Introduction to Adjusting the Reading Order in PowerPoint

Reading order provides a roadmap for students and allows screen readers to navigate a slide more efficiently. The computer can infer the order, but it can make mistakes, or the order may be adjusted as the slide is edited. The reading order must be accurate to ensure the document is clear regardless of the user’s ability level.

The Basics of Adjusting the Reading Order in a PowerPoint on Apple Computers

  1. Click Arrange on the home tab
  2. Select Selection Pane; a menu titled ‘Selection’ will display the reading order for each slide on the right side.
  3. Drag and drop each slide item to order them as you intend them to be read.
    • Note: the reading order is bottom up, so the titles of your slides should always be on the bottom.
  4. Save the presentation. The following steps are for saving an accessible outline.
  5. Click File > Save As.
  6. Select a file location and select the Outline/RTF’ from the Save as type drop-down; Saving this file format creates an outline of the presentation to be shared alongside it.

The Basics of Adjusting the Reading Order in a PowerPoint on Windows Computers

  1. Select the Review tab.
  2. Select Check Accessibility and then select Reading Order Pane. This will open up the pane on the right side of the screen and displays the reading order of elements on the slide.
  3. Elements can be reordered using a mouse to drag-and-drop or by using the up and down arrow buttons at the top right of the Reading Order Pane.

Connect with the Instructional Accessibility Group

Improve your instructional accessibility through the IAG live trainings, access checks for individual materials, or course reviews.

Have more questions or need additional assistance? Email the Instructional Accessibility Group