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Text Outline in PowerPoint 2010

Learn how to make changes to the appearance of text outline in PowerPoint 2010.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows 8 / 7 / Vista / XP

Your text in PowerPoint may or may not show an outline depending upon the Theme applied to the presentation or the WordArt Style applied. You can change or edit text outlines in the same way as you change text fills. PowerPoint's Text Outline option provides you with plenty of editing options for your text outlines, as you can explore in the following steps:

  1. Select the text that you want to change the outline for -- you can also select the entire text box or place holder as shown in Figure 1, below. Alternatively, if you just want to follow this tutorial step-by-step, launch PowerPoint. Most of the time, PowerPoint will open with a new slide in a presentation -- PowerPoint 2010 users can 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 1). 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 1.

    Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon in PowerPoint
    Figure 1: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon

    Note: The Drawing Tools Format tab is a contextual tab. These 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, locate the WordArt Styles group -- select the Text Outline button that you can see highlighted in red within Figure 2.

    Text Outline button within WordArt Styles group
    Figure 2: Text Outline button within WordArt Styles group

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

    Text Outline drop-down gallery
    Figure 3: Text Outline drop-down gallery

    The options within Text Outline drop-down gallery are explained below, as marked in Figure 3. 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: You can choose any of the ten standard colors available -- 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 will 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 2010 tutorial.

    5. More Outline Colors: This is to summon the Colors dialog box as shown in Figure 4. 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 2010 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 4: Standard tab of the Colors dialog box

    6. 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 2010 -- Weight tutorial can provide you with more info on this option.

    7. Dashes: These are different dash types for the text outline. Find more information on Dashes in our Formatting Outlines for Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 -- Dash tutorial.

    8. Gradients: Even though this option is not included in the Text Outline gallery you saw in Figure 2, PowerPoint 2010 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 5, we merely changed the color of the text outline from black to green.

    Text with changed outline color
    Figure 5: 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 2013 for Windows
Text Outline in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac


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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