Making your PowerPoint Presentations Accessible

You can use the accessibility checker in Microsoft Powerpoint to make your PowerPoint presentations more accessible.

To use the accessibility checker

  1. Select the Review tab
  2. Select Check accessibility
  3. Work your way through all of the errors and warnings in the accessibility report

It’s likely you will be asked to provide alt text for any images or objects in your presentation. You can leave this blank if the images or objects are decorative, but if the images or objects provide information, you should include this information in the alt text. 

Tech Tip

Take a look at the tech tip below to see a demonstration of the accessibility checker:

Creating icons and Buttons in the Rich Content Editor

Student Intranet

You can use the Canvas Icon Maker to create icons and buttons in Canvas that link to other content, such as a Module or Page. These icons are more accessible than any images of text you may have used in the past, because they are in SVG format. SVG files do not get blurry when we zoom in or use Canvas on a phone.

  1. Start by opening the Rich Content Editor (RCE) and then select the Icon Maker 
  2. Enter a name for your icon and provide alt text: the alt text should be the same as the text you’re planning to use in your icon
  3. Start to edit the shape, size, and colour of your icon: until you give your icon a colour, you won’t see the icon in the preview. Use the Adobe Color Contrast Analyzer (Links to an external site.) to select an accessible colour pallette
  4. Add your text and edit the colour and position. 
  5. If you like, select an image: the single colour images may work better than the multi colour images
  6. Select Apply
  7. Optional: to link your icon to a module or page, select the icon and then select Insert>Link>External/Course Link

To see these instructions in more detail, take a look at How do I create an icon using the Rich Content Editor Icon Maker? 

Creating Icons and Buttons in the Rich Content Editor Tech Tip

If you’d prefer to watch a video tutorial, take a look at the video below:

Adding an Avatar to your Canvas Account

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Adding an avatar to your Canvas account is a great way to personalise any communications you send out. It’s really helpful for students too, because it helps students to recognise your messages.

It takes a couple of minutes to add a picture to your Canvas account, and you don’t need to add a picture of yourself – it can be an avatar, drawings or artwork if you prefer.

Follow the steps below to add a picture to your Canvas account.

Editing Captions / Subtitles within Planet eStream



In this tech tip for staff, I’ll show you how to edit subtitles directly within Planet eStream. This is useful to make quick edits and changes to existing captions.

Watch the video above or follow the intructions below.

  1. Navigate to your video on Planet eStream

  2. Click ‘Manage Subtitles’

    manage subtitles

  3. Click the ‘Go to Subtitle Editor’ button to open the editor

    open editor

  4. You won’t see any text to start off with. As you first need to select the subtitle track. Click select track in the top left of the editor. The track is usually labelled ‘EN’ short for English.

    select track

  5. You will now see the subtitles with each caption displayed as a time-based card. These cards have a start and end time. By default, the editor only shows cards in 30 second segments. To see cards for the whole video simply change the segment duration to entire duration. You can navigate the cards by scrolling and searching for specific content using search function.

    the subtitle editor

  6. Click to edit the text and make any changes required.
  7. Once you’re finished editing, remember to click Save.
  8. You can now use the back button in your browser to return to the main video page. You may need to refresh your browser page in order to view the changes.

    For further help with subtitling, please contact us at

Two Minute Tech Tip No. 20: Adding Live Automatic Captions to your Zoom Meetings

 This week’s Two Minute Tech Tip demonstrates how to add automatic, live captions to your Zoom meetings in real-time. That means your participants will be able to turn closed captions on and off during your meeting. 

There are two different methods for providing automatic, live captions in Zoom. You can use Zoom’s live transcription service or’s live transcription service. There may be errors in the captions provided by either service as they are both provided by an AI program.

Choosing between Zoom Automatic Live Transcription and Live Notes Transcription

Whether you choose to use Zoom’s live transcription service or’s live transcription service will depend on whether you are recording your Zoom meeting in order to upload it to Planet eStream or Canvas. 

Zoom Automatic Live Transcription provides automatic, live captions in-meeting. Live Notes Transcription provides live, automatic captions in-meeting. Live Notes Transcription can also be downloaded as an .srt file to upload alongside a recording of your meeting to provide closed captions.

If you’re recording your event, you’ll need to provide a closed caption file (.SRT) to upload alongside your video, as captions will not be captured in your Zoom recording. You can do this by using’s live transcription service. 

If you have used Zoom’s live transcription to provide your captions, you’ll need to upload your video to to get captions. 

Setting up closed captions with Zoom Automatic Live Transcription

Setting up closed captions with Live Notes Transcription Live Notes transcription is slightly more tricky to set up, but the benefit is that you can download closed captions to upload alongside a recording of your meeting.
Our Canvas page on Uploading content to Planet eStream provides more information about how to upload and share recordings of your Zoom meetings. For further information about using Zoom’s transcriptions options, please see the Zoom Support pages
For help with setting up live cations, or any other learning technology issues, please contact us at

2 Minute Tech Tip No. 14 : How to Add Captions to a Video in Canvas

This week’s 2 Minute Tech Tip demonstrates how to add subtitles to a video that you have uploaded directly to Canvas. By following the steps in this video, you can make sure that any videos you upload to Canvas are accessible. 

For more information about producing transcripts and subtitles, please take look at our guidance on Canvas. 

If you have any questions about this topic, or any others in our 2 Minute Tech Tips series, please contact