How to Highlight Text in PowerPoint

When creating a document in, say, a word processor such as Microsoft Word, there is a lot you can do to make text more prominent and noticeable. You can increase the font of the text you want to stand out, you can make it bold, or you can highlight it. Many text editors and word processors have the ability to highlight text built into them. People can also feel the need to make text more noticeable when creating presentations on PowerPoint. When creating a presentation, it is important to make sure everything in your presentation grabs the attention of whoever you show it to, and there are very few better ways to make text more noticeable to the human brain than highlighting it.

Microsoft PowerPoint is the leading presentation creation program available for computers. PowerPoint is most certainly capable of highlighting text that is a part of a presentation, but this feature is, unfortunately, only available to Office 365 subscribers using PowerPoint 2016. Thankfully, however, users who aren’t subscribed to Office 365 and users with older versions of PowerPoint can still highlight text in their presentations, they just have to go take the long way around.

That being the case, it is entirely possible for you to highlight text in PowerPoint regardless of whether you’re subscribed to Office 365 and what version of PowerPoint you’re using, you’re just going to have to find the method that works for you. The following are the absolute most effective methods that you can use to highlight text in PowerPoint:

Method 1: Highlighting text with an Office 365 subscription in PowerPoint 2016

To highlight one single selection of text

  1. Select the text you want to highlight.
  2. Navigate to the Home tab in PowerPoint’s toolbar.
  3. Click on the arrow next to the Text Highlight Color button in the Font section.
  4. Click on the color you want your selected text highlighted in to select it. As soon as you do so, the text you selected will be highlighted in your specified color.

To highlight multiple selections of text that aren’t contiguous

  1. Navigate to the Home tab in PowerPoint’s toolbar.
  2. Click on the arrow next to the Text Highlight Color button in the Font section.
  3. Click on the color you want text highlighted in to select it.
  4. Move your mouse pointer to the text part of a slide in your presentation. You will see that your mouse pointer turns into a highlighter.
  5. One by one, select each section of text you want to highlight. The text will keep on being highlighted in the color you chose as you keep selecting it.
  6. Once you have highlighted all the text you wanted to, simply press Esc to turn the highlighter feature off.

Note: If you want to un-highlight text that you have highlighted, simply select the text in question, navigate to the Home tab in PowerPoint’s toolbar, click on the arrow next to the Text Highlight Color button and click on No Color.

If you’re not an Office 365 subscriber and/or are using an older version of PowerPoint, have no fear – there are still plenty of other methods you can try out.

Method 2: Highlight text in Word, and then copy it over

If you’re not an Office 365 subscriber and/or are using an older version of PowerPoint, you can’t highlight text in PowerPoint. However, that doesn’t mean that PowerPoint can’t display text that has already been highlighted in another program as highlighted text.

  1. Create highlighted text in Microsoft Word.
  2. Select all of the highlighted text you have created.
  3. Press Ctrl C to copy the highlighted text.
  4. Navigate to wherever on your PowerPoint presentation you want the highlighted text to be, mouse your mouse pointer to that exact position and press Ctrl to paste the highlighted text.

Note: If the highlighted text is pasted into PowerPoint without the highlighting, simply click on the Paste Options button next to the pasted text and click on Keep Source Formatting.

Method 2: Type text in a text box with color

  1. Click on the slide you want to add highlighted text to.
  2. Navigate to the Insert tab and click on Text Box in the Text section.
  3. Click and drag your mouse inside the selected slide of the presentation to draw the Text Box.
  4. Type or paste the text you want to highlight in to the Text Box you just created.
  5. If required, adjust the size of the Text Box to better fit the text inside it so that the highlight effect doesn’t look out of place.
  6. On the Home tab, click on the arrow next to the Shape Fill button in the Drawing section.
  7. In the color palette you see, locate the color you want the text highlighted in and click on it to select it. 
  8. If necessary, drag the Text Box containing the now highlighted text to the exact location on the selected slide that you want it in. 

Method 3: Use the Glow text effect

PowerPoint has a text effect called Glow that, while not exactly the same as highlighted text, can highlight text to a reasonable extent and definitely makes text more noticeable and appealing. You can use the Glow text effect as a substitute to the highlight effect or as a workaround to it if you can’t actually highlight text in PowerPoint because you are not an Office 365 subscriber and/or you’re using an older version of PowerPoint. To use the Glow text effect on text in a PowerPoint presentation, you need to:

  1. Navigate to the slide that the text you want to highlight is located in.
  2. Select the text you want to highlight.
  3. Navigate to the Format tab under Drawing Tools.
  4. Click on Text Effects and then on Glow in the menu that appears.
  5. Take a look at all the Glow Variations available to you and locate the one that best suits your requirements. When you do, simply click on it to select it. Once you do, the chosen Glow Variation will be immediately applied to the selected text to highlight it. You can also click on More Glow Colors if you want to look at more Glow Variations to highlight your text with. 

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