Navigating PowerPoint with keys

Navigating PowerPoint with keys, an accompaniment to my previous post on creating Halloween games in PowerPoint.

Note: these instructions presume the use of a screen reader although the keyboard shortcuts may be useful in general, this is a a general description of creating presentations using keyboard shortcuts..

In addition to the standard ALT key shortcut that allows access to the menu bar in most software, combined with the arrow and tab keys for navigation inside a menu, the F6 key combined with the TAB key and arrow keys allows for navigation through the 3 major sections of a PowerPoint design mode window. The slide preview pane, where all slides are previewed allows for scrolling through various slides using the up/down arrow keys. The main window of a particular slide where design occurs is accessed by F6 and then TAB through sections of the slide, activating a section with the ENTER key.

The creation of general sounds for a slide are accomplished by the key combination (in sequence)ALT-N(for insert menu)-O(audio)-and either F(from file), C (clip art audio, depends on audio clips installed with version of PowerPoint) and R(record audio). In general, in the projects we created, audio effects from downloaded files and recordings of the narrative by the students were used. Audacity sound editing software was used to modify and edit the audio.

In addition, sound effects to indicate various slide transitions are found in the “Transitions” menu: ALT-K-U-Arrow up or down, ENTER to select (i.e. Menu bar-Transitions-Sounds-arrows-enter or left-click).

It is helpful to use audio in an .mp3 format to keep the PPT file size as small as possible but .wav files are also acceptable. For audio navigation between items on a particular slide, the mouse over action is used (ALT-N-K-Tab and tab and arrows, Menu bar, insert, action) where a sound is played when the mouse hovers over an object (more on mouse keys later). The sound can be any of the types mentioned above including recordings as the attached example to this post demonstrates. However, for mouse over audio, the sound format must be .wav.

Lastly, mouse keys for emulating a mouse by the numeric keypad can be accomplished, as many on these blogs can attest, by Windows Control Panel-Ease of Access Center-Control the mouse with the keyboard).

The previous steps and procedures describe an effective way for creating and accessing PowerPoint presentations for the blind and visually impaired. I have had several blind students create PowerPoint presentations on their own with these methods.

Attached is a particularly enjoyable, albeit devious, example I have created to demonstrate audio use of a PowerPoint, causing students much consternation...