PowerPoint 2013: Text Alignment and Direction

Text Alignment Logo x 200

In PowerPoint 2013 it is easier than ever to find the controls for text alignment and direction.  The secret is thinking of the text as an attribute of the shape that contains them (the placeholder, textbox or drawn shape), and then formatting that shape.

For example, to control the text alignment and direction of a typical bulleted item slide, click on the border around the bulleted items (it is dashed before selecting it and solid when selected).  Right-click the selected border, and from the context menu choose Format Shape.

Format Shape Context Menu

The Format Shape pane will open on the right of the screen.  Select Text Options.

Text Options

You will have three options, the first which controls text color and outline, the second that controls text effects (like shadow, reflection, glow, etc.) and the final, called Text Box, which controls text alignment, direction, autofit settings, shape margins, text wrap, and can be used to create text columns within the shape.

TextBox Controls

To control vertical alignment, click the drop-down after “Top” (the default).  To control text direction, click the drop-down next to Horizontal.  You may choose from rotate all text 90°; rotate all text 270°; and “Stacked.”  Stacked text looks like this:

Stacked Text

These controls will affect text in placeholders, textboxes, and text entered on drawn shapes.  They can also be used on text in SmartArt, if the individual shape, and not the overall piece of SmartArt, is selected.

The direction and alignment commands can also be found in the Paragraph command group on the Home tab.

Direction and Alignment Commands

Here is a summary video.