How to Wrap Text in PowerPoint (3 Ways)

Microsoft Word is a full-featured application for creating documents and building visually stunning page layouts. The ability to wrap text around an image is a useful technique that is easy to implement in Microsoft Word.

Participants in our Microsoft PowerPoint training often ask if it’s possible to create a similar layout in PowerPoint where you wrap text around a graphic.

Can you wrap text in PowerPoint?

You can… but the process isn’t as straightforward as it is in Word. Wrapping text around pictures, shapes, charts, tables and other elements isn’t supported in PowerPoint but I’m going to show you a few clever workarounds.

In this article, we explore 3 ways to wrap text in PowerPoint.

Method #1: Insert a Microsoft Word Document in PowerPoint

Here’s the thing. It’s easy to wrap text around a graphic in Microsoft Word.

  1. Add an image in your Word document
  2. Click on the image then click the Layout Options button and choose how to flow your text around the image.
Layout options in Word
Layout Options in Word

The secret is to create the page layout you want in Word then insert the document into your PowerPoint presentation.

Here are the steps:

  1. Create a new blank slide.
  2. Click the Object button in the Insert > Text group.
  3. In the Insert Object dialog box, select Create from file, click Browse to locate your Word document, then click OK.
Insert object dialog box
Insert Object dialog box

The formatted Word document is added to your PowerPoint slide.

Method #2: Add Multiple Text Boxes Around an Image

You can use multiple text boxes to approximate the appearance of wrapped text in PowerPoint.

  1. Click the Text Box button in the Insert > Text group then drag to position the text box in your PowerPoint slide.
  2. Type or copy and paste your text into the text box.
  3. Resize and reposition the text box, as required.
Text boxes in PowerPoint
Text boxes in PowerPoint

In this example, I positioned 3 text boxes around the image adding visual impact to my PowerPoint slide.

This layout that would be easy to create in Word. In PowerPoint, you need to employ a clever workaround.

Method #3: Use Tab Stops to Align Text in a Text Box

You can use tab stops to approximate the appearance of wrapped text. Although this method is a little more difficult to implement, I think it comes the closest to actually wrapping text around a graphic.

Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Add an image to your presentation.
  2. Click the Text Box button in the Insert > Text group then drag to create a text box on your PowerPoint slide.
  3. Type or copy and paste your text into the text box.
  4. Carefully drag to select all of the text in the text box then click the ruler to set the tab stop.
Setting a left tab stop
Setting a left tab stop
  1. Click at the beginning of any line that obscures your picture and press Tab.

Here is what my text looked like in PowerPoint after I set up my tabs. I left the text box selected to illustrate how my text overlapped the image.

Text box with tabs
Text box with tabs

Wrapping Text in PowerPoint is Possible

Now that we’ve looked at how to wrap text in PowerPoint, will you use this technique in your presentations?

While wrapping text in Microsoft Word is relatively straightforward and easy, you can achieve a similar effect in PowerPoint using one of the techniques outlined in this article.

By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.