On the Grid

When using MS PowerPoint, do you find that you’re frequently trying to align objects?

I bet you know the Format menu, Alignment trick after selecting all the objects to be aligned. (Use the Shift key to select multiple items simultaneously).

That’s a good trick, but I sometimes find myself selecting things and then accidentally unselecting everything with a stray click I never intended. After that, it’s back to the beginning of the selecting process.

Hate the starting over thing? Yeah, me too. Nothing drives me crazier than knowing I’m unnecessarily repeating work.

So, the question must be asked: is there some way to help with object alignment that doesn’t involve all the selecting of objects? Maybe a way where a quick drag and drop would work and we’d still have the placement we want?

Obviously, I do have a suggestion to offer, so if this idea sounds helpful to you, read on to find out what I’ve found.

In PowerPoint 2000, I found Guides. (View menu, Guides choice or Ctrl + G).

The Guides are the vertical and horizontal lines you see in the slide.

By clicking on them, outside the boundaries of the slide, you can relocate them and then use them as a place of alignment for various objects.

In PowerPoint XP, I had to use Alt + F9 to display the Guide lines. (Alt + F9 will also remove them once displayed).

And, as an added bonus, I found that Shift + F9 will display a grid on the slide that can be used for all kinds of alignments. (Again, the same key combination will remove them).

Now, I did try Ctrl + G in PowerPoint XP and got quite a bit more. (View menu, Grid and Guides choice).

Obviously, from what we see in this window, it’s here that the settings can be adjusted to the grid lines, but if you’re happy with the default set, then Shift + F9 works just perfectly.

Once last thing! Do not fear, these lines are simply tools to help with your presentation creation. They are not displayed when the slide show is viewed.

Unfortunately, none of this removes the need to align objects in a presentation, but it certainly can be a help, and we can all use a little help once in a while!

~ April