PowerPoint a wide range of formatting tools and resources for text, shape, and image editing, which makes it a great program to work on both written and visual content simultaneously at once. Let’s go through these tools that help you with these three categories, so you can use PowerPoint to its complete potential.

PowerPoint is capable of formatting text in the same way most other Adobe programs do. Most of your basic tools will be easily accessible in the Home tab of the top menu. Let’s look first at the Font category.

Font Formatting

Changing font and text size works by using the dropdown menus to select a font and size. If you have downloaded a new font while the program is open, you will have to restart PowerPoint to refresh the font list. You can also use the buttons on the side of the dropdown menus to incrementally increase or decrease the font size, which can be a quicker option than inputting your own values.

If you hover your mouse over these font size symbols, you can also see the keyboard shortcut for this which can be very useful, especially if you’re testing different font sizes and need to toggle between them quickly; Ctrl + Shift + > increases text size, while Ctrl + Shift + < decreases. The last button on this row has an A with an eraser symbol, which clears any formatting done to text (such as italics or spacing), reverting text to its default.

The buttons underneath allow you to easily add text effects such as bold, italics, underlines, shadows, and strikethroughs.

The AV symbol with the arrows represents the spacing between letters. When you need to increase or decrease the space between characters, first highlight the text you want to format, then click this button to expand the dropdown menu. The default for text will be Normal. From here, you can choose a basic preset by selecting either Tight or Very Tight if you want to decrease this space, or Loose and Very Loose if you want to increase it.

The next button, which is labelled with the Aa symbol, is for Changing Case. When you highlight text and then click on this button, you can quickly change the entire case of the text by selecting one of the options from the dropdown menu, including sentence case, lowercase, uppercase, capitalising the first letter of every word, or toggle case, which is the opposite. This can be very handy when you need it, as it can be a very tedious manual task otherwise.

The last buttons in this section change text colour. The highlighter symbol will change just the background of the text. Click on it to see the limited colour palette available. The button next to it will change the colour of the text itself. Highlight the text you want to format, then select a theme colour, or click More Colours to select a custom colour.

You can also choose the Eyedropper tool at the bottom of the menu to select a colour that already exists on the slide. Once you click the Eyedropper tool, your cursor will change to the eyedropper symbol. Your text will then change colour to whatever object you click next.

Now, there are a few more tools hidden in this section. Click the little arrow in the bottom right corner of the Font section to open up a pop-up window for more options. This window is for formatting text size, font and some effects that we’ve already gone through. The new tools that you’ll find here are in the checkboxes in the last section under Effects. Here you can add a double strikethrough, change characters to superscript, subscript, small caps or all caps. The last checkbox also lets you equalise character height, which forces each character in your text to be the exact same height.

Paragraph Formatting

For further text editing, look to the Paragraph section of the Home tab. Here you’ll find most of your other tools needed for text formatting. The first two buttons assist in adding bullets and numbers to your paragraph. Click on the little arrow by the bullets button to see the wider array of available bullet styles. Feel free to choose any one of these, or click Bullets and Numbering at the bottom for further customisation.

This will open a pop-up window where you can adjust firstly the size of the bullet in relation to the text, and also their colour. You can also choose instead to use a picture as a bullet by clicking Picture, or to choose another symbol by clicking Customise to open another window of all the possible symbols in the font you’ve selected, or you can select a symbol in another font.

Numbers works in a similar way. The drop-down menu will reveal other styles of numbering, including alphabetical numbering and roman numerals. Again, you can click Bullets and Numbering at the bottom of this menu for more customisation options, such as size and colour, and also which number you’d like the bullets to start.

The next two buttons on this row can add indents to your paragraph. Click the right button to add an indent, and the left to remove it. Again, you can use the slides on the top ruler to adjust the size and spacing of your indents.

The last button on this row formats the spacing between lines of text in your paragraph. You can choose a preset number from the dropdown menu to increase or decrease the space.

Below this row of buttons, you’ll find your basic alignment tools. The default for a paragraph will be left-aligned. To change this, first highlight your paragraph and then select a new alignment option from these buttons. You can choose between left, centre, and right aligned, or to justify the text which makes all lines neatly reach the end of the textbox.

Next to this, you’ll find your Columns button. Use this to add columns to your paragraph by selecting one, two or three column presets from the dropdown menu, or accessing more columns options by clicking More Columns. This will open up a small pop-up window where you can manually input a number of columns, and also adjust the spacing between them.

The first button on the right of this section changes the text direction of your paragraph. Here you can force text to run vertically instead of horizontally for example, or to run on its side by selecting a preset from the dropdown menu. Similarly, the Align Text button under it lets you format text so that it will align to the top, centre or bottom through the dropdown menu. Clicking More Options on either will open up the Format Pane on the Text Options tab.

The last button in this section will convert your textbox to SmartArt, which may be useful in quickly drafting charts and diagrams. Hover over the different examples to see a live preview of how it might look before selecting, or choose More SmartArt Graphics for more options.

Now that you’ve got your text looking good, you’ve got to write something, huh? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Content Writing to understand best practice for emails, social media, whitepapers and more. Download it here.