Text boxes in PowerPoint give you the flexibility to position text anywhere on a slide. If you want the text to appear on multiple slides, you can add a text box to one of the layouts in Slide Master view.
Participants I meet in Microsoft PowerPoint training occasionally find it tricky to delete a text box.
This article describes how to delete a text box in PowerPoint and provides a few troubleshooting tips, in the event things aren’t working the way you think they should.
How to Delete a Text Box in PowerPoint in Normal View
To delete a text box from a single slide in a PowerPoint presentation, select the border of the text box then press Delete.
That sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
Here’s the problem: when you initially click on a text box, you’re in edit mode. You’ve clicked in the text box.
If you press delete after clicking the text box once, you’d delete a single character – not the entire text box.
This text box below is currently in edit mode. The cursor appears beside the word great… and the border of the text box is comprised of tiny dots.
To select the text box, you can press Esc after clicking the text or you can click the text box border.
The text box is selected (below). The cursor is gone and the text box border is a solid line. Pressing Delete after selecting the text box border will remove it.
How to Delete a Text Box in Slide Master View
If a text box in PowerPoint has been added to a layout in Slide Master view, there is a different process for deleting it.
Slide masters store information about the PowerPoint presentation’s theme and slide layouts. By adding a text box to a slide layout, the text box will appear on every slide that uses that layout.
You can’t select a text box that has been added to a slide layout from Normal view.
To delete a text box that has been added to a slide layout:
- Click Slide Master in the View > Master Views group.
- Select the slide layout that contains the text box.
- Click the text box border and press Delete.
Why Can’t I Delete a Text Box in PowerPoint? (Troubleshooting Tips)
There are three things that can commonly go wrong when you try to delete a text box in PowerPoint.
1) Pressing Delete Removes One Character at a Time
If you press delete and one character is removed at a time, you’re editing the contents of the text box.
Press Esc or click the text box border then press Delete.
2) You’re Not Able to Select the Text Box
If you’re unable to select the text box, it may have been added to a layout in Slide Master view.
Click Slide Master in the View > Master Views group, select the slide layout that contains the text box, click the slide box border and press Delete.
3) Other Objects Disappear When You Delete the Text Box
If other objects disappear when you delete the text box, the text box may grouped with those objects.
Click the text box border, click Arrange in the Home > Drawing group then click Ungroup.
After ungrouping the objects, you should be able to delete the text box without deleting anything else.