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Move Text Boxes on a Slide in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to move text boxes on a slide in PowerPoint 2016.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016
OS: Windows 7 and higher

This tutorial is about moving text boxes rather than text placeholders. Typically text placeholders for regular text content or even slide titles are located in the same position on successive slides - so if you really do need to move a text placeholder, do it within the Slide Master so that this change of position happens on all slides, providing a consistent look to your presentation. This will also prevent you from repeatedly moving the placeholders on each and every slide on 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.

In this tutorial, you will learn how you can move text boxes within the Slide Area in PowerPoint 2016. Do note that we suggest you move only text boxes, and not text placeholders since the positioning of the latter is normally controlled by the Slide Master.

Now that you are more aware of why you should not move text placeholders, let us tell you that all techniques on this page apply to both text placeholders and text boxes -- actually they also apply to any shapes in your slides that contain text. But yes, it is not a good practice to move text placeholders on your slide.

Learn more about how you can change the position of your text boxes in PowerPoint 2016 -- follow these steps:

  1. Open any slide which has a text box, as shown in Figure 1. Note that of the three text containers on this slide, only one is a text box -- and that's the one on the right side of the slide (which includes blue colored text).

    Slide with all text containers seected
    Figure 1: Slide with all text containers selected
  2. Click on the edge of the text box so that it shows a solid line with selection handles on its perimeter (see Figure 2).

    Text box selected
    Figure 2: Text box selected

    Tip: If you click within the text box, you'll see a dotted line surrounding the perimeter of the text box indicating that you are editing the text inside the box. A solid line indicates the selection of the entire text box, rather than some text within.
  3. Now move the cursor over the edge of the selected text box so that it changes to a double-crossed arrow, as shown in Figure 3.

    Changed cursor
    Figure 3: Changed cursor
  4. Click the border and drag the text box to a new position without leaving the mouse button. Figure 4 shows the text placeholder being dragged to new place.

    Text box being dragged
    Figure 4: Text box being dragged
  5. Figure 5 shows the selected text box in a new position. Compare to Figure 2, shown earlier on this page.

    Text box moved to new position
    Figure 5: Text box moved to new position

    Tip: You can also move a selected text box by nudging it using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
  6. Make sure to save your presentation often.

This tutorial looked at moving text boxes by dragging. If you want to move text boxes more accurately, explore our Reposition Text Boxes Accurately on a Slide in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial.

See Also:

Move Text Boxes on a Slide in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Move Text Boxes on a Slide in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Move Text Boxes on a Slide in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac

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 ebook.

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