PowerPoint XP: Formatting Text

Formatting text properly in a PowerPoint presentation is critical for communication and visual appeal. With PowerPoint XP, you have a wide range of formatting options to make your text stand out.

Text Boxes

Many of PowerPoint’s default slide layouts already contain preset text boxes and placeholders ready for you to add text. However, if you create a slide from scratch, you’ll need to add text boxes manually where you want text to appear.

To add a text box, select the text box icon from the drawing toolbar and draw a text box on your slide. You can move or resize it as needed.

Changing Font Type, Size and Color

PowerPoint’s default font type is Arial, but you can easily change it by selecting text and using the formatting toolbar or font dialog box.

Some key options:

  • Font Type: Choose from a wide variety of font types like Times New Roman, Verdana, Comic Sans etc.
  • Font Size: Increase or decrease text size. Generally 18-44 pt sizes are recommended for slide text.
  • Font Color: Choose from theme colors or custom colors to make text stand out.

You can preview fonts before applying them by hovering over font names.

Text Styles

To further emphasize text, apply styles like bold, italics, or underlines. You can even combine multiple styles like bold italics.

Select text and click the respective style buttons on the formatting toolbar.

Text Alignment

Align text left, center, right or justified using the alignment buttons on the formatting toolbar. This helps organize text neatly.


Convert text into bulleted or numbered lists using the list buttons on the formatting toolbar. Choose from various built-in bullet styles.

For numbered lists, you can continue numbering from previous slides or restart numbering on every slide.

Line and Paragraph Spacing

Adjust line spacing between multiple paragraphs of text using the line spacing button on the formatting toolbar. Choose options like 1.5 lines or double spacing.

You can also increase or decrease spacing between paragraphs using the paragraph spacing buttons.


Increase or decrease indentation of text using the indent buttons on the formatting toolbar. This helps structure text clearly.

Themes and Styles

Leverage PowerPoint’s themes to format all text on your slides consistently. When you choose a theme, default fonts, sizes and colors are applied.

Create custom themes or text styles for reusable formatting.

Master Slides

For company presentations, create a master slide with background, logo and text formatting. Other slides will inherit those by default for consistency.

Best Practices

Follow these best practices for text formatting:

  • Use sans-serif fonts like Arial for easier readability
  • Reserve ALL CAPS only for titles and headings
  • Use font sizes between 18-44 pt for body text
  • Limit text to 6-8 words per line
  • Align text appropriately to organize information
  • Use styles consistently across slides

Proper text formatting ensures your presentation is visually appealing and clear for your audience. Master these techniques in PowerPoint XP to create professional presentations.