Techie Tip of the Week: Place and Manipulate Objects in PowerPoint

PowerPoint allows you great flexibility in terms of manipulating where objects (e.g., text boxes, pictures, and drawings) will appear on the screen. These tips will help you use the object and drawing functions more effectively.
  1. To align multiple objects so they line up precisely using the Drawing toolbar:
    1. Make sure that the Drawing toolbar is checked. Under View, select ToolbarsDrawing should have a check to the left.
    2. Hold down the shift key while selecting the objects you wish to align.
    3. In the Drawing toolbar, under Drawchoose Align/Distribute and select the desired Alignment/Distribution.
  2. To align objects using Snap To, Grids, andGuides:
    • In the Drawing toolbar, under Draw, selectGrid and Guidelines.
    • To display the grid, check the box Display grid on screen.
    • To snap objects to the grid, check the boxSnap objects to grid. Objects will now snap to the grid when they are moved around.
  3. To move an object very precisely, by “nudging” it:
    • Select the object you wish to “nudge”.
    • On your keyboard, use the arrow keys to move the object. Hold down the control key, if you want even more control. The object will move in increments of 0.02 inches!
  4. To connect two objects with a drawn line:

    • In the Drawing toolbar, underAutoShapes, select Connectors, and choose the desired connector.
    • Move the mouse to the first object until you see a blue dot. Click to create a connection point.
    • Drag the mouse to the second object to create a connecting line. Click when you see the blue dot on the second object. The two objects are now connected.
  5. To group multiple objects together:
    • Hold down the shift key while selecting the objects you wish to group.
    • In the Drawing toolbar, under Draw, choose Group. The objects are now grouped, and can be moved, resized, or otherwise manipulated together.
  6. To change the order of objects that are on top of one another:
    • Select the object whose order you want to change.
    • In the Drawing toolbar, under Draw, choose Order and then the desired order (e.g., Send Backward, or Bring to Front).
  7. To create a text box, under the Insert menu, choose Text Box.
  8. To modify an existing text box:
    1. To resize the text box, select the box and click and drag the dot in the middle of the border (sizing handles) to the desired size. Dragging the corner will resize both the height and width; holding down the Shift key while resizing will retain the ratio between the height and width.
    2. To modify the content of a text box, select the box’s border twice — the border will change from diagonal lines to dots. Once selected, you can modify the text box’s content:
      1. To change the font, under Format, choose Font. Select the desired font changes (font face, style, size, color, and/or effects) and click OK.
      2. To move a text box, click and drag the box to the desired location.
      3. To change text box’s format, double-click the border.
        • In the tab Color and Lines, you can change the text box’s Fill,Lines, and/or Arrows styles.
        • In the tab Size, you can change the text box’s size and rotation and scale (height and width).
        • In the tab Position, you can change the location of the text box in the slide.
        • In the tab Text Box, you can change the anchor point of the text (top/middle/bottom), as well as the internal margins of the text box.

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