Exporting Text From A PowerPoint (Converting to Word)

In the event that a PowerPoint is not properly set up for accessibility, saving it as a text-based filetype may accommodate students' needs. At the very least, it will extract most all text from the file. 
This can be done natively on PowerPoint on both Windows and Mac.

  1. Navigate to "File" in the top ribbon
  2. Go to "Save As" in the left menu.
  3. Beneath the textbox with the file's name, click on the dropdown box that says "PowerPoint Presentation (*.pptx)" (or similar)
  4. Find "Outline/RTF (*.rtf)" in the dropdown; it should be toward the bottom and will be much shorter than most other options.

See the screenshot below for an example:

(Alternatively, you can use "Export -> Save to another type" and just manually type .rtf as the extension while saving)

This will take all of the text on your PowerPoint and paste it in a plain file. 
It will retain some formatting such as bullet-point structures, and it will ignore text in the PowerPoint template such as slide numbers. Nothing in Speaker Notes will be included.
It may be a little bit messy  and will completely ignore all graphics, both in terms of images and charts. If you have, for example, a single textbox on top of an image to label something in it, then this text will be included without the image.

It is recommended to review the .rtf file you've created to make sure that all important information is there, deleting any duplicate headings caused by image only slides, and manually inserting descriptions of the figures from the PowerPoint. 

.rtf files usually open in Word automatically, but you can re-save it as a .docx if there's any trouble with opening it. (Do not rename it to change the file extension or there may be errors when opening it)

Do not use the "Export -> Create Handouts" feature as an accessibility solution. Though this will generate a Word Document, it will not properly convert the text and will instead create thumbnails of each slide. Word's built-in Read Aloud feature does not recognize the text in these thumbnails, and external screen-reader software won't either. However, it can be used to export Speaker Notes.

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