What Are Placeholders in PowerPoint?

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In PowerPoint, placeholders are boxes with dotted borders that contain content and reside within a slide layout. Built-in template slides on PowerPoint already contain placeholders, but placeholders can be added to any template, including the default blank slide. Placeholders can contain content, text, pictures, charts, tables, SmartArt, media and Clip Art.

Inside the dotted outline of the placeholder box, various icons represent the types of data that can be added. There are multiple other ways to add data to PowerPoint presentations. For example, text boxes effectively serve the same purpose as placeholders. Furthermore, PowerPoint has alternate methods of adding almost any other type of media. Excel documents, images or video files can simply be dragged from their folder onto the PowerPoint slide.

However, placeholders have certain advantages over some of these methods. For example, when typing text in a placeholder, the font size is automatically adjusted so that the text fits inside the placeholder. This does not happen in text boxes, and users must manually adjust font size. Furthermore, placeholders hold the area designated by the dotted line; this means that nothing can be dragged over or on top of the placeholder. This is especially useful when trying to fit a lot of content on one slide.