Align Shapes in PowerPoint 2010
Learn how to align shapes in PowerPoint 2010.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP
I am a great believer 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. 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 rounded rectangles on the left certainly benefits from
being aligned in a straight line.
Figure 1: Alignment works great many times, but is better not done at other times.
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:
all the shapes which you want to align.
- Access the Home tab of the Ribbon, and click the Arrange button.
You'll find an Align option in the resultant gallery -- clicking
Align brings up the Align gallery (see
Tip: If you use the Align tools often, consider adding them to your Quick Access Toolbar by customizing it.
Figure 2: Align gallery in the Home tab of the Ribbon
Note: Before starting aligning the shapes make sure the Align Selected Objects option is activated in the Align gallery (refer to Figure 2 above).
- The Align gallery provides six align options (highlighted in red refer
to Figure 2 above):
The Align Left, Center, and Right options works with shapes and slide objects suitable for alignment vertically 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
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
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, as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Shapes aligned to right
- 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.
The Align Top, Middle, and Bottom options are suitable for selected shapes and other slide objects, placed horizontally on the slide, as shown in Figure 7.
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: 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
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
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