Main PowerPoint Window

Tutorial – PowerPoint 2010 Basics Lesson 6: Working with Slides and Text Boxes

This is Lesson 6 in a series of tutorials on Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. If you would like to start from the beginning of the series go to the Table of Contents at the end of this page. In the previous 5 lessons we worked with a built-in template that comes with PowerPoint. Templates are an easy way to learn PowerPoint and usually have little pointers in them to help you along the way. Today, I would like to start a new presentation and work with slides and layouts.

Let’s open PowerPoint 2010. You should see a window similar to the one below. By default, PowerPoint has no theme applied and is kind of a simple black and white style. You should see one slide like the one below. This is called the “Title Slide” layout. In this layout there are two text placeholders, one for a title and the other for a subtitle.

Main PowerPoint Window

Slides are the fundamental element of the presentation. Just like old slide projectors, you can design slides in PowerPoint that can be clicked through in a certain order to present information. There are many predefined layouts for slides built into PowerPoint. We went over this a little in previous lessons. Let’s take a look at some of the different layouts available to us.

Slide Layouts

If you click the “New Slide” dropdown, you will see the different layouts, pictured above. Each of them are pretty self explanatory. I would like to choose the “Blank” slide layout just for fun. You should now have two slides in your presentation. One with the “Title Slide” layout and one with the “Blank” layout. Click between them and notice the differences. “Blank” pretty much is a clean slate where you can design the layout however you like.

To add content to this slide, let’s click on the “Insert” tab on the ribbon toolbar. There are tons of options here. For now, let’s click the “Text Box” option. Notice your mouse changes into a little cross, as pictured below.

Text Box

When you see this mouse, you can click and drag over the slide and it will create a text box. Go ahead and give it a try. You should now see a rectangular area surrounded by dots. If you click inside the rectangle, you can type text into the box. Go ahead and type your name. You can see what mine looks like below.

Text Box

What happens when you click outside the box? Notice that the little dots disappear and you only see your name. If you click your name, the dots will reappear. Let’s add a border to our text box. With the text box selected click “Shape Outline” on the ribbon toolbar as pictured below. Notice in the picture below, there is a variety of colors as well as, line styles and thicknesses that you can apply. Choose a color you like.

Shape Outline

Now, click outside of your text box and you should see that you have a nice border around your name. Let’s center our name in the box. Click the “Home” tab and choose the “Center” button located in the “Paragraph” group on the ribbon. Once you have your name centered, double-click your text box and notice that it takes you to the “Format Tab”. In the same area that we added the “Shape Outline” we will also find “Shape Fill”. Let’s add a fill color, or background, to the text box. Click the “Shape Fill” dropdown arrow and select a color. Now you will see your box has a background color. Note that if you pick one that is dark, you may need to change your font color to make your name visible. For this example, it might be a good idea to pick a light background.

If you double-click your name in the box, you will get a little font menu box pop up, as pictured below. I highlighted it with a green box.Font Menu

Here you can adjust the font type, size, color, alignment, and much more. Let’s change the font size to something large. Notice in the picture above, the number 18. If you click the arrow beside that you will get a dropdown of numbers. I chose 44. Notice how much bigger your box is now.

Let’s go ahead and save this presentation. Name it “Fun with Slides” or something and we will continue working with these text boxes later on. For now, thanks for reading Techie Buzz, and if you have questions please feel free to email me at [email protected]

PowerPoint Basics Table of Contents

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Darrin Jenkins

Darrin is an IT manager for a large electrical contractor in Louisville KY. He is married and has 3 kids. He loves helping people with their technology needs. He runs a blog called Say Geek!