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Reorder Shapes and Slide Objects in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Learn how to change the order of shapes and other slide objects in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. You can send objects right at the back, atop everything else, or one layer down and up.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






If your PowerPoint slide has umpteen shapes or slide objects, you may find that some of these objects are hidden or overlapped. Or you probably do not know if there are any objects hidden behind the large shape or picture on your slide? How can you tackle this issue? It's easy to solve this problem if you know how to work with Reorder options. These Reorder options allow you to bring forward any shape or slide object so that it stays right on top of all other objects. Similarly, you can send any shape or slide object behind everything else on your slide.

The Reorder options can be accessed in several ways:

  • Access the Home tab of the Ribbon. Then click the Arrange button to summon the Arrange drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 1. All the options required to reorder can be seen highlighted in red within Figure 1. These options may be greyed out if you have not selected any slide object on the active slide.
  • Order Objects options let you reorder slide objects
    Figure 1: Order Objects options let you reorder slide objects
  • Alternatively, you can right-click (or Ctrl + click) a shape to access the same options from the contextual menu (shown later in Figure 3).

Follow these guidelines to use the Reorder options in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac:

Bring to Front

  1. Make sure you have the shapes appropriately placed before using the Reorder options. As you can see in Figure 2, the Triangle shape is placed behind all the shapes.
  2. Triangle shape is placed behind all the other shapes
    Figure 2: Triangle shape is placed behind all the other shapes
  3. Select the shape you want to change the order for using either the direct selection methods or the Selection pane. Then carefully right-click (or Ctrl + click) it to bring the contextual menu shown in Figure 3. Thereafter, choose the Bring to Front | Bring to Front option, as shown in Figure 3. Alternatively you can select the Bring to Front option within the Arrange drop-down gallery of the Home tab in the Ribbon, as shown in Figure 1, above).
  4. Bring to Front
    Figure 3: Bring to Front
  5. This will place the selected Triangle shape on top of all the slide objects on the slide, as shown in Figure 4.
  6. Triangle brought on top
    Figure 4: Triangle brought on top
  7. Tip: The Selection pane also includes buttons that let you change the order of a selected shape or another slide object.

Bring Forward

This option works just like the Bring to Front option explained in the preceding section -- the main difference is that this brings the selected shape one layer above its present order, rather than all the way to the top within the layer stack.

  1. Select the shape you want to bring forward. Access the right-click (or Ctrl + click) contextual menu, and from the resultant menu, choose Bring to Front | Bring Forward, as shown in Figure 5. Alternatively you can get this option from the Home tab of the Ribbon as shown in Figure 1, earlier on this page.
  2. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
    Figure 5: Bring Forward option selected
  3. This moves the selected Triangle shape one layer up, as shown in Figure 6. Now the triangle is moved in front of pentagon shape.
  4. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
    Figure 6: Triangle shape moved one layer up

Send to Back

This option sends the selected shape right at the back to be placed behind all objects on the slide.

  1. Make sure you have the shape appropriately placed before using the Reorder options. As you can see Figure 7, the Oval shape is placed on top of all the shapes.
  2. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
    Figure 7: Oval shape is placed on top of all the other shapes
  3. Select the shape that you want to send back. Then carefully right-click (or Ctrl + click) it to bring up the contextual menu shown in Figure 8. Thereafter, choose the Send to Back | Send to Back option, as shown in Figure 8. You can also access the same option from the Home tab of the Ribbon. Refer to Figure 1, shown earlier on this page)
  4. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
    Figure 8: Send to Back option selected
  5. This will move the selected shape behind all the other slide objects on the slide, as shown in Figure 9.
  6. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
    Figure 9: Oval moved behind all the shapes

Send Backward

This option orders any selected shape one layer back (or below) its existing position.

  1. Select the shape you want to reorder. Right-click (or Ctrl + click) to access the contextual menu and select the Send to Back | Send Backward, as shown in Figure 10. Or, access the same Send Backward option from the Home tab of the Ribbon.
  2. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
    Figure 10: Send Backward option selected
  3. This moves the selected shape one layer below within the stack, as shown in Figure 11.
  4. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
    Figure 11: Oval shape moved one step back

See Also:

Group, Nudge, and Reorder Shapes: Reorder Shapes and Slide Objects in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Reorder Shapes and Slide Objects in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Reorder Shapes and Slide Objects in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Reorder Shapes and Slide Objects in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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