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Working with Guides in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to work with Guides in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

OS: Windows 7 and higher






Let's start with the basics, what are Guides? Consider Guides as a Grid on your slide that you create. Each single Guide can be moved, added, or deleted. Guides also have snap options that are always on. Once the Guides are made visible on the slide, all objects that venture close enough to them just snap. Along with Rulers and Gridlines, Guides help you position your slide objects with more precision, and you can make them work for you using techniques explained on this page.

However, before you proceed to that task, it would be good to make sure that you are aware of these concepts:

Now let us explore how you can work effectively with Guides in PowerPoint 2016:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2016, and make sure that the guides are visible. If not, you can use the Alt + F9 key to turn them on (and toggle them off). Other than the two default guides, create two more guides – a new Vertical guide on the left area of the slide and another new Horizontal guide on the bottom area of the slide, as shown in Figure 1.
  2.  Multiple guides on slide
    Figure 1: Multiple guides on slide
  3. Place a shape (any shape) on your slide. In this example we placed a rectangle with a picture fill as shown in Figure 2.
  4. Rectangle with a picture fill on slide 1
    Figure 2: Rectangle with a picture fill on slide 1
  5. On the second slide, we placed another rectangle that does not have the same width and height dimensions as the rectangle on our first slide does (see Figure 3). This rectangle again has a picture fill and the guide helped us anchor the bottom left position of this rectangle to exactly match the bottom left position of the rectangle in the previous slide (compare Figures 2 and 3).
  6. Rectangle shape with different width and height on slide 2
    Figure 3: Rectangle shape with different width and height on slide 2
  7. We were able to position the bottom left of both rectangles on successive slides identically, because when we moved these shapes fairly close to the guides where we needed to position them, they just snapped!
  8. Save your presentation.
Note: Slide designers can become overly enthusiastic with Guides. Some designers can add as many as 30 to 40 Guides on their slides so that there's a position and place for every type of slide object. On the other hand, if you are happy with 8 or 10 Guides, that’s perfectly acceptable. The important part is that you must play with Guides and make them work for you!

See Also:

Working with Guides in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Working with Guides in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Working with Guides in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Working with Guides in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

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