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Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to align text within a shape or text box in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. There's more to alignment than just positioning text along a direction.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher






After adding text within a shape (or a text box) in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows, you can do basic edits like adding, deleting or replacing existing text but if you want more control over how your text is placed within the shape or a text box, you'll need to access these options within the Format Shape dialog box. Follow these steps to learn more in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows:

  1. Select your shape that already contains some text. Right click to bring up the context menu shown in Figure 1, and choose the Format Shape option.
  2. Format Shape option
    Figure 1: Format Shape option
  3. This opens the Format Shape dialog box, as shown in Figure 2. Click the Text Box tab in the left pane to explore the text box format options on the right of the dialog box.
  4. Format Shape dialog box
    Figure 2: Format Shape dialog box
  5. The options within the Format Shape dialog box are explained below, as marked in Figure 2 above:
  6. A. Text layout

  7. Comprises options to change text alignment and direction.
  8. Vertical alignment

  9. Click to get a drop down menu (see Figure 3). Choose to change the alignment of the selected text.
  10. Alignment options
    Figure 3: Alignment options
  11. 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 using the Top, Middle, and Bottom alignment choices.
  12. Text alignment changed to Top, Middle, and Bottom
    Figure 4: Text alignment changed to Top, Middle, and Bottom
  13. 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.

    Text direction

  14. Clicking this option brings up a drop down list that enables you to change the direction of text in the selected shape (see Figure 5).
  15. Text direction options
    Figure 5: Text direction options
  16. Choose any of the options to change the direction of the text within the shape to Rotated 90°, Rotated 270°, or Stacked, as shown in Figure 6.
  17. You can change the line order to either Right-to-left, or Left-to-right if you chose the Stacked option.
  18. Changed direction of the text within the shape to 90°, 270°, and Stacked
    Figure 6: Changed direction of the text within the shape to 90°, 270°, and Stacked
  19. Note: If you choose Rotate all text 90° or 270°, the Vertical alignment options (as shown in Figure 3, earlier on this page) change to Horizontal alignment options.

    B. Autofit

  20. This section has three radio buttons:
  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 7, the triangle on the left uses the Do not Autofit option, and the triangle on the right uses the Shrink text on overflow option, discussed next.
  23. Text within the shape with Do not Autofit option and Shrink text on overflow option
    Figure 7: 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 (see Figure 8).
  26. Text size reduced when more text was added
    Figure 8: Text size reduced when more text was added
  27. Resize shape to fit text

  28. Retains the text size but increases the shape's size so that the text remains fitted inside the shape, as shown in Figure 9.
  29. Increases the shape size to keep the text fitted within the shape
    Figure 9: Increases the shape size to keep the text fitted within the shape
  30. C. Internal margin

  31. Provides options to tweak the space around the text within the shape.
  32. Change the Left, Right, Top, and Bottom margin values individually to set the margin for text in your selected shape. Figure 10 shows all margins increased. The flow of the text can be seen in the resultant shape towards the right of Figure 10.
  33. Changes in the internal margin values
    Figure 10: Changes in the internal margin values
  34. Wrap text in shape

  35. This check box, when enabled wraps text to flow within the shape. Figure 11 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. Text within the shape when not wrapped and same shape with text wrapped
    Figure 11: Text within the shape when not wrapped and same shape with text wrapped
  37. Column

  38. If you choose this option, it opens the Columns dialog box, as shown in Figure 12.
  39. Columns dialog box
    Figure 12: Columns dialog box
  40. You can divide text within the shape into columns and even provide spacing (gutters) between the columns. Figure 13 shows the text is divided into 4 columns with spacing of 0.2 inches in between.
  41. Text divided into columns with spacing
    Figure 13: Text divided into columns with 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 2016 for Mac
Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

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