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Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Learn how to align text within a shape or text box in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. There's more to alignment than just positioning text along a direction.

After adding text within a shape (or a text box) in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, you can also perform basic edits like adding, deleting, or replacing existing text. Other than the basic text editing you can even control how your text is aligned within the shape. To do that you need to access these options within the Format Shape Task Pane.

Follow these steps to learn more in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac:

  1. Select your shape that already contains some text. Right-click (or Ctrl + click) the shape to bring up the contextual menu shown in Figure 1, and choose the Format Shape option (highlighted in red within Figure 1).

  2. Figure 1: Format Shape option
  3. This opens the Format Shape Task Pane, as shown in Figure 2. Within the Format Shape Task Pane, make sure you select the Text Options tab (highlighted in red within Figure 2). And then select the Textbox icon (highlighted in blue within Figure 2). Then, make sure that the Text Box section (highlighted in green within Figure 2) is expanded to show all options within, as shown in Figure 2.

  4. Figure 2: Format Shape Task Pane
  5. The options within the Text Box section are explained below, as marked in Figure 2 above:
  6. A. Vertical Alignment

  7. Click to access a drop-down menu (see Figure 3). Choose any of the options to change the alignment of the selected text.

  8. Figure 3: Vertical alignment drop-down list
  9. Whichever option you'll choose, it will change the alignment of text within the selected shape. Figure 4 shows how the alignment of text within the same shape is influenced by applying the Top, Middle, and Bottom options.

  10. Figure 4: Text alignment changed to Top, Middle, and Bottom
  11. Tip: Do note that shapes by default have center aligned text. So, choosing the Top Centered, Middle Centered, or Bottom Centered options makes no difference. However, within text boxes, the Top, Center, and Bottom options provide text that is left aligned. So the Centered options provide an extra set of options.

    B. Text Direction

  12. Clicking this option brings up a drop-down list that enables you to change the direction of text in the selected shape, as shown in Figure 5.

  13. Figure 5: Text direction drop-down list
  14. Choose any of the options to change the direction of the text within the shape to Rotate all text 90°, Rotate all text 270°, or Stacked, as shown in Figure 6.

  15. Figure 6: Changed direction of the text within the shape to 90°, 270°, and Stacked
  16. Tip: Want to rotate text 180° within a shape? Explore our Rotate Text 180° within Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac tutorial.
  17. If you choose the Stacked option, the Order of lines option will appear within the Format Shape Task Pane as shown in Figure 7. Using this option you can set the line order to either Right-to-left, or Left-to-right.

  18. Figure 7: Order of lines option
  19. Note: If you choose either Rotate all text 90° or 270° option, the Vertical alignment options (as shown in Figure 3, earlier on this page) change to Horizontal alignment options.


    C. Text Fit

  20. Here, you'll find three radio buttons explained below:
  21. Do Not Autofit

  22. Does not fit the text automatically within the shape, and this is the default option. If you want your text to fit within the shape, choose one of the other two options. In Figure 8, the Rectangle on the left uses the Do Not Autofit option, and the Rectangle on the right uses the Shrink Text On Overflow option, discussed next.

  23. Figure 8: Text within the shape with Do not Autofit option and Shrink text on overflow option
  24. Shrink Text On Overflow

  25. Fits all the text by reducing the text size to keep the text fitted inside the shape, as shown in Figure 9.

  26. Figure 9: Text size reduced when more text was added
  27. Resize Shape To Fit Text

  28. Retains the text size but expands the shape's size so that all the text remains within the shape, as shown in Figure 10.

  29. Figure 10: Increases the shape size to keep the text fitted within the shape
  30. D. Margins

  31. Margins provide Left, Right, Top, and Bottom margin options to tweak the space around the text within the shape.
  32. Here, change the left, right, top, and bottom margin values individually to set the margin for text in your selected shape. Figure 11 shows all margin values changed. The flow of the text can be seen in the resultant shape towards the left of Figure 11.

  33. Figure 11: Changes in the internal margin values
  34. E. Wrap Text In Shape

  35. This check-box, when selected wraps text to flow within the shape. Figure 12 shows the text that is not wrapped within the shape towards the left, and the same shape with text wrapped within the shape towards the right.

  36. Figure 12: Text within the shape when not wrapped and same shape with text wrapped
  37. F. Column

  38. Click this button to open the Columns dialog box, as shown in Figure 13.

  39. Figure 13: Columns dialog box
  40. You can divide text within the shape into columns and even provide spacing (gutters) between the columns. Figure 14 shows the text divided into 4 columns with no spacing in between.

  41. Figure 14: Text divided into columns with 0 spacing

See Also:

Text in Shapes: Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows