MS PowerPoint

Editing Slides

Slides can contain text, bulleted and numbered lists, tables, and other content such as clip art and charts. In most cases, you can make changes to each of these elements directly on the slide itself, in Normal view.

Adding and Editing Text

The highest-level points in a presentation's outline appear as slide titles. Everything else in the outline appears in the slides' text placeholders. The outline links to the slide strictly and exclusively via the title placeholder and the text placeholder.

If you try to enter more text than a placeholder can accommodate, PowerPoint automatically tries to shrink the text to fit within the confines of the placeholder. First, it tries to reduce the spacing between lines. If that doesn't work, it shrinks the size of the font. If you start to see your text shrinking, maybe it's time to take another look and see whether you need to trim some verbiage or split the slide into two.

Whenever PowerPoint shrinks text to fit in a placeholder, an AutoFit Options action menu appears (it resembles the AutoCorrect action menu). If you don't want PowerPoint to squeeze the text into the placeholder, click the button and choose Stop Fitting Text to This Placeholder from the menu. When you choose this option, your text will spill over onto the face of the slide. This action menu also gives you the options to split the text on the current slide into two slides, to continue on a new slide, or to change to a two-column layout (which will only help if your bulleted list consists of very short items).

On presentations that adhere to strict design guidelines, auto-fitting text damages the integrity of the design; it might also make the slide too hard to read. To turn off AutoFitting, choose Tools, AutoCorrect Options, click the AutoFormat As You Type tab, and clear the AutoFit Body Text To Placeholder and AutoFit Title Text To Placeholder options.

If you choose to continue on a second slide, the final bullet point on the overextended slide becomes the first bullet point on the new slide. If you opt to split the text between two slides, PowerPoint tries to balance the quantity of text on each slide. In either case, you will probably need to modify titles and tweak text on the original slide or the new slide (or both).

In a bulleted list, use Ctrl+Tab to insert a tab character into the text. Pressing the Tab key by itself changes the bullet level.

You might also place text anywhere in the drawing layerwhich is to say, on "top" of the slideby inserting a text box or using one of the many different kinds of AutoShapes.

In the case of AutoShapes, PowerPoint lets you type in text that extends beyond the ends of the shape. In text boxes, PowerPoint expands the text box downward to accommodate all the text you care to add. In both cases, any text that extends beyond the edge of a slide when viewed in the slide pane does not show up on the slide when you view the slide show or print that slide.

You can apply formatting to any text on a slide by selecting the text and then choosing the formatting. If you want to change the formatting on all slides, howeversay, change all the titles on all the slides to a new font, or make all the first-level bullet points on all the slides greenyou should use the Slide Master.

You can change all instances of a font (typeface) with another font by choosing Format, Replace Fonts.

PowerPoint applies AutoFormatting while you type, changing fractions (1/4 to ¼), ordinals (1st to 1st), "smart" curly quotes, dashes, and the like. It will also change a single quote in front of a number into a curly quote ('04 to '04), with the curl pointing in the correct direction, change (c) into a copyright symbol, and change several different combinations of : and ) into a smiley face.

Any AutoCorrect entry in Word that produces a formatted result will not be available in PowerPoint. If you need the AutoCorrect entry, open Word, delete the entry, and replace it with one that doesn't produce a formatted result.