Sometimes, I don’t feel like writing things on the whiteboard. Sometimes, I want to collect student ideas, but want them to be written clearly, neatly, and quickly, This blog post will demonstrate how I use PowerPoint to achieve this. The end result looks like this:
Step 1: The Developer Tab
In order to accomplish this “hack,” you will need to have the Developer tab activated on your toolbar/ribbon. To do this, you will need to go to File -> Options -> Customize Ribbon and check the “Developer” in the right-hand column.
This will give you the following tab:
Step 2: Adding a Text Box
Next, you will need to add a text box to your slide. Click the [abc] icon (circled red above) and then draw your box anywhere on your slide.
Step 3: Changing the Text-Box Properties
The text box is very limited in functionality unless you make several important changes to its properties. To do so, right-click on the box and choose “Property Sheet.” There are numerous changes that you can make. The most important are
- EnterKeyBehavior – change to “True”. This allows you to use the “Enter” key to make new lines
- MultiLine – change to “True”. This allows the text box to display multiple lines
- Font – this sets up your font, font size, and other font properties.
Other properties of note include:
- BackColor – change the background color
- ForeColor – change the font color
- Scrollbars – to have scrollbars in case text goes beyond the text box dimensions
Step 4: Copy, Paste, Resize
To use multiple text boxes, you do not have to complete the above steps. Just copy and paste the box throughout your PowerPoint.
Step 5: Save
Save it. Any text you type will be saved, too!
You are limited in color and making the box transparent has never worked for me. Boxes cannot be animated. If you accidentally select “View Code” instead of “Property Sheet” when you right-click on the box, saving might become more difficult as sometimes PowerPoint thinks you have edited a macro and therefore need to save as a .pptm. If this happens, delete the code.
I hope that you found this useful. Please let me know if you have any questions or any suggestions for creative ways to use this!