OneNote: Web Clipper

You are using and loving OneNote, right? In OneNote Essentials training, we discover how this program opens up tons of possibilities for organizing thoughts, integrating Outlook items, and so much more. One feature I talk briefly about in this training, but can’t show in detail, is the nifty Add-On you can use in your browser of choice. These Add-Ons can streamline organizing information you are pulling from the web.

OneNote Browser Add-On Downloads

About half of you are using Chrome, about a quarter are using Firefox, and the other quarter one of the other browser options.

Here is the good news… Regardless of your browser of choice, the link below will detect your current browser and send you to the appropriate download. If you use multiple browser programs, you can open it in each one (Chrome, then Firefox, etc) and download the clipper for each program.

OneNote Clipper Download

1. Select Get the OneNote Web Clipper

Get the OneNote Clipper button

2. You will be redirected to the appropriate log in page with a button allowing you to add the clipper to your browser.

Add to Chrome button

After the clipper is installed, it will appear:

  • Chrome/Firefox/Edge: to the right of your address and search bars
  • Safari: to the left of your address bar

Log In

The first time you click on the clipper, you will be prompted to log in to your OneNote account. This will give the clipper access to place your selections into your OneNote notebooks.

To log in, remember:

1. Your email is your (e.g.

2. Password is your usual myWSUID password.

3. You will be redirected to a Shocker log in page; this will look familiar if you have taken the OneDrive training.

4. You will likely be asked to Duo, so be sure to have your device of choice at the ready to authenticate.


Once logged in, check out the clipper! You have a choice of clipping:

  • Full page
  • Region
  • Article
  • Bookmark
Clipper Options

And, you can select a location to place your clipping. Select the dropdown by Location to see your OneNote notebooks and folders.

OneNote Locations


What do you think? Do you think you will use the clipper?

Congratulations, Power Users!

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Jacquelyn Johnston

Jacquelyn Johnston

PowerPoint: Restrict Editing with a Password

You have probably password protected documents in Word or Excel. In Excel Advanced Formulas, we even talk about how you can protect individual cells from being altered, while leaving the rest open to changes. Microsoft does not make it as obvious in PowerPoint that password protection is a possibility is it does in its other programs… but you actually have several options, including the ability to restrict editing while still allowing users to view your presentation. Let’s take a look.

Password Screen

Exercise File

No Exercise File today! You can open up PowerPoint into any random template if you would like to follow along.

Be Cautious with Microsoft Passwords

The usual password disclaimer applies…

  • Be very careful applying passwords in any Microsoft program.
  • If you lose the password, neither Microsoft nor ITS can reset it for you (trust me, I have been there).
  • You may want to save an copy of your original file without a password for your personal use.

Password Protecting Documents in Word and Excel

Password protection in Word and Excel is fairly obvious; you even have a special button in the Review tab to guide you through Restrict Editing features or Protect Sheet/Workbook in the case of Excel.

Restrict editing button in Word

With both Word and Excel, there are also a variety of Protect Workbook features in backstage (File) view.

Excel: Protect Workbook dropdown

On the other hand… in PowerPoint, the protection features are absent in the Review tab, though there are a lot of the same options for encryption in backstage view as Word or Excel…

Powerpoint restrict access options, prompting users to Connect to Rights Management Servers

Encrypt with Password would require someone to have a password to open your document, but maybe you only want to restrict editing. This is where people become frustrated.

For many people, Restrict Access looks like the right place to go, but for many it directs them to Connect to Rights Management Servers, which errors out when selected. There is a better way to do this…

“Save As” Password Options

1. With your presentation open, go to File, Save As (or remember my favorite shortcut, F12).

2. In the lower right, click on Tools dropdown and select General Options.

Save as screen, tools dropdown

3. A screen will appear prompting you to either:

  • Require a password to Open, or
  • Require a password to Modify. Let’s stick with Modify for now.

4. Enter a password for Modify, and click OK. You may be prompted to reenter the password.

Password to Open or Modify Screen

5. Save and close your PowerPoint file. Open the file again, and you should be prompted to either enter a password, or open a read only version.

Prompt when opening document: enter password or open as a read only document

Your users will still be able to view and print the document, but they will not be able to make changes.

Remove the Password

Later, if you would like to remove the password:

1. Open the file, entering the password when prompted.

2. Revisit the Save As screen to find the Tools, General Options where you first set the password.

Save as screen, tools dropdown

3. Here you can remove the password you originally created and press OK

Password screen with current password and ok circled.


What do you think? Did you know about this feature in PowerPoint?

Congratulations, Power Users!

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  • Rosemary Hedrick
Rosemary Hedrick

Word: Mail Merge with PDF Attachments

Have you ever wished that you could do an email Mail Merge with PDF attachments as the merged results? There are a variety of reasons you may want to do this. Maybe you would like to send individual PDF letters to students via email attachment, or perhaps you want to have a partially completed PDF form that is personalized for each person you are emailing. The possibilities are endless! By the way, big thanks to Julie and Meghan for having an awesome question in last week’s Word session that has inspired this Byte!


  • Today I am going to be referencing an Add In that comes with the installation of Acrobat DC on a computer. To request Acrobat DC, or other Adobe Creative Cloud programs, contact the Help Desk at 4357.
  • Also, for these exercises, I am assuming you have some experience with Mail Merge in Word. If you have never merged before, or are not comfortable with the process, please come attend my Microsoft Word Essentials training! You will be comfortable with it in no time.

Exercise Files

Here are a couple files for experimentation, if you would like to follow along:

  • Sample Letter Word Document: this is your file that you would like to turn into a merged PDF for recipients. This is a fictional letter for potential students.
  • Mail Merge Database Excel File: this is a fictional database for linking to the merge document.
  • Important: you should save these both to your desktop before starting, since you will have to browse to find the Excel file when merging.

Creating the Merge

You will start this merge like any other email merge:

1. Open the Sample Letter Word file.

2. Go to Mailings tab and select Start Mail Merge

3. Select Letters

Start Mail Merge dropdown, Letters selected

4. Select Recipients and browse for the Excel file

Select recipients dropdown, Use an existing list selected

5. Insert Merge Fields as desired. I am going to insert:

  • Address block
  • Greeting line, and
  • Interest field
Insert Merge Field dropdown

Work Offline

In real life, this is an optional step when doing an email merge, but I will ask you to do it this time, since we are working with fake email accounts, and you probably don’t want to receive a bunch of bounce back emails. When you work Offline in Outlook, it allows you the opportunity to review your email merge before going back online and sending them.

  • In Outlook, go to the send/receive tab and select Work Offline.
Outlook Send/Receive tab, Work Offline selected

Finish and Merge

1. Instead of going to Finish and Merge, like we usually do, we are going to select Merge to Adobe PDF.

Mailings tab, Merge to Adobe PDF circled

2. In the popup screen:

  • Specify a name for your PDF
Specify PDF File name completed with "Welcome" title
  • Check the box next to Automatically send Adobe PDF files by Email. Email data will populate by default, but that is something that could be changed if the wrong column is selected.
Automatically send Adobe PDF files by Email box checked. Email selected from dropdown.
  • Type in a special email Message, if desired.
Message inserted in Message box: We can't wait to see you this fall!
  • Press Ok

3. Select a location to save the merged PDF files. This creates separate PDFs for each of the merge results, for your records.

If there you don’t see a location that will work, notice you can also create a new folder in the lower left.

Browse for location screen

Double Check Results

  1. Open your Outlook.
  2. Since you are working Offline, these files are going to be sitting in your Outbox. You should see a number on the left side of your screen next to Outbox. Click on the Outbox to access the folder.
Outbox displayed on list

3. You will see a list of emails. Double click on any of them and take a look at the email that is set to send. You will see your message, subject line, and a PDF attachment.

Email from results, with PDF attachment

4. Double click on the attachment. Here is the letter you wanted to send, as a PDF attachment.

PDF of merged Word file

5. The individual PDFs are also living wherever you chose to store them on the previous section, step 3.

Work Online

Don’t forget that you need to go back online again with your Outlook! When you go back online, all of the emails in your outbox are going to send automatically, and in this case (with our fake emails) is not a good idea.

Red X next to each email to delete from Outbox.
  1. Click on the red X to the right of of each of the emails to delete them.
  2. When you are finished, revisit the Send/Receive tab and toggle off the Work Offline button to go back online again.


Will you use this in your area? I would love to hear how you plan to use this tool!

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PowerPoint: Live Subtitles

Hold on to your hats! I am so excited to show you this amazing new PowerPoint feature in a new group called Captions and Subtitles. This life changing tool will caption your words during your presentation as you are speaking… and that is just the beginning. This tool really needed a video to showcase what it can do, so keep scrolling to check out a short video.

Subtitle settings

Live Subtitles in PowerPoint

Take a look at the video below, where I demonstrate the feature. Then there are a couple notes for you after…

How do I obtain access to this amazing wizardry?

This feature is only available for the Office 365 versions of the PC desktop application. If you are running 2016, you would need to request an upgrade (see below). Even with the 365 version, many people don’t have this feature yet, but don’t worry, it is coming soon! Here is what you can do:

  1. If you are not using Office 365, contact the Help Desk (4357) to put in a ticket to have Desktop Support update your computer.
  2. Even so, you likely will not see this feature yet, but hang tight, because you will see it soon with coming updates.
  3. When it does appear, it will live on the Slide Show tab of the ribbon.


What do you think? Is your mind buzzing with ideas? I would love to hear from you!

Congratulations, Power Users!

Congratulations to our newest Power Users! For the full gallery, and more information about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program, please visit:

Meghan Simpson

Meghan Simpson

Word: Linking Text Between Documents

There are several options in Word for referencing a separate Word document. A feature I particularly like is called Insert Object. There is a lot you can do with the Insert Object feature, but one nice aspect is the ability to link (and sync!) text between two documents. Let’s see how this works.

Exercise Files

There are two files that will work together today:

The Welcome New Employees document contains a section that you would like to reference back to another Word document, Policy 55555. You would like for the Welcome New Employees document to update as your policy updates.

Since we will be linking these documents together, save both of these files to your desktop before going to the next step.

Insert Object

1. Open the Welcome New Employees document.

2. Place your cursor where you would like to insert the content from Policy 55555, at the end of the document.

3. Go to the Insert tab, Text group, and select the Object dropdown.

Note: if your screen is a smaller size, or the size of the Word window is reduced, you may only see an icon for the object in the ribbon.

4. Select Object from the dropdown.

5. In the tab at the top of the pop out screen select Create from File.

Create from File tab

6. Press Browse to browse for the Policy 55555 document.

Instructions 6 through 8

7. Check Link to File

8. Press OK

Inserted Text

Notice how this inserts the text with a frame around it. You cannot edit this text anywhere except in the source document, Policy 55555.

1. Double click on the frame to open the linked document in a new window.

Inserted text in a frame

2. Make a change to the source document.  Instead of Sandy, change the contact to Hannah, and the phone number to 999 9999.

3. Save the Policy document and close it to see the change take effect in the Welcome document.

Changes made to policy document

By the way, in the future you could always just open the linked Policy file, and make a change to it on its own. The change will take effect the next time you open the Welcome file… you may have to close and reopen the Welcome file if it is open when you make the change this way, though.


A few more things to note:

  1. Be cautious of where you save or move your linked documents. They may need to be re-linked if you move them to new locations.
  2. Insert Object also exists in PowerPoint. Imagine the possibilities!
  3. If you choose to email the final file to people, or post it online, they will be able to see the latest linked text, but they will not be linked to the linked document (Policy in this example), nor will they be able to open the linked document. Only people who can access where the linked document is stored will be able to do that.
  4. All bets are off if you export to PDF. The text will appear, but it will no longer be linked.

In other words, think of this as a feature to use with your master documents, to ensure consistency.


Do you have a use for this nifty linked text feature? Also, like I mentioned in the introduction, this is only one aspect of the Insert Object feature. Feel free to explore and let me know how it goes!

Congratulations, Power Users!

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Excel: Magic Macros

In honor of the wizardry of technology, and because everyone should be having a blast during summer break, I made a fun exercise for us in Excel… a crystal ball… via the magic of Excel Macros.

To give credit where credit is due, this was inspired by an exercise Mr. Excel showed us at Excelapalooza last fall.

Exercise File

Here it is… ask it anything! Crystal Ball Document

Allow Macros

This magic involves macros, so if you want to use this crystal ball, you might be prompted to “allow macros” or “Enable Content.” If so, go ahead and allow them. And more on this later…

How to Use it

Alright, this is about a sophisticated as a Magic 8 ball, which is to say, you will think of a yes or no question, then press the “Ask Me Anything” button on the Crystal ball.

Crystal ball, with arrow pointing to Ask Me Anything button

Your answer will appear in cell B2, next to the “Your Answer” writing. Keep pressing the button for different answers (there are some good ones in there).

Your Answer now has a response: Nope.

Look Behind the Curtain

How did I do this? Let’s take a peek behind the curtain.

Unprotect Workbook

This is a protected workbook. Go to the Review tab and select Protect Workbook to toggle off the protection. I did not apply a password. This will allow you to discover a sheet I have sneakily hidden.

Review tab, Protect workbook button

Unhide Sheet

Right click on the tab of the sheet (where you see the sheet name) and select Unhide.

Right click menu, unhide selected.

Hey there is a hidden sheet in this workbook! This looks a lot like the results we have been seeing when we ask the crystal ball for answers. But where do these results come in to play?

Sheet with responses

Formula in B2

Go back to the Crystal Ball sheet and click on cell B2, where the results appear. Look up in the formula bar… it looks like there is a pretty nifty nested formula that is selecting a random number between 1 and 14 and matching it up to possible results.

If you want to learn more about nested formulas, come to one of my Excel Advanced Formulas sessions! Those of you who have attended before, I could have also used VLOOKUP on this cell, but for some reason I was feeling old fashioned and went with the old Match/Index one-two punch.


Okay, the hidden sheet makes sense, and the formula is logical, but what does this button have to do with anything? How exactly does this work? The answer is… Macros!

What are Macros?

Macros are basically a shortcut you create that will perform a series of commands. If you get tired of copy/pasting as values in Excel, you could make a macro button that would do that for you. I once talked to someone who consistently wanted to print only the first page of a document, so we made a macro that would do just that.This saved her a lot of clicks throughout the day.

Basically, any combination of commands, formulas, you name it, you can create a macro for it. Macros use a special code called VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). If you want to take a look at the super simple macro behind this button, press Alt + F11 on your keyboard.

VBA coding of Macro

Now, don’t let this scare you off, macros can also be recorded via a macro recording tool in Excel. You don’t have to learn VBA to create macros, though it can really help.

I Thought Macros Were Something Bad…

I hear this a lot. Sometimes you open a document and receive a stern warning about macros… you may have even received a message like this when you downloaded this exercise. Because macros carry coding for actions, they can hide malicious code from ne’er-do-wells. Think of it this way, macros are a tool, and any tool can be used for good or bad purposes. So if you download something from a source you are unsure of, and you want to be extra careful, don’t allow macros to run, though know this will possibly reduce functionality. But if you made the macros yourself, or it is sent to you from a trusted friend (like me), you are probably fine.

Are You Interested in a Macros Session?

This Byte was a super fly-by narrative about macros. A couple of you have told me you are interested in learning more about macros… if you would like to attend a session like this, let me know! If there is a lot of interest, maybe I can put something together. You can either comment on this post or send me an email. I always love to hear from you anyway.

Congratulations, Power Users!

Congratulations to our newest Power Users! For the full gallery, and more information about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program, please visit:

Excel: Timeline Slicer

Slicers are hugely popular in both Excel Essentials and Excel Pivot Tables training. We go for standard slicers in both of those sessions, but there is another type that is particularly fun to play with if you are working with dates; the Timeline Slicer.

Exercise File

Download today’s Exercise File to follow along:

This is… what else… some dessert sales! Desserts make their way into a lot of my training exercises (wonder why?).

The Dessert Sales sheet shows entries in checkbook style: date, dessert type, and then income and expense on each day.

The Dessert Pivot sheet is referencing data on the Dessert Sales sheet. You must have a pivot table with dates in order to use the Timeline Slicer tool. If you are not comfortable with Pivot Tables, check out my session Excel: Pivot Tables, Charts and Pictures, listed in MyTraining.

Create the Slicer

  1. Go to the Dessert Pivot sheet
  2. Click on the pivot table to activate Pivot Table Tools contextual tabs
    Pivot Table Tools Tab
  3. Click on the Pivot Table Tools Analyze tab
  4. In the Filter group select Insert Timeline
    Insert Timeline
  5. Select Date and press OK

Look at this nifty Timeline slicer you just created!

Timeline Slicer

Working with the Timeline Slicer

Just like your standard slicers, you can click on a month to narrow down information in the pivot table.

Month Selected, Pivot table showing only one month

Notice you also have the ability to select a range of months by hovering your mouse between two months and clicking and dragging.

Cursor between two months, ready to click and drag. double headed arrow visible

To clear the filter, click on the clear filter button at the upper right of the timeline slicer.

Clear filter button on slicer

Timeline Tools

Click on the timeline to select it and notice this activates a Timeline Tools contextual tab.  

Timeline Tools contextual tab

Among other options, you have the ability to adjust the size of the Timeline and change the color to another available theme color.


Oh no, I sliced by a month and then accidentally deleted my slicer! How do I unslice my data?

Don’t forget that whenever you create a slicer, you are creating a shortcut to filter. Notice how a filter appears at the top of the row labels.

Filter button

To clear this filter click on the filter button and select Clear Filter from “Months”.

Clear filter option in pivot filter button dropdown


What do you think? How will you use the Timeline tool with your workbooks?

Congratulations, Power Users!

Congratulations to our newest Power Users! For the full gallery, and more information about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program, please visit:

Glenn Gunnels


Jeremy Webster

Jeremy Webster

Microsoft Office: Customizing the Ribbon

In every Micrsoft Essentials training, we talk about customizing the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT). In a similar vein, did you know you can customize your Microsoft Ribbon as well? Indeed, you can create your own custom groups with those hard-to-find favorite features. This is just another way to save yourself a few clicks throughout the day… which we all know can add up to a lot of time. Let’s take a look.
Customize Ribbon selected on dropdown

Exercise File

There is no exercise file today, because you will be customizing the ribbon on your individual download of Microsoft Office. If you would like to follow along, open up a blank Word document.

Layout of the Ribbon

Ribbon with Tabs, groups and commands labeled

The Ribbon is made up of:

  1. Tabs: e.g. Home, Insert, Design
  2. Groups: printed at the bottom of each tab, e.g. Clipboard, Font, Paragraph
  3. Commands: the buttons/features within each group

Throughout all our sessions, have also talked about how we see specific Contextual Tabs, or Tool Tabs, appear as we access certain features (pictures, tables, etc.).  All of these can be customized.

How to Customize the Ribbon

Let’s say that you have been doing a lot of work in Word. You would like to make it easier to find Alt Text when inserting images. You also frequently find yourself adjusting Headers, Footers, and Page Setup options, and would like to save yourself a few clicks in finding these features.

Create a Group

  1. Right click in a grey space on top of the ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon.
    Customize Ribbon selected on dropdown

    • Notice this looks similar to the QAT customization screen, but this time Customize Ribbon is highlighted.

Customize Ribbon highlighted

  1. Highlight the Home tab on the right and press New Group at the lower right of the screen.
    New Group button circled
  2. A new group will appear in the home tab list. Select it and press Rename to name it something else. I am going to name mine Special.
    New group, rename button circled

Add Commands

Let’s add a few commands to the Special group.

  1. Select the Special group on the right pane.
  2. On the Left Pane, change the dropdown from Popular Commands to All Commands.
    All commands selected
  3. Scroll down to Edit Footer. Select it, press the Add button between the two panes.

Edit footer slected, add button circled

  1. Do the same for Edit Header, and Page Setup

Once you click OK, you will see a new group with your custom commands.

Special group with new commands

Customizing a Contextual/Tool Tab

We added the previous commands to the Home tab in Word. We also would like to add Alt Text to the Picture Tools contextual tab. Contextual/Tool tabs are tabs that we don’t see until we select a specific object (like a picture) the document.

Note: if you are using Office 365, Alt text will already appear on the Picture Tools tab by default.

To customize the Contextual/Tool tabs:

  1. Right click on the ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon
  2. On the right pane, change the dropdown from Main Tabs to Tool Tabs.Tool Tabs selected
  3. Find the Picture Tools tab and select the only group (Format).
  4. Follow the instructions above to add Alt Text to your picture tools tab.

Remove Commands

You will not be able to remove the default commands from the ribbon, but if you would like to remove commands that you have added yourself, you can do so easily:

  1. Right click on the ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon.
  2. Highlight the command or group (in our case, Special) on the right pane
  3. Press the Remove button between the two panesSpecial group highlighted, remove button circled


Remember, this works in all your Microsoft Office programs, not just our Word examples above.  I am sure there are special features you wish you could access more easily, so I can’t wait to hear what you decide to do!  A few I have added to mine are:

  1. Outlook: Journal Feature to the Home tab (and QAT, because I am extra).
  2. All Programs: Alt Text to the Picture Tools tab
    • As I mentioned earlier, in Microsoft 365, Alt text will appear on the picture tools tab by default, but if you are on 2016 or earlier, it can be a huge time saver to add it yourself.
  3. Excel: Set Print Area to the Home Tab


How will you customize the ribbon on your Office programs? I would love to hear which commands you decide to add!

Congratulations, Power Users!

Congratulations to our Power Users! For a full gallery, and more information about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program, please visit:




Excel: Forecasting with Goal Seek

Excel has several built-in forecasting features that can be excellent tools for planning and strategizing. The feature we are going to examine today is called Goal Seek. Goal Seek allows you to work with related figures and determine how much one value would need to change in order for another to meet a goal.

In other words, if you know what number you would like to attain in one cell, but don’t know what input value is needed in a related cell to reach that number, this is the tool for you. Let’s take a look.

Exercise File

If you would like to follow along, here is the exercise file: GoalSeekExercise


What are we looking at here? These are recruitment numbers for some fictional colleges on campus. FY19 enrollment headcount is in column B, and you would like to calculate goal enrollment for FY20 in column C.

Recruitment Figures from exercise file

Column C contains formulas that will calculate an increase in percent based on what you input into cell F1. Go ahead and test it out. What happens To column C if you type 5 into F1?


Figures with new percent calculation

So an increase of 5% would mean all enrollment figures would increase as shown.

 Goal Seek

That formula is nice, but your real hope is to Goal Seek. You would like to figure out how large of a percent increase would be required to raise total enrollment (C6) to 3000.

  1. Select Cell C6 by clicking on it.
  2. Go to the Data tab, Forecast group, and select What If Analysis.
    Data Tab what if analysis
  3. Select Goal Seek
    Goal Seek Option
  4. In the pop screen that appears:Pop up screen, as described in text below
    • Set Cell should already read C6, since that was the selected cell.
    • To Value: this is our enrollment goal, which was 3000, so change that to 3000.
    • By Changing Cell: select cell F1 (next to Increase Enrollment By) or type F1 in the space provided.
    • Basically, we are saying we want to see what the percent increase would need to be for our goal of 3000 students to be reached.
  5. Press OK.
    Excel should work out our calculation from here…

Interesting! It looks like enrollment will need to increase by 24%. And each college’s appropriate rate is lined out with their needed increases.

New goal lists 24% increase needed

One quick note, all these cells are rounding to the next whole number, so figures are not exact (we can’t recruit a percent of a student after all).

  1. In the pop up that appears either press OK to accept the change, or Cancel to go back to the original numbers.


Where could you put this to use in your office? Let me know what you think!

Congratulations, Power Users!

Congratulations to our newest Power Users! For the full gallery, and more information about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program, please visit:




PowerPoint: Slide Layout and Accessibility

PowerPoint has a lot of aesthetic features, so it can be easy to become so focused on the visual aspects of a presentation that we forget about what is happening behind the scenes. A slide deck can appear perfect from a visual perspective, but definitely still have a long way to go internally. Let’s take a look.

Exercise File

Download today’s exercise file here: LayoutExercise

This is a (very important!) presentation about Star Trek characters. It consists of  a title slide and three additional slides with content. At first glance, It looks like all the content slides are laid out identically, but they are actually quite different.

Selection Pane: Reading Order

Similar to Accessibility settings that we talk about in Acrobat DC Essentials training, there is also a Reading Order to PowerPoint documents.

Someone in your audience may be visually impaired and accessing your PowerPoint with a screen reader. The Reading Order is the order the screen reader will read the contents of the slide. How do you access the reading order? Via the Selection Pane.

  1. Select Slide 2: The Original Series.
  2. In the Home tab, Drawing group, select the Arrange dropdown and select Selection Pane

 Selection Pane

  1. A menu will appear on the right. This is the Selection Pane displaying the Reading Order.
  • Important: reading order is from bottom to top! So in the case of Slide 2, the Title is on the bottom, where it should be if it is to be read first.

 Selection Pane reading order

Click on any of the items in the Selection Pane to highlight their location on the slide. Or, click on any item in the slide to see it highlighted in the Selection Pane. Items may be reordered by clicking and dragging.

Outline View

I mentioned that all these slides appear identical, but they are actually set up differently. One quick way to see this is to change your View to Outline View.

  1. Go to the View tab, Presentation Views group, and select Outline View.

 Outline View button

  1. Notice how slides 3 and 4 are missing something very important: a title! Titles are indicated in bold next to the slide number.

 Outline View

But wait, what is going on here, I was sure I saw titles on those two slides?

  1. Let’s return to Normal view and investigate. Go to View tab, Presentation Views group, and select Normal.

 Normal View Button


  1. Select Slide 3: The Next Generation.
  2. Take a look at your Selection Pane on the right (if you left that view from earlier, you can get it back by following the steps under Selection Pane above). Where is the Title?
  3. Click on to the title words in the slide (The Next Generation). Notice this highlights a Text Box in the Selection Pane on the right. It looks like someone has deleted the title box on this slide and inserted a text box.  This means that:
  • The reading order is out of order… it could be reordered by clicking and dragging, but…
  • There is also no official Title on this slide. Fixing the lack of title will actually fix both issues.

Selection Pane with text box highlighted

  1. Let’s first confirm the correct Layout is selected. Go to Home tab, Slides group and select the Layout. It looks like Two Content is selected. Since there is both text and a picture, this makes sense. Let’s not change this, but it is good that we confirmed it.

Layout dropdown, two content selected

  1. The real issue is that the Title got deleted and replaced with a text box. Let’s fix this. Start by deleting the imposter title:  click on the text box that contains “The Next Generation,” then click on the line of the text box to select the whole text box. Press the Delete key to completely remove this imposter title.
  2. Go back to the Slides group and select Reset. This is going to reset the current slide into its original two content layout, while keeping the content.

Reset button

  1. A true title box appears. Retype your title into the new title box. Notice the selection pane is now correct, in that there is a title, and that the reading order has been corrected.

Title Correct

Change Layout

What about Slide 4? Let’s follow the same steps as above.

  1. Under Layout, I noticed the wrong layout is selected. It is currently a Title and Content and should be a Two Content. Let’s change this slide to a Two Content.

Change from title and content to two content

  1. Notice this causes the slide to reset. The fake title text box may need to be deleted to make room for the real title.


Side note: you might be noticing right about now that remediation is a lot harder than creating a slide correctly to begin with. This is almost always the case, regardless of the program you are using!


  1. Once slides 3 and 4 are corrected, revisit Outline view, and notice the new look! Titles on every slide, what a beautiful sight!

Outline view corrected with slide titles

Accessibility Checker

Another way to find these layout issues is by running an Accessibility Checker. A full write up of how to work with this feature may be found here:  Accessibility Checker Article

Go to File, Check for Issues, Check Accessibility.

Accessibility Checker

When a number of text boxes are found on a slide, the checker will remind you to check your reading order. Click on the dropdown next to this warning to access the same Selection Pane a different way.

Selection Pane in Accessibility Checker


Did you know about these tricks for checking slide layout and reading order? How will you put this to use?

Congratulations, Power Users!

Congratulations to our newest Power Users! For the full gallery, and more information about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program, please visit:

  • Tegan Perry

Tegan Perry