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Numbers offers intuitive organization features, allowing users to focus more on analysis and presentation. In Numbers '09 Essential Training, David Rivers explores the important features of this spreadsheet application and introduces the new tools for formula development and charting. He walks through the new functionality of charts, tables, and templates, and shows how to make spreadsheets effective and eye-catching. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you begin to work with multiple objects on a sheet, it will become important to know how to group them together, get them aligned up and in the right order. In our Milea Listing and Prospects spreadsheet you can see we have a number of different objects. We have got tables and images, shapes, text boxes. Let's first discuss how to stack objects in the right order. Notice that our Camino Court address has a shape that was drawn on top. It was the last thing to be added, so naturally it appears on top of our image that's in behind. Well, if we need to get this in behind our image, we first need to select it, now we can go up to the Arrange menu and we can choose Send Backward which will send it one step backward. If it was the last thing to be drawn, it would be as though it were the second last thing to be drawn.
But if we really want to make sure that it goes right to the very back in behind our image, we can choose Send to Back. It will be as though it were the first object added to our sheet. Let's do that. Now you can see, it's nicely tucked in behind our image. Looks like we need to get things aligned up now. One option is to drag images manually and line them up using the Guidelines that appear. For example, with our shapes selected still, we can drag that over to the left and you will see little blue lines appear as we line up with other objects on our sheet.
The one we are concerned with is the image itself. So when we move our shape in behind the image and we see lines going up and down and left or right through the image, we know its perfectly centered and we can release. And things are perfectly aligned up now. Let's deselect by clicking the canvas to see the end result better. Now another option is to let Numbers line things up for you. Let's go to the left side of our sheet where we see the image, shape and address for Meadow View Drive are not really aligned up very well. We will start with the image and the shape in behind. First, we'll click once to select the shape, now hold down your Shift key to click the image, you have now selected both and you can tell by the handles that appear around both objects.
To line them up, we can go to the Arrange menu, move down to Align Objects where we can choose from both horizontal and vertical alignment options. Well, in this case we want then horizontally centered so we'll choose Center. And now we'll go back, both objects still selected click Arrange, Align Objects and align them vertically in the middle as well. When we choose Middle notice how both objects are perfectly aligned up. What's not aligned up perfectly now is the address that appears down below.
So you could include that in the alignment or simply click and drag the text box until it appears centered underneath our image. Notice that it's also aligned up nicely with the other addresses over to the right. When we click the image above Meadow View, notice that its not aligned up with the other images neither is the shape. So let's talk about the advantages of grouping objects together. We will start with our shape and our house, the image that appears on top of the shape and grouping those together as a single object. Well, we know we can click the shape in the background, hold down our Shift key and select the image to select both objects. Now to make them as one object let's go to the Arrange menu and choose Group.
Now you will notice one set of handles around the outside. Which means we can click and drag this as though it were a single object to get it aligned up with the other images over on the right hand side. Let's go over here to our Camino Court, when we click the address the text box is selected, when we click the image, it's selected, click the shape, it's selected. Three separate objects, to group them together as one, we can use the marquee select. So click, drag across, and make sure you have drawn a marquee that touches both the shape and the image and then move down still dragging until you see the text box gets selected as well. You don't need to encompass the entire object, just touch any part of those objects.
Now with all three selected, we can group them together. Click Arrange and choose Group. So we want to make sure that these objects are also grouped together, hold down the Shift key while clicking the address, and we'll group them as well. So now with all of our images and addresses grouped together, if we click the last one, for example, we see a single set of handles. We know that works for Camino Court as well and the others. It's time to get these aligned up properly and distributed properly.
Let's use our marquee select to click and drag from the left side all the way across to the right side, so all four of our images and addresses are selected together. Now we can go up to Arrange, Align Objects, and in this case horizontally we want them to stay where they are, vertically we want them aligned up in their Middles. Everything shifts nicely. But they are not very well spaced, are they? So let's deselect by clicking the canvas and we'll move this outside object over to the left until its aligned up with the right edge of our table, see that blue line appear indicating its aligned up with the right. We'll make sure our image on the left is also aligned up with the left edge of the table above.
And now we can let Numbers distribute these images in between our first and last images by first selecting all of them, marquee select, this time we click Arrange, move down to Distribute Objects. And we want to distribute them horizontally on that line. So click Horizontally and you will notice they are perfectly spaced together in between the first object on the left and the object on the right hand side. We'll deselect by clicking on the canvas. So when you are working with multiple objects, it's good know Numbers provide several tools under the Arrange menu to help you stay organized with stacking order, grouping, alignment, and distribution commands.
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