Category Archives: PowerPoint

Turning on Subtitles in PowerPoint

Table of Contents

  • Introduction to PowerPoint subtitles
  • Web
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Best Practices
  • Questions

Introduction to PowerPoint Subtitles

PowerPoint can create automatic speech recognition (ASR) subtitles during a presentation in a variety of languages. This feature is available on the web, Windows, and Mac versions of PowerPoint.


  1. Click Slide Show.
  2. Click Always Use Subtitles.  Clicking Always Use Subtitles will enable subtitles in your presentations until you choose to turn off the feature by clicking this button again.
  3. Open the subtitle menu by clicking the down arrow or “v” next to Always Use Subtitles.

Subtitle Settings in PowerPoint Online.

  1. Click Spoken Language to select the language the presenter will be speaking in. Be mindful that PowerPoint will only pick up the speech of the person who is using the computer on which the presentation is running (or a microphone connected to that computer.)
  2. Click Subtitle Language to select the language you want the subtitles to appear in. The spoken language and subtitle language selections do not need to be the same language. (If you choose a subtitle language different than the spoken language, PowerPoint will provide a computer generated translation into your chosen subtitle language.)
  3. Select where you would like the subtitles to appear in your presentation by clicking either Below Slide or Above Slide. (It is a best practice to avoid using the options Bottom (Overlaid) and Top (Overlaid) since both of these options might overlap with your presentation slide text making both your slides and captions difficult to read.)
  4. Optional: You can click Audio Settings to choose which microphone you would like to use to pick up the speech that will be subtitled. This option is automatically set to your computer’s default microphone. To choose your microphone:
    1. Click Audio Settings.
    2. Click the drop down menu under Microphone.
    3. Click on the microphone option you want to use.
    4. Click on your presentation to exit the Audio Settings menu.
    5. Click anywhere on your presentation to exit the Always Use Subtitles menu.

When you start your presentation, subtitles will begin to appear. Usually, the subtitles are delayed for a few seconds when you first start speaking.

If you would like to turn off subtitles in the middle of presenting, you can:

  • Toggle subtitles on and off by pressing the J key.
  • Click the Use Subtitles button on the toolbar below the main slide while presenting.


Always Use Subtitles checkbox in Slide Show tab

  1. Click on Slide Show.
  2. Mark the checkbox next to Always Use Subtitle.
  3. Continue at Step 4 of the Web version instructions above.


Settings for Captions and Subtitles are on the Slide Show tab in PowerPoint.

  1. Click on Slide Show.
  2. Mark the checkbox next to Always Use Subtitle Settings.
  3. Click Subtitle Settings to open the menu.
  4. Continue at Step 4 of the Web version instructions above.

Best Practices

To ensure the best quality subtitles:

  • Speak clearly and deliberately.
  • Eliminate background noise.
  • Ensure a good internet connection.


If you have any additional questions or problems, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440
Location: Canaday Library 1st Floor

Create Accessible Slides in PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint creates slide show presentations that convey information with a combination of text, images, charts, and tables. Although slide shows are designed to be highly visual, following these accessibility guidelines will ensure that everyone, including those who use use assistive technologies such as screen readers and text-to-Braille devices, can experience and understand the content of your slides.

  1. Choose an Accessible Theme
  2. Use Built-in Slide Layouts
  3. Use Unique Slide Titles
  4. Use Meaningful Hyperlink Text
  5. Use Tables Wisely
  6. Add Alt Text for Images and Charts
  7. Use the Accessibility Checker

For more in-depth information, see Microsoft’s documentation on making PowerPoint presentations accessible.

Note: If you create a PDF copy of your slides to share, use File > Save as Adobe PDF (instead of printing to PDF) to ensure accessibility features are included. Mac users need Office 2016 or 2019 and must select the radio button Best for electronic distribution and accessibility when saving. If you have an older Mac version of Office, open the document in PowerPoint online (part of Office 365) to save it as a PDF.

1. Choose an Accessible Theme

Themes and templates can add visual interest to a presentation. Microsoft’s accessible templates use accessible color settings, contrast, and fonts and have been designed so that screen readers can more easily read the slide content

  1. Click File, then New.
  2.  In the Search for online templates and themes box, type the word “accessible” and press Enter.
  3. Select your template from the results.

2. Use Built-in Slide Layouts

The content placeholders in these built-in layouts contain invisible “tags” or labels such as “Title 1”, “Subtitle 2,” etc. that assistive technologies can use to contextualize content for readers. 

  • Click New Slide and choose a the most appropriate slide layout from the drop-down menu (e.g., Title Slide, Title and Content, etc.). Then add the appropriate content to each placeholder container.  

3. Use Unique Slide Titles

  • Use a unique, descriptive title for each slide. Individuals who use assistive technologies use slide titles to identify and locate slides.
  • If information is spread across multiple slides, add sequence markers to keep titles unique — e.g,, Agenda (1 of 2), Agenda (2 of 2).

4. Use Meaningful Hyperlink Text

Make sure any URLs you add to the document are working hyperlinks with unique “display text” labels that describe the link’s destination.

  • Assistive technologies typically read or present this display text when a link is selected, so it needs to be meaningful without the surrounding text. For example, if all of the hyperlinks in your document use “click here” as the display text, an assistive technology user won’t be able to distinguish between them.
  • Before using a URL as display text, consider a reader’s experience when hearing it read aloud. A short, meaningful URL like might be acceptable as display text, but URLs that are long or contain non-human-readable text — such as or — are not.

To insert hyperlinks:

  1. Type the text you want to make a link.
  2. Select that text, then right-click (or control-click) on your selection and choose Link.
  3. The text you selected will be in the Text to Display box; this will appear (and be read) as the link to click on.
  4. Enter the URL that the link should point to in the Address box.
  5. If it is difficult to succinctly describe a link’s destination, you can optionally click ScreenTip and to add information that will pop-up or be read when the cursor hovers over a link.
  6. Click OK.

4. Use Tables Wisely

Some information may be easier for viewers to scan or understand if it is organized in rows and columns. To ensure your tables are accessible for individuals using assistive technologies:

  • Tag the first row of each column as column headers, by positioning you cursor inside the table, clicking Table Design and checking Header Row under Table Style Options. If you don’t like the way the header row is formatted, adjust the formatting settings manually.
  • Keep tables simple. Assistive technologies use headers and cell numbers to identify tabular text and have difficulty representing complex tables with merged or split cells.
  • Avoid blank cells. Use the appropriate null value (0, n/a, etc.) instead.
DON’T use tables for layout — that is, to align and group slide elements. Use Powerpoint’s tools for aligning and arranging objects instead.

6. Add Alt Text to Images and Charts

Alt text (alternative text) describes important images and visual elements on a slide for readers who cannot see them.

  1. Open the Alt Text panel:
    • Select an image, chart or other visual element and choose Alt Text on from its Format ribbon (e.g., Picture Format, Chart Format, etc.) OR 
    • Right-click (control-click) on the visual element and choose Edit Alt Text … from the contextual menu.
  2. Add a short description or check the Mark as decorative if a screen reader or other assistive technology can ignore the image.
  3. Select another image or close the pane.


  • Only describe images or visual elements that convey important information. If you can remove the image without changing the viewer’s understanding of the slide content, then it is “decorative” from an accessibility standpoint.
  • Don’t repeat information about the image that is already presented in the surrounding text. Alt text is only necessary if the surrounding text doesn’t describe an image sufficiently; if it does, you can mark the image as decorative.
  • Be concise.

7. Use the Accessibility Checker

  1. Click Review in the top menu bar and choose Check Accessibility. Microsoft will display the results in the Accessibility pane on the right side of the screen.
  2. Click on each Error, Warning or Tip to see:
    • A list of all objects with this issue in your document.
    • More information about the issue and how to fix it.
  3. Click one of the objects in the list; Powerpoint will jump to the slide where it appears and highlight it.
  4. The text beneath the list explains how to fix the issue; in many cases, you can click the down arrow at the end item label in the list for shortcuts to the Recommended Actions.

Microsoft Office: Personal Devices

The following article applies to personal devices. For Public/Lab computers, see Microsoft Office: Public/Lab Computers.

Before you start, you will need access to the following:

  • a Bryn Mawr College account
  • a personal laptop or desktop computer with internet access

Table of Contents:


Office365: Overview

You can install Microsoft Office on up to 5 devices simultaneously including laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets.

*Microsoft Teams & OneDrive must be installed separately.

**For a full list of all applications offered, see All Apps.


Installing Microsoft Office

  1. Open Google Chrome¹ and navigate to
  2. If prompted, login using your College username and password
  3. Click Install Office in the top-right, select Office 365 apps
  4. To begin the installation, run the .exe or .dmg file that was downloaded
Tip: How to find a downloaded file


Your default download location is probably the Downloads folder, which you can find in the File Explorer app (Windows) or the Finder app (macOS).


  1. After the installation finishes, open any Microsoft Office application
  2. Sign-in with your College username and password to active the software suite

¹Any internet browser works, but Google Chrome will provide the experience most consistent with these instructions.




If you have any additional questions or problems, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440
Location: Canaday Library 1st Floor


Microsoft Office: Public/Lab Computers

The following article applies to Public/Lab computers. For personal devices, see Microsoft Office: Personal Devices.

Before you start, you will need access to the following:

  • a Bryn Mawr College account


Public/Lab Computers

Microsoft Office applications are pre-installed on these devices.

  1. Open the program you’d like to use
  2. Click Sign In
  3. Enter your College email and password
Sign In screen not visible? (click me!)
  1. You may instead see a yellow ribbon near the top of the application window.
  2. Click Activate
  3. Sign In with your College email and password



If you have any additional questions or problems, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440
Location: Canaday Library 1st Floor

Recording a narrated presentation using PowerPoint (for PC users)

PowerPoint versions 2010 and later for PC support recording a voice-over narration and saving as a video file to share on the web. Please note that Mac PowerPoint versions 2011 and later will allow you to record voice-over; however, saving as a video is not enabled in most Mac versions. For this reason, we recommend that Mac users create narrated presentations using QuickTime on Mac.

Follow the steps below to create a voice-over narration on the Office 365 PowerPoint application on your PC (note that recording in PowerPoint O365 on the web is not enabled)*:

  1. When ready to record, click the Slideshow tab in the PowerPoint menu at the top. Then, click the Record a Slideshow button. You will see a drop-down to start recording from current slide or from the beginning. Choose the option for where in your slideshow you’d like to start recording.
  2. When you choose the option to start recording, you will be brought into presenter view, with the option to push the round red button in the top left to start recording. PowerPoint will count down from 3 before it begins recording. To stop or pause the recording, use the buttons in the top left next to the red record button.
  3. After you start recording, you will be able to access various features to include in your presentation at the bottom right, such as turning on and off video camera and audio if needed. In the bottom center, you will be able to control features to annotate your presentation, including a pen and a laser pointer.
  4. Once you are finished recording, you’ll notice sound icons on each slide that have narration. You can play back your narration by pushing the play button under these icons, or by navigating back to the SlideShow tab and choosing the button to play your presentation “From Beginning.”
  5. If you need to edit your narration, you can simply delete the sound icon on each slide, and then from the Record a Slideshow button at the top, select start recording “from current slide.” You can also clear the contents of one slide or all slides using the Clear option also in the Record a Slideshow button.
  6. When ready to save your narration, you have the option to save as a PowerPoint file (.pptx) or a video file (.mp4 for versions 2013 and later). Saving as a video provides the option to upload to other platforms that support video, such as Panopto, Moodle, and OneDrive.
  7. To save as video, navigate to File > Export > Create a video. You can choose the screen quality for your video (medium, or 1280 x 720 works well for viewing on most laptop/computer monitors). Also, make sure that “Use Recorded Timings and Narrations” is selected. Then, click Create Video. Depending on how much media is included in your presentation, or how long it is, it will take some time to convert to video.

*To record on the following versions of PowerPoint, please see Microsoft’s in-depth documentation and choose the version you need:

PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
PowerPoint 2013-2019 for Windows
PowerPoint for macOS

Microsoft Office Mobile Apps

Microsoft offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile to maximize your Office 365 experience while you’re on the go.  You can download these apps from your device’s app store and log in using your Bryn Mawr College email address and password. For instructions on how to set up a mail & calendar sync, please see our post on Accessing Your College Email & Calendar on Mobile Devices.

There are many apps available.  Read the advice below carefully as some of the similar names can be confusing.  Additionally, depending on the app, you may find differences between the Android and iOS versions of each app, as well as between the phone and tablet versions even on a single platform.

OneDrive for Business

Allows you to…

  • open documents with the associated Office Mobile app (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote).
  • create new folders within your Drive.
  • upload photos and videos from your mobile device.
  • share files from your Drive when away from your computer.

Please note:  “OneDrive” and “OneDrive for Business” are different services despite the similar names.  On mobile, one unified app is available, and you will need to choose a login from a school or work account.  In other cases, you may specifically need to use OneDrive for Business applications.

Office 2016 apps

  • Download mobile versions of the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote apps, which allow you to create and edit documents when away from your computer.  When you first login to Office 365, download links are available at the bottom of the screen, or you can find the official Microsoft apps in your app store.
  • Set up Office apps on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.) using Microsoft’s instructions.
  • Set up Office apps on an Android phone using Microsoft’s instructions.
  • Set up Office apps on an Android tablet using Microsoft’s instructions.
  • Each of these apps will allow you to access some—but not all—of the features present in the corresponding full desktop application, and they have a cohesive look, feel, and navigation with the desktop and online versions.

Using Office Online

Office 365 gives you the ability to create, edit, share, and collaborate on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and OneNote files via Office Online.

Office Online offers the ability to create and edit documents within your browser, anytime and anywhere with an internet connection. Though the online versions of Office software not contain all of the advanced features of the desktop versions, you’ll be able to accomplish most common tasks in each application.

Office Online also allows you to share documents and work collaboratively online with multiple colleagues and classmates within the Bryn Mawr College community, the Tri-co, and beyond. Files you work on in Office Online apps are securely saved to your OneDrive.

The Basics

Additional Features

By sharing files with others and granting them edit permissions, you’ll be able to co-author the file in real-time, or separately.   Files created in Office Online are automatically saved to your OneDrive. Changes are auto-saved.

Creating Files from the App Launcher

Click on the app launcher to view all available apps.

1 - App launcher

Select Word, Excel, or PowerPoint to launch the app.

Creating Files from OneDrive

Click on the New button, then select Word document, Excel workbook, or PowerPoint presentation.

2 - creating files from onedrive

Sharing Office Online Files

There are two ways to share Office Online files with others:

  • Inviting people (current Bryn Mawr College community members)
  • Sending a link to the file (non-Bryn Mawr College community members)

By inviting people, you’ll be able to better track who you have shared a file with, as well as what kind of permissions they have. Sending a link to the file is most useful for quick sharing and for sharing with people outside of the Bryn Mawr College community.

To invite people at Bryn Mawr College to share a file from within the Office Online app, click the Share button in the upper right corner of the screen.

3 - share within office online

The Share dialog box will appear. From the Invite people tab, type the names or email addresses of people you want to share the file with.

4 - share dialog box

Select the desired permission setting. You also have the option of including a personal message (optional), requiring sign-in, and sending an email invitation to alert the person of the share.


To send a file link to someone outside of Bryn Mawr College, click the Share button in the upper right corner of the screen. The Share dialog box will appear. From the Get a link tab, click on the downward arrow to display more options. Select either View link or Edit link (depending on the sharing permissions you’d like to grant).

5 - get a link

A link will be generated which can be shared with others. You also have the option to set the link to expire after a set amount of time.

6 - expiration and mobile

Note: Clicking Open this link on a phone (highlighted above) will generate a QR code to scan with your mobile device.

You can also share Office Online files and other types of files directly from your OneDrive: Share documents or folders in Office 365

OneDrive for Business File Sync

OneDrive for Business is an integral part of Office 365, and provides a place in the cloud where you can store, share, and sync your work files. You can update and share your files from any device with OneDrive for Business. You can even work on Office documents with others at the same time.

Note: OneDrive for Business is different from OneDrive, which is intended for personal storage separate from your workplace.

OneDrive for Business Sync Clients and Apps are available for Windows, Mac, and Mobile platforms.  While you can always reach OneDrive from your Web browser, a client will allow your files to be easily accessed on your computers and mobile devices, and allow integration with other programs.  The desktop clients will also provide offline access.  Please note that your Bryn Mawr account is considered a “Work or School” account, rather than a “Personal” one.

You can install the sync client on your College computers and devices, and on personal computers and devices if they are protected by Antivirus and passwords as outlined in the Data Handling Policy. If you receive a new College computer or have your computer imaged, you will already have the correct client.

Windows:  On College machines, obtain the client from Software Center; on personal machines download the client and set it up with your College email address and password.  For complete instructions, see this Getting Started guide.

Mac:  On College machines, obtain the client from Software Center; on personal machines, download the client from the Mac App store.  Use your College email address and password.  For more information, see the OneDrive for Mac FAQ.

Mobile Devices:  See the app store for your mobile device to locate the correct client.

Additional Resources: