What Is a PowerPoint Placeholder?

Easily add text, graphics, and more to your presentations

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In PowerPoint, where many slide presentations are based on templates, a placeholder is usually a box with text that indicates the location, font and size of type that the user will enter. For example, a template may include placeholder text that says "Click to Add Title" or "Click to Add Subtitle." Placeholders aren't limited to text. Placeholder text that says "Drag Picture to Placeholder or click icon to add" gives the PowerPoint user instructions for adding an image to a slide. 

Placeholders Are Meant to Be Personalized

The placeholder not only serves as a call to action to the user, it gives the person who is creating the presentation a feel for how the type, graphic elements or page layout will look on the slide. The placeholder text and instructions are suggestions only. Every element can be personalized. So if you don't like the font that PowerPoint chose for your favorite template, you are free to change it.

Types of Elements Used in Placeholders

After you select a PowerPoint template, click Layout on the Home tab to see the many different variations of your chosen template. You'll see templates for title screens, table of contents, text screens, photo screens, templates that accept charts and other layouts. 

Depending on the template layout you choose, you may place any of the following on a slide, in addition to text.

  • Photos
  • Tables
  • Excel charts
  • Clipart
  • Movies

These objects can be placed on slides by other methods as well, but using placeholders makes it an easy task.

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