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Automatic Downsizing In MS PowerPoint

Have you ever noticed that when working in a title or text placeholder, the font will just shrink as the text fills the box?

It’s a good thing if you want PowerPoint to help take care of the “making it fit” issue, but it’s not so good if you want the text to be the same on all slides or have a specific font size in mind.

So, what exactly is going on when things are taking it upon themselves to resize?

That’s an excellent question and I have a simple answer for you. PowerPoint is doing something called AutoFit to your text.

To give you a real definition, according to the help provided with PowerPoint, AutoFit is a feature “which resizes text as you type, if necessary, to fit the text into a placeholder.”

So, as you can see, it’s a feature that’s meant to help you through your day with a little less hassle.

But, to be a true help, we have to know how to control it. That is, we need to know how to turn the feature on and off to meet our needs, while avoiding frustration, because we’re always undoing what PowerPoint has automatically done.



Good. Let’s get right down to business.

You actually have two types of control over this feature.

One type is when you choose to turn the AutoFit feature on or off globally (at the overall program level, so it affects all presentation elements).

Another point of control is for each individual text placeholder (this one only applies if the feature is left turned on globally).

Let’s begin with the overall program level of the feature. That is, to turn it on or off for everything.

AutoFit is a part of the AutoCorrect features, so it’s there that we’ll have to go.

In older version of PowerPoint you need the Tools menu, AutoCorrect Options choice.

PowerPoint 2007 users will need to go to the Office Button, PowerPoint Options button. Then in the Options dialog box go to the Proofing section and click the AutoCorrect Options button.

When the AutoCorrect dialog box opens, you’re looking for the AutoFormat As You Type tab.


Toward the bottom, in the Apply as you type section, you’ll find two AutoFit options.

AutoFit title text to placeholder applies only to the title text placeholders in your presentations.

AutoFit body text to placeholder applies to the non-title text placeholders in your presentations.

A checked box means that a particular AutoFit feature is turned on, so uncheck a box to turn the feature off.

Click OK when you’ve made your choices.

Now, assuming you’ve left the AutoFit features on, let’s take a look at the way you can control it, text placeholder by text placeholder.

When the AutoFit feature takes over and makes a font size change, you should see the AutoFit Options button appear on the left side of the text box.


If you’ve already clicked out of the text and don’t see this button, click back into the text and it should appear.

Click the button and a short menu will open.

Basically, you have two options and a shortcut to the AutoCorrect window.

The first two items are your choices for this particular text placeholder. You can either let AutoFit do its job here or stop it.

The last item in the menu will take you immediately to the AutoCorrect window where you can choose to turn this feature off at the program level.

That’s it. Simply choose to Stop fitting text to the placeholder and you will see the text go back to the original font size.

Change your mind?

No problem. The button is still available and you can choose to turn it back on at a later time.

There you have it. Downsizing PowerPoint text has been demystified!

~ April