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A screen reader is a sophisticated piece of software that reads on-screen content. However, they aren’t sophisticated enough to comprehend an object’s content. For that, you need to add alternative text (alt-text). Here’s how to add alt-text in Google Slides.

Alt-text allows screen readers to read the description of an object aloud. In Google Slides, this helps make your presentation more readable for anyone who might have visual impairments.

Including alt-text to objects (images, drawings, and other graphics) in your presentation gives people using screen readers a better understanding of an object and its contents. Otherwise, people using a screen reader will hear “Image” when encountering an object.

While some images might already contain alt-text, it’s a good idea to add—and verify—all objects have alt-text to be inclusive of everyone and their abilities.

Fire up your browser, head to Google Slides, and open a presentation with some objects already in it. If you don’t already have a Slides file you want to use, you can create a new slideshow and add objects to it.

Open a presentation that contains some objects to which you want to add alt text.

Select and highlight an object, right-click, and then choose the “Alt Text” option.

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut by clicking on the object and pressing Ctrl+Alt+Y (Windows/ChromeOS) or Cmd+Option+Y (macOS) to open the menu instead.

RELATED: All the Best Google Slides Keyboard Shortcuts

In the “Description” text field, provide a couple of sentences describing the object and its contents. When you finish, click “OK” to save the changes.

That’s all there is to it. If you have any other objects in your file, repeat the steps above to make your presentation more readable for everyone who views it.

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Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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