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RE: PowerPoint "groups" alt text not seen by screen reader

From: Brian Stevens <bstevens@ilsworld.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2017 20:30:41 +0000
To: "jpkatz@uchicago.edu" <jpkatz@uchicago.edu>, Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@gmail.com>
CC: "chagnon@pubcom.com" <chagnon@pubcom.com>, WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0859D7085D4B4B4DA0CE16F0E65771A7A3170ED1@mbx024-e1-nj-1.exch024.domain.local>
Hi all,

Thanks for your help. I am writing back to report what we ended up doing for PowerPoint charts/drawings.

We had to keep some text editable, so we provided description with invisible text. So first you come up with a description that incorporates the onscreen text. Then add invisible text to put in-between the visible text, and arrange so the screen-reader reads everything in order as one coherent description. (“invisible text” is text with text fill set to “no fill”)

Not always ideal, but better than reading random phrases out of context.


From: Jonathan Katz [mailto:jonathanpkatz@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 2:24 PM
To: Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@gmail.com>
Cc: chagnon@pubcom.com; WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Subject: Re: PowerPoint "groups" alt text not seen by screen reader

I've been doing the same thing. I usually try to also write out a description of the group in the slide itself.

-Jonathan Paul Katz

On Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 10:53 PM, Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@gmail.com<mailto:ryladog@gmail.com>> wrote:

I found the same thing, grouping alone doesn't work. I insert all the images I want in a group. Then I 'save as' that grouped image as a single image as a PNG (back into my images folder) - and then, re-insert that image back onto the slide. Then I apply the alt text to that.

Katie Haritos-Shea

On Aug 28, 2017 10:20 PM, "Chagnon | PubCom" <chagnon@pubcom.com<mailto:chagnon@pubcom.com>> wrote:
Generally, A.T. can stumble when we group objects in any of our document programs, especially when we want the A.T. to access the Alt-Text. You’ll get different results depending upon the A.T., the authoring program, and what types of elements are in the group.

Best Practice:

  *   Don’t group elements (or be sure to ungroup them before finalizing the file or exporting to PDF).
  *   Put the Alt-text on just one element and artifact the others.

Granted, PowerPoint (and M.S. Word) don’t yet allow us to artifact elements in their programs, but if you’re exporting to PDF, you can artifact them there. Adobe InDesign does, however, allow the designer to artifact individual elements in the layout file, and that is carried over into the exported PDF. We need similar capability in M.S. Office programs.

--Bevi Chagnon

From: Brian Stevens [mailto:bstevens@ilsworld.com<mailto:bstevens@ilsworld.com>]
Sent: Monday, August 28, 2017 5:04 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Subject: PowerPoint "groups" alt text not seen by screen reader


I am making PowerPoint graphics accessible using alt text. Some of them are charts that are grouped vector graphics created in PowerPoint, so I applied alt text to the group. When I test with NVDA, it reads the text elements in the group, but does not read the alt text. NVDA doesn't seem to read the alt text on any “groups” in PowerPoint.

In order to work around this, I saved a rasterized PNG version of the graphic to use instead, and added alt text to the PNG. NVDA reads this alt text just fine.

Is it okay for me to rasterize these charts? Is there a better way?

I'm worried because I've learned that rasterizing text has some readability drawbacks when it comes to screen magnification. Is it worth the tradeoff? (Rasterizing would also limit translatability...)

Also, does anyone have experiences with other screen readers not reading alt text on PowerPoint groups?

Many thanks for your help,

Brian Stevens

Received on Friday, 6 October 2017 20:31:07 UTC

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