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Reorder Shapes and Slide Objects in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to change the order of shapes and other slide objects in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. You can send objects right at the back, atop everything else, or one layer down and up.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher






If you have lots of shapes and other slide objects placed one above the other on your PowerPoint slide, you'll find that some shape or slide object may be hidden or overlapped. In this scenario, you can use the options within the Order command to bring any shape or slide object right on top of all others, or even send it behind everything else on your slide.

To access the Order options, access the Home tab of the Ribbon. Within the Drawing group, click the Arrange button to bring up the Arrange gallery, as shown in Figure 1. All the Order options can be seen in the area highlighted in red within Figure 1.

Order options let you send slide objects back or forward
Figure 1: The Order Objects options lets you send slide objects back or forward

Alternatively, you can right-click a shape to access the Order options from the contextual menu (shown later in Figure 3). Follow these guidelines to use the Order options in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows:

Bring to Front

  1. Make sure you have the shape appropriately placed before using the Order options. As you can see 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 direct selection methods, or the Selection and Visibility task pane. Then carefully right click it to bring the contextual menu shown in Figure 3 or access the same options from the Home tab of the Ribbon (see Figure 1). From either menu choose Bring to Front | Bring to Front to get the selected shape right above all slide objects on the slide.
  4. Bring to Front
    Figure 3: Bring to Front
  5. This will place the selected 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 and Visibility task 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 of the layer stack.

  1. Select the shape you want to bring forward. Use the right click contextual menu (as shown in Figure 5), or the same options from the Home tab of the Ribbon. From the menu, choose Bring to Front | Bring Forward.
  2. Bring Forward
    Figure 5: Bring Forward
  3. This moves the selected triangle shape one layer up, as shown in Figure 6. Now the triangle is moved in front of oval shape.
  4. Triangle shape moved one layer up
    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. Select the shape that you want to send back. Access the right click contextual menu (see Figure 7), or choose the same options in the Home tab of the Ribbon. Choose Send to Back | Send to Back.
  2. Send to Back
    Figure 7: Send to Back
  3. This will move the selected shape behind all the other slide objects on the slide, as shown in Figure 8.
  4. Oval moved behind all the shapes
    Figure 8: 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 to access the contextual menu (see Figure 9) or access the same options from the Home tab of the Ribbon. Choose Send to Back | Send Backward.
  2. Send Backward
    Figure 9: Send Backward
  3. This moves the selected shape one layer below the stack, as shown in Figure 10.
  4. Oval shape moved one step back
    Figure 10: 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 2016 for Mac
Reorder Shapes and Slide Objects in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Reorder Shapes and Slide Objects in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

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