Powerpoint Best Practices

Slide Titles

Each Slide Should Have a Single, Non-Empty Title (ERROR) - COMPLETE

  • Owner: anastas2
  • Description: Every slide should have a single, text-filled title box. The actual text present withiin the title box of a given slide will be used as the name of that slide while the user is examining his presentation in the "Outline" view. Because of this, it is important for every slide in a given presentation to have a title, even if it is not directly visible to the user (i.e. obstructed by an image, etc.).
  • Violation:
    • A slide has no title box.
    • A slide has a title box that contains no text.
  • Detection:
    • No Title Box: A slide lacks a title
    • Empty Title Box: A slide has a title that has no text in it* Fixes:
    • No Title Box: Prompt user for a title and insert a title box containing the user-provided text.
    • Empty Title Box: Prompt user for a title and replace the existing, empty title box with one containing the user-provided text.
  • Implementation Notes

Slide Layout

Use of Slide Layouts (WARNING) - COMPLETE

  • Owner: clouser2
  • Description: Always use slide layout templates when making slides.
  • Violation: Slide lacks layout information or "blank" layout is used.
  • Detection: Check to see if slide references "blank" layout.
  • Fixes: Present the user with possible slide layouts and have them decide which best fits the current slide.
  • Implementation Notes


Apply Alternative Text to Informative Images (ERROR) - COMPLETE

  • Owner: clouser2
  • Description: Every informative image (decorative images need no alternative text) in a presentation should have an 'alternative text' applied. In this way, those viewers who have graphics disabled will be able to see a description of the image/chart.
  • Violation: This rule will be violated if a given image lacks appropriate alternate text.
  • Detection: The default alternative text of an image is either the file name of that image or nothing. Thus, if the alternative text of a given image/chart ends in a file extension associated with image files (i.e. .bmp, .jpeg, etc.) or if that image has no alternative text, an error will be reported.
  • Fixes: The user will be prompted to add alternative text to the offending image.
  • Implementation Notes

Supply a Text Equivalent Table for Charts (ERROR) - COMPLETE

  • Owner: anastas2/clouser2
  • Description: Because charts are information-rich images, it is important that the text equivalent of a chart be presented completely and in an organized manner.
  • Violation: This rule will be violated if a given chart lacks a text-equivalent table
  • Detection: If a chart is found to have no alternative text, an error will be reported. It is not possible for the user to direclty add alternative text to a chart, meaning that is a chart has alternative text (which we must have added), it also will have a text-equivalent table.
  • Fixes: Add a text-equivalent table and also a hyperlink connecting the chart and the table

Group Images When Applicable (WARNING) - COMPLETE

  • Owner: anastas2
  • Description: Objects that make up one conceptual entity should be grouped.
  • Violation: Ungrouped objects that are part of the same conceptual entity.
  • Detection: If the number of images on a certain slide exceeds some threshold (possibly 2 initially).
  • Fixes: Let the user decide which images belong in a group. After this, allow them to tag the group of images with alternative text.
  • Implementation Notes


No empty text-boxes, images, etc. (ERROR) - COMPLETE

  • Owner: clouser2
  • Description: Within PowerPoint, it is very easy for users to create a text-box, place text into it, later go back and remove the text, but never remove the text-box itself. This can cause a problem for screen-readers. Thus, empty text-boxes and other content holders should be removed.
  • Violation: Text-boxes or other containers which have no information (i.e. for text-boxes, "" as the text).
  • Detection: Search for all text-boxes and other content holders on the page and determine if their content field is blank.
  • Fixes: Alert the user and highlight the text-box or content holder in question. Allow the user to remove it. In addition, if there are many blank text-boxes, allow the user to remove them all at once.
  • Implementation Notes

Apply Alternative Text to Dynamic Media (ERROR) - COMPLETE

  • Owner: din
  • Description: Sometimes media files and images/sound files are used in order to spruce up a particular presentation. We will ensure that these pieces of dynamic media have appropriate alternative text.
  • Violation: If a piece of dynamic media is found to lack alternative, a warning will be reported.
  • Detection: Find all pieces of dynamic media that lack alternative text.
  • Fixes: Provide the user with a box in which she can write the alternative text that she would like to apply.
  • Implementation Notes


Ensuring tables are created and not imported. (CANCELLED)

  • Owner: din
  • Description: When tables are used, it is advised that they are created from scratch rather than imported as they can be imported as a picture instead of as a table.
  • Violation: Ensure tables are not actually tables
  • Detection: Find all images and possibly ask user if the image is actually a table? Also close examination of the object model may give clues to whether an image is actually a table.
  • Fixes: Simply have a small check box option when each image is reviewed that describes tables should not be used as images but rather created from scratch.
  • Implementation Notes
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