Enabling Guides for your presentation slides is a great way to make sure that your objects are aligned -- and often in the same position in
successive slides. Any professional PowerPoint designer will agree with the fact that Guides can be so helpful! Additionally, they may wail
that Guides in PowerPoint are very basic, and cannot be customized further. Fortunately,
PowerPoint 2013 changed these perception with new features that let you use and
customize your Guides extensively. We have already explored the
new Guide options in PowerPoint 2013 -- those options
were limited to Guides on your actual slides. PowerPoint 2013 also lets you work with Guides on a higher hierarchical level within the
Slide Master and individual Slide Layouts. Depending upon
whether you added Guides within the Slide Master, an individual Slide Layout, or even a normal slide -- your Guides are color-coded for easy
Follow these steps to learn how the Guides hierarchy works in PowerPoint 2013:
- Launch PowerPoint 2013, and make sure that your Guides are not enabled -- to do
that, access the View tab of the Ribbon, and make
sure that the Guides check-box is not selected (highlighted in red within
Figure 1: Guides check-box not selected
- Now access the View tab of the Ribbon, and click
the Slide Master button (highlighted in red within Figure 2).
Figure 2: Slide Master button
- This brings up the Slide Master view, as shown in Figure 3. Here select the Slide Master
(the larger thumbnail) within the pane on the right side (highlighted in red within
Figure 3: Slide Master selected
- Now, access the View tab and select the Guides check-box shown highlighted in
red within Figure 4.
Figure 4: Guides check-box selected
Selecting the Slide Master and making the Guides
will influence all the Slide Layouts (and also slides) within that particular Slide Master.
- This makes the default Guides visible on the Slide Master, as shown in Figure 5. Note that these Guides are Red in
Figure 5: Guides within Slide Master
- Now select any individual Slide Layout (highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above) and
right-click anywhere on the empty slide area to get a contextual menu, as shown in Figure 6. Within the contextual menu,
select the Grid and Guides | Add Vertical Guide option (refer to Figure 6 again).
Figure 6: Add Vertical Guide option to be selected
- This adds an orange colored Vertical Guide right above the previous red colored Vertical Guide, as shown zoomed in
Figure 7, below.
Figure 7: Zoomed in view of the Orange Vertical Guide overlapping the Red Vertical Guide
- How do we know that this Orange Guide is overlapping the Red Guide? That's easy -- just drag the added Orange Vertical Guide anywhere
towards left or right to see the Red Guide beneath it (see zoomed view in Figure 8).
Figure 8: Orange Guide being dragged
- Now, go back to Normal view -- here, on the existing slide you
can see both Grey colored Horizontal and Vertical Guides and one Orange colored Vertical Guide, as shown in Figure 9. What
happened to the Red Guides added to the Slide Master? Let's find out next.
Figure 9: Guides within Normal view
- The Red Guides from the Slide Master are hidden beneath the Grey guides! If you drag either the Grey Horizontal or Vertical guides away
from their default position, you will see the Red colored Guides below, as shown zoomed in Figure 10.
Figure 10: Guides of all three colors visible on the slide
To paraphrase, let us remember:
It's for this reason that you should avoid recoloring your Guides (recoloring Guides has been explained in our
New Guide Options in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial) -- Red,
Orange, and Grey are standardized colors for Guides.
- Red colored Guides are from Slide Master.
- Orange colored Guides are from Slide Layout.
- Grey colored Guides are for the Slide.
You cannot select Guides placed within the Slide Master or the Slide Layouts within the Slides in Normal view. You
can also not select Guides placed within the Slide Layout on your Slides in Normal view. However all guides will allow
snapping and positioning of slide objects
- You can add more Guides anywhere you want based on your requirement by
dragging existing Guides or using
options within the right-click contextual menu.
See Also: Hierarchical Guide Options
PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
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