A Handy Trick – PowerPoint Line Breaks

Skilled typographers go nuts when they see poor line breaks in text. Do you know when to add a manual line break? It will make your slides look more professional.

I’m working on my slides for my Sept 28 webinar “Storytelling Secrets for Boardroom Presentations” (Register Here). As you can see, the slide title wraps in PowerPoint, with the last word all by itself on the second line.

I see this a lot on slides, where the slide creator just types until the line wraps naturally. The second line might only be one or two words (these lonely sentence fragments are called orphans) and it looks amateurish.

It doesn’t have to be that way. One rule of good typography is to use manual line breaks to keep key phrases together. In this title, the phrases “Storytelling Secrets” and “Boardroom Presentations” should be kept together.

To add a manual line break, hold down the SHIFT + ENTER keys. This key combination will override the line-spacing and other formatting that usually comes with a manual line break to start a new paragraph. This is a handy trick I use all the time!

What about the word “for”? Does that go on the first line or the second line? The rule of thumb is to think about how you would naturally speak this phrase out loud: Storytelling Secrets for (pause) Boardroom Presentations. Ideally, it should go on the first line, as long as it still looks visually pleasing.

There are lots of reasons to add a manual line break. So keep this tip in mind when you need to:

  • Keep units of measure together, like “$100 million” or “15 miles”
  • Create space on the right for an image
  • Better balance a long line and short line of text

And remember to register for my Sept 28 webinar “Storytelling Secrets for Boardroom Presentations.” I hope to see you there!

About the author: Bruce Gabrielle is author of Speaking PowerPoint: the New Language of Business, showing a 12-step method for creating clearer and more persuasive PowerPoint slides for boardroom presentations. Subscribe to this blog or join my LinkedIn group to get new posts sent to your inbox.

4 thoughts on “A Handy Trick – PowerPoint Line Breaks

  1. I was going nuts as well with Powerpoint pushing the whole text up uncontrollably with every new line. Thank you thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the question below to prove you\'re human *