Join David Diskin for an in-depth discussion in this video Enhancing text boxes, part of PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Business Presentations.
Although we prefer pictures and charts, we can't always avoid text. So we need to make the best of it whenever we can. Take our second slide as an example, Today's Topics. I want to clean this up in just a couple of ways. Let's start by adding some tabs. You might recall that from Microsoft Word, we use tabs to align text in a vertical way down the page. We can do the same thing in a PowerPoint slide. I am going to click here where the space is and replace it with a tab. I'll use the Tab key on my keyboard for that.
I'll do the same thing here, here, and here. It may not look like it, but most of these are now lined up right here at the 2-inch mark. Fulfillment doesn't quite work because it sticks out; it's actually lined up at 3-inch mark, but we'll fix all of this in just a second. I am going to select all four bullets and bring my mouse here to the ruler right about at the 2.5-inch mark. As a quick side note, if your version of PowerPoint doesn't currently show the ruler, you can turn it on by clicking View and then Ruler.
Notice we toggle it on and off. So again, with this text selected, I'll bring my mouse pointer here to the ruler at about 2.5 inches. I'll click once, I'll see that vertical line when I hold the mouse button down, and if I let go, there's my tab. Looks like I missed just a little bit. So I am going to grab this tab and just drag and drop it a little bit further to the right. Now my Table of Contents is lined up a little bit better. I'll take this one step further by taking this text and bolding it.
Of course, now that I've bolded Fulfillment, looks like I need to move things again. I'll select the text, grab the tab stop, and drag it a little bit more to the right, and everything is lined up yet again. While I am here, I want to make a little bit better use of the vertical space availed for me on the slide. It looks like I can come down about to here or so. So with that same text selected, I am going to pull down the Line Spacing menu here. I can go down at about 1.5. Nope, too much.
So instead, I'll go to Line Spacing Options. Here I can go to Line Spacing and make a choice or Before and make a choice. How about I go about, let's try 4 points and see if that's enough. Definitely not. Drop it down again, let's go about 12 this time. Getting better. As you can see, this is quite a bit of a trial and error experiment here. 16? Just a little bit further. We'll go with 20, I think. There we go.
Adding that white space like we did back in Chapter 1 makes the text look a lot better. I'd like to demonstrate another feature called Columns. We'll use the President's Message on Slide #3 for this. Normally, we wouldn't want this much text on a slide to begin with, but since we'll be reading it to our audience, I think it'll be okay. This particular slide was created using the layout that has two text boxes side by side. Let's change this by taking the text on the right side and bringing it back into the left, making it just one text box. I'll double-click, cut with Ctrl+X, bring my mouse here, press Enter, and paste with Ctrl+V.
Let's change the layout back to just Title and Content. That'll eliminate the text box on the right. And now I'm ready to turn on the Columns feature. I'll place my cursor inside, and from the Home tab in the Paragraph group, pull down the Columns menu. I can change it to 2 columns or 3 columns. I can also click here for more options. I'd like to use 2 columns and give it a more generous one-inch gap between them. There is the result, but we're not quite done yet.
I am going to click on the entire textbox and turn off the bullets. But now I want a picture over here on the right, so I am going to bring everything to the left. I am going to adjust the line spacing like I did before. Notice that the font automatically got smaller. I am going to just adjust it just a little bit. Let's try making this 1.3 and a little bit smaller. I think I can make it a little bit bigger though.
Let's go back to the Paragraph options. I want a little bit more gap in between our lines. Over here, I think I'd like to force this new facility paragraph to the next line. We'll cheat by pressing Enter a few times, which brings it to the new line. By playing with the font size, line spacing, and the actual size of the text box, we can get this just right. It does take a little bit of trial and error, but after a while, we get the good result that we wanted and it was definitely worth it.
Let's add that photo in real quick. I'll click Insert and click on Picture. Find our CEO and drag and drop her right into the corner and then go ahead and remove the background behind her. Slide 19 also needs some help. Let's leave the text box as a single column, but we'll adjust the width, font size, and line spacing to make it look better.
We'll also turn off the bullet, and again, just kind of run pass this as I do it. I am going to place the person who said the quote on a separate line just by placing my cursor here and pressing Enter. I'll even select the text and make it italic so it stands out. Let's even right align it. Note that I decreased the font size just a hair, which makes it easier to read.
The line spacing is really what does it here. I am going to add some fun quotation marks rather than the ones that are here to give the slide just a little bit more personality. We'll delete these. I am going to create a new textbox with a quote, just one. I am going to make that extra large and use the Drawing tools Format to give this a little bit of style. Put it in place, use the arrow keys to make it perfect and then we'll copy and paste it to the other side and use the green handle to swing it around.
Again, I can hold down Shift to get a perfect angle. I can put it over here if I want to. I think I'll put it over here, click into this textbox and then use the Justify button to make things look a little bit more uniform. Finally, let's return to Slide #4, our $1000 Bonus slide. I want to show that we don't have to modify the entire textbox.
We can just select some text like this. Select the Drawing tools Format tab and apply formatting to only the text that's been selected. We'll make that a little bit bigger and then I'm going to copy it and bring that down to the very last slide and paste it here. Again, remember that consistency is key. To help us enforce that consistency, let's continue and learn about customizing layouts and making new ones.
- Adding whitespace
- Applying transitions
- Using photographs, colors, and fonts
- Incorporating diagrams and SmartArt
- Customizing layouts and templates
- Animating bullets, photos, and other objects
- Inserting music and audio
- Utilizing speaker's notes and the Presenter view
- Creating handouts
- Planning the program
- Dealing with distractions
- Setting up and tearing down
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Where can I learn more about communication skills?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting communication skills on lynda.com.