Text Basics

Learn how to cut, copy, paste, and format text, including using a PowerPoint text box, for strong PowerPoint presentations.

Using Find and Replace

When you're working with longer presentations, it can be difficult and time consuming to locate a specific word or phrase. PowerPoint can automatically search your presentation using the Find feature, and it allows you to quickly change words or phrases using the Replace feature.

To find text:

In our example, we'll use the Find feature to look for specific dog breeds in our presentation.

  1. From the Home tab, click the Find command.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Find command
  2. A dialog box will appear. Enter the text you want to find in the Find what: field, then click Find Next.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking Find Next
  3. If the text is found, it will be selected.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013The found text
  4. Click Find Next to find further instances. If none are found, a dialog box will appear. Click OK.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking OK
  5. When you are finished, click Close to exit the dialog box.

You can also access the Find command by pressing Ctrl+F on your keyboard.

To replace text:

At times, you may discover that you've repeatedly made a mistake throughout your presentation—such as misspelling someone's name—or that you need to exchange a particular word or phrase for another. You can use the Replace feature to make quick revisions. In our example, we'll replace with word pounds with the abbreviation lbs.

  1. From the Home tab, click the Replace command.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Replace command
  2. A dialog box will appear. Type the text you want to find in the Find what: field.
  3. Type the text you want to replace it with in the Replace with: field, then click Find Next.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking Find Next
  4. If the text is found, it will be selected. Review the text to make sure you want to replace it.
  5. If you want to replace it, select one of the replace options. Replace will replace individual instances, and Replace All will replace every instance. In our example, we'll use the Replace option.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking Replace
  6. The selected text will be replaced.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013The replaced text
  7. PowerPoint will move to the next instance of the text in the presentation. When you are finished replacing text, click Close to exit the dialog box.

You'll need to be careful when using the Replace All option. In the example below, changing the word Pounds to lbs. would have been incorrect in this context. You can click Find Next to skip to the next instance without replacing the text.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Reviewing text before replacing