How to Highlight Text in PowerPoint

There are multiple ways to highlight text in PowerPoint. You can highlight text during the slideshow (known as annotation) or you can also highlight text in your slides at design time. The technique we are describing below will allow you to highlight text during design time, so every time you run the slide show the text will be highlighted and also if you export the presentations to PDF or any other format.

Highlighting Text in PowerPoint 2013

We will use a custom shape (moved to the background) in order to highlight the text. You can add any shape you want but the rectangle is actually the most handy shape for highlighting text or slides in PowerPoint.

First of all, go to the slide where you want the text to be highlighted and click Insert menu, then click to insert a new shape.

Highlight text in Microsoft PowerPoint

Choose the rectangle shape and then draw the rectangle over the space you want to highlight.

Highlight text in PowerPoint

Make sure to right click over the inserted shape and send it to the background. Click Send to Back and then click Send to Back option.

Text highlighting in PowerPoint 2013

Now you are ready to change the shape fill options in order to make the shape look as a yellow highlighted text. You can use any fill option and color you want but here we will show you how it looks with a yellow highlighted pen color. Optionally you can also change the border options, in PowerPoint 2013 that’s under Line shape properties. We have removed the border and left only the yellow background color.

Finally, here is how the highlighted text looks in a PowerPoint slide using the rectangle shape.

Text Highlight PowerPoint 2013

Making the Highlighted Shape Look More Realistic

If you want the yellow box to look more realistic then you can use a custom shape (you can draw the custom shape yourself or base it in an existing shape). For instance, try to change the shape and use a Cloud Callout shape in PowerPoint instead of the rectangle.

Highlight cloud callout

The final result will look as follows:

Yellow text highlight PowerPoint

Highlighting Text in PowerPoint for Mac

In Microsoft Office for Mac you can highlight text in a similar way as you can do in the Windows version of Microsoft Office. PowerPoint for Mac let you draw shapes as in Microsoft Windows so you can follow the same procedure described here.

The ability to highlight text in your presentation with color is not available in versions of Microsoft Office PowerPoint after PowerPoint 2007. Seems Microsoft do not provide an on-screen highlight marker to highlight text. However, you can still add a text box with any desired color to surround text that you want to call out or highlight.

Using this procedure you can highlight important sections and content of your PowerPoint slides. You can also apply this technique while highlighting other kind of content, for example you may try to highlight diagrams and SmartArt Graphics as well.

Aside of highlighting text with the approaches described before, you can highlight text in PowerPoint using other special effects like the Glow effect or adding a callout shape at back of the text. Alternatively, you can use a different background image or color to highlight the text.

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