Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
If you choose a theme for your presentation (page 547 shows you how), you may
never need to worry about formatting text, since those prefab collections of
designer-chosen styles take care of that task for you. Each theme has text formatting already
built in: fonts, sizes, colors, and even special formatting in some text, like bold letters
for titles. But if you want to add your own formatting—whether to make a word or
phrase stand out or as part of a template you’re designing—you can do that, too.
PowerPoint gives you two ways to format text:
• Head to the Home tab (Alt, H). The Font and Paragraph sections, shown in
Figure 21-1, have buttons, most of them familiar from Word, for formatting
text and paragraphs. What’s the difference? The Font section is all about
formatting characters and words—the buttons here apply fonts, colors, sizes, and other
formatting to any text you select. The Paragraph section affects paragraphs (in
PowerPoint, as in Word, that’s all the text that comes before you press Enter, like
a line in a bulleted list), aligning spacing, indenting, and so on.
Tip: Use the Text Shadow button (Home➝Text Shadow or Alt, H, 5) to put a shadow behind selected
text, adding a bit of depth and making your words stand out from the slide.
• Use the Mini Toolbar. When you select text, a ghostly, semitransparent Mini
Toolbar hovers just above your selection. Move the mouse pointer toward this
floating toolbar to bring it into focus, as shown in Figure 21-1, and then use its
buttons to format the text you selected.
Adjusting Character Spacing
Typography is the art of making text readable. One simple control in any
typographer’s toolkit is kerning, better known to non-publishing-geeks as the spacing
between characters. You might, for example, want to space a caption so it matches the
width of a picture above it.
To adjust character spacing, select the text whose spacing you want to change, and
then navigate to Home ➝ Character Spacing (Alt, H, 6). From the menu that appears,
choose the spacing you want, from Very Tight to Very Loose (Figure 21-2 shows a
For even more control, open the Font dialog box to its Character Spacing tab;
select Home ➝ Character Spacing ➝ More Spacing (Alt, H, 6, M). Then tell PowerPoint
whether you want the spacing expanded or condensed and by how many points.
You’ll probably want to leave the Kerning checkbox turned on—it tells PowerPoint
to adjust the spacing between letters to make the characters look evenly spaced.
Click OK to apply your custom character spacing.