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How to Change the Reading Order for PowerPoint (Desktop Mac)


The best practice is to use sans-serif fonts, rather than serif or decorative fonts. Sans serif does not have decorative lines. The fonts would include Arial, Calibri, Century Gothic, Tahoma, and Verdana. The font size should be 24 pt. font for the body text. The font could be larger depending on the audience or page layout.

From the Home Ribbon select "Arrange."

Powe Point home ribbion.

Then select the select the "Selection Pane..." from the Drop-Down Menu.

Drop down menu from arrange after “Arrange.”

Order the reading selection by dragging.

For the screen reader to properly speak the slide to the user the options need to go from top to bottom. The first item you would present should be at the bottom of the selection pane pop-out window. In the following example the screen reader would read the text in picture 13, text placeholder 8, and finally title 7.

The selection pane with the reading order of the slide.

The highlighted objects are what it will be reading.

The "Picture 13" highlighted with an arrow. The Southern New Hampshire Logo at the bottom.

In this example the Southern New Hampshire University logo would be "Picture 13" and would be read last.

Images and icons will need to have alternative text (alt. text) for the image/icon to be read to screen readers users. You can find how to add alt. text from How to Add Alternative Text (Alt. Text) to PowerPoint (Desktop Mac)

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