Align Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Learn how to align shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X
Being great believers in creative freedom, we consider un-required alignment of slide
objects (such as shapes) 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 at 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. For the times when need 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 aligned, and
select all the shapes
which you want to align.
- Access the Home tab of the
Ribbon, and click the
Arrange button. You'll find Align or Distribute option in the
resultant gallery -- clicking this option brings up another sub-gallery with options to align the
selected shapes as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Align options within the Align or Distribute sub-gallery
Note: Before starting aligning the shapes, make sure the Align Selected Objects option is activated within the Align or Distribute sub-menu (refer to Figure 2 above).
The Align or Distribute sub-menu provides six options to align the shapes (highlighted in red in Figure 2 above):
The Align Left, Center, and Right options work well with shapes and slide objects that are to be aligned vertically on the slide, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Unaligned shapes selected for vertical alignment on the slide
The Align Left, Center, and Right options work as explained below:
- 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 position for selected shapes
(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, as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Shapes aligned to right
- 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 position (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
The Align Top, Middle, and Bottom options are suitable for selected shapes and other slide objects, which are to be aligned horizontally on the slide, as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7: Unaligned shapes selected for horizontal alignment on the slide
The Align Top, Middle, and Bottom options work as explained below:
- 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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