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8 June 2023

Image of Power Point logo.

Microsoft has reaffirmed its commitment to accessibility by introducing new features for the PowerPoint accessibility ribbon. The ribbon was initially announced in 2021 to improve accessibility in the PowerPoint presentation app for Windows and Mac. It allowed users to create slides that catered to the needs of audiences who are blind or with low vision, or who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Microsoft unveiled updates to the PowerPoint accessibility ribbon for Windows, Mac, and PowerPoint on the web. These enhancements were based on user feedback gathered over the past 18 months.

Key additions to the new ribbon version include:

The accessibility ribbon now appears when the Alt Text Pane and Reading Order Pane are open, in addition to the Accessibility Checker Pane.

A new “Inspect without Colour” button helps users identify content issues that may hinder accessibility for individuals who are colour-blind.

The “Mark as Decorative” button allows users to label images in their presentations solely for visual interest, eliminating the need for alt text.

The “Insert Header Row” and “Insert Header Column” commands streamline the process of adding header rows or columns to tables.

The updated version of PowerPoint with the enhanced accessibility ribbon is currently available for Office Insiders to test on Windows (version 2304 – Build 16327.10000 or later) and Mac (version 16.72 – Build 23040900 or later). The general availability of these features has not been announced yet.

Microsoft’s commitment to accessibility extends beyond PowerPoint, as the accessibility ribbon has also been added to other Microsoft Office apps, including Excel. Most recently, Outlook for Windows received this feature, highlighting Microsoft’s dedication to promoting inclusive digital experiences across its productivity tools.

For more information, please read Neowin’s article.