A Beginner's Guide to Text Wrap in PowerPoint

PowerPoint doesn't support text wrapping, but you can mimic it

Circle of chairs of different colours
CORDELIA MOLLOY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

Wrapping text around pictures, shapes, tables, charts and other page elements—a feature that is common in page layout software— is not supported in PowerPoint. There are a few workaround methods you can use to mimic text wrapping in a PowerPoint presentation.

Manually Insert Spaces in Text to Mimic Text Wrapping

You can get the same effect as text wrapping manually. If you have a small graphic and want the text to read from left to right while skipping over the graphic in the middle, here's how you do it:

  1. Insert the graphic that you want to wrap text around on a slide. 
  2. Right-click anywhere on the object and choose Send to Back.
  3. Type or paste text into a text box on top of the object.
  4. Use the spacebar or tab to create a visual break in the text for the object. As each line of the text nears the left side of the object, use the spacebar or tab several times to move the rest of the line of text to the right side of the object. 
  5. Repeat for each line of text.

Mimic Text Wrapping Around Rectangular Shapes

Use several text boxes when you are wrapping text around square or rectangular shapes. You might use one wide text box above the square shape, then two narrower text boxes, one on each side of the shape, and then another wide text box under the shape.

Import Wrapped Text From Microsoft Word

If you use PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2016 or PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, you can import wrapped text from Word into PowerPoint. Here's how:

  1. Open the PowerPoint slide where you want to use text wrapping.
  2. Click the Insert tab and choose Object.
  3. Select Microsoft Word Document in the Object type list and click OK to open a Word window.
  4. In the Word window, insert an image and type or paste your text.
  5. Right-click on the image, select Wrap Text and choose Tight.
  6. Click on the PowerPoint slide to see the wrapped text. (If you use PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, you need to close the Word file before you can see the wrapped text in PowerPoint.) In PowerPoint, the image and wrapped text are in a box that you can drag and resize. 
  7. To edit the wrapped text, double-click the box to re-open Word and make the changes there.