Align Shapes in PowerPoint 2013
Learn how to align shapes in PowerPoint 2013.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8
We are great believers in creative freedom, and unrequired alignment of slide
objects such as shapes is probably as bad a design decision as aligning nothing
at all. In the end, every decision to align needs to stem from your creative thoughts
-- sometimes it works, and some other times, an unaligned bunch of shapes looks
perfectly natural and organic, as you can see in the two different examples shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Alignment works great many times, but is better not done at other times
Look closely again at Figure 1, and you'll tend to agree that the bunch of circles on the right seems to follow a natural S curve and aligning them all in the same straight line would not benefit at all. On the other hand, the bunch of rectangles on the left certainly benefits from being aligned in a straight line.
Also remember that alignment works with more than just shapes -- and you can also combine shapes with other slide objects and align them all together. Now for those times when you place shapes on a PowerPoint slide anywhere you want, and then you need these shapes to be arranged in a straight line -- follow these steps to learn more:
- Open your presentation, navigate to the slide which contains the shapes to be
select all the shapes which you want to align.
- Access the Home tab of the
Ribbon, and click
the Arrange button. You'll find the Align option in the resultant gallery -- clicking this option brings up the Align sub-gallery (see Figure 2).
Tip: If you use the Align tools often, consider adding them to your Quick Access Toolbar by customizing it.
Figure 2: Align sub-gallery
Note: Before starting aligning the shapes make sure the Align Selected Objects option is activated in the Align sub-gallery (highlighted in blue within Figure 2 above).
- The Align sub-gallery provides six align options (highlighted in red within Figure 2 above):
The Align Left, Align Center, and Align Right options work with shapes and slide objects suitable for vertical alignment on the slide, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Shapes placed for vertical alignment on the slide
- Align Left: Here the left-most shape within the selection determines
the left point for alignment of all the shapes, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Shapes aligned to left
- Align Center: This option calculates the center of all the objects
by determining the left-most and right-most points -- and then determining the center.
This command will align all the shapes vertically along their centers (see Figure 5).
Figure 5: Shapes aligned to center
- Align Right: Here the right-most shape within the selection determines
the right point for alignment of all the shapes, see Figure 6.
Figure 6: Shapes aligned to right
Figure 7: Shapes placed for horizontal alignment on the slide
- Align Top: Here the top-most shape within the selection determines the
top point for alignment of all the shapes, as shown in Figure 8.
Figure 8: Shapes aligned to top
- Align Middle: This option calculates the middle of all the objects by
determining the top-most and bottom-most points -- and then determining the middle. This
command will align all the shapes horizontally along their middles (see Figure 9).
Figure 9: Shapes aligned to middle
- Align Bottom: Here the bottom-most shape within the selection determines
the bottom point for alignment of all the shapes, as shown in Figure 10.
Figure 10: Shapes aligned to bottom
- Align Left: Here the left-most shape within the selection determines the left point for alignment of all the shapes, as shown in Figure 4.
- Don't forget to save your presentation often.
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