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Distribute Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to distribute shapes on a slide in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. You can space out your shapes horizontally and vertically.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher






Distributing shapes is a simple concept, it means that the space between consecutive shapes (or any other slide objects) should be the same so that they all appear evenly spaced out. Look at Figure 1, and you'll see that the shapes towards the left are not distributed whereas the shapes towards the right are.

The benefits of distribution
Figure 1: Distributing Shapes in PowerPoint

If you create many PowerPoint slides, it is very important to keep all your shapes cleanly positioned and spaced. You already explored aligning shapes in a previous tutorial. In this tutorial we'll look at how you can distribute shapes evenly in PowerPoint 2010. The Distribute option is a great way to position shapes equidistant from each other, either on a horizontal or vertical plane. Follow these steps to learn more in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows:

Distribute Shapes Horizontally

  1. Select all the shapes placed besides each other, as shown in Figure 2.
  2. Selected shapes, ready to be distributed horizontally
    Figure 2: Selected shapes, ready to be distributed horizontally
  3. As you can see in the Figure 2 above, the shapes are not equally spaced between each other. The distance between the third and the fourth shapes is considerably more than the distance between any other consecutive shapes.
  4. Access the Home tab of the Ribbon, and within the Drawing group, click the Arrange button to bring up the gallery that you see in Figure 3. Click the Align option to bring up the Align sub-gallery (see Figure 3 again). Select the Distribute Horizontally option.
  5. Distribute Horizontally
    Figure 3: Distribute Horizontally option in PowerPoint
  6. Note: The Align gallery can also be accessed from Arrange group under Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon.
  7. This will distribute the selected shapes equally on a horizontal plane (see Figure 4).
  8. Shapes distributed equally, horizontally
    Figure 4: Shapes distributed equally, horizontally

Distribute Shapes Vertically

  1. Select all the shapes placed below each other, as shown in Figure 5.
  2. Selected shapes, ready to be distributed vertically
    Figure 5: Selected shapes, ready to be distributed vertically
  3. As you can see in the Figure 5 above, the shapes are not equally spaced between each other. The distance between the first and second shapes is considerably more than the distance between the second and third shapes.
  4. Access the Home tab of the Ribbon, and within the Drawing group, click the Arrange button to bring up the gallery that you see in Figure 6. Click the Align option to bring up the Align sub-gallery (see Figure 6 again). Select the Distribute Vertically option.
  5. Distribute Vertically
    Figure 6: Distribute Vertically option in PowerPoint
  6. This will distribute the selected shapes equally on a vertical plane (see Figure 7).
  7. Shapes distributed equally, vertically
    Figure 7: Shapes distributed equally, vertically

See Also:

Distribute Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Distribute Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

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