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Text with Bites

By: Geetesh Bajaj

Date Created: November 5th 2007
Last Updated: March 2nd 2009

Product Showcase

It’s easy to create text with bites in PowerPoint, although it is a little time consuming. That’s not a big issue since you’ll want to use this effect sparingly as a design style for some titles or text boxes only. To make sure that you know what text with bites means, look at the before and after slides in Figures 1 and 2 – this effect is also known as “eaten-up text’”.

text before bites
Figure 1: Before the bites

text after bites
Figure 2: After the bites

Although the figures and the steps use PowerPoint 2007, the actual effect can be easily replicated as far back as PowerPoint 97.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Create a new slide, and apply the Blank slide layout.

    To do this, create a new presentation based on a theme or template, and then make sure that the Home tab of the Ribbon is active. Click the Layout option to bring up the Layout gallery, and choose the Blank layout (see Figure 3).

    Alternatively, skip steps 1 and 2, and download the source presentation here…

    blank layout
    Figure 3: Change slide layout

  2. Select the Insert tab of the Ribbon, click the Text Box option and click on the slide to create a text box.

    Type in a somewhat large word – I typed CHALLENGE, and changed the font to Arial, 88 pt. (see Figure 4).

    Alternatively, skip steps 1 and 2, and download the source presentation here…

    add text
    Figure 4: Add a text box, and format the font.

  3. On the Insert tab of the Ribbon, click the Shapes option to access the Shapes gallery. Then select the Rectangle option (see Figure 5), and draw a small rectangle anywhere on the slide.

    Figure 5: Select the Rectangle shape.

  4. With the rectangle selected, click the Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon, click the Shape Outline option to access a fly-out menu, and then select the No Outline option (see Figure 6).

    no outline for the rectangle
    Figure 6: No outline for the rectangle.

  5. Place this rectangle as one of the bites over the text. This “bite-rectangle” is a totally different color as of now and may not look like a bite – don’t worry about that now, we’ll take care of that later.

  6. With the rectangle still selected, press Ctrl+D to duplicate the bite. Resize as required, and place as a bite over the text. Create and place several such bites.

    I also placed large bites covering the entire top and bottom areas of the text (see Figure 7).

    place the bites all over
    Figure 7: Place the bites all over.

  7. Now select all the bites (make sure you don’t select anything else), right click and choose the Format Object option to bring up the Format Shape dialog box.  Select the Fill tab, and change the fill to Slide background fill, as shown in Figure 8.

    change to slide background fill
    Figure 8: Change to Slide background fill.

  8. You can see the results in Figure 9.

    transparent bites
    Figure 9: Transparent bites.

Note: Although we used rectangular bites for this tutorial, there's no reason why you cannot use another shape like a sphere or triangle to create the bites. You can also use different shapes to "bite" the same word.


Tip: Also, do remember that you can copy the word and the bite shapes to another slide or another presentation -- you can also replace the word since it essentially is editable text -- however you might have to move around the "bites" a little since the shape of each word is different.


Tip from Glen Millar: Remember that you can “bump” the rectangles around with your keyboard arrow keys, depending on your snap to grid settings (Glen is a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP based out of Brisbane, Australia).

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  ©2000-2013, Geetesh Bajaj. All rights reserved.

    since November 02, 2000