Who wishes that there was an option for para­graph rules in PowerPoint?

Yeah, me too. While I don’t have an option that works all of the time for you, I do have a few hacks that will get you what you want.

I recently had an ask to recre­ate a case study doc­u­ment in Pow­er­Point. It had a pull quote and a fancy head­line for­mat­ting that I needed to make as easy as pos­si­ble for the end user to use and not mess up:

Adding the top rule as a sta­tic line works fine, but when you need to have one on the bot­tom that moves with the text, well, that one is tricky. What made this par­tic­u­lar as even more tech­ni­cally chal­leng­ing was that the rules were short and did­n’t span the whole length of the text box.

Here’s how I did it with the text top-aligned in the text box (for bot­tom aligned, reverse the kinds of para­graph rules)..

  1. My top rule is a sim­ple 2.25pt line
  2. While work­ing on the mas­ter slide lay­out, I added a text place­holder and for­mat­ted the text accordingly.
  3. Make sure the place­holder is set to “resize shape to fit text”
  4. For the bot­tom rule 
    • select the text placeholder
    • Go to the For­mat tab
    • Click on the Edit Shape drop down
    • Choose Change Shape
    • Choose “Call­out: line with no border”
    • Select the call­out line and for­mat it the same as your top rule.
    • Move the call­out line in posi­tion at the bot­tom of your text box to match the length of the top line.
  5. Now you have a pull quote box that will move the bot­tom line as you fill it with text.
  6. Note that it will end up mov­ing far from the text as you fill it.
  7. To fix this, sim­ply adjust the height of your text box.

Be aware that if you change the WIDTH of your text box, the bot­tom para­graph rule will also grow. How­ever, you can man­u­ally adjust this on the slide.

That was one of two things I had to recre­ate. I thought I was done at that point. How­ever, let’s take a look at what hap­pens when you have a mas­ter lay­out with this para­graph rule style with an image place­holder behind it.

This is what I needed the final prod­uct to look like on the slide:

I applied all of the same trick­ery to this treat­ment. And was very pleased with myself until I switched from the mas­ter to the slide and saw this:

Because the top line is sta­tic, the place­holder always shows over top of it on the reg­u­lar slide.

How­ever, if you make the top line a place­holder on the mas­ter (I chose pic­ture place­holder) and tweaked it a bit, it will always be on top. The only thing you have to remem­ber to do on the main slide is to send the image to the back after you’ve filled the pic­ture place­holder. And, voila! You have the desired para­graph rule style.

My set­tings for the rule made out of a pic­ture place­holder are as follows:

  • Font size: 1pt
  • Font color: same as fill color
  • Text box mar­gins all zero
  • Place­holder height to match MY rule ended up being 0.03inches for a 2.25pt line
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