Dim Text in PowerPoint Presentations

Make slides easier to read for viewers

A notebook, camera, and laptop on a table.

Galymzhan Abdugalimov/Unsplash 

You've created an awesome PowerPoint presentation, but you want to add a few effects to help your audience focus on your content. When a presentation slide contains bullet lists, highlight the point you are speaking about and dim the rest.

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

Apply a Dim Effect to Bullet Text

Add the Dim Text effect to bullet points in your PowerPoint presentations to help your audience focus on your content. This causes the text of your previous point to fade into the background, while still being visible. The current point you are speaking about remains front and center.

To dim text using animations in PowerPoint:

  1. Open the presentation and go to the slide where you want to dim text.

    A PowerPoint slide with bullet points
  2. Select Animations.

  3. Select the first bullet point and choose an Entrance animation. For example, select Fade to fade the text in and out of view.

    A PowerPoint screenshot show different entrance animations options.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the remaining bullet points. Be sure to add the entrance animation to each bullet point in order.

  5. Select the down arrow next to the first animation in the Animation Pane.

    To display the Animation Pane, select Animations > Animation Pane.

  6. Choose Effect Options.

    A PowerPoint screenshot show different animation effect options.
  7. Select the Effect tab if it is not already selected.

  8. Select the After animation down arrow.

  9. Select a color for the dimmed text.

    A screenshot of PowerPoint showing how to dim text.

    Choose a color that is close to the color of the slide background. This way the text is visible after dimming, but is not distracting when you're discussing a new point.

  10. Select OK to apply the changes.

  11. Repeat steps 5 - 10 for each bullet point.

  12. Select Animations > Preview to view the animation effect.

    A screenshot of dimmed text in PowerPoint.
  13. The text for each bullet point dims with each click of the mouse.