How to Highlight Text in Your PowerPoint Presentation

Highlighting text in your PowerPoint presentation is an effective way to draw attention to key points and make important information stand out. Proper use of text highlighting improves clarity, enhances visual appeal, and helps ensure your audience focuses on the most critical details.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn multiple methods for highlighting text in PowerPoint, along with best practices for using highlights effectively.

Why Highlight Text in Presentations?

Before jumping into the how-to, let’s review why text highlighting is so important for presentations:

  • Draws attention – Highlights make key words, phrases, and numbers pop out, immediately grabbing your audience’s focus.
  • Simplifies complex data – Strategic highlighting cuts through information overload, guiding your audience to critical takeaways.
  • Reinforces key messages – Emphasized text aligns with and strengthens your core ideas and objectives.
  • Improves retention – Audiences better understand and recall highlighted information long after the presentation.
  • Enhances accessibility – Highlights aid those with visual impairments using screen readers.

Step 1: Select the Text to Highlight

The first step is choosing which words or phrases to emphasize. Avoid highlighting too much text, as that diminishes the impact. Only highlight key data and central ideas.

To select text:

  • Click and drag across the text to highlight on your slide. The text will appear shaded blue when selected.

Step 2: Open Text Highlight Color Options

Next, access the menu for changing highlight colors:

  • Go to the “Home” tab.
  • Locate the “Font” section.
  • Click the small arrow next to “Text Highlight Color”.

A palette of highlight color options will now open.

Step 3: Choose a Highlight Color

Select a color that contrasts well with your slide background and font color. Brighter shades like yellow and green work best.

Some tips:

  • Don’t use more than 2 highlight colors per presentation.
  • Reserve highlights only for essential data.
  • Ensure highlighted text is readable for those with visual disabilities.

Once you’ve picked a color, click it to apply the highlight.

Step 4: Use Highlighting Styles for Variety

To avoid overusing the same highlighting technique, also utilize font styles like bold, italic, or underline to emphasize text. Mix up your highlight approaches to keep your audience engaged.

You can combine font styling with colored highlights for further impact. Just highlight first, then apply bold, italic, etc.

Step 5: Add Animated Highlighting

For an extra punch, animate your highlights to make them appear one word or line at a time. This grabs attention while unveiling key points sequentially.

To animate highlighting:

  • Open the “Animations” tab.
  • Select your highlighted text.
  • Click the animation style you want.
  • Customize animation options.

The animation will play each time you click through your slide during your actual presentation.

Pro PowerPoint Presentation Tips

Here are some best practices for text highlighting in PowerPoint:

  • Be consistent with highlight colors.
  • Emphasize no more than 30% of text.
  • Put key data in slide titles and subtitles.
  • Highlight supporting stats/facts in body text.
  • Use multiple highlight techniques.
  • Animations should match branding.
  • Test highlights for accessibility.

Following these PowerPoint presentation tips will make your highlighted text stand out while keeping slides clean, professional, and easy to digest for all viewers.


Knowing how to effectively highlight text is an essential PowerPoint skill for superior presentations. Use the steps and strategies outlined here to emphasize important information, boost engagement, and drive your core message home with impact.

With thoughtful text highlighting and animations, your PowerPoint slides will be more dynamic, memorable, and persuasive. Audiences will leave informed, enlightened, and ready to take action on your central ideas.