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For Seniors: How to Manually Insert a Text Box on a PowerPoint Slide

Whenever possible, you should use the layout placeholders to insert PowerPoint slide content. However, sometimes you may not be able to find a layout that’s exactly what you want. For example, maybe you want to add a caption or note next to a picture, or you want to create a collage of text snippets arranged randomly on a slide.

Here’s how to create a manual text box on a slide:

  1. Display the slide.

  2. Choose Insert→Text Box.

    The mouse pointer turns into a vertical line.

  3. Click where you want the text to appear and then start typing.

Manually placed text boxes behave somewhat differently from placeholder text boxes.

  • The text box widens as you type. The text doesn’t automatically wrap to the next line. You can press Enter to create a new paragraph or press Shift+Enter for a line break within the same paragraph.

  • Manually placed text boxes aren’t resizable. The box resizes itself to fit whatever text is inside it.

If you want a manual text box to behave more like a placeholder, adjust its AutoFit setting:

  1. Right-click the text box and choose Format Shape from the menu that appears.

  2. Click Text Box.

  3. In the AutoFit section, select either the Do Not Auto Fit option or the Shrink Text on Overflow option.

    The Do Not AutoFit option turns off all AutoFit properties, which allows you to manually resize the text box. Text doesn’t resize if it doesn’t fit in the box.

    The Shrink Text on Overflow option turns on AutoFit. You can manually resize the text box. Text resizes if it doesn’t all fit in the box.

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