How to Delete a Text Box in PowerPoint?

How to delete a text box in PowerPoint is one of the most commonly googled PowerPoint questions! Deleting text boxes in PowerPoint is mostly straightforward, but there are a few tricky scenarios. We've tried to cover them all in this troubleshooting post.

How to Delete a Text Box from PowerPoint Slide?

If you're trying to delete a textbox from a single PowerPoint slide:

  1. Select the PowerPoint text box you wish to remove (by clicking on the text box, not on specific text within the text box. One way to do this is to click on text within the text box to make the text box border visible, then click part of the text box border).
  2. Hit the Delete key
  3. Your text box (and any contents) will be removed from your PowerPoint slide

How to delete a Text Box from PowerPoint Slide Master?

By default, most PowerPoint templates are set up to add a Title slide layout and then a Title and Text layout when creating a new presentation. However if you would prefer a blank slide, title only slide or another layout by default when creating a new presentation, you can choose a different default Slide layout. To do this:

  1. Insert or select a content slide in your PowerPoint presentation
  2. In the Thumbnail preview to the left of your slide, select the content slide you would like to use a different layout for
  3. Right click your mouse and select Layout from the menu
  4. Scan through the layout previews and select your preferred layout (for example perhaps you want a 'Title only' layout with no textbox)
  5. Once you have selected the alternate layout, your selected PowerPoint slide will be updated. PowerPoint will also treat this selected layout as your new default layout in your presentation. Each time you insert a new slide, PowerPoint will use this selected layout (unless/ until you select another layout).

Why can't I delete a text box on my PowerPoint slide?

There are a few reasons why the first approach above may not work - when a text box won't delete from your PowerPoint slide. Troubleshooting suggestions to explore include:

  • Check for Layers on your slide: potentially there is a layering of images or other elements that are making it tricky to 'select' the textbox in order to delete it. If you try to click on the textbox but a shape or other element is being selected instead, try right clicking the other shape and selecting 'send to back'
  • Check for grouped elements: If you're trying to delete a textbox but but other shapes or elements on the PowerPoint slide disappear as well, the text box and shapes might be grouped. You can solve this by clicking on one of the text boxes or shapes on the slide, right clicking your mouse and selecting Group from the menu, then ungroup.
  • Locked text box: If the text box is not hidden under other layers and not grouped with other elements, it may have been locked to the PowerPoint slide using a shape locking feature like PPT Productivity's shape locker. If your text box has been locked by the PPT Productivity shape locking feature, you will need to use PPT Productivity to unlock the text box or other PowerPoint object. PPT Productivity does have a free 30 day trial.

You can learn more about the PPT Productivity Shape Locker at /powerpoint-addin/refine-easier/lock-unlock-shapes-objects-images-tables/unlock-objects.

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