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How to Format Text in PowerPoint: Bullets, Numbered Lists and Hyperlinks

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  • 0:01 Formatting Text
  • 2:07 Converting Text to WordArt
  • 3:44 Adding Bullets and Numbers
  • 5:06 Hyperlinks
  • 7:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

Creating impressive presentations means creating impressive slides. This lesson will discuss how to format text, how to change text to WordArt and how to add bullets and numbers to your lists. We will also learn about the formatting of hyperlinks.

Formatting Text

Creating a PowerPoint slide requires more than just adding text and images. To create a really impressive presentation, you will need to format your text appropriately. When we think of formatting, the text, color and font usually come to mind. However, there are other effects to consider. Those include using bold and italics, using WordArt and applying bullets to lists, numbers to sequential lists, and finally, the formatting of email addresses and URLs (web addresses).

In this lesson, we will learn how to format text, how to change text to WordArt and how to add bullets and numbers to text. We will also take a look at how PowerPoint formats links to email addresses and Internet sites.

Each PowerPoint template comes with its own style of text. This usually includes a default size, font and color for titles and text boxes. However, there may be times that you want to style certain pieces of the text so they stand out. For example, you may have a title of a slide called 'Harley Davidson, Riding in California.' Rather than having the entire title be the same font and color, we could add a bold emphasis to Harley Davidson and even change the color of the letters. This makes the title a little edgier and more appealing.

A very nice feature in PowerPoint is the mini toolbar. The toolbar opens when you select text. If we highlight Harley Davidson in our title, notice that we get a small toolbar that gives us several formatting options:

Mini toolbar
powerpoint mini toolbar

We could go to the ribbon, but we don't need to. Simply click on the Bold command in the mini toolbar to apply a bold emphasis to our words, and to change the color, click on the Font Color command and select a color.

I find that most people will feel they need to add emphasis with bold words, colors and italics to the entire sentence, but sometimes the emphasis can be small and it can still make a big impact.

Converting Text to WordArt

In addition to changing the text color, size and font, you can change the text to WordArt. This is a way to add emphasis to your text by bending and stretching a word or multiple words, such as a sentence. You can also change the outline or the fill of a letter with different color schemes and textures.

Let's first look at the steps:

  1. Go to the Home ribbon menu.
  2. Highlight the text you want to change to WordArt.
  3. In the ribbon, under the Drawing Tools menu, click on the Format tab.
  4. Go to the WordArt Styles grouping of commands.
  • To change the color of the inside of the letters, click on the pick-list icon next to the Text Fill command and select a color.
  • To change the color of the outside of the letters, click on the pick-list icon next to the Text Outline command and select a color.
  • To bend or stretch the text, click on the pick-list icon next to the Text Effects command and choose Transform from the menu. Then, just select any of the pre-designed shapes to apply that shape to your selected text.

You can see under the Text Effects option that you can also choose to add a shadow, reflection, glow, bevel or even a 3-D rotation effect to your text:

WordArt options
drop down showing word art options

Using these options to add emphasis to your text is using WordArt. This feature gives you a way to be 'artistic' with your text.

Adding Bullets and Numbers to Lists

When creating your slides, you want to add clear and concise information. You want to give your audience only the information they need and usually in summary form. Your slide should have key points and concepts, not a long, full-page paragraph full of information. Bullets are perfect for listing key points and also for sequential lists and information.

Bullets can be either a symbol or a number. To add bullet symbols to your lists, from the Home ribbon menu, click on the text box placeholder to select your text. Then, go to the Paragraph grouping of commands and click on the Bullets command in the upper, left-hand corner of the group. By default, PowerPoint will add a solid circle or square as your bullet. If you want to choose something different, click on the pick-list icon next to the Bullet command and select from the selection of PowerPoint symbols.

To add numbers instead of symbols, click on the Numbers command in the Paragraph grouping of commands. Sequential lists can also use letters of the alphabet, such as A, B, C and so on. If you click on the pick-list icon on the right side of the Numbers command, you can see different choices for sequential lists.

Hyperlinks - Email and Web Addresses

When you add an email address or a web address, PowerPoint will, by default, create a link, or what is called a hyperlink. It will underline the text, and if you click on the link, you will be taken to your default email application or to the Internet. There are two key formatting tips I want to share with you.

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