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I was able in the past to double click on a PowerPoint arrow/line in order to add a caption to the line. This is not working in PP 2010.

Anyone knows a way to add text to a line ? (without creating a group with a text box and a line)

PS: I'm not totally sure about being able to do it. I have the feeling that I was double clicking on line to have text next to it on a 2003 version.

  • 1
    What version of PowerPoint were you using when you were able to do this? – wizlog Dec 8 '11 at 17:46
  • @wizlog I misread. carry on! – studiohack Dec 8 '11 at 18:14
  • @studiohack I think I remember posting a comment before... Did you delete it? – wizlog Dec 8 '11 at 20:28
  • yes, I did @wizlog. – studiohack Dec 8 '11 at 20:32
  • 3
    You may be remembering Visio, where connecting arrows do work that way... – Mark Seemann Nov 2 '13 at 15:51
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You may've used one of the arrow autoshapes, but regular lines (and lines with arrowheads) have never allowed this. Under the hood, most shapes have what's called a "text frame", which is PowerPoint's container for text associated with that shape. Lines and arrows don't have a text frame and so can't contain text.

  • 1
    Where are these arrow autoshapes hidden away now? – Stewart Feb 27 '18 at 15:09
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    This is unbelievable. – javadba Oct 21 '18 at 22:43
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Shapes such as squares, circles, callout balloons, and block arrows* can contain text. When you type text into a shape, the text attaches to the shape and moves and rotates with it.

  • To add text that becomes part of a shape, select the shape, and then type or paste text.

If you need any additonal help, or want to see how I came up with my answer, you can watch the video on this site, and/or look at this Microosft Help and How-To

*To add a block arrow, use Insert->Shapes->Block Arrows (PowerPoint 2010 and later).

  • 2
    What are block arrows ? How to create them ? – Guillaume Dec 9 '11 at 9:36
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    From the "Insert" ribbon tab, select "Shapes" from the "Illustration" section, you should find block arrows available. I'm using PowerPoint 2013 – Rob Bowman Oct 1 '14 at 14:54
  • The block arrows are not changing line "weight" / width even after setting them manually in properties. This renders them too fat and awkward/clunky. – javadba Aug 8 '16 at 20:11
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    Agreed, the block arrows aren't good for the purpose. Not only are they too chunky, but they don't anchor to flowchart shapes. How do you draw a flowchart without being able to label the decision arrows? – Stewart Feb 27 '18 at 15:55
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    The block arrows make me feel like a design-challenged 7 year old. – javadba Oct 21 '18 at 22:50
1

In PP2007 and PP2010 you can add text to lines that connect boxes within certain SmartArt objects such as a Horizontal Hierarchy diagram. The text is automatically rotated to align with the direction of the connecting line. To do this, create a Horizontal Hierarchy SmartArt object, define two or more hierarchical entries, then click on one of the lines connecting the hierarchical boxes and start typing.

  • and of course that feature no longer exists (PPT 2016) – javadba Oct 21 '18 at 22:49
1

You can create Line and Text box, select and Group them. It might not be perfect, but text will always stay with that connector line.

  • ya that's been the workaround for some years.. do you have a hammer and some delicate glass objects I can apply it to ? alright .. back to that approach.. – javadba Oct 21 '18 at 22:50
  • Hmm. I just tried this myself (under PowerPoint 2016), and see that the connector remains anchored to the flowchart shapes; however, when I move the flowchart shapes the text doesn't follow the connector. :( – Stewart Nov 14 '18 at 11:39

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