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Internal Margin Options in PowerPoint 2013

Learn about setting internal margins for text boxes in PowerPoint 2013.

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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8

Internal margins are relevant to all the three types of text containers in PowerPoint -- these three containers are text boxes, text placeholders, and shapes that contain text. Internal margins control the amount of blank space between the perimeter (edge) and the actual text within the text container. Although these margins are similar to the margins of pages in a word-processing document like Microsoft Word, there is a significant difference. Each text container has its own individual margins set, and you can have entirely different margins for different text containers, even if they reside on the same slide. In this tutorial, we will explore how you can set and change these Internal margins for text within a text container in PowerPoint 2013.

It is recommended that the margin settings should be done on the slide itself only for text boxes (and shapes) rather than individual text placeholders. You can set margins for text placeholders too but best practices dictate that you make these changes for text placeholders within the Slide Master -- thus providing a consistent look to successive slides in your presentation.

Tip: Don't know the difference between a text box and a text placeholder? Look at our Text Boxes vs. Text Placeholders tutorial.

Follow these steps to set a text container’s internal margins in PowerPoint 2013:

  1. Open any slide which has a text container -- click on the edge of the text container so that the entire text container is selected. Figure 1 shows a text box selected, which is indicated by the solid line with selection handles on its perimeter.

    Text box selected
    Figure 1: Text box selected

  2. Right-click to get the context menu you see in Figure 2 -- select the Format Shape option (refer to Figure 2 again).

    Format Shape option
    Figure 2: Format Shape option

  3. This will open the Format Shape Task Pane, as shown in Figure 3. Make sure you choose Text Options tab (highlighted in red within Figure 3). Then select the Text Box button (highlighted in blue within Figure 3). All the options related to text box internal margin are highlighted in green within Figure 3.

    Format Shape Task Pane
    Figure 3: Format Shape Task Pane

    This section provides options to tweak the space around the text within the text box. You'll find four separate boxes to enter values for the internal margins -- these are Left margin, Right margin, Top margin, and Bottom margin. Enter the values or use the up and down arrow to change the margin value in each of these four boxes.

    Right below these boxes, you'll find the Wrap text in shape check-box -- when selected, this instructs text to flow within the shape. In Figure 4, the shape shown towards left includes the text that is not wrapped, and the same shape shown towards right includes wrapped text.

    Text within the shape when not wrapped and same shape with text wrapped
    Figure 4: Text within the shape when not wrapped and same shape with text wrapped

  4. Figure 5 shows the difference between the text box with default internal margins and the same text box with changed internal margins -- you can see the original text box on the left, and the text box on the right has larger margins.

    Compare the same text container with differing internal margins
    Figure 5: Compare the same text container with differing internal margins

Tip: Once you change text margins for a text box or a shape, you can set them as the deafult for any text box or shape you insert hereafter within the same presentation -- to learn how to set this deafult, explore our Set as Default Text Box in PowerPoint 2013 and Change the Default Shape Attributes in PowerPoint 2013 tutorials.

See Also:

Internal Margin Options in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Internal Margin Options in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

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.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book


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