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Resize Text Boxes on a Slide in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to resize Text Boxes on a slide in PowerPoint 2013.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016
OS: Windows 7 and higher

Text Boxes in PowerPoint need to be moved and resized within different areas of the slide. While you may think that selecting and resizing is all that is to be done, that's not the entire truth because there's so much more you can do even with mere resizing -- if you know that these options exist! In a previous tutorial, you learnt how to move text boxes on a slide. As emphasized within that tutorial, you should only resize Text Boxes, and not Text Placeholders most of the time since the size of the latter in best controlled by the Slide Master.

Tip: Typically Text Placeholders for regular text content or even slide titles are located in the same position on successive slides -- so, if you really do need to resize a Text Placeholder, do it within the Slide Master not only to provide a consistent look to your presentation, but also to prevent yourself from monotonous job of resizing Text Placeholders on each and every slide. Don't know the difference between a Text Box and a Text Placeholder? Look at our Text Boxes vs. Text Placeholders tutorial.

Now that you are more aware of why you should not resize the Text Placeholders, let us tell you that all techniques on this page apply to both Text Placeholders and Text Boxes -- actually they also apply to any shapes in your slides that contain text.

Learn more about how you can resize your Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2016:

  1. Open any slide which has a Text Box, as shown in Figure 1. Note that of the three text containers on this slide, only one is a Text Box -- and that's the one on the right side of the slide (which includes blue colored text).

    Slide with all text containers seected
    Figure 1: Slide with all text containers selected
  2. Click on the edge of the Text Box so that it shows a solid line with selection handles on its perimeter (see Figure 2).

    Text Box selected
    Figure 2: Text Box selected

    Tip: If you click within the Text Box, you'll see a dotted line surrounding the perimeter of the Text Box indicating that you are editing the text inside the box. A solid line indicates the selection of entire Text Box rather than some text within.
  3. The selected Text Box now also shows several handles, as shown in Figure 3. These handles are explained below:

    • Four handles on the corners (highlighted in red within Figure 3) -- these are round shaped and are on the corners of the Text Box.
    • Four handles on the sides (highlighted in green within Figure 3) -- these are also round shaped and placed at the midpoint of each of the four border lines on the Text Box.

      Text Box with transform points
      Figure 3: Text Box with transform points

    Note that if you have selected the Resize shape to fit text option as explained in our Text Box Autofit Options in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial, you may not be able to resize the Text Boxes as you wish. It is possible only when you have selected the Do not Autofit option. So, first select the Do not Autofit option and then you will be able to resize the Text Box using these eight square handles as explained below:

    • Drag any of the handles inwards, and you reduce the size of the Text Box.

    • Drag any of the handles outwards, and you increase the size of the Text Box.

    • To maintain the width:height proportion of the Text Box, hold the Shift key while you drag any of the four corner handles. The Shift key does nothing to the four side handles.

    • To resize equally on opposite sides of a Text Box, press the Ctrl key while you drag one of the four side handles.

    • To resize equally from the center on all four sides of a Text Box, press the Ctrl key while you drag one of the four corner handles.
    You can also press both the Shift and Ctrl keys together to combine the results based on the details mentioned above.
  4. In Figure 4 you can see that the selected Text Box is being resized by dragging one of the corner handles.

    Text Box being resized
    Figure 4: Text Box being resized

    Tip: Resizing your Text Box is changing the position of your Text Box? You need to control Autofit Options for the particular Text Box or Placeholder you are resizing.
  5. Figure 5 shows the resized Text Box -- compare it to Figure 2 shown earlier on this page.

    Text Box is resized
    Figure 5: Text Box is resized
  6. Make sure to save your presentation often.

This tutorial looked at resizing Text Boxes by dragging. If you want to move Text Boxes more accurately, explore our Resize Text Boxes Accurately on a Slide in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial.

See Also:

Resize Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Resize Text Boxes on a Slide in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Resize Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Resize Text Boxes on a Slide in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
PowerPoint Online for Windows and Mac

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 ebook.

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