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Set the Text Anchor Point for Ease of Editing

The following tip was no. 5 in the May 2007 Best Practice entitled, Format for ease of editing and to save time at deadline:

Set the text anchor point correctly: if the text is bottom aligned, for example, set the anchor point so that the text builds from the bottom. This is such a seemingly minor issue, but when editing shortly before a deadline, adding text and then realigning is double the work. Set the text anchor point in the text box area of the format object/placeholder menu so that the text is either top aligned, middle aligned, or bottom aligned.

This might need a little more discussion. Do you ever set up a take-away thought on the right-hand side of the slide that is supposed to be middle aligned with content/an arrow on the left-hand side of the slide? Almost everyone can say "yes" to that one. Do you have to middle align the take-away thought every time you edit it? Most people would also say yes to that as well.

You need to apply formatting to your text fields so that you are not continually realigning after you edit text. This is one of the biggest time wasters when crunching toward a deadline. Even if you're not working against deadline, it is unnecessary to wrestle with text every time you edit.

Get in the habit of setting your text anchors. Take a look at the following examples.

Notice that the text anchor is set for the middle? Also notice that there is no internal margin. These are good alignment practices to employ when formatting this type of text.

Another alignment best practice is to set the anchor point for all column headings to bottom. Your text column headings will stay aligned and provide a clean bottom line that will easily distinguish the headings from the subordinate text.

If you just format those three types of text consistently, we guarantee that you will save time editing.

Instructions for anchoring your text

Create a text field and format it the way you want (with/without bullets, etc.) and align the text field so that it is to the right of and in the middle of the pyramid segment. Then format the text field so that the text anchor is "middle." To do this, follow the steps that apply to you.

PowerPoint 2003: double click on your text field and clicking on "Text Box." Select "Middle" in the "Text anchor point" window.

PowerPoint 2007/10: right clicking on the text field and selecting "Format shape" and then clicking on "Text Box" at the bottom of the list on the left. Select "Middle" in the "Vertical alignment" window.

At this point you may want to remove the internal margins around your text by placing "0" in all four windows (Left, Right, Top, Bottom).

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