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Align Text within Shapes / Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to align text within a shape or text box in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X

December 20th 2011
December 20th 2011






After you add text within a shape in PowerPoint 2011, you can do basic edits like adding, deleting, or replacing existing text but if you want more control over how your text has been placed within the shape or a text box, you'll need to access text editing options within the Format Text dialog box:

  1. Select your shape that already contains some text -- this technique also works with text boxes. Right-click to bring up the contextual menu and choose the Format Text option, as shown in Figure 1.
    Format Text option selected
    Figure 1: Format Text option selected

  2. This opens the Format Text dialog box -- make sure that the Text Box option within the sidebar is selected as shown in Figure 2. This brings up the text alignment options that we discuss next.

    Text alignment options within the Format Text dialog box
    Figure 2: Text alignment options within the Format Text dialog box

  3. The text alignment are divided into three sections, as marked in Figure 2:

    1. Text Layout: Comprises options to change text alignment and direction.

      Vertical alignment: Click to access a drop-down menu (see Figure 3). Choose any of the options to change the alignment of the selected text.

      Vertical alignment options
      Figure 3: Vertical alignment options

      Whichever option you select, it will change the alignment of text within the selected shape -- Figure 4 shows how the alignment of text within the same shape is influenced by using the Top, Middle, and Bottom alignment choices.

      Text alignment changed to Top, Middle, and Bottom
      Figure 4: Text alignment changed to Top, Middle, and Bottom

      Tip: Do note that shapes by default have center aligned text -- so, choosing the Top Centered, Middle Centered, or Bottom Centered options makes no difference -- however within text boxes, the Top, Center, and Bottom options provide text that is left aligned -- so the Centered options provide an extra set of options.

      Text direction: Clicking this option brings up a drop-down list with options that enable you to change the direction of text within the selected shape or text box (see Figure 5).

      Text direction options
      Figure 5: Text direction options

      Choose any of the options to change the direction of the text within the shape to Horizontal (default) to Rotate to 90° Counterclockwise, Rotate to 90° Clockwise, or Stacked, (last three options as shown respectively from left to right in Figure 6).

      Text direction changed 90° Counterclockwise, 90° Clockwise, and Stacked
      Figure 6: Text direction changed 90° Counterclockwise, 90° Clockwise, and Stacked

      Note: If you choose Rotate to 90° Counterclockwise or Rotate to 90° Clockwise, the Vertical alignment options (shown in Figure 3) change to Horizontal alignment options.

      You can change the Order of lines to either Left to right, or Right to left as shown in Figure 7 if you chose the Stacked option for the direction of the text.

      Options to change the order of the lines
      Figure 7:
      Options to change the order of the lines

    2. Autofit: This section has three radio buttons (refer to Figure 2):

      Do not Autofit: Does not fit the text automatically within the shape, and this is the default option. If you want your text to fit within the shape, choose one of the other two options. In Figure 8, the triangle shape on the left uses the Do not Autofit option, and the triangle on the right uses the Resize text to fit shape option, discussed next.

      Shapes with Do not Autofit option and Resize text to fit shape option
      Figure 8: Shapes with Do not Autofit option and Resize text to fit shape option

      Resize text to fit shape: Fits all the text by reducing the text size to keep the text fitted inside the shape. In Figure 9 you can see that more text has been added to the same triangle shape that you saw towards right in Figure 8.
      Text sized reduced when more text was added
      Figure 9: Text size reduced when more text was added

      Resize shape to fit text: Retains the text size but increases the container shape's size so that the text remains fitted inside the shape, as shown in Figure 10.

      Shape's size increased to keep the text fitted within the shape
      Figure 10: Shape's size increased to keep the text fitted within the shape

    3. Internal Margin: Provides options to tweak the space around the text within the shape (refer to Figure 2):

      Change the left, right, top, and bottom margin values individually to set the margin for the text within your selected shape. In Figure 11, towards left you can see all margin values increased for the shape that you saw towards right in Figure 8 earlier. The resultant flow of the text can be seen in the shape towards the right of Figure 11.
      Internal margin values changed
      Figure 11: Internal margin values changed

      Wrap text in shape: This check-box, when selected, wraps the text to flow within the shape. As you can see towards the left in Figure 12, the shape with the text that is not wrapped. You can see the same shape with text wrapped towards the right of Figure 12.
      Text within the shape when not wrapped and same shape with text wrapped
      Figure 12: Text within the shape when not wrapped and same shape with text wrapped

    4. Columns: This option is used to arrange the text within a shape into columns. Select the Columns option in the sidebar of the Format Text dialog box as shown in Figure 13.

      Columns option within the Format Text dialog box
      Figure 13: Columns option within the Format Text dialog box

      Here, you can divide text within the shape into columns and even control the spacing (gutters) between the columns. Figure 14 shows the text divided into 4 columns with spacing of 0.3 inches in between.
      Text divided into columns with spacing
      Figure 14: Text divided into columns with spacing

See Also:

Align Text within Shapes / Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Align Text within Shapes / Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Align Text Within Shapes / Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

 

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Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

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