PowerPoint 2013: Using the Text Box Tool


In this post we will describe how to enter text on a slide using the Text Box tool.  Remember, text added to a slide in this fashion will not appear in Outline View.

To add text in a text box, go to the Insert tab and select Text Box.

Text Box Insert Tab
The Text Box command in the text group on the Insert tab.

When you move your cursor onto the slide in Normal View it will appear as an inverted cross.  Either 1) click on the slide in the location you want to type and begin typing at the insertion point, or 2) draw a bounding box for your text and begin typing at the insertion point.

Text Box with Insertion Point
Text Box after single click on slide.


Bounding Text Box
Bounding text box with insertion point.

If you draw a bounding box, it will retain it’s width, but contract to a single line in height when you start typing.  In either case, you can press Enter or Shift-Enter at the end of a line to move the cursor down and expand the box.  Enter will produce a “hard” carriage return (and cause PowerPoint to auto-capitalize the first word in the next line); Shift-Enter will produce a “soft” return and not auto-capitalize the next line.  If you do not press Enter or Shift-Enter the text box will just continue to expand horizontally as you type, without limit.  The container (the actual text box placeholder, represented by the dashed lines around the text) can later be re-sized to fit on the slide in a desired position, causing the text to wrap.  Be careful when resizing a text box too narrowly, however, because you can cause words to break in unnatural locations.

The Text Box is so useful, that there is a shortcut in the Drawing group on the Home tab in addition to the command that is found on the Insert tab.  I add it to my quick access tool bar also, so that I can get at it from any tab.

Text Box Shortcut

The following video will demonstrate these procedures.