Article title plus demonstration of what these labels will look like
Article title plus demonstration of what these labels will look like

How to use a single-cell table as a label

Diagrams are a great way of visually explaining complex relationships and processes. And an important part of diagrams are the callout labels that add context to, or focus on, a particular part of the diagram.

But PowerPoint shapes aren’t very helpful. You could use speech bubbles; but their spikes can block out parts of the picture. Or there are various callout shapes; but their weird adjustable lines won’t snap to the text box and it’s impossible to keep them straight.

Example of a slide using various built-in callout shapes

So here’s our go-to approach: a single-cell table.

Same slide but now using single-cell tables

We like them because:

They expand and shrink to match the amount of text
Connectors snap to the handles on each side
You can add a border to one side to provide a subtle visual clue.

And they are really easy to create:

Insert > Table > 1 cell by 1 column
Add the text and resize the width as needed
Add a border to one side
Add a connector. We prefer to use a circular ‘blob’ on the other end rather than an arrow.

Note: it’s also worth setting the cell margins to zero on the three sides that don’t have the border. 

These labels work really well in charts as well.

Example of using single-cell tables to annotate a chart
Do you want to learn how to improve the quality of your documents so that they reflect the quality of your thinking? Talk to us to discuss how we can help.
Get in contact
March 16, 2022

We'd love to talk to you about how we can help.

Get in contact