How to Add Alternative Text to an Object in Google Slides

Adding alternative text (alt text) to objects in your Google Slides presentations is an important accessibility feature that allows people using screen readers to understand the content and purpose of images, charts, drawings, and other graphical elements.

Alt text provides a textual description of the visual content, which screen readers can read aloud to describe the object to visually impaired users. Besides improving accessibility, alt text also helps search engines better understand the content of your slides.

In this step-by-step guide, you will learn:

  • What is alt text and why it’s important
  • How to add alt text to images, charts, drawings and other objects in Google Slides
  • Tips for writing effective alt text descriptions
  • How to edit and update alt text later on

Equipping your Google Slides presentations with alt text ensures everyone can access and comprehend the information, making your content more inclusive.

What is Alt Text?

Alt text, short for alternative text, is a written description of an visual object (like an image, chart, drawing, etc.) on a web page or document. It serves two key purposes:

  1. Accessibility: Alt text conveys the meaning and context of visual content to people using screen readers. This allows visually impaired users to understand graphics that they cannot see.
  2. SEO: Alt text gives clues to search engines about the content of images. This helps Google index and rank image search results better.

Alt text should be:

  • Brief but descriptive: Summarize the object concisely in 1-2 sentences.
  • Straightforward: Avoid flowery language and get to the point.
  • Keyword-rich: Include relevant keywords where possible.

Why Add Alt Text in Google Slides?

There are two main reasons to add alt text to objects in your Google Slides presentations:

  1. Accessibility: Adding alt text makes your Google Slides more usable for people with visual impairments who rely on screen readers.
  2. SEO: Alt text provides more context about images to search engines, which can improve visibility in Google image search results.

By making your presentations more accessible and discoverable through alt text, you expand your reach and make it easy for anyone to comprehend your message.

How to Add Alt Text in Google Slides

Adding alt text to objects like images, charts, and drawings in Google Slides is easy:

Step 1: Select the Object

Click on the object (image, drawing, chart, etc.) that you want to add alt text to. The object will be outlined with a blue border once selected.

Step 2: Open the Alt Text Pane

Right click on the selected object and choose Alt text from the drop down menu.

Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut:

  • Windows: Ctrl + Alt + Y
  • Mac: ⌘ + Option + Y

This will open the alt text pane.

Alt text pane in Google Slides

Step 3: Add Description and Title

In the alt text pane, add a concise 1-2 sentence description summarizing what the object is and what information it conveys.

You can also add a title for the visual if needed. Titles are optional.

Step 4: Save Changes

Click OK to save changes when you are done.

And that’s it! The alt text will now be associated with the visual object in your Google Slides.

Tips for Writing Alt Text

Follow these tips when writing alt text descriptions for maximum impact:

  • Focus on the key details and purpose of the visual content.
  • Be accurate and informative but concise.
  • Avoid excessive details and repetition.
  • Don’t start descriptions with “Image of” or “Picture of”. Screen readers convey that it’s an image.
  • Use keywords relevant to the image content where possible.
  • Specify icons, logos, illustrations if needed.
  • Describe the visual as if narrating it to someone who can’t see it.

Editing Alt Text Later On

To make changes or update the alt text later on, simply repeat the steps above to reopen the alt text pane for any object.

You can edit, add more detail, change keywords or rewrite the text from scratch.


Adding useful alt text ensures your Google Slides presentations are accessible and easy to comprehend for all users. With the right alt text descriptions, you can make complex visuals more understandable through screen readers.

It also helps search engines better grasp the purpose of charts, images and graphical content – improving visibility in Google image search results.

Use this step-by-step guide to swiftly add alt text for different objects in your next presentation.