1. Editing and Aligning Text

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

Lesson Notes

Adding text to a slide in 3 ways

- Click on a placeholder and start typing
- Create a shape, select it and start typing
- Create a textbox and start typing

Aligning text within a shape

- Always write text within shape, not on top in another textbox
- This makes it much easier to align text within the shape
- To align text vertically, Click Align Text dropdown button in the ribbon
- To align text horizontally, you can use the keyboard shortcuts below

Useful keyboard shortcuts

CTRL + L: Align text left
CTRL + R: Align text right
CTRL + E: Align text centre


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 place holder 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 make 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 this shape and I want to align my text on the right, I simply click the right alignment button. If I want my text 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 texts box around the shape which is much more time consuming. Instead of using the alignment commands in the quick access tool bar, we can also use keyboard shortcuts to change the alignment. So clicking on the shape, Ctrl + R is align right, Ctrl + L align left, and Ctrl + E to align center. We can also change the vertical alignment of text within a shape by going to the alignment drop down 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 moving the dialogue box to the left and 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, and close the dialogue box with Esc. 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 drop down and simply hovering over a 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, Ctrl + B. To italic, Ctrl + I and to underline Ctrl + U. To undo these styles simply repeat the shortcut, Ctrl + U, Ctrl + I and Ctrl + B. In the ribbon we have access to a couple of more styling options including Shadow Drop and Strikethrough. Again, you can undo these affects by reclicking on the buttons. Now let’s take a look at color. When I click on the drop down, 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 a 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 text 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 any way 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 dialogue box which gives you even more functionality, such as Superscript, Subscript, and even changing the angle at which you’re 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.