Why Is PowerPoint Not Letting You Type? [7 Fixes]

Are you having trouble typing in PowerPoint? You’re not alone! Many people have reported this issue, and it can be frustrating when you can’t get your work done. There are a series of factors that might be at play here, but luckily, this little technical issue is usually was to fix.

In this article, we will list seven possible solutions that should allow you to type in on your PowerPoint slides. Some will be as simple as altering a setting or restarting your device whereas others will be a bit more involved.  reasons why you can’t type in PowerPoint and how to fix this issue. We will also provide some helpful tips for making your presentations look great!

1. Make Sure The Text Box Is Set Up Right

Before we get too deep into the weeds with our possible solutions for this problem, let’s make sure you have everything set up right to add text to your PowerPoint. If you’re new to using this software, you might not know what steps are even required for this.

Most PowerPoint slides will provide one or more text boxes by default using the format of its specified theme. However, if you accidentally erased these boxes or selected a blank slide format, then you’ll need to add a text box manually.

There are two ways you can do this. The first is to select the “Insert” menu option and double click the “Text Box” option found within the “Text” section. You should see a small text box appear that you can move, alter in size, and type within.

An alternative method for creating text boxes in your PowerPoint slide would be to choose a theme the provides them. To do this, you’ll right click anywhere on your slide to open the quick menu and then hover over the “Layout” option. You should see a series of layouts appear that you can select.

Text boxes will appear as boxes with a dotted border, so as long as the layout has one or more of these, you should have not problems typing.

2. Create a New Slide

Sometimes things just go oddly wrong with your PowerPoint slides for no apparent reason. One minute, everything is going smoothly, and the next, your text box refuses to let you type.

If you have little to not content on the slide that you’re experiencing typing issues, a quick and easy solution might be to delete the current slide and create a new one.

Before you delete all of your work, remember to highlight, right-click, and copy what you’ve written and either paste it somewhere else (ex. Word document) while you setup the new slide, or make sure you don’t copy anything else until the new slide is ready.

To create a new slide in PowerPoint is fairly simple. You can find the “New Slide” button under the “Home” and “Insert” menus. Once you’ve made the slide, if the text box allows, right click and paste the content you wrote previously. You can then delete the problematic slide by hovering over it on the slide menu on left-hand side, right click, and select the “delete slide” option.   

3. Copy and Paste a Text Box From Another Slide

If you find that the text box on your PowerPoint slide refuses to let you type and creating a new slide didn’t work, another quick fix might be to copy the text box itself from a different slide.

To do this, you’d either create a new slide with text boxes or use a text box from a different slide that you already know is working properly because you’ve typed content inside.

Regardless of which you choose, to copy the text box you’ll want to hover over its border until you see the directional cursor (appears with four arrows like a compass). You’ll then right click to highlight/bold the text box’s border and open the quick menu.

Inside the quick menu you’ll select the “Copy” option. Finally, go to the problematic slide, right click, and select the “Paste” option. You should see the text box appear along with any content you may have written inside. Hopefully, this process now allows you to type with in the text box and edit what’s inside.

4. Bring The Text Box Forward/Send Content Backward

Many people notice they can’t see and/or type in their text box after they’ve added something to their PowerPoint slide. This could have been an image, a shape, etc. What might have happened is that inserting new content sent your text box backwards position-wise, inhibiting your ability to type.

To fix this issue, you’ll either need to bring the text box forward or send the content blocking it backward, depending on which is easiest to access.

If you can see the text box peeking out behind whatever is covering it, you can try to select it, then right click to open the quick menu and select the “Bring to Front” or “Bring Forward” option, depending on which suits your slide best.

Alternatively, if the text box is completely covered, you can repeat the process by selecting whatever is blocking it, right-clicking to open the quick menu, and then selecting the “Send to Back” or Send Backward” option.

5. Save Your Presentation

Every once in a while, your PowerPoint needs a mini reboot to resolve little issues like a malfunctioning text box.

Some users have found that solving this issue is as easy as saving their presentation and trying again. This seems to give PowerPoint the kick it needs to allow you to type once again.

To save a PowerPoint presentation, open the “File” menu and either select “Save” or “Save As.” The “Save as” option will create a new folder or save an existing file to a new location versus the “Save” option that merely updates an already existing file.

6. Check for Software Updates

It’s possible that a small issue, like your PowerPoint textbox refusing to let you type, is the start of a much bigger issue, like the software being outdated.

Once you’re certain the quick fixes listed above can’t solve your typing problem, it might be time to check the software statuses of Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, and your operating system.

Hopefully, all you need is a quick update for one or more of these sources and you’ll be on your way to typing once again. Worst-case scenario would be that you are using software that is so outdated that it needs a complete upgrade.

For example, if you’re still using Office 2013 (Version 15) on your Windows 10 device, it might be time to invest in a newer model, like Office 2019 (Version 16) on Windows 10 or Microsoft 365 on Windows 11. Older options eventually get discontinued and are no longer supported by Microsoft or various operating systems, so if it’s been a while since you used or updated PowerPoint, you might want to check what version you have.    

7. Restart or Shut Down Your Device

This definitely isn’t the most ideal option since it means you’ll need to close what you’re working on, but if your PowerPoint slide won’t let you type, you probably aren’t getting very far anyways.

A process that almost always fixes any bugs or issues PowerPoint might be experiencing is to restart your device or to shut it down completely and reboot it anew.

If you had a decent amount of work on your PowerPoint presentation already, you’ll obviously want to save it before performing this process. However, if you weren’t able to accomplish much and don’t mind starting from scratch, it might be best to delete the presentation altogether, shut down your device, and start fresh.

Final Thoughts

Finding that your PowerPoint text box isn’t letting you type can be extremely debilitating to your productivity. Hopefully, some of these common fixes worked for you. If not, the issue might be a corrupted file on your presentation. If this is the case, your only options would be to either create a new presentation (maybe you can copy and paste your content without carrying the corrupted file) or to potentially reach out to Office support through the “Help” menu found in PowerPoint.