pictures, Images, Clip Art, SmartArt, charts, graphs, text boxes, AutoShapes and WordArt:

  1. Select the image/text box and right click inside the image. A menu will appear.
  2. Select “Format Picture/Object/AutoShape/TextBox/WordArt”. A new window will pop up.
  3. Select the “Web” tab at the top right corner of the window.
  4. Type your alternative text in the indicated area.
  5. Click OK.

PowerPoint 2003 screencap for creating alt text

How to Create Good Alternate Text:

  • Consider the content and function of your image.
  • If it provides content to your document, make sure that the information the image provides is described in the alt text.
  • If your image only provides a function (for example, providing a portrait of a historical figure described in the text) you need only describe the image. In the case that the image is of a historical figure, write his/her name as the alt text.
  • Try not to use “Image of...” or “Graphic of...” as alt text. That is usually evident to the person reading the alt text.
  • Do not repeat the information which is contained in the document itself into the alt text. If it's already in the document, that should be enough.


Use the Microsoft Word tool to create tables. If you use the “Draw Table” tool, it will be difficult for your table to be read by assistive learning technology.

Inserting a Table in Microsoft PowerPoint 2000-2003:

  1. Click on “Table” in the toolbar. A menu will appear.
  2. Select "Insert", then select "Table".
  3. Select the number of columns and rows you want and click OK.

PowerPoint 2003 screencap for creating tables

Graphs and Charts

You must use the chart function in Microsoft PowerPoint to insert charts and graphs, in order to preserve the data contained within them.

Inserting a Chart/Graph in Microsoft PowerPoint 2000-2003:

  1. Click on “Insert” in the toolbar, and select “Object” in the drop-down menu.
  2. Select the “Microsoft Graph Chart” button.
  3. PowerPoint will automatically open Microsoft Excel. Put the chart values in Excel, and they will be applied to the chart in PowerPoint.