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Internal Margin Options in PowerPoint 2010

Learn about setting internal margins for text boxes in PowerPoint 2010.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 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 one or more 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 2010.

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:

  1. Open any slide which has a text box -- click on the edge of the text box so that it shows a solid line with selection handles on its perimeter (see Figure 1 ).

    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 dialog box (see Figure 3). Make sure you choose Text Box from the left pane of this dialog box (refer to Figure 3 again).

    Text Box pane selected within Format Shape dialog box
    Figure 3: Text Box pane selected within Format Shape dialog box

    Within the Format Shape dialog box, locate the Internal margin section (highlighted in red in Figure 3 above). 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, Top, Right, and Bottom. 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 option -- when checked, 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 margins
    Figure 5: Compare the same text container with differing 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 2010 and Change the Default Shape Attributes in PowerPoint 2010 tutorials.

See Also:

Internal Margin Options in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Internal Margin Options in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac


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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