1. Editing and Aligning Text


The PowerPoint textbox can be easily customised to suit your needs. This lesson shows you how to customise fonts, colours, text alignment and bullets.

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  1. Lesson Goal (00:04)

    The goal of this lesson is to learn how to insert text on a PowerPoint slide and learn how to format that text.

  2. Adding Text to a Slide (00:20)

    There are three ways of adding text to a slide. The first is to select one of the placeholder text boxes and start typing. The second is to create a new shape on the slide, and type text in the shape. The third is to create a textbox on the slide, and type our text in the textbox.

    It’s best practise to type text in a shape instead of creating a separate text box on top of the shape. Adding text to the shape makes it easier to manipulate its position and alignment.

  3. Adjusting the Alignment of Text (01:03)

    The Quick Access Toolbar allows contains commands to align text to the left, the center, or the right within a shape. Alternatively, we can use keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl + L to align left, Ctrl + E to align center, and Ctrl + R to align right.

    We can also adjust the vertical alignment of text. We do this by selecting Align Text from the Paragraph section of the Home tab of the ribbon. We can align text to the top, middle, or bottom of a shape. If we select More Options in the Align Text menu, we can adjust further alignment options. For example, we can adjust the margins used for our text. 

  4. Formatting Text (02:39)

    There are numerous formatting tools we can apply to text. Many of these options are found in the Font section of the Home tab of the ribbon. Here, we can adjust the font of our text and the text size. We can also apply effects to the text, such as bolding, italics, and underline. We can also use keyboard shortcuts to apply these effects: Ctrl + B to bold text, Ctrl + I to apply italics, and Ctrl + U to underline text.

    We can also adjust the color of the text by selecting the Text Color dropdown. As a guideline, it’s best to use a light text color on a dark background, and a dark text color on a light background.

    If we select a shape and apply a formatting change, then all the text in the shape will be formatted. If we want to format some of the text in the shape, we first select the text to be formatted, and then apply the formatting change.


In PowerPoint, adding text to a slide is very simple. However, choosing the right font face, font size, style and colors can be quite difficult. In this lesson, we'll start by taking a look at the different options of editing and aligning text in a presentation.

Let's start off by looking at the different ways of adding text to a slide. The easiest way is to simply click in a placeholder and start typing.

Alternatively, you can draw a shape, and start typing in here.

And lastly, you can create a text box, click on the slide, and type in the text box.

In PowerPoint, we spend most of our time writing text inside shapes. When doing this, always makes sure that the text is actually within the shape and not on top of the shape in a separate text box. When text is within a shape, it's much easier to manipulate its position and alignment. For example, if I extend the shape, and I want to align my text on the right, I simply click the right alignment button.

If I want my texts on the left, I click the left alignment button. With separate text boxes, none of these commands are available, and we must manually move the text box around the shape, which is much more time consuming.

Instead of using the alignment commands in the quick access toolbar, we can also use keyboard shortcuts to change the alignment. So clicking on the shape, Control + R is align right, Control + L align left, and Control + E to align center.

We can also change the vertical alignment of texts within a shape, by going to the Alignment dropdown in the Paragraph section of the ribbon, and selecting top or bottom.

If we go to More options, it gives us the ability of changing the internal margin within the shape. I'll show you the effect of this, by adjusting one of the margins.

And you can see as I increase the margin, the text moving.

Using margins, we have full control over where our text is positioned within a shape. I'll set this back to the default, which is 0.25.

Once we're happy with the position of our text within a shape, we can focus on editing it. To edit text, we use the Font section in the Home tab of the ribbon. To change the size of the font, make sure that the shape is selected, and then increase this number. So I'll increase it to 30.

Press Enter to see the effect. We can also change the font with this dropdown, and simply hovering over our new font gives you a preview of what it looks like in the text box.

I'll stick to the default Calibri for now, because I'm going to cover fonts in more detail in a separate lesson. Next, let's take a look at styling. I can use the style commands in the ribbon, or I can use some popular shortcuts. To bold text, Control + B, to italic, Control + I, and to underline, Control + U.

To undo these styles, simply repeat the shortcut: Control + U, Control + I, and Control + B.

In the ribbon, we have access to a couple of more styling options, including shadow drop, and strikethrough.

Again, you can undo these effects by re-clicking on the buttons.

Now let's take a look at color. When I click on the dropdown, a selection of colors associated with the PowerPoint theme template is available. If we had a different theme, this selection would be very different. PowerPoint also offers us some standard colors to pick from, and the option of selecting more colors if we haven't found what we want.

When I'm choosing a color, I normally stick to the theme colors, and make sure that light font color goes in a dark background, and vice versa. As I mentioned earlier, when you have a shape selected, and you make a change to the text, it changes all of the text within the shape. If you want to make a change to just part of the text, you select it with the mouse, and then make the change. So for example, I'll underline these two words to emphasize them.

This becomes quite useful when you've a lot of texts on the page and you want to emphasize certain parts of it with either a bold or an underline.

The commands I've covered in this lesson should allow you to manipulate text anywhere you want. If you find yourself needing more functionality, just click in the bottom right-hand corner of the Font section of the ribbon, and this brings up the font dialog box, which gives you even more functionality, such as superscript, subscript, and even changing the angle at which your text appears. Now that you know how to align and format text in PowerPoint, in the next lesson, we're going to learn why and how to use bullets when adding text to a slide.

PowerPoint Essentials
Master the Textbox


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