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How to Create Borders Around Text in Powerpoint

Updated April 17, 2017

There are several ways to dress up text in Microsoft PowerPoint. Depending on which version you're using (PowerPoint 2003, 2007, etc.), you can add colours, backgrounds, outlines, borders and shadows to text elements, helping them stand out from the slide background. If you make a change you don't like, you can always undo it or delete it. Remember to save your work as you add effects to your project---otherwise you could lose the preferences you worked so hard to specify.

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  1. Open your project in Microsoft PowerPoint and navigate to the text element you want to put a border around.

  2. Click on the text box surrounding the text. The text box outline is where the default border will be placed. Under the "Home" tab (at the top of the window), specify the border colour under "Shape outline." You can also specify how thick the border should be under the "Weight" tab in this category.

  3. Select the "Shape Effects" menu located right underneath the "Shape Outline" selection to add a shadow to your border. Choose from several 3-D shadows to add dimension to your slides.

  4. Select your text inside the text box with the cursor. Right click this text and select "Format Text Effects." This command will bring up a dialogue box.

  5. Use the "Text Outline" option in the dialogue box to specify a colour for the text border. You can choose from several border colours and gradients as well as specify how transparent the colour should be by sliding the transparency slider from 0% to 100%.

  6. Use the "Outline Style" option in the dialogue box to specify how thick the border should be, if it should be rounded or squared, dashed or solid, etc. As you make changes to the text, it automatically updates in the slide, so you can preview your changes before committing to them.

  7. Close the dialogue box and save your project by selecting the "File -> Save" command from the menu.

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Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft PowerPoint software
  • Computer

About the Author

Rochelle Connery

Rochelle Connery is a professional freelance author and has been writing skin care, travel, music and technology how-to articles since 2006. She has played piano for over 15 years, is a professional songwriter and holds her B.A. in communications from Louisiana Baptist University.

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