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QuickStart Guide: Preparing a PowerPoint Presentation for PDF Export With axesSlide

If you wish to create a PowerPoint presentation, and export this as an accessible PDF using axesSlide it is not enough to use PowerPoint’s automatic accessibility checker. Whilst the checker offers good support it should not be replied on to find all the errors.

The following checklist will help you prepare a presentation within PowerPoint so that you can export it to an accessible PDF in compliance with the PDF/UA standard using axesSlide. You will find detailed information on the individual points in the linked articles.

Checklist: Preparation for PDF Export With axesSlide

  • Document title: A meaningful document title is stored in the metadata. See Document Title.
  • Slide masters and layouts: Slide masters and layouts themselves only contain decorative images and redundant information. Any important information is repeated elsewhere on a slide. See Slide Masters and Layouts.
  • Slide titles: All slides have a meaningful, clear slide title. See Slide Titles.
  • Reading order: The reading order of the elements on all slides is correct. See Set Reading Order.
  • Text formatting: The text is formatted correctly. Relevant information is not conveyed exclusively by highlighting (such as bold, italics, underlining). See Text Formatting.

  • Lists: Lists are created using the tools for numbered and bulleted lists. See Numbered and Bulleted Lists.

  • Links: Links are inserted correctly and labeled meaningfully. See Insert Links.

  • Language: The main language of the document is correct and language changes are assigned. See Document Language and Language Changes.

  • Images, shapes, charts, SmartArt, groups, etc.: All images, shapes, icons, 3D models, SmartArt, charts, cameos, and groups of several elements have meaningful alt text or are marked as decorative if they are not relevant to the content. Pure text is not inserted as an image. See Images, Shapes, Charts, SmartArt, Groups etc. and Add Alt Text or Mark as Decorative.
  • Tables: Tables were created with the table tool. Tables were not inserted as Excel tables or copied from other programs. All table headers are assigned correctly. See Tables.
  • Color and contrast: Relevant information is not conveyed exclusively by color. Text and graphics have sufficient contrast ratios. See guidelines under Color and Contrast. (This point is not necessary to comply with the PDF/UA standard, but should nevertheless be taken into account for good accessibility).
  • Headers and footers: Slide numbers and repeating headers and footers are marked as decorative. See Headers and Footers.
  • Placement of slide elements: All elements are placed on the slide where they should be in the PDF, regardless of animations. Elements outside the slide are deleted so that axesSlide can process the slides correctly. See Animations and Slide Transitions.
  • Accessibility check: PowerPoint's accessibility check no longer shows errors and all warnings have been checked. See PowerPoint's Accessibility Check.

Unsupported Elements in the PDF

The following elements cannot be reproduced due to the different file format or are not supported in the PDF exported with axesSlide:

  • Math equations and formulas: Math equations and formulas created with the Equation Editor are not yet supported in the current version of axesSlide and can't be exported in an accessible way. See Math Equations and Formulas.
  • Animations and slide transitions: Animations and slide transitions are not transferred to the PDF. See Animations and Slide Transitions.
  • Video and audio: Video and audio cannot be played in the PDF. Provide the files via a link. See Video and Audio.
  • Embedded files and objects: Embedded files and objects such as Excel files may no longer be accessible in the PDF. Make the files available via a link. See Embedded Files and Objects.
  • Forms: Forms lose their function in the PDF. If necessary, make forms available via a link. See Forms.
  • Scripts: Objects that have been inserted using your own scripts (e.g. VBA scripts) may lose their function and are not accessible. See Scripts.