Sometimes, text just doesn’t look the way you want.

A very common issue in building a presentation is ensuring formatting consistency throughout. The ideal way to maintain this consistency is to let the Master Slide layouts do the work for you. However, there can be a few hangups when you’ve copied text from somewhere else and then pasted it into your deck.

This is due to the fact that most of the time, modern operating systems retain the formatting of the source text that you copied. Therefore, whenever you go to paste text you’ve copied from somewhere else into your PowerPoint, it can look pretty messed up. Too big, too small, wrong colors, wrong fonts, etc.

Here’s an example.

Below, we see two different blocks of bulleted text. The top block looks like it should as it was typed directly into the presentation using the provided master slides.

The bottom block of bullets was copied and pasted from a different presentation that someone sent me to use. As you can see, the colors, size and font style is all off when compared to the first block of bullets.


Strip the formatting from your text when pasting into your deck.

The best way around issues like this, is to always paste using methods that strip the formatting from the text that you’ve copied so you’re left with just the raw text. By pasting unformatted text, you can let the master files of your template do the formatting work for you, so you don’t have to mess around and try and figure out how to match everything manually.

Ah, the beauty of master slides.

There’s a few ways you can accomplish this:

  1. Use the “Paste Special” option in the edit menu, then select “Unformatted Text”. This will paste the text without formatting. One drawback of this is that usually it strips the indentations and bullet points from it as well. Depending on the level of complexity of those bullets, this can be really annoying to fix. However, usually the benefits of having that text unformatted usually outweighs the benefits of having to style everything by hand.
  2. Use a keyboard shortcut. On the Mac, if you paste using Control + Command + V (or on Windows it’s Shift+Control+C / Shift+Control+V) this will automatically paste plain, unformatted text or bring up the “Paste Special” dialogue box that will allow you to select unformatted text as in the example above.
  3. Paste regularly, then select “Keep Text Only” from the resulting button that appears immediately after you paste and directly below your pasted text box. On the Mac it looks like a clipboard and on Windows it looks like a lightening bolt. Essentially, this has the same effect as using either option 1 or 2 above.
  4. Paste into a plan text editor. On Mac, open up TextEdit and create a new document, then select Format > Make Plain Text and paste your text into the document. On Windows, use Notepad and do the same thing. This ensures that all formatting is stripped and you can then copy and paste this into your presentation.

Any of these methods works well to ensure consistency in your formatting and are a must in any serious presentation-maker’s toolkit.

Video demonstration from our YouTube Channel

Check out more 60 Second PowerPoint Protips.

How do you like to handle text formatting issues?


comments powered by Disqus