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PowerPoint Pearls: Modifying Text Attributes

It is likely that text occupies at least 50% of your presentation screen. It's important that you're comfortable making modifications to text and it's important that your text modifications make your audience comfortable.

First, let's show you how to make text changes:

  1. Click on the text you wish to modify. This will select the textbox.
  2. Select the text to be modified by left clicking before the first character and, while keeping the button depressed, drag the mouse until you have highlighted your complete selection. The characters you have selected will be highlighted (highlighted text appears on a gray background).
  3. Click on Format, Font… The Font window will display. Select attributes including, typeface (font), style, size, color or effects.

Now here is some advice to ensure your audience’s comfort:

  • Font: In typography terms this is more correctly call typeface. Don’t select a typeface because it is pretty; select a typeface because it is easy to read. For reading a computer screen that means a san serif type like Arial. If you must use an ornate typeface, use it sparingly and for effect only.

  • Font Style: Remember that style changes like bold and italics also reduce readability. Use these sparingly.

  • Font Size: This is one time that the paperclip man knows his business. PowerPoint will warn you when you have chosen a font size that is too small. Heed the warning. Take out words or create additional slides.

  • Effects: This is where you can find the superscript and subscript options in PowerPoint. Stay away from effects like outline, shadow, and emboss. One more time--these will ruin readability.

  • Color: White text on a black background and/or black text on a white background results in too much contrast. Reduce your audiences eye fatigue by choosing combinations like white text on a hunter green background or yellow text on a navy blue background.

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