Wrap text around an object

Unlike in other products such as Microsoft Word, text wrapping (around objects such as tables, pictures, shapes, charts, and SmartArt graphics) is not available in PowerPoint 2013.

Microsoft takes the needs of our customers seriously, and we apologize for this lack of parity across our products.

In response to customer demand, the procedures below might help you achieve a look similar to true text wrapping, but they are merely workarounds. They are not as stable as true text wrapping, and may cause spacing issues if you later change the position of a picture or add or remove text, for example.

What do you want to do?


Wrap text around a square object

You can manually wrap text around a square object by inserting multiple text boxes around the object.

  1. Insert your image into your PowerPoint slide.

 Tip   You may want to use the ruler and gridlines to measure and lay out your slide. On the View tab, in the Show group, select the Ruler and Gridlines check boxes. The ruler appears above your slide and the slide displays gridlines in one inch (1”) increments.

  1. Position your object where you want it on the slide. Consider how you want your image to be positioned in relation to your text.

For example, do you want your image to be completely surrounded by text? Or do you maybe want the image on the right or left with the text next to it?

In the following example, the image is surrounded by text. To do that, four text boxes were put around the object: one above, one on the left, another on the right, and a final one below the object.

Slide with object, textboxes shown and numbered, no text.

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, select Text Box. Change the width and position of the first text box so that it will fit the text you want to write, and then type your text.
  2. After you fill up all of the space in your first text box, insert another two text boxes (one to the right and the other to the left of your image). Again, you will need to change the width of the text box and position it so that it fits your text.

Slide with object inserted, text boxes shown, and partial text.

Continue adding text boxes and writing text until you have the layout that you want.

Slide with object inserted, text boxes shown, and text completed.

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Wrap text around an irregular object

  1. Insert an image on your PowerPoint slide.
  2. Right-click anywhere on the object, point to Send to Back, and then click Send to Back.

Slide with irregular object and right-click menu

  1. Type or paste your text over your object.

Point to the text at the upper-left edge of your object, and then use the TAB and/or SPACEBAR to move the text past the right edge of the object.

Slide with image and covering text

  1. Repeat step 3 until each covering line of text is moved beyond the right edge of the object.

Slide with image uncovered from text

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A presentation strategy for you to consider

We see many questions about how to wrap text around a picture or a shape in PowerPoint. And it isn't easy (though this article provides an admittedly complex workarounds to achieve the wrapping effect).

Since it's hard and awkward to do, we see more comments from people who are unhappy about it than from people who say they find it helpful.

Here’s something for you to consider — PowerPoint works best when it has less text. A few keywords. Not enough to wrap.

If you want to communicate lots of words, Word is a better bet. So is Publisher. You can create files that people can read at their leisure.

If you want to create a presentation, especially if you're the person presenting it, then fewer words will work so much harder for you, especially if you add a picture, too.

You don't have to put everything on one slide, because people will read the slide and won't be listening to you. (If you want all the information available when you post the deck or send it in email afterward, add it to the Notes section.)

Putting less on a slide and changing slides more often helps keep the audience engaged. Having one or two keywords and a compelling image gets the audience's attention -- they want to find out how those elements relate. So they listen to you. In a presentation, that's a good thing.

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Applies to:
PowerPoint 2013