How to Highlight in PowerPoint

Highlighting is useful when you want to emphasize specific parts of a presentation. If you rely on Microsoft Office to create presentations, here is a guide on how to highlight in PowerPoint. First we will explain how to highlight in PowerPoint 2016 (only for Office 365 subscribers), and then we will show you some secrets how to do that without Office 365.

How to highlight text in PowerPoint

The following guide is only for PowerPoint 2016, for Office 365 subscribers. It is very easy to do that: first select the text you want to highlight and then select the arrow that stands next to the “abc” icon. Choose the highlight color and the selected text will be marked with that color.

If you need to highlight text that is not consequent, don’t select the text first but click on the arrow we mentioned above. Choose the color and then click on the text area on the slide. To turn off the highlighter, just press the Esc button.

If your presentation was saved in PDF format, use this PDF to PPT converter to convert your presentation back to PowerPoint.

Useful Tip:

If your PowerPoint version doesn’t support the highlighting feature, you can apply highlight settings in Word and then copy paste the text to PowerPoint. Just make sure to choose the following paste option: Paste and keep source formatting.

How to highlight text in PowerPoint 20007


Unfortunately, it is not possible to highlight in PowerPoint 2007 in a regular way. But there is still a way to do it by creating a text box. You can insert a text box and highlight it, and then move the text box to the presentation.


Here’s how to do it:

how to highlight in powerpoint

Click the Insert tab and then the Text Box in the Text tab. You can drag a text box to your slide or first make a text box out of the slide and then add it. To drag a box, just hold the left mouse key and move it.

how to highlight text in powerpoint

Double click in the text box to enter the text. Select the text with the left mouse click and the small window will pop up, with font options. Click on the arrow next to the abc icon and choose the color. When you are finished, click outside of the box and the border lines will disappear.

highlight text in powerpoint

These steps can actually be applied to all versions of PowerPoint and not just PowerPoint 2007.

How to highlight a picture in PowerPoint

When you want to highlight a certain picture in your presentation, it is usually not the whole picture but a part of it. Here is how to emphasize part of an image in PowerPoint:

Considering that you have already inserted a picture in your presentation, the first step would be to go to the Insert menu, under the Illustrations tab, click on the Shapes and choose the shape you want. Insert the chosen shape (oval, rectangle, triangle…)  in the the picture. You can drag the shape according to your preferences.

The next step is a bit complicated, so read carefully:

Click on the image and then press CTRL on the keyboard, and click on the shape too. In the Format menu go to drawing tools and click Merge Shapes option.


Note: this option Merge Shapes is in some versions of MS Office called Combine Shapes.

Then, select the same image again, but not the fragmented part. In the Format menu, you will find the Artistic Effects option. Click on the Blur option and the image will be blurred, only the fragmented part will be in the focus.

how to highlight picture in powerpoint

What else you can do to emphasise the fragmented part, is to right click on the fragmented part of the image and then on Format Picture. That button will open additional sidebar with different picture formatting options.

Here you can read more about formatting pictures in PowerPoint 2016, but you can find on the internet guides for other versions.


Here you have learned how to highlight in PowerPoint. It is always a good idea to emphasize certain parts of the presentation and make your content more appealing. On the top of that, learning additional tricks of Microsoft Office programs can never be a waste of time.