Structuring Your PowerPoint

Home Knowledgebase Accessibility & OER Structuring Your PowerPoint

Slide Layouts

Structure in PowerPoint is essential, therefore it is recommended to when possible use the premade layouts built-in PowerPoint.

For one this method is simpler then creating your own layouts, secondly, these layouts will assist you in Reading Order.

To access the built-in slide layouts feature, simply go to Insert, and select New Slide. A variety of slide layouts will appear.

In addition you can right-click on any existing slide and go to Layout, to change the layout of the slide.

Choosing a slide layout in PowerPoint
Choosing a layout in PowerPoint by right-clicking on an existing slide and choosing “Layout”.

If you are using a Mac, you can simply click on the Home tab to access New Slide or Layout.

Outline View

The Outline View in PowerPoint is a great way to determine if your content can be read by a screen reader. Since, the Outline View will show all text content for your slides.


There are some general guidelines to structure an accessible PowerPoint presentation:

  • Have unique slide titles – All slides should have a unique title, this means no slide title should be duplicated in the presentation, this assists screen reader users as they are able to navigate based on slide title. If a slide is a continuation of a prior one, you could add “Part 2” or another addendum to each slide to indicate they are related.
  • Use the built-in layouts in PowerPoint when possible.
  • Make sure all content appears in Outline View.

Video Overview

The following video from eLearning WTCC, discusses about structuring an accessible PowerPoint presentation:

Structuring an Accessible PowerPoint Presentation (2:29)
© 2014 eLearning WTTC


If you have questions, please contact Marc Nash by email at

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