Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows
Learn the foundations of structured PowerPoint presentations by understanding the difference between text placeholders and text boxes.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2003
OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7
Aren't text boxes and text placeholders the same? Are they really different? And why should we bother even if they are different? All these are valid questions, and the answers to them form one of the most important foundations in learning to create more structured presentations.
In PowerPoint slides, text can be found in many places:
- Text Placeholders
- Text Boxes
- Notes Pane
- And more places...
However, the text within a text placeholder has characteristics that set it a class apart from all other text. So what exactly is a text placeholder, and how is it different from text within a text box or anywhere else?
Look at Figure 1, which shows you what exactly a text placeholder
is within a PowerPoint slide. Also note that only text content within the
placeholders is part of the presentation's outline.
Figure 1: Text Placeholders
- In a slide that contains a title and subtitle, text contents of
both placeholders comprise the outline.
- In a slide that contains a title and text (as in bulleted or non-bulleted
content), text contents of both placeholders comprise the outline.
- In a slide that has a title with something else such as a chart or a
picture, the outline comprises just the title text.
- In a slide that has only a title, the outline comprises just the title.
To follow this more clearly, you should try this small exercise:
- Launch PowerPoint to start with a single slide as shown in Figure
Figure 2: PowerPoint interface
- Type some text into the boxes that say: "Click to add title",
and "Click to add subtitle". These boxes are text placeholders
that PowerPoint provides as boilerplates to fill in. Then change the Slides pane on the left so that it now shows the Outline
pane (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Text you type in placeholders shows in the Outline pane
- You'll notice that any text you typed within the placeholders showed up in the Outline pane as well.
- Now choose the Insert | Text Box menu option, and then drag and draw within the slide to create a new text box. Now type something else within this box.
- Notice that anything you type in this new text box does not show
within the Outline pane (see Figure 4). That's because
the Outline pane does not show anything that is part of a text box. It only
shows any text that is part of text placeholders.
Figure 4: Text you type in text boxes does not show in the Outline pane
Text placeholders are different than text boxes because they are part of the original Slide Layouts -- these are typically characterized by their "Click to add....." messages.
Although this differentiation between text placeholders and text boxes may not sound very significant at first, the more structured you get in your approach in creating better PowerPoint presentations, the more important this foundation concept will appear. So do remember this important rule: always try to put your text content in placeholders rather than mere text boxes as far as you can.
See Also:Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2008 for Mac
Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
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