How to Use Curved Text in PowerPoint

Bend words around objects and create interesting lines with your text

Text that says 'curve text any way you want'
PowerPoint makes it easy to curve text.

Need to spice up a PowerPoint presentation? Curving text around a shape or graphic can be an efficient way to maximize your space and bring a creative feel to your presentation. Here's how to bend text to your will in PowerPoint.

Add Your Text Using Word Art

The first step to creating bent or curved text is to insert WordArt into your presentation.

Insert WordArt to curve text in PowerPoint
Inserting WordArt via the Text box is the first step in building more interesting text objects into your presentation.
  • Click the Insert tab.
  • Select the WordArt icon in the Text group--the text on this icon may vary, but it always features the blue italicized "A".
  • Click the style of text you'd like to add to your document. You can customize or change the text style, if necessary, after it's been inserted.
  • Highlight the sample text Word Art provided and update the text to your own words.

The process is the same using a Mac, looking for the WordArt icon that uses the blue, italicized "A".

How to Bend Text In PowerPoint

Now that your WordArt is inserted, you will highlight the text and alter the text path.

Transform Text in PowerPoint
Bending text is possible in PowerPoint via the Format > Text Effects option.

With the text highlighted, the Drawing Tools tab becomes available in the Format tab. Text wrap options are found in that tab under Text Effects.

  1. Highlight your text.
  2. Go to the Format tab.
  3. Click Text Effects.
  4. In the Text Effects drop-down menu, select Transform.
  5. Under Transform, there are two options in both Mac and Microsoft: Follow Path or Warp. Click one and your text will take on the shape selected.

Need more information about Follow Path or Warp options? Read on.

Using Follow Path To Create Bent Or Circular Text

The Follow Path option allows you to manipulate the text in a curve, either an arc or a full circle. The shape of the curve may be determined by the size of your text box. For example, a perfectly square text box will give a perfect circle as the path.

By adjusting the length of the path using the highlighted point to push and pull your path. In Microsoft that adjust point is a yellow circle. Mac users should look for a pink square.

Follow Path bending text in Microsoft Word
The yellow marker slides to allow users to specify how long they want the curve of their text path to be.

Using Warp To Bend And Enhance Text

By contrast, the Warp option under Transform allows users to bend and stretch text with a variety of pre-programmed options.

The image below illustrates the Fade Up style, which may be adjusted using the highlighted text box marker.

Fade Up Transformed Warp text in Microsoft Word and Word for Mac
The Fade Up option allows users to easily adjust text.

Changing The Style Of Curved Text In PowerPoint

WordArt can be adjusted and customized easily with the WordArt Styles box. Highlight your text and then you can use options like Text Fill or Text Outline to customize the colors, select a totally different style in the scrolling menu, or go to the Home tab to change the font.

You can also alter the bend or fade of your text by returning to the WordArt Styles box in the Format tab and highlighting your text.

Each Transform option may be adjusted to scale your text and preserve readability. The highlighted adjustable marker appears at different locations within the text box (sometimes the border, sometimes in the center) but each Transform option offers the ability to adjust so you can get your text just right for your presentation.