Adding a PowerPoint Callout to a Slide

A woman using a laptop and projector.

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Image-heavy PowerPoint presentations benefit from adding a special box, called a callout, to the slide. Callouts point to the object they're highlighting and offer additional information. Callouts are set apart visually from the rest of the content with different fonts, colors, and shading.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2010, and PowerPoint for Office 365.

Use a PowerPoint Callout to Add Focus Text

To add a PowerPoint callout using one of the built-in callout shapes:

  1. Select Home.

  2. Select Shapes to see all available shapes. The Callout section is near the bottom of the list.

    A screemshot of the callout shapes in PowerPoint.
  3. Select the Callout of your choice. The pointer changes to a cross shape.

  4. Drag to create the shape of the PowerPoint callout.

    A screenshot of a callout on a PowerPoint slide.
  5. With the callout selected, enter the callout text.

Format a PowerPoint Callout

You can change the size, fill color, font, and direction of a callout after you insert it onto a PowerPoint slide.

Resize a Callout

  1. Select the border of the callout.

  2. Drag a resize handle to achieve the desired size. Use a corner handle to maintain the proportions of the PowerPoint callout. Repeat if necessary.

Change the Fill Color of the PowerPoint Callout

To change the color of a callout:

  1. Select the PowerPoint callout if it is not already selected.

  2. Select Home.

  3. Select the Shape Fill down arrow.

    A screenshot of the PowerPoint shape fill.

    Or, right-click the shape and choose Format Shape to access fill color options.

  4. Choose one of the colors displayed. Or choose one of the many other fill options, such as picture, gradient, or texture. The new fill color is applied to the selected PowerPoint callout.

Choose a New Font Color for the PowerPoint Callout

To change the look of fonts in a callout:

  1. Select the PowerPoint callout.

  2. In the Font section of the Home tab, note the color of the line under the Font Color button. This is the current color of the font.

    A screenshot of the current font color in PowerPoint.
  3. Select the Font Color down arrow to reveal the font color options.

    A screenshot of the font colors in PowerPoint.
  4. Choose a color. This font color is applied to the text of the PowerPoint callout.

Direct the PowerPoint Callout Pointer to the Correct Object

To move the callout pointer:

  1. Select the PowerPoint callout.

  2. Drag the Control Handle (it's the yellow dot at the tip of the callout pointer) to point to the object you would like the callout to be attached to. The callout stretches and possibly reorients itself.

    A screenshot of directing callout pointer to object in PowerPoint.
  3. Save the changes to your presentation.