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Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 : Fine-Tune Visual Elements (part 4) - Arranging Graphics

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1/15/2013 10:55:04 AM

4. Arranging Graphics

After inserting pictures or drawing shapes in the approximate locations you want them on a slide, you can align them and change their stacking order by clicking the buttons in the Arrange group on the Format contextual tab.

Clicking the Align button gives you access to commands for aligning individual or multiple graphics in several ways. For example, you can:

  • Align graphics vertically by the left or right edges or centerline, or horizontally by the top or bottom edges or centerline.

  • Distribute graphics evenly within their current space, either horizontally or vertically.

  • Align graphics relative to the slide that contains them or to other selected objects.

  • Align graphics relative to a position on the slide.

  • Align graphics against gridlines and adjustable horizontal and vertical guides.

Tip

If you added pictures to a slide by clicking the Picture button in the Images group on the Insert tab, you can group them and then align and position them as a group the same way you would group shapes. However, if you have added them by clicking the Insert Picture From File button in a content placeholder, you cannot group them. 

When graphics overlap each other, they are stacked. The stacking order is determined by the order in which you inserted the graphic. You can change the stacking order by selecting a graphic and then clicking the Bring Forward or Send Backward button to move the graphic to the top or bottom of the stack. To move the selected graphic forward in the stack one graphic at a time, click the Bring Forward arrow and then click Bring To Front in the list; to move it backward, click Send To Back in the Send Backward list.

Tip

If you can’t select a graphic because it is covered by others in the stack, click the Selection Pane button to display the Selection And Visibility task pane, and then select the graphic you want from the Shapes On This Slide list.

In this exercise, you’ll align graphics in various ways, change their stacking order, and position them with the help of a grid and guidelines.

Set Up

  1. On slide 1, select the three pictures.

  2. On the Format contextual tab, in the Arrange group, click the Align button, and then in the list, click Distribute Vertically.

    Set Up

    The middle picture moves down so that it is the same distance below the left picture as it is above the right picture.

  3. In the Arrange group, click the Align button, and then click Align Center.

    The pictures are now stacked on top of each other.

    Set Up

    Sometimes graphics are completely hidden when they are stacked.

  4. Click away from the stack, and then click the top picture.

  5. In the Arrange group, click the Bring Forward arrow, and then click Bring to Front.

    Set Up

    The top picture moves forward in the stack, obscuring the middle picture.

  6. In the Arrange group, click the Selection Pane button.

    Set Up

    The Selection And Visibility task pane opens.

    Set Up

    The top and middle pictures are designated as content placeholders because they were inserted into placeholders.

  7. In the task pane, under Shapes on this Slide, click Content Placeholder 10.

    On the slide, the selection rectangle indicates that the middle picture is selected.

  8. Close the Selection and Visibility task pane.

  9. In the Arrange group, click the Bring Forward button.

    Set Up

    The middle picture moves forward in the stacking order.

  10. In the Arrange group, click the Align button, and then click View Gridlines.

    A faint dotted grid appears on the slide.

  11. Drag the selected cat picture to the right and down, so that its right and bottom borders align with the first gridlines from the right and bottom edges of the slide.

  12. Drag the crow picture so that its right and bottom borders align with the second gridlines from the right and bottom edges of the slide.

  13. Drag the frog picture so that its right and bottom borders align with the third gridline from the right and bottom edges of the slide.

    The pictures are now evenly stacked and spaced.

    Set Up

    Gridlines make it easier to precisely align multiple graphics.

  14. In the Arrange group, click the Align button, and then click Grid Settings.

    The Grid And Guides dialog box opens.

    Set Up

    In this dialog box, you specify the size of the grid and other options.

  15. In the Grid settings area, clear the Display grid on screen check box.

  16. In the Guide settings area, select the Display drawing guides on screen check box, and then click OK.

    The grid disappears, and vertical and horizontal guides span the slide.

  17. Point to the vertical guide away from any text or objects, and drag it to the left, releasing it when the accompanying ScreenTip reads 3.50. Then drag the horizontal guide down until its ScreenTip reads 0.50.

    Troubleshooting

    If you move an object on the slide instead of a guide, click the Undo button, and then point outside the margins of the slide to drag the guide.

    The ScreenTips show in inches how far each guide is from the 0 mark in the center of the slide. As you drag, numbers are skipped because the Snap Objects To Grid check box is selected in the Grid And Guides dialog box.

    Tip

    The Snap Objects To Grid option snaps guides and graphics to an invisible grid. You can turn off this option, and you can set the spacing of the grid in the Grid And Guides dialog box.

  18. Point to the selected frog picture, and drag it to the left until its left and bottom borders align with the guides.

  19. Select all the pictures. Then on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click the Align button, and in the list, click Distribute Horizontally.

  20. Repeat step 19 to distribute the pictures vertically.

  21. In the Arrange group, click the Align button, click Grid Settings, and in the Grid and Guides dialog box, clear the Display drawing guides on screen check box. Then click OK.

  22. Click the shape behind the pictures, and drag the green rotating handle clockwise until the shape stretches diagonally across the slide. Then drag the shape’s middle sizing handles until it is almost as wide as the pictures.

  23. With the shape still selected, in the Arrange group, click the Send Backward arrow, and click Send to Back.

    Tip

    The shape now sits behind the slide title as well as the pictures.

  24. On the View Shortcuts toolbar in the lower-right corner of the program window, click the Reading View button.

    Tip

    You can now see what the slide will look like during presentation delivery.

    Tip

    The finished slide in Reading view.

Clean Up

Save the GardenResidents presentation, and then close it.

Alt Text

Alt (alternate) text is a title and description associated with a graphic object that enables people with vision or other impairments to determine what the object is. You can add alt text to your objects to improve the accessibility of presentations that will be viewed on the screen without a presenter.

To associate alt text with an object:

  1. Right–click the object, and click the corresponding Format command.

  2. In the left pane of the Format dialog box, click Alt Text.

    The Alt Text page is displayed.

  3. Enter a title and a description for the graphic object, and then click Close.

 
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