PowerPoint allows you to have a slide with TItle and Subtitle.
PowerPoint allows you to have a slide with Title and Body Text.
PowerPoint won't give you a slide with all three: Title, Subtitle and Body Text.
You can create a Title+BodyText slide and add another text box for your subtitle, but that leaves a lot to be desired.
- You have to add the new text box and format it on each slide where you want a subtitle.
- You can't enter your subtitle text in PowerPoint's outliner.
- Subtitle text doesn't appear in the outliner.
- You can't change the formatting of all your subtitle text boxes at once by changing the slide master.
- And probably a few other drawbacks we haven't thought of.
If you plan to put a subtitle on all (or most) of your text slides, you can make PowerPoint do the job for you. You just have to trick it into making what IT thinks are first-level bullet points look like subtitles to YOU.
- Choose View, Master, Slide Master.
- Click in the first line of the Body Text placeholder.
- Adjust its style (font, color, bold/italic, etc.) to what you want your subtitles to look like.
- Choose Format, Line Spacing and adjust the "Space after Paragraph" setting to force extra space after the subtitle. You'll have better control over this if you choose Points rather than Lines as the unit of adjustment.
- Adjust the indents for the first line. Generally you'll want the second line indent set even with the first line indent so that continued subtitle lines are flush left with the first line. You're right. That didn't make much sense. Look at the example PPT file (link below) to see what we mean. It's simpler than it sounds.
- Adjust the remaining lines (formatting, bullet style, etc.) to suit. Now that the first bullet point level text will appear to be subtitles, you'll want to adjust the actual second-level text to look like first-level bullets and so on.
- Once done, close Slide Master view and enter some example text slides. If they don't look quite right, go back to the Slide Master and tweak your Body Text placeholder text settings until everything's the way you want it.
To see an example, have a look at this sample Pseudo-Subtitles PowerPoint presentation. It's a plain as they get (the better not to distract you with). Download it, open it and have a look at the way the Slide Master is formatted.
The trick above assumes that most, if not all of your slides will need a subtitle in addition to body text. For those slides that don't need it, you can easily enough adjust the text position to compensate.
If fewer slides need subtitles, and if it's not important that the subtitles be part of the presentation's outline, try PPTools ShapeStyles, a powerful PowerPoint add-in that lets you pick up and memorize the formatting of any PowerPoint shape, then reapply that formatting to any other shape with a single button click.
With ShapeStyles, you can create a "Subhead" style that automatically creates, formats and positions a new subhead on your slide with one click, and even selects it so all you need to do is type in the text.
And like PowerPoint's own placeholders, ShapeStyle styles can be set to automatically update when you change the style.
The free ShapeStyles demo lets you create up to five styles, so if adding subheads to PowerPoint slides is your only formatting problem, PPTools has you covered.