How to Outline Text in PowerPoint: A Step-by-Step Guide

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By Matthew Simpson

Outlining text in PowerPoint can add a professional touch to your presentation. It’s a simple process that involves selecting the text you want to outline, choosing the outline color and weight, and applying it to your text. With a few clicks, your text will stand out and be more visually appealing to your audience.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Outline Text in PowerPoint

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. Outlining text in PowerPoint means adding a border or frame around each letter of your text. It can make your text pop and ensure it’s readable against any background. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Select the Text You Want to Outline

Click on the text box that contains the text you want to outline.

Selecting the right text is crucial. Make sure you click exactly on the text box, otherwise, you might miss out on the formatting options we need for outlining.

Step 2: Navigate to the ‘Format’ Tab

Once your text is selected, click on the ‘Format’ tab in the PowerPoint toolbar.

The ‘Format’ tab is where all the magic happens for text formatting. It’s where you can find all the options to customize your text’s appearance, including outlines.

Step 3: Click on ‘Text Outline’

In the ‘Format’ tab, look for the ‘Text Outline’ option and click on it.

‘Text Outline’ is the feature that allows you to add that cool border around your text. It’s usually represented by a letter ‘A’ with a colored outline.

Step 4: Choose Your Outline Color

From the drop-down menu, choose the color you want for your text outline.

Colors are key to making your text stand out. You can either match your presentation’s color scheme or go for a contrasting color for extra emphasis.

Step 5: Select the Outline Weight

After choosing your color, pick the weight or thickness of the outline from the same menu.

The thickness of the outline can vary from hairline thin to chunky and bold. The choice depends on how much you want your text to pop.

Step 6: Apply the Outline to Your Text

Once you’ve selected the color and weight, the outline will be applied to your text automatically.

And voilà! You now have beautifully outlined text that will make your PowerPoint presentation look even more polished and professional.

After completing these steps, your text will now be outlined in the color and weight you selected. This can help your text stand out on any slide background, making your presentation more visually appealing and easier to read.

Tips: How to Outline Text in PowerPoint

  • Tip 1: Always preview your outlined text on different slide backgrounds to ensure it’s readable.
  • Tip 2: Use contrasting colors for your outline to make the text pop against the slide background.
  • Tip 3: Don’t make the outline too thick, or it might overshadow the text itself.
  • Tip 4: If the text outline isn’t visible, increase the outline weight for more prominence.
  • Tip 5: Remember that less is more; use text outlines sparingly for emphasis, not for every slide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply different outline colors to different words within the same text box?

Yes, you can select individual words or letters and apply different outline colors to each.

Applying different colors can be useful when you want to emphasize particular words within your text. Just select the specific word, follow the outlining steps, and choose your desired color.

Will outlining text make my presentation file size larger?

No, outlining text will not significantly increase your presentation file size.

Outlines are just another form of text formatting, similar to changing font size or color. They are not heavy on file size and won’t slow down your presentation.

Can I use gradients or patterns for text outlines in PowerPoint?

Unfortunately, PowerPoint does not support gradients or patterns for text outlines.

However, you can use solid colors, which can be just as effective when chosen wisely. Experiment with different shades to achieve the desired effect.

How do I remove the outline from the text if I change my mind?

To remove the outline, select the text, go to ‘Text Outline,’ and choose ‘No Outline.’

Changing your mind is part of the creative process. PowerPoint makes it easy to undo formatting changes, including removing text outlines.

Can I outline text in PowerPoint on both Windows and Mac?

Yes, the steps to outline text are the same for PowerPoint on both Windows and Mac.

The interface might look slightly different between the two operating systems, but the functionality is the same. So, no matter what you’re using, you can outline your text with ease.


  1. Select the text.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Format’ tab.
  3. Click on ‘Text Outline.’
  4. Choose your outline color.
  5. Select the outline weight.
  6. Apply the outline.


Outlining text in PowerPoint is a simple yet effective way to make your slides more engaging and readable. Whether you’re presenting to a small group or a large audience, well-outlined text can help convey your message clearly and professionally. Remember to use contrasting colors and appropriate weight to ensure your text stands out without overwhelming your slides. With these tips and steps, you’re now equipped to add that extra flair to your presentations. Happy outlining!