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Guide Options in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn about options that result in using Guides more effectively in PowerPoint 2016.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016
OS: Windows 7 and higher






Among the many features in PowerPoint 2016, there are some that are more useful than the others. Options for using Guides are certainly vital. Many users are not aware of all the capabilities that Guides offer, such as:

  1. Guides can be added through the right-click menu.
  2. You can add new Guides that are offset to your existing Guides.
  3. Guides need not be grey in color -- you can choose from 10 colors.
  4. You need not drag a Guide off the slide to remove it -- there's a dedicated Delete option.
  5. Guides are hierarchical -- you can add Guides in Slide Masters, Slide Layouts, and Slides -- they all work independently of each other.
Note: All the features except the last are explained on this page -- to learn more about the last option, see our Hierarchical Guide Options in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial.

Typically, when you make Guides visible, you can just see two Guides by default (see Figure 1). Thereafter, you can add as many Guides as you want. PowerPoint 2016 enables you to add Guides by dragging existing Guides to spawn new ones, or by accessing options in the right-click contextual menu. In this tutorial, we'll explore how to add more guides using the latter options.

Guides on the PowerPoint slide
Figure 1: Guides on the PowerPoint slide

Follow these steps to access options in the right-click contextual menu to work with Guides in PowerPoint 2016:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2016, and make sure that the Guides are visible. In Figure 2 you can see an empty slide with default Guides visible.

    PowerPoint slide with default Guides
    Figure 2: PowerPoint slide with default Guides
  2. Now right-click on an empty area of the blank slide to bring up a contextual menu, as shown in Figure 3.

    Right-click an empty area on your slide to bring up this menu
    Figure 3: Right-click an empty area on your slide to bring up this menu

    Alternatively, carefully place your cursor over an existing Guide -- and right-click on the Guide itself to bring up the contextual menu shown in Figure 4.

    Right-click on an existing Guide to bring up this menu
    Figure 4: Right-click on an existing Guide to bring up this menu

    The options within these two contextual menus are explained below, as marked in Figures 3 and 4:

    1. Add Vertical Guide: Adds a new Guide on the Vertical plane of the slide. If you accessed this option from the right-click menu by:

      Right-clicking on an empty area of the slide (see Figure 3), this adds a new Vertical Guide that is offset towards the right of an existing Vertical Guide. This does not give you much control over where your new Guide is added -- you may have to drag the Guide later and move it to a new position.

      Right-clicking on a selected, existing Vertical Guide (see Figure 4), this adds a new Vertical Guide that is offset towards the right of the selected, existing Vertical Guide. This approach works best if you want to add a new Guide right next to an existing Guide.

      Right-clicking on a selected, existing Horizontal Guide (see Figure 4), this adds a new Vertical Guide that is perpendicular to the Horizontal Guide you selected. This approach works best if you want to add a new Guide at an exact position.

    2. Add Horizontal Guide: Adds a new Guide on the Horizontal plane of the slide. The three ways you add a Horizontal Guide work exactly like the three ways in which you add a Vertical Guide (explained in the preceding section).

    3. Color: This option is available only when you right-click an existing Guide (see Figure 4). You can choose from 10 different colors, in the flyout menu, as shown in Figure 5, below. Also notice that you need not bring up the flyout menu to access the last selected color -- that's available within the main right-click menu (highlighted in red within Figure 5).

      Recolor your Guides
      Figure 5: Recolor your Guides

    4. Delete: Right-click the Guide you want to remove, and then click Delete option within the right-click menu.

    Note: You cannot undo any of Guide operations -- so be careful before you delete a Guide!
  3. In Figure 6 you can see new Guides have been added both horizontally and vertically -- also the color of some guides has been changed.

    More guides added and recolored
    Figure 6: More guides added and recolored
  4. Make sure you save your presentation.

See Also: New Guide Options in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.



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