Edit selected textbox in Impress

I (unfortunately) have a heavily cluttered presentation with a lot of text stacked on top of eachother which I wish to edit, making it difficult to edit directly by clicking on it. I do not want to move the textboxes as this will mess up with the animation. I am able to select the textbox with the content I wish to edit by using the navigator and/or the custom animation sidebars, but I am unable to edit the text itself. Is there some hotkey which is should get me from selecting a textbox to be able to edit its content.

This seems to indicate that using F2 should work, but it didn’t work for me.

Alternatively, is there some other (not too convoluted) way of viewing+editing textbox content, ie viewing slide as XML document or similar?

I found out that it is possible to select the textbox content by selecting the textbox within eg. custom animation or navigator sidebar, then while keeping this selected, while in the navigator is open, use the F2 button.

EDIT: Alt+left-click also might work as this is supposed to select an object beneath the top one. I’ve had mixed results with it though.


The way you can select the text and the text box is determined by two complementary options ToolsOptionsImpressGeneralText Objects: Allow quick editing and Only text area selected.

The image below shows the different cases:

  • Allow quick editing unchecked: cursor over the text it is only possible to select (cross cursor). To edit the text, Double-click or select by Click then F2.
  • Allow quick editing checked: cursor over the text, edit directly with one click.
  • Only text area selected unchecked: the cursor over the area it is possible to select (cross cursor), even if it is not above the text.
  • Only text area selected checked: If the cursor is not over the text selection is not possible.


You can also FileSave as your document to Flat XML ODF Presentation (.fodp) type. This gives you one XML document that you can open in a text editor (Notepad eg.). Text of text boxes are in the Body section▸ draw:text-box tags.


This seems quite useful, but in my case I the problem is that there were multiple textboxes stacked on top of eachother. Therefore using the cursor is not optimal. I will try to adjust my question to make it more clear

@miktoki - I updated my answer to add another propostion & screenshot. The screenshot shows a Draw XML document, but the principle is the same with Impress.