Here's our Microsoft Office Tip for.. May 7, 2001
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What's Selected Here?
One frequent point of confusion for new and experienced PowerPoint users alike is the distinction between text and the text box that contains it.
When you click anywhere in a text box, PowerPoint assumes you want to edit the text, so it shows you an I-beam text insertion cursor. You can then edit the text or select it and apply formatting if you like, but the formatting will apply only to the selected text. If you want to format all the text in the box, you can drag to select it first, but it's faster to apply formatting to the text box itself.
Formatting you apply to the text box applies to all the text in the box automatically. To select the text box, click on the box surrounding the text. That can be a bit fussy, so luckily there's a simpler way. Click anywhere in the text box to get the I-beam cursor, then press Esc to select the text box itself.