Google - Accessibility of Google Slides

Last Updated: 01/25/2017

Accessibility Considerations

Google Slides (also known as Presentations) is an online, collaborative presentations application that lets you create, edit, and deliver presentations and collaborate with other people in real time. General information about using Google Slides with a screen reader can be found on Google’s Get started in Google Slides with a screen reader page.

While screen readers assist with the usability of Google Slides, some issues may still occur. Users should consider the following when using their screen readers, in order to have the best experience:

  • Apple VoiceOver: Chrome is the recommended browser for using VoiceOver. For the best experience, turn off VoiceOver’s Quick Nav feature by pressing the left and right arrows at the same time.
  • NVDA: If using NVDA, Firefox will provide the best functionality.
  • JAWS: NVDA is recommended for Windows users; however, if you are using JAWS, Firefox is the recommended browser.

If you use a Braille display, you can enable Braille support in Google Slides to read and enter text. This option is currently available for Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Find instructions for using a Braille display on Google’s Use a Braille display page.

Accessibility features and options for Google Slides

  • Supports screen readers and refreshable Braille displays.
  • Supports alt text on images.
  • Supports keyboard shortcuts. Open a list of shortcuts any time by pressing Ctrl + / (Windows, Chrome OS) or Command + / (Mac).

Alternatives and/or Workarounds

If you want to share presentation files with others, in general, the best option is to convert the presentation into a Microsoft PowerPoint document. To export a Google Slides presentation as a PowerPoint document, use the following shortcuts:

  • Mac: Control + Option + F, then D, then Enter.
  • Windows using Chrome:  Alt + F, then D, then Enter.
  • Windows using other browsers:  Alt + Shift + F, then D, then Enter.

Information for Content Creators

All images should have the Alt text… information added.  After inserting an image:

  1. Select the image
  2. Use the Format menu
  3. Select Alt text…
  4. Type in an image title and description, in the appropriate fields.

All tables should also have the Alt text… information added.  After inserting a table:

  1. Select the image
  2. Use the Format menu
  3. Select Alt text…
  4. Type in an image title and description, in the appropriate fields.

All tables should also contain meaningful column and row headers; avoid using tables for formatting and layout.

Information for Content Consumers

Content consumers should reference the following resources when using Google Slides:

How to get Help

OIT has partnered with Disability Services to provide assistance for accessibility issues related to OIT supported services. If you need assistance, please contact the IT Service Center at help@colorado.edu or at 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from an on-campus phone).

Provide Feedback

We want to hear from you about this service. If you’re having problems using this service or you have more information about the accessibility of this service that we should share with others on this webpage, please let us know by contacting the IT Service Center at help@colorado.edu or at 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from an on-campus phone).

You can also give Google feedback regarding accessibility of their applications and services using Google's accessibility feedback form.