Best daily deals

Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

How to highlight text in PowerPoint

It's a digital version of the old, reliable Hi-Liter pen.
February 6, 2023

The human eye responds to color; we’ve known this for centuries. It’s no wonder that, as soon as color monitors became standard for home and office PCs, one of the first upgrades in word processing programs was a digital version of the old, reliable Hi-Liter pen. Highlighting portions of your text is a way of making sure the audience absorbs a particular concept. It’s especially useful in slides that are text-intensive or that feature tables, where individual words and numbers can get lost.

There are two ways to highlight text in PowerPoint: the usual way like in a word processing program, or by using a text animation. We’ll cover both methods below. Your presentations will be more effective once you know all you need to about how to highlight text in PowerPoint.


To highlight text in PowerPoint, select the text and then, in the Home menu, click on the arrow next to the highlighter-pen icon in the Font section. Select the color to highlight the text with by clicking on it. The text you selected will now be surrounded by the color you chose.


How to highlight text in PowerPoint

With your presentation open, select the text you want to highlight. If you are not already in the Home menu, click on it in the upper left.

Powerpoint Highlight Text Select Text
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

In the Font section, you will see the control for highlighting text. It has a tiny icon of a highlighting pen (this might not be obvious). If you like the color the feature is set to, just click on the main button and you are done.

Powerpoint Highlight Text Highlighter Button
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

If you want to change the highlighting color, click on the arrow next to the main button. PowerPoint gives you 15 color choices for highlighting text. Click on the color you like and the text is instantly highlighted.

Powerpoint Highlight Text Highlighter Color Choices
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

To change the color of the highlighting, just repeat the above procedure. If you want to remove the highlighting, click on the arrow again and select No Color.

Powerpoint Highlight Text No Color Button
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

How to highlight text in PowerPoint by using Text Effects

In addition to the standard, Microsoft Word-style highlighting of text, you can also emphasize text in a PowerPoint presentation by using one of the included animations on your text. To do this, select the text you want to emphasize and click on the Animations menu.

Powerpoint Highlight Text Click on Animation Menu
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Click on Animation Pane and then on Add Animation.

Click on Add Animiation
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

At the bottom of the drop-down, click on More Emphasis Effects to bring up the complete list of emphasizing animations.

Click on More Emphasis Effects
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Not every effect will be appropriate for emphasizing text; some are too dramatic, some don’t stay until the end of the slide, and some (like Darken and Desaturate) are meant to de-emphasize text, so avoid those. Fill Color (shown below) and Font Color are probably the best choices for highlighting. Here is a list of the PowerPoint emphasis effects that can serve as a substitute for manually highlighting text:

  • Fill Color
  • Font Color
  • Grow/Shrink (set it to grow)
  • Brush Color
  • Complementary Color and Complementary Color 2 (these will not work with black text)
  • Contrasting Color (also not good for black text)
  • Pulse
  • Underline
  • Color Pulse
  • Grow With Color (this one might be incompatible with the other text on the slide)
Fill Color Effect Completed
Kevin Convery / Android Authority


No, but you can emphasize them in other ways. Many of the methods used to emphasize text (like changing font color) will not be effective when used on images, so choose your effect carefully.

No, PowerPoint does not currently offer that feature.

Yes, you can, but again it is a matter of choosing the effect carefully. Not all text animations work well with others.