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Getting the Type Right: Tips for Working with Text in PowerPoint 2007

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Author Tom Negrino explains how to work with text in PowerPoint 2007 using step-by-step instructions and plenty of screen shots.
This chapter is from the book

In Chapter 2, I strongly suggested that you write most of your presentation in the PowerPoint or Word Outline view. I'm not backing off from that advice; focusing on your presentation's text, rather than the text on your slides, will lead you to write better presentations.

But sooner or later, you will need to work with the text on your slides, and that's what this chapter is all about. For this chapter, at least, I'll assume that you'll be entering text directly onto slides.

PowerPoint showcases Office 2007's improved text handling, layout, and display abilities, and you've got better control over the appearance and style of text within PowerPoint 2007, compared to previous versions. In this chapter, you'll learn how to enter text on slides; style that text as you wish; change the alignment and spacing of text; work with indents and tabs on slides; save time when you're setting text styles; and avoid embarrassing spelling errors.

Adding Title and Body Text

The first slide in your presentation is almost always the title slide, which usually contains two pieces of information: the title of the presentation, and a subtitle, which is where you can put your name and company affiliation (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1

Figure 4.1 The Title slide starts off your presentation.

In PowerPoint, all text must be in text boxes. A text box defines the boundaries of the text. If you have more text than the text box can normally contain (which depends on the size of the text box and the size and style of the text within the box), PowerPoint automatically shrinks the text to fit the box (Figure 4.2). When there are multiple lines of text, the text automatically wraps inside text boxes.

Figure 4.2

Figure 4.2 When your text won't fit in a text box (top), PowerPoint automatically shrinks the text to fit (bottom).

Most of the time, you'll use the text boxes provided on the slide layout that you have chosen for your slide, but you can also add your own text boxes to a particular slide, as discussed later in this chapter.

To add title and body text:

  1. Open a new presentation file, and apply a design from the Design > Themes group. (See Chapter 2 if you need more information about doing that.)

    PowerPoint creates a new slide based on the first slide layout in the theme file, which is usually the Title Slide layout. The new slide will contain placeholder text for its text boxes, which say, "Click to add title" and "Click to add subtitle" as shown in Figure 4.3.

    Figure 4.3

    Figure 4.3 Text boxes in PowerPoint have placeholder text, until you add your own.

  2. Click in the title box, which usually contains larger-sized text than the subtitle.

    An insertion point begins blinking in the title box.

  3. Type your title.
  4. When you're done entering the title, click outside the title box to deselect it, or click in the subtitle box to begin entering your subtitle.

    You'll know you're ready to enter text in the subtitle box when you see the insertion point blinking in that box.

  5. Type your subtitle.
  6. Click outside the subtitle box to deselect it.
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