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PowerPoint: Add Text To A Slide During A Presentation

A presentation can have all types of audiences. There’s no rule that limits presentations to classrooms or meetings and boardrooms. A presentation is often a great and concise way to deliver information and it’s a useful tool in almost all professional settings. Presentations also don’t have to be one-sided lectures. You may be giving a presentation but your audience may give their input as well and sometimes, you might need to make a note of what’s being said. You can scribble it down on a bit of paper but if it’s for everyone’s benefit, you should add text to a slide so everyone can see. Instead of editing the slide though, you can add text during the presentation, in presentation mode.

Add Text To A Slide

Adding text to a slide when you have it open for editing is a no-brainer. It’s ridiculously easy but you can also add text to a slide while you’re in presentation mode. You will need to set this up once on the system you plan to use to before the presentation begins and you will then need to add the text box to each slide as this isn’t a tool you can invoke on the fly when/if you need it.

Open your PowerPoint presentation. Go to File>Options. On the Options window, go to the Customize Ribbon tab. Enable the Developer tab on the ribbon.

Return to the presentation and go to the Developer tab. Here, click on the text box button, and draw out a text box. Take care that it doesn’t obstruct the  text or media on your presentation.

Right-click the text box and select Property Sheet from the context menu.

In the Properties window, look for two properties;

  • EnterKeyBehaviour
  • MultiLine

Set the value of both to True from the dropdown next to them.

That’s about it. In presentation mode, you will be able to enter text in the text box that you added. This text box will not appear on all your slides. It will only appear on the slides you add it to. If you want to add it to multiple slides, you can copy and paste it to all the slides you need it on.

You will not have to enable the developer tab again but you will definitely need to add the text box, and change its properties for every presentation you add it to. It’s a good idea to add text boxes like this one to slides that have an interactive exercise or a poll. Similarly, for any slide that might result in a discussion, the text box is a good way to keep track of what’s being discussed and the various view points that come up.


  1. Hi! I made my presentation, but when I went to save it, it told me I had to save it in a macro-enable format. Do you know how to do that?

  2. I created the interactive text boxes but now in presentation mode, the text boxes duplicate and are showing up above on top of the slide. How do I fix this?

  3. Hi, I used this is a recent presentation I was doing in work but now I would like to extract the feedback I gathered…how can I go about doing that?

    Thanks in advance!

    • I was searching all over for a way to do this. The above solution was the best I found, but it isn’t quite what I wanted. But, I found out that if you have two monitors available (one for your presentation and another for your “presenter view”), you can right-click on the “presenter view” screen(or the presentation view) and select “Hide Presenter View”. That will replace the “presenter view” with the regular slideshow design screen (the screen that is shown when you open PowerPoint for the first time). Except that the changes you make in the design screen show up on the “presentation” screen. So you can very easily create a text box as you normally would. You can move it around, change the size, type what you want, and your audience will see it as you type it. And the content will be available afterward.

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