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Selecting and Changing Text in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to select and change text within text placeholders, text boxes, and shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. This is important because PowerPoint lets you alter objects only if they are selected.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






Adding pictures, SmartArt, charts, sounds, and even video clips on your slides can make your presentation interesting. Still, it is difficult to even imagine a presentation with no text at all. Nothing conveys a message easier than text, and even pictures do need captions in the form of text. In PowerPoint, several slide objects can include text such as text placeholders, text boxes, shapes, tables, SmartArt, charts, etc. In this tutorial though, we are exploring only selecting and changing the text within text placeholders, text boxes, and shapes.

Selecting the text

There are plenty of ways in which you can edit text in PowerPoint, but you need to select text before you can edit. Note that selecting text is different from selecting the entire containers that include text:

  • If you click the edge of the placeholder, text box, or shape, you select the entire placeholder, text box, or shape, as shown in Figure 1, not just the text inside. Note that the selected placeholder, text box, or shape is surrounded by a solid line with selection handles.
  • Entire text placeholder is selected
    Figure 1: Entire text placeholder is selected
  • If you click within the placeholder, text box, or shape that contains the text, and then select the text as per the guidelines in the next paragraph, the text gets highlighted as shown in Figure 2. This means you selected only some text, not the entire text container.
  • Text selected within the text placeholder
    Figure 2: Text selected within the text placeholder

Here are some guidelines for selecting text (not the text container) in PowerPoint 2011:

  • When you click anywhere in the text, a text insertion point is created at the position where you clicked. This is indicated with a text insertion cursor appearing at that point. Any text you type at this point will show up after the text insertion cursor, but this does not select any text. Now, to select the text:
  • Highlight the text before or after the text insertion cursor by dragging your cursor in the direction you want. This selects the highlighted text (refer to Figure 2, above).
  • Press the +A key combination to select entire text in the text container.
  • Double-click anywhere in the text, and you end up selecting the entire word within which you double-clicked.
  • Triple-click anywhere in the text, you end up selecting the entire sentence, or bulleted list level within which you triple clicked.
  • Tip: To learn more about various techniques of selecting any text in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, refer to our Selecting Text in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial.

Changing text

After selecting text, follow these steps to change the selected text on the slide:

  1. Open any presentation which has a slide with some text content, as shown in Figure 3.
  2. Slide containing text
    Figure 3: Slide containing text
  3. Select the text you want to change. We explained selection techniques for text earlier on this page.
  4. Now, just type the new text to replace the selected text.
  5. Save your presentation.

See Also:

Selecting and Changing Text in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Selecting and Changing Text in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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