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Attributing and Positioning Callouts in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to position Callout shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. Doing so makes it easier for your audience to understand whom the callout has been attributed to.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






Callouts are shapes that allow you to do numerous tasks: you can add text indications, create pointers, and also create comic-book style speech and thought balloons. You can create something that will attract the attention of your audience by combining the callouts with illustrations or photos of characters (both human and animal). All of the 16 Callout shapes available in PowerPoint cannot be used for text and thought balloons—mostly you can use 4 of these shapes. While Rectangular Callout, Rounded Rectangular Callout, and Oval Callout shapes are speech balloons, the Cloud Callout is essentially a thought balloon. You can see all of these in Figure 1, below.

Shape Callouts
Figure 1: Callouts suitable for speech and thought balloons

While it is important that you choose a Callout shape that's suitable for your intended use, what's even more important is how you attribute a callout to various characters and position it. Follow these steps to learn more in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows:

  1. Open your presentation and navigate to the slide which includes a picture or drawing for which you want to add a Callout shape. Alternatively insert a new, suitable picture on your slide.
  2. Access the Insert tab of the Ribbon and click the Shapes button (highlighted in red within Figure 2) to bring up the Shapes drop-down gallery as shown in Figure 2. Within this drop-down gallery, navigate to the Callouts category—choose any suitable Callout. We have selected the Cloud Callout shape (shown highlighted in blue within Figure 2) since we need to visualize some thoughts of the characters in our picture.
  3. Callouts category within the Shapes drop-down gallery
    Figure 2: Callouts category within the Shapes drop-down gallery
  4. Insert this selected Callout on the slide in the same way as you would insert a shape. Your slide may now look like what you see in Figure 3.
  5. Callout inserted shows a yellow square
    Figure 3: Callout inserted shows a yellow square
  6. Now, reposition the inserted Callout as required. Thereafter, look out for the yellow square handle on the Callout shape (highlighted in red within Figure 3, above). You need to drag this yellow square handle towards the character to which you want to attribute this Callout, as shown in Figure 4.
  7. Callout attributed to a person in the picture
    Figure 4: Callout attributed to a person in the picture
  8. Now, type some text within the Callout shape and format the text as required to make it easily readable, as shown in Figure 5.
  9. Text added within the Callout and formatted
    Figure 5: Text added within the Callout and formatted
  10. Similarly, you can add one more Callout to the picture as shown in Figure 6. We used the same Cloud Callout shape again because we are again depicting some thoughts. You can use another Callout shape if that suits your requirement better.
  11. Another Callout added to the picture
    Figure 6: Another Callout added to the picture
  12. Again, attribute this new Callout to the required person by dragging the yellow square to end up with the results shown in Figure 7.
  13. New Callout attributed to another person in the picture
    Figure 7: New Callout attributed to another person in the picture
  14. Add the required text within the new Callout as shown in Figure 8.
  15.  Text added within the new Callout
    Figure 8: Text added within the new Callout
  16. Format this added text to possess the same color, font, and size of the text within the first Callout, as shown in Figure 9.
  17. Text should look the same within all Callouts added to a picture
    Figure 9: Text should look the same within all Callouts added to a picture
  18. Tip: Notice that the callout on the left within Figure 9 does not overlap the character it's attributed to whereas the callout on the right actually does overlap its attributed character. Choose whatever option works best for you!
  19. Once you have attributed your callout to a character on your slide, the next step is to make your callouts look better. You can learn more in our Formatting Callouts in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows tutorial.
  20. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Attributing and Positioning Callouts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

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