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More Gridline Options in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to format chart gridlines in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. Did you know that you can add arrowheads to chart gridlines?


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X



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As we explored in our earlier Chart Gridlines in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial, PowerPoint 2011 for Mac only shows Horizontal Major Gridlines on the chart, as shown in Figure 1, below. Yes, you can enable Vertical Gridlines too, and more importantly you can format these Gridlines to appear exactly as you want. In this tutorial, we will look at these format options.

Chart showing default status of Gridlines
Figure 1: Chart showing default status of Gridlines

Both Horizontal and Vertical Gridlines contain two sets of Gridlines: Major and Minor as explained in our Chart Gridlines in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial. By default, all Gridlines may be grey in color and possess a predefined weight (thickness). You can change their color and weight, and also add arrow-heads to their edges. Also, you can add effects such as Shadows, Glows, and Soft Edges.

Follow these steps to learn more in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac:

  1. Select the chart that you want to format Gridlines for. If you don't have a chart, insert a chart.
  2. Now, select either the Chart Layout or the Format tab of the Ribbon. Both these tabs contain the Current Selection group that you can see in Figure 2 towards the extreme left. Within this group, you can see the Chart Elements selection box (highlighted in red within Figure 2). This selection box contains a list of elements in the selected chart. Within this list, click on the name of the Gridline that you want to format. In Figure 2 you can see the Vertical (Value) Axis Major Gridlines option selected. Now you can see a tick mark prefixed to this option, as shown in Figure 2 to indicate its selected status.
  3. Vertical (Value) Axis Major Gridlines option selected
    Figure 2: Vertical (Value) Axis Major Gridlines option selected
  4. Below this Current Selection list is the Format Selection button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3, below. Click this button.
  5. Format Selection button
    Figure 3: Format Selection button
  6. Alternatively, carefully right-click (or Ctrl+click) a Gridline that is visible on your chart. From the contextual menu that appears, select the Format Gridlines option as shown in Figure 4.
  7. Format Gridlines option selected
    Figure 4: Format Gridlines option selected
  8. Either way, you summon the Format Gridlines dialog box, as shown in Figure 5.
  9. Format Gridlines dialog box
    Figure 5: Format Gridlines dialog box
  10. In this dialog box, options within the sidebar help you to format Gridlines. Let us explore each of these options, as marked in Figure 5, above. For more information on each of these options, refer to the tutorials linked. Even though these linked tutorials are related to Shapes, the same techniques work with Gridlines too:
  11. A. Line

  12. Selecting this option will bring up three tabs, Solid, Gradient, and Weight & Arrow as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5, above. With the help of options within these tabs you can:
    • Change the color of Gridlines.
    • Apply Gradient fill for Gridlines.
    • Change the thickness of Gridlines and add arrowheads to them.
  13. Get more info on how to add and edit lines in our Formatting Lines (and Shape Outlines) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial.
  14. B. Shadow

  15. Adds a shadow effect to Gridlines. When you select this option, initially you will see that all options are greyed out except the Shadow check-box. Select this check-box as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6, below, to activate all options, so that you can add a shadow to the Gridlines and format it as required.
  16. Shadow options within the Format Gridlines dialog box
    Figure 6: Shadow options within the Format Gridlines dialog box
  17. Learn more about the Shadow options in our Advanced Shadow Effect Options in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial.
  18. C. Glow & Soft Edges

  19. Glow effect adds a nice halo around the selected Gridlines whereas Soft Edges effect adds an eaten-up, feathered edge to Gridlines. Select any of the options that you can see in Figure 7, as required.
  20. Glow & Soft Edges options within the Format Gridlines dialog box
    Figure 7: Glow & Soft Edges options within the Format Gridlines dialog box
  21. Get more info on how to Apply Glow Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac and Apply Soft-Edges to Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
  22. Select required options and format Gridlines as required. In Figure 8, below you can see our sample chart with formatted Gridlines. Notice that we have also added arrow-heads to Gridlines (compare with the chart in Figure 1).
  23. Chart with formatted Gridlines
    Figure 8: Chart with formatted Gridlines
  24. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Chart Gridlines: More Gridline Options (Glossary Page)

More Gridline Options in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

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