How to Add Alt Text to a Picture in PowerPoint 2010

Adding alt text to images in your PowerPoint 2010 presentations is an important accessibility feature. Alt text provides a text alternative for images that can be read by screen readers for visually impaired users. It also helps search engines understand the content of images.

Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to easily add alt text to pictures in your PowerPoint 2010 presentations.

Why Add Alt Text

Here are some key reasons why you should take the time to add alt text to images in your PowerPoint presentations:

  • Improves accessibility – Alt text allows visually impaired users with screen readers to understand the content and purpose of images.
  • Enhances SEO – Alt text helps search engines index and rank images in search results.
  • Displays when images fail to load – If an image fails to load for any reason, the alt text will display instead.

How to Add Alt Text to Images

Adding alt text to images in PowerPoint 2010 just takes a few quick steps:

  1. Select the image you want to add alt text to.
  2. Right click on the image and select Format Picture from the menu. Format picture menu in PowerPoint
  3. In the Format Picture pane on the right, click the Alt Text button at the top. Alt text button in PowerPoint format pane
  4. The Alt Text pane will appear. Enter a Title and Description for your image.
    • The title should be short, usually just a few words.
    • The description provides more details about the image content. But try to keep it concise, usually no more than a sentence or two.
  5. Click Close when you are done.

And that’s it! The alt text has now been added to your image.

Here’s an example image with alt text:

Title: Woman smiling
Description: Portrait photo of a young woman with long brown hair smiling directly at the camera.

Alt Text Best Practices

Follow these best practices when adding alt text to ensure it is informative and useful:

  • Focus on the purpose and content of the image, not just a visual description.
  • Be accurate and concise – usually just 1-2 sentences.
  • Don’t repeat content from captions or text on the slide.
  • Use natural language, no special formatting or all caps.
  • Add empty alt text to decorative images with no meaningful content.

More PowerPoint Accessibility Tips

Adding proper alt text to images is one important accessibility feature, but there are many others to consider as well:

  • Use sufficient color contrast for text and backgrounds.
  • Ensure fonts and text are large enough to read.
  • Provide audio descriptions for complex charts or diagrams.
  • Add captions to audio and video clips.
  • Choose slide layouts and themes carefully to avoid clutter.
  • Never use flashing content that could trigger seizures.

By keeping accessibility in mind when authoring your PowerPoint presentations, you can help ensure that everyone is able to effectively understand and use your content.

Fixing Accessibility Issues

If you have an existing PowerPoint presentation, you can check for and fix accessibility issues:

  1. Run the Accessibility Checker and review warnings.
  2. Add alt text to flagged images and tables.
  3. Simplify complex slides with too much text or distracting backgrounds.
  4. Increase color contrast that is difficult to see.
  5. Remove flashing content.

Addressing accessibility issues now can help you easily transform your old presentations into accessible and engaging content for all users.


I hope this guide gave you a good overview of how to properly add alt text to images in PowerPoint 2010. Taking just a minute per image to provide a text alternative through alt text goes a long way in improving accessibility and SEO.

As you create and update your PPT presentations, keep accessibility best practices in mind right from the start. Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!