Text Alignment: Improve Your Presentation Design

“I think for a lot of amateurs, their alignment is always out.”

Karrie Webb

If you have the habit of plopping down text bang in the middle of all your slides, you’re not utilizing text alignment to the max in your designs.

Should you simply line up text any which way or place them randomly on your slides, and hope it fits in somehow?

Consistency – Key to text alignment

Have you come across any marketing material that used all sorts of text alignment? Left, right and centered thrown in for good measure.

If the design left you indifferent and even a trifle irritated, there is a good reason why.

When different styles are used without structure, logic, or purpose, you end up with a chaotic or sloppy look. To do justice to presentation designs, you need to maintain consistency in the way you line up your text.

This is not just about making your presentation look good, but also providing a better user experience. A proper arrangement of text – words and paragraphs –makes it easier for your audience to scan the slide, grasp key concepts, and appreciate visual cues.

 THe invisible line

When you align text, you set it against an invisible margin or line.

With Edge Alignment, you position your text to match the outer edge of the text with this invisible line. This article aligns text against either the left or right margins.

With Center Alignment, you line up text together along their central axis. You don’t always place them in the center, but add them diagonally or in parallel lines.

Using text alignment to your advantage

Each text layout has its own strength. Certain text alignments combine well, while others leave a disorganized look. What looks good on a business card may not transfer well on a slide.

Justified text (edges flush against both margins) works well for books, but looks awkward and tacky in slides. This does give a neat look to text columns in slides.

Left aligned text is often used as it gives content an organized appearance. Left flush keywords have a visual impact when you combine it with right flush words, but not with centered text.

With Centered text, less is more. Use sparingly on titles or important elements to make them prominent.

Flush right texts provide a dramatic effect. It works when you want the audience to sit up and take notice. Avoid it for longer text as it affects standard eye-scan process.

Maintain adequate balance and white space between two different alignments. For body text in slides, stick to one alignment type –flush left being the first choice and flush right coming a distant second.

Do you stick to left alignments in your presentations? What was that one text arrangement that stood out for you?