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Distribute Shapes in PowerPoint 2013

Learn how to distribute shapes on a slide in PowerPoint 2013.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8






The placement of the slide objects on your slide can make so much difference. And proper spacing in-between the slide objects plays an important role in making your slides look aesthetic. Although distributing shapes is a simple concept it makes a big difference to the symmetry of your slide content. Look at Figure 1, and you'll see that the shapes towards the left are not distributed equally whereas the shapes towards the right are. Most of the time, distribution is used along with alignment -- we already covered alignment in our Align Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

The benefits of distribution
Figure 1: The benefits of distribution

If you create many PowerPoint slides, it is very important to keep all your shapes cleanly positioned and spaced. In this tutorial we'll look at how you can distribute shapes evenly. The Distribute option is a great way to position shapes equidistant from each other, either on a horizontal or vertical plane -- follow these steps to learn more:

Distribute Shapes Horizontally

  1. Select all the shapes placed besides each other, as shown in Figure 2. Note that all these shapes are already aligned.

    Shapes selected for horizontal distribution
    Figure 2: Shapes selected for horizontal distribution

    As you can see in the Figure 2 above, the shapes are not equally spaced between each other -- the distance between the fourth and the fifth shapes is considerably more than the distance between any other consecutive shapes.
  2. Now, access the Home tab of the Ribbon, within the Drawing group click the Arrange button to bring up a drop-down gallery that you see in Figure 3. Within the Arrange drop-down gallery click the Align option to bring up the Align sub-gallery -- within the sub-gallery select the Distribute Horizontally option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Distribute Horizontally option selected
    Figure 3: Distribute Horizontally option selected

    Note: The Align sub-gallery can also be accessed from the Arrange group within Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon.
  3. This will distribute the selected shapes equally on a horizontal plane (compare Figures 4 and 2).

    Shapes distributed horizontally showing equal distance between each other
    Figure 4: Shapes distributed horizontally showing equal distance between each other

Distribute Shapes Vertically

  1. Select all the shapes placed below each other, as shown in Figure 5.

    Shapes selected for vertical distribution
    Figure 5: Shapes selected for vertical distribution

    As you can see in the Figure 5 above, the shapes are not equally spaced between each other.
  2. Access the Home tab of the Ribbon, within the Drawing group click the Arrange button to bring up a drop-down gallery that you see in Figure 6. Within the Arrange drop-down gallery click the Align option to bring up the Align sub-gallery -- within the sub-gallery select the Distribute Vertically option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6.

    Distribute Vertically option selected
    Figure 6: Distribute Vertically option selected
  3. This will distribute the selected shapes equally on a vertical plane (compare Figures 7 and 5).

    Shapes distributed vertically showing equal distance between each other
    Figure 7: Shapes distributed vertically showing equal distance between each other

See Also:

Distribute Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Distribute Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 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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