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Text Outline in PowerPoint 2013

Learn how to make changes to the appearance of text outline in PowerPoint 2013.

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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8

Your text in PowerPoint may or may not show an outline depending upon the Theme applied to the presentation or the WordArt Style applied. So what exactly do we mean by an outline here? The outline is the border for your text, as shown in Figure 1, below -- notice that the text shown here has no fill although it has a thin blue outline.

Text with only outline (border)
Figure 1: Text with only outline (border)

You can change or edit text outlines in the same way as you modify the text fills. PowerPoint's Text Outline option provides you with plenty of editing options for your text outlines, which we will explore in the following steps, for PowerPoint 2013:

  1. Select the text that you want to change the outline for -- you can also select the entire text box or placeholder, as shown in Figure 2, below.

    Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon in PowerPoint
    Figure 2: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon

    Alternatively, if you just want to follow this tutorial step-by-step, launch PowerPoint. You will see the  Presentation Gallery here select the Blank Presentation to open a blank presentation with a new slide. You can then change the slide layout to Blank by selecting the Home tab | Layout | Blank. Insert a text box and type some text in it -- you can also change the text font to something blockier, such as Arial Black (see Figure 2, above). Select the text, or the entire text object to bring up the Drawing Tools Format tab on the Ribbon as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2, above.

    Note: The Drawing Tools Format tab is a Contextual tab. These contextual tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time -- they only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options within these tabs.

  2. Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, the right part of the Text Outline button that includes a down-arrow, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Text Outline button
    Figure 3: Text Outline button

  3. This opens the Text Outline drop-down gallery as shown in Figure 4.

    Text Outline drop-down gallery
    Figure 4: Text Outline drop-down gallery

    Options within the Text Outline drop-down gallery are explained below, as marked in Figure 4, above. Note that all Outline options within the Text Outline drop-down gallery work same as the options within the Shape Outline drop-down gallery:

    1. Theme Colors: Here you can select any of the colors which are from the active Theme of the presentation. You can also select any of the 5 tints or shades for any Theme color. Learn more about Themes here.

    2. Standard Colors: Here you can choose from any of the ten standard colors -- these ten standard colors are just choices of colors that PowerPoint believes to be widely used. You don't have to limit yourself to either the Theme colors or Standard colors, as you'll learn in the next options, although it's a good design idea to use Theme colors as far as possible.

    3. Recent Colors: Here you can find the colors most recently used. If you have just launched PowerPoint and created a new presentation, the Recent Colors option may be entirely absent since you haven't selected any color recently!

    4. No Outline: Choose this option to remove the text outline altogether from the selected text. If you have selected the text that has only outline and no text fill applied, then choosing the No Outline option will make the text to completely disappear! To learn more about this option, refer to our No Shape Outline in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

    5. More Outline Colors: This is to summon the Colors dialog box as shown in Figure 5. This dialog box has two tabs: Standard and Custom. To learn more about how to use these tab options, refer to the step 4-E in our Formatting Outlines for Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial -- although the linked tutorial pertains to shapes, the concepts are similar enough except the Transparency slider option which is not available for Text Outlines.

      Standard tab of the Colors dialog box
      Figure 5: Standard tab of the Colors dialog box

    6. Eyedropper: This new option in PowerPoint 2013 enables you to pick an exact color from anywhere, sometimes even from somewhere outside PowerPoint. Explore our Eyedropper Option in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial to learn more.

    7. Weight: Using this option you can change the thickness attribute of the text outline from a hairline width to a chunky, thick line. Our Formatting Outlines for Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 -- Weight tutorial can provide you with more info on this option.

    8. Dashes: These are different dash types for the text outline. Find more information on Dashes in our Formatting Outlines for Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 -- Dash tutorial.

    9. Gradients: Even though this option is not included in the Text Outline drop-down gallery you saw in Figure 4 earlier on this page, PowerPoint 2013 also allows you to add gradients to text outlines. 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 for Text tutorial.
  1. Choose and apply any Text Outline option for your text from within the Text Outline drop-down gallery as required. As you can see in Figure 6, we merely changed the color of the text outline from black to orange.

    Text with changed outline color
    Figure 6: Text with changed outline color

  2. Once you apply and format the text outline as required, remember to save your presentation.

Note: Do you want the text outline effect to be applied to the text in entire presentation? You can access the Slide Master view and apply the text outline effect there. This way you will be making changes just once and every slide will be effected.

See Also:

Text Outline in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Text Outline in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows


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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