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Nudge and Move Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to nudge or move shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. You can nudge by dragging, using keyboard shortcuts, or by tying exact position coordinates.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






Nudging a shape or any other slide object is essentially moving it just a wee bit, preferably using the arrow keys on your keyboard rather than the mouse. The Move option is different from a Nudge; it is more of a super-nudge, and you can also use the mouse to move rather than just nudge. PowerPoint 2016 for Windows provides more than one way to nudge or move any selected shape or slide object:

  1. Select the shape, and press any of the four arrow keys on the keyboard to nudge the shape towards any of the four directions: top, right, bottom, or left.
  2. To move the selected shape in even smaller increments, hold down the Ctrl key while you press the arrow keys. Sometimes you may find that there is no real difference between pressing the arrow keys while holding the Ctrl key (or not), but there is a difference, especially when you are trying to reduce or increase the empty space between two adjacent slide objects.
  3. To move the shape anywhere around the slide, select and drag it on or off the slide, as illustrated in Figure 1.
  4. Selected shape being moved by dragging
    Figure 1: Selected shape being moved by dragging
  5. To move the shape in a straight line, select the shape and then hold the Shift key. Now, drag it horizontally or vertically as required (see Figure 2). See also our Shift Key Fun tutorial for more ideas.
  6. Move shape in straight line
    Figure 2: Move shape in straight line
  7. To nudge or move the selected shape in an exact coordinate position on the slide, access the Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon. Within the Size group, click the dialog launcher button, highlighted in red within Figure 3.
  8. Dialog launcher button
    Figure 3: Dialog launcher button
  9. This will launch the Format Shape Task Pane, as shown in Figure 4. Make sure you select the Resize tab, highlighted in red within Figure 4. And then select the Position option, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 4.
  10. Format Shape Task Pane
    Figure 4: Format Shape Task Pane
  11. This brings up the Position options, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 4 above. These options are explained below:
    • Horizontal Position: Type in a value or use the increase / decrease buttons to change the horizontal position of a shape.
    • Vertical Position: Type in a value or use the increase / decrease buttons to change the vertical position of a shape.
  12. For both the options, you can use the From drop-down list (highlighted in red within Figure 5). By default, all values are calculated from the Top Left Corner, but there is one more option that can be chosen to move or nudge from the Center of the slide, as shown in the drop-down list in Figure 5.
  13. Nudge From drop-down list
    Figure 5: Nudge From drop-down list
  14. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

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

Nudge and Move Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Nudge and Move Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Nudge and Move Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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