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Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to align text within a shape or text box in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. There's more to alignment than just positioning text along a direction.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






After you add text within a shape in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, you can do basic edits like adding, deleting, or replacing existing text but if you want more control over how your text has been placed within the shape or a text box, you'll need to access text editing options within the Format Text dialog box:

  1. Select your shape that already contains some text -- this technique also works with text boxes. Right-click to bring up the contextual menu and choose the Format Text option, as shown in Figure 1.
  2. Format Text option selected
    Figure 1: Format Text option selected
  3. This opens the Format Text dialog box -- make sure that the Text Box option within the sidebar is selected as shown in Figure 2. This brings up the text alignment options that we discuss next.
  4. Text alignment options within the Format Text dialog box
    Figure 2: Text alignment options within the Format Text dialog box
  5. The text alignment are divided into three sections, as marked in Figure 2:
  6. A. Text Layout

  7. Comprises options to change text alignment and direction.
  8. Vertical alignment

  9. Click to access a drop-down menu (see Figure 3). Choose any of the options to change the alignment of the selected text.
  10. Vertical alignment options
    Figure 3: Vertical alignment options
  11. Whichever option you select, it will change the alignment of text within the selected shape -- Figure 4 shows how the alignment of text within the same shape is influenced by using the Top, Middle, and Bottom alignment choices.
  12. Text alignment changed to Top, Middle, and Bottom
    Figure 4: Text alignment changed to Top, Middle, and Bottom
  13. Tip: Do note that shapes by default have center aligned text -- so, choosing the Top Centered, Middle Centered, or Bottom Centered options makes no difference -- however within text boxes, the Top, Center, and Bottom options provide text that is left aligned -- so the Centered options provide an extra set of options.

    Text direction

  14. Clicking this option brings up a drop-down list with options that enable you to change the direction of text within the selected shape or text box (see Figure 5).
  15. Text direction options
    Figure 5: Text direction options
  16. Choose any of the options to change the direction of the text within the shape to Horizontal (default) to Rotate to 90° Counterclockwise, Rotate to 90° Clockwise, or Stacked, (last three options as shown respectively from left to right in Figure 6).
  17. Text direction changed 90° Counterclockwise, 90° Clockwise, and Stacked
    Figure 6: Text direction changed 90° Counterclockwise, 90° Clockwise, and Stacked
  18. Note: If you choose Rotate to 90° Counterclockwise or Rotate to 90° Clockwise, the Vertical alignment options (shown in Figure 3) change to Horizontal alignment options.
  19. You can change the Order of lines to either Left to right, or Right to left as shown in Figure 7 if you chose the Stacked option for the direction of the text.
  20. Options to change the order of the lines
    Figure 7: Options to change the order of the lines
  21. B. Autofit

  22. This section has three radio buttons (refer to Figure 2):
  23. Do not Autofit

  24. Does not fit the text automatically within the shape, and this is the default option. If you want your text to fit within the shape, choose one of the other two options. In Figure 8, the triangle shape on the left uses the Do not Autofit option, and the triangle on the right uses the Resize text to fit shape option, discussed next.
  25. Shapes with Do not Autofit option and Resize text to fit shape option
    Figure 8: Shapes with Do not Autofit option and Resize text to fit shape option
  26. Resize text to fit shape

  27. Fits all the text by reducing the text size to keep the text fitted inside the shape. In Figure 9 you can see that more text has been added to the same triangle shape that you saw towards right in Figure 8.
  28. Text size reduced when more text was added
    Figure 9: Text size reduced when more text was added
  29. Resize shape to fit text

  30. Retains the text size but increases the container shape's size so that the text remains fitted inside the shape, as shown in Figure 10.
  31. Shape's size increased to keep the text fitted within the shape
    Figure 10: Shape's size increased to keep the text fitted within the shape
  32. C. Internal Margin

  33. Provides options to tweak the space around the text within the shape (refer to Figure 2):
  34. Change the left, right, top, and bottom margin values individually to set the margin for the text within your selected shape. In Figure 11, towards left you can see all margin values increased for the shape that you saw towards right in Figure 8 earlier. The resultant flow of the text can be seen in the shape towards the right of Figure 11.
  35. Internal margin values changed
    Figure 11: Internal margin values changed
  36. Wrap text in shape

  37. This check-box, when selected, wraps the text to flow within the shape. As you can see towards the left in Figure 12, the shape with the text that is not wrapped. You can see the same shape with text wrapped towards the right of Figure 12.
  38. Text within the shape when not wrapped and same shape with text wrapped
    Figure 12: Text within the shape when not wrapped and same shape with text wrapped
  39. Columns

  40. This option is used to arrange the text within a shape into columns. Select the Columns option in the sidebar of the Format Text dialog box as shown in Figure 13.
  41. Columns option within the Format Text dialog box
    Figure 13: Columns option within the Format Text dialog box
  42. Here, you can divide text within the shape into columns and even control the spacing (gutters) between the columns. Figure 14 shows the text divided into 4 columns with spacing of 0.3 inches in between.
  43. Text divided into columns with spacing
    Figure 14: Text divided into columns with spacing

See Also:

Text in Shapes: Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Align Text Within Shapes and Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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