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Adding More Guides in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to add more guides in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

OS: Windows 7 and higher

Once you have made Guides visible on your PowerPoint slides, they show up in the same position on all other slides within the presentation. You'll find that only two Guides, one horizontal and one vertical Guide are visible at first, and these two Guides intersect at the center of the slide (see Figure 1). Most of the time, this might work for you, but you can actually add more Guides since these can help in positioning slide objects better across successive slides.

Guides on the PowerPoint slide
Figure 1: Guides on the PowerPoint slide

You typically add more Guides in PowerPoint using the drag-to-spawn process that we explain on this page. Additionally you can also use the Guide options in PowerPoint 2016 to add new Guides.

Follow these steps to spawn new Guides:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2016, and make sure that the Guides are visible. In Figure 2 you can see an empty slide with default Guides visible.
  2. PowerPoint slide with default Guides
    Figure 2: PowerPoint slide with default Guides
  3. It's a good idea to make the Ruler visible in your presentation, as you can see highlighted in red within Figure 3. Making the rulers visible gives you a better idea of how you want to position the new Guides.
  4. Rulers made visible in PowerPoint
    Figure 3: Rulers made visible in PowerPoint
  5. Place your cursor over any of the guides (we placed the cursor over a Vertical Guide), and click it so that it is selected, don't let go your mouse click yet. As long as the Guide shows digits defining its position in the cursor (highlighted in red within Figure 4), you can be assured that it has been selected.
  6. Digits shown on the cursor
    Figure 4: Digits shown on the cursor
  7. If you have a slide that already has several slide objects, you might end up selecting a slide object rather than the guide. In that case, select the guide in an area a little outside the Slide Area, and you will still be able to follow the rest of the steps explained in this tutorial.
  8. With your hold on the cursor still active so that the Guide remains selected, press the Ctrl key on the keyboard and drag the mouse towards right or left of the slide to create a new Guide. You'll see a live indicator of the position of this new Guide as you move through the digits indicator, along with a distinct plus sign in the cursor, as shown in Figure 5.
  9. New Guide being added
    Figure 5: New Guide being added
  10. Once you have placed the new Guide in the required position, first release the mouse button and then the Ctrl key to place it as a new Guide. If you release the Ctrl key first, you will end up moving the selected Guide to the new position, rather than duplicating/creating a new Guide.
  11. As shown in Figure 5 above, new Guide has been created 2.00 inches left of the default vertical Guide. The default vertical Guide is located at 0.00, which places it right in the center. You can create new Guides towards both the left and right of this default Guide.
  12. Tip: Does your new Guide show its position indicator in inches or centimeters? The unit of measurement shown for Guides is based on whatever unit your ruler shows, and cannot be changed within PowerPoint. This setting is influenced by whatever you choose in your Windows Control Panel. Here are instructions to access these settings in different versions of Windows.
  13. You can add as many Guides as you want both horizontally and vertically. And if you want to delete the Guide just select it and drag it out of the Slide Area.
Tip: PowerPoint old timers will recollect that you could create a maximum of 8 vertical and 8 horizontal Guides in PowerPoint 2003 and earlier versions. Since PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft removed that limitation and you can now create more than 8 vertical and 8 horizontal Guides.

See Also:

Adding More Guides in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Adding More Guides in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Adding More Guides in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Adding More Guides in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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