How to Highlight Text in PowerPoint

By David Nield

Used carefully, the built-in text effects can add real impact to your slides in PowerPoint. The standard text highlight tool found in Word and Excel enables you to add a background color to make certain words stand out; this tool is not available in PowerPoint, but the Glow effect achieves a similar purpose.

Applying a Glow

Highlight the text you want to modify and select "Format" from the Drawing Tools tab on the ribbon. Choose "Text Effects," then "Glow" and select one of the sample effects shown. Alternatively, choose "Glow Options" to take more control over how the effect works -- you can adjust the size, color and transparency of the glow as required.

Background Color

You can also adjust the background color of any text box in PowerPoint by opening the "Shape Fill" drop-down menu from the Format tab of the Drawing Tools section. Choose any of the color swatches or "More Fill Colors" to change the background. If the text box is small enough, this process can effectively mimic the text highlight feature found elsewhere in the Office suite.

Version Disclaimer

Instructions cover PowerPoint 2013, the latest version of the software as of June 2014. If you are using a different version of the application then the steps may differ.