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Text Fill and Outline Options for Chart Area in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn about fill and outline options for chart text in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. You don't have to always use black text on a chart.

Text used within a chart is not really formatted by default, and looks very simple as shown in Figure 1 below. Note that the font style used is derived from the information available within the Theme or template used for the slides. Now, you really should not change text formatting within your chart unless you have a compelling reason to do so.


Figure 1: Chart Area showing text with default formatting

Even though this default format looks consistent, at times, you may want to change the text formatting. Follow these steps to explore more in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows:

  1. Select the chart in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows that you want to format the text for. If you don't have an existing chart, insert a new chart in your slide.
  2. Now, carefully right-click the Chart Area. From the resultant context menu, select the Format Chart Area option, highlighted in red within Figure 2. If you do not get the Format Chart Area option in the contextual menu, you may have right-clicked on another chart element. Make sure you then deselect anything in the chart, and then right-click on the edge of the Chart Area.

  3. Figure 2: Format Chart Area option
  4. Doing so opens the Format Chart Area Task Pane as shown in Figure 3. In this Task Pane, make sure that the Text Options tab is selected (highlighted in red within Figure 3). Then click the Text Fill & Outline button (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).

  5. Figure 3: Text Options within the Format Chart Area Task Pane
  6. This action will access the Text Fill and Text Outline options for the chart text (highlighted in green within Figure 3). Let us explore them:
  7. Text Fill

  8. Includes various options that are used to edit the fill of the chart text.
  9. Text Outline

  10. Includes various options that are used to edit the outline of the chart text.
  11. Click Text Fill to access all options within this section, as shown in Figure 4.

  12. Figure 4: Fill options for the chart text
  13. Let us explore all of the Fill options that you see in Figure 4. Do note that some of these options listed below link to further tutorials with more detail. Although the linked tutorials pertain to general text formatting, the same principles hold good for fills related to the chart text.
  14. No fill

  15. Choose this option to remove any fill from the selected chart text. Select this option only when your chart text includes an outline. Otherwise, this option will make the text disappear!
  16. Solid fill

  17. This option is used to change fill color of the chart text. You can use any of the Theme colors, Standard colors, or any other color of your choice. To learn more about this option, read our Text Fills in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.


  18. Gradient fill

  19. With this option, you can apply a gradient as a fill for the chart text. A gradient is a blend of two or more colors merging into each other. Make sure not to use too many colors. Learn more in our Gradient Fill for Text in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
  20. Picture or texture fill

  21. This option allows to use either a picture or a texture as a fill for the chart text. Our Picture Fill for Text in PowerPoint 2013 and Texture Fill for Text in PowerPoint 2013 tutorials can provide you with more information on this option.
  22. Pattern fill

  23. Choose from 48 different patterns contained within PowerPoint. More info can be found in our Pattern Fill for Text in PowerPoint 013 tutorial.
  24. Now click Text Outline to access all options within, as shown in Figure 5.

  25. Figure 5: Text Outline options for the Chart text
  26. Let us explore all of the Text Outline options, that you see in Figure 5. Again, do note that some of these options listed below link to further tutorials with more detail. Although the linked tutorials pertain to general text/shape formatting, the same principles hold good for fills related to the chart text.
  27. No line

  28. Choose this option to remove the text outline altogether from the chart text. If your chart text has only outline and no text fill applied, then choosing this option will make the chart text disappear! To learn more about this option, refer to our No Shape Outline in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
  29. Solid line

  30. This option is used to apply a solid color border to the selected Chart text. You can use any of the Theme colors, Standard colors, or any other color of your choice. To learn more about this option, read our Formatting Lines (and Shape Outlines) in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
  31. Gradient line

  32. This option applies a gradient outline to the chart text. But remember that your font size should be large enough and the text outline should have sufficient Weight to show the gradient effectively. Learn more in our Gradient Outlines in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
  33. Select the required options and format the chart text as required. In Figure 6, you can see our sample chart with formatted chart text (compare with the chart in Figure 1). However, note that when you select any of the chart text formatting options explained above, your chart text will lose the manually applied font type and font size. You have to reapply them as explained in our Font Types and Sizes in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

  34. Figure 6:Chart text formatted
  35. Save your presentation often.

Chart Area: Text Fill and Outline Options for Chart Area (Glossary Page)