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Best Practice

Breaking and aligning titles, headings, and quotes

It's never a good practice to force line breaks in paragraphs. Titles, column headings, and quotes/statements are a different story.

Breaking and aligning titles

The title below breaks naturally and is not very attractive. There should never be only one word on the second line, but that is not the only issue. The alignment needs to be addressed.

Breakdown of advertising spend for the 2008 ourco splash

Body of chart

The following title is a better choice. Whenever a line is used to separate the title from the body of the chart, the second line of a 2-line title should be longer. The longer second line rides the separate line much more gracefully – it is bottom aligned.

Breakdown of advertising spend
for the 2008 OurCo splash campaign

Body of chart

If there is no separating line between title and body of chart, the first line of a 2-line title. The longer first line defines the chart area more effectively.

Breakdown of advertising spend for the
2008 OurCo splash campaign

Body of chart

Breaking and aligning column headings

The same title break/alignment principles should be applied to column headings.

Breaking quotes/statements

Whole slides are sometimes dedicated to a quote or statement. In these instances, line breaks should be managed. Below is a comparison of a statement with automatic line breaks (no forced line breaks) and a statement with strategic line breaks.

The top example – with no forced line breaks – does not look as nice nor read as well as the bottom example with strategic line breaks.

  1. There should never be only one word on a line (as there is in the top example)
  2. The phrases within the statement should be grouped together. The second example does a better job of grouping the phrases
  3. Read each example and pay attention to the cadence. The cadence is changed slightly by the line breaks. It's good to control the cadence, as it assists the audience in understanding and retaining the statement.

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Pay attention to these guidelines and your slides will take on a bit more polish and professionalism.