Learn about some of the tools that help you create a more unified design in PowerPoint—the ruler, grids, guides, and alignment tools.
- [Instructor] There are many tools in PowerPoint to help keep your elements unified. Particularly if you are trying to space out or align objects on a slide or across slides. If you'd like to follow along with this lesson, just open up the exercise file which contains these two slides. On the first slide, we have four squares that aren't exactly centered within the slide, but we're going to change that using our ruler, grids and guides in PowerPoint.
By default in later versions of PowerPoint, the ruler will be turned off. To turn it on, go up to your View tab and in the Show group, you'll see three check boxes. The very first one is for your Ruler. To turn on your ruler, simply check that box. Then you should see rulers appear alongside the top and left of your slide area. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Alt+F9.
That will toggle that ruler on and off. Underneath that ruler check box, you'll find two more check boxes. One is for Gridlines. And the other is for your Guides. Now the guides will just show you the center area, or midway area of your slide. Now with the grids, the rulers, and those guides turned on, it's really easy to see where the center point is of our slide. And just with a click of our mouse we can very easily drag those squares into position.
It's as easy as that. Other handy guides you can access by right clicking the background of your slide, going down to Grid and Guides and clicking on this little arrow. You could also add vertical and horizontal guides. Adding a vertical guide will add a straight line that you can move around the background of your slide into any position that you like. So if you want to line it up with the edge of your objects to make aligning other objects easier, you can do that.
Just like so. And same goes for horizontal guides. Just right click, add horizontal guides, and move those into position. And that is how you can use your ruler, grid, and guides to align objects on a slide. Now jumping over to slide number two, you also have a wide variety of alignment tools to quickly align objects on your slide.
So first off, let's go ahead and select all of our circles. And then go up to our Home tab to the Drawing group to the Arrange dropdown and hover our mouse over Align. Now here are a bunch of alignment options that we can either align to slide or align selected objects. With Align Selected Objects selected, any options you choose here will align those objects based on the position of those objects.
So if I choose Align Top, all of those objects will move to the topmost object. But if I were to choose Arrange, Align, Align to Slide, and then choose the option Align, Align Top, now instead it moves it to the top of the slide. So that's kind of a difference there. Now I just hit undo. Back to Arrange, Align, now with Align Slide selected, if I choose Align Middle, now everything's in the middle of the slide.
Now if I want to distribute these evenly amongst themselves, or amongst the objects, I can go back to my Arrange tab, down to Align, switch this to say Align Selected Objects, and then go back and choose Align and Distribute Horizontally. And now all of my circles are aligned in the center of the slide and evenly distributed amongst themselves.
And that's a fast way to quickly align objects on a PowerPoint slide.
- Designing as non-designers
- Key design components
- The need for hierarchy
- Hierarchy in bulleted slides
- When bullets are cognitively necessary
- Using space effectively
- Creating similarity and contrast strategically