Module 3, Lesson 1: PowerPoint formatting basics (PC) 

If you use a Mac, click this link to go to the PowerPoint 2016 for Mac module.


The following are some basic tips to keep in mind when drafting your PowerPoint presentation.

Layout of content

  • Use built-in slide layouts to format and organize reading order (more info on this in Lesson 2).
  • Contain less than seven points per slide.

Language used

  • Use language appropriate to your target audience.
  • If using abbreviations or acronyms make sure to provide the fully-expanded definition the first time you use them in a document.

Font type

  • Stick to using standard fonts that are available on the end user's device.
  • Use at least 30-point font size or above.
  • Slides with only one, or only a few font faces are usually easier to read. Using too many font faces can create a confusing visual layout which is bad for all users, but may be especially difficult for users with reading disorders, learning disabilities, or attention deficit disorders.
  • When in doubt, use Verdana. It has a simple, straightforward design, and the characters are not easily confused. For example, the upper-case "I" and the lower-case "L" have unique shapes, unlike Arial, in which the two characters may be easily confused (see example below).

Comparison of Arial and Verdana fonts



Text color

  • Some users cannot perceive certain colors (green and red). Therefore do not rely on color alone to bring out text in a document.
  • Underline or bold text that you wish to emphasize.


  • Use a high contrast between text and background colors.
  • Use dark text on light backgrounds and light text on dark backgrounds.


Next: Module 3, Lesson 2: Standard slide layouts (PC)

Back to Module 3 menu: Accessible PowerPoint 2016 presentations (PC and Mac)