Convert Text Boxes to Placeholders in PowerPoint

Created: Thursday, November 22, 2018, posted by at 9:30 am

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Is it possible to change a text box into a Title in PowerPoint? I’ve got tons of slides that use text boxes instead of Title and Content placeholders, and I have no clue about how I can get started!

Yes, this is a genuine call for help we received from one of our readers, and we know that there are tons of users who face this problem. In fact, even PowerPoint design houses have to convert text boxes to placeholders all the time in slides they receive from their clients. This is one area that consumes so much time, and yet there’s very little information out there about how you can overcome or resolve this issue. So, this post is going to do just that: address the issue of converting text boxes to placeholders in PowerPoint.

Text Boxes and Text Placeholders: What is the Difference?

If you don’t know the difference between text boxes and placeholders, please look at our Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes in PowerPoint page. In the linked page, choose your version of PowerPoint.

First of all, you might want to watch this video.

Now let us document the process via these steps:

  1. First, you must duplicate your slide. This is necessary because if something goes wrong, you still have a copy of your slide.
  2. Then move existing text boxes off the slide area. If anything goes wrong, there’s no reason to worry because we are working on a duplicated copy of the slide.
  3. Then, still on the duplicated slide, access the Home tab of the Ribbon and click on the Layout button to bring up the Layout gallery, as shown in Figure 1, below.
  4. Layout gallery in PowerPoint
    Figure 1: Layout gallery in PowerPoint
  5. Now is the time to add placeholders. You can choose any layout you want by clicking on its thumbnail in the Layout gallery. If you are not sure, the safest layout to choose is called Title and Content.
  6. Now you will see empty placeholders in your slide. You can identify these placeholders because they contain boilerplate text such as “Click to add title” or “Click to add text”. If you are using a touch-enabled device, the boilerplate text may say, “Tap to add title” or “Tap to add text”.
  7. Now copy the title or body content from the text boxes outside the slide area, paste in the Title or Content placeholders. If you see the Paste Options smart tag, choose the option to paste as text.

In the video, we also explored some PowerPoint add-ins that make this conversion of text boxes to placeholders much easier. These add-ins are pptXTREME moreEdit and ToolsToo.

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