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Smart Guides in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn about what smart guides are and how they work in PowerPoint 2010.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8






Smart guides (some users call them whiskers) are guides that are not visible on the slide all the time. In fact they only make an appearance when you start moving slide objects around. Move any slide object and these guides show up dynamically -- that's how they ended up being called "dynamic guides". Whatever you call them: smart guides, dynamic guides, or whiskers -- they are of great help when you align slide objects. These guides work like little alignment lines that appear when you drag one object close to another. In this tutorial you will explore how these smart guides work:

  1. Right-click on an empty area of the slide to bring up the context menu that you see in Figure 1. Select the Grid and Guides option from this menu.

    Grid and Guides option within context menu
    Figure 1: Grid and Guides option within context menu

  2. This summons the Grid and Guides dialog box, shown in Figure 2.

    Grid and Guides dialog box
    Figure 2: Grid and Guides dialog box

  3. Within this dialog box, make sure that the Display smart guides when shapes are aligned check box is selected (highlighted in red in Figure 2 above). Click OK to make Smart Guides active.

  4. Back on your slide, insert some shapes and try moving and aligning them in relation to each other.

    In Figure 3 below, notice that as the small square is moved closer to the big square, you see a smart guide that lets you align their center positions.

    Smart guides align shapes and other slide objects to each other
    Figure 3: Smart guides align shapes and other slide objects to each other

    Move the same small square lower, and you'll see that a smart guide now aligns the bottom of both shapes, as shown in Figure 4.


    Smart guide helps align two squares to their bottom extent
    Figure 4: Smart guide helps align two squares to their bottom extent

    In Figure 5, a circle is placed above a square, and a smart guide lets you easily align the center of both shapes.

    Smart Guide aligning two shapes at center
    Figure 5: Smart Guide aligning two shapes at center

See Also: Smarter Guides in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

 

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