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Microsoft Visio 2013 : Creating a New Diagram - Positioning shapes with rulers and guides

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11/18/2014 8:15:15 PM

In some of the preceding exercises, you have aligned shapes by using the Dynamic Grid feature of Visio 2013. However, the Dynamic Grid doesn’t always do what you need. For example, if there are other shapes between the two you are trying to align, the Dynamic Grid doesn’t help. Similarly, you may want to align shapes in ways that the Dynamic Grid doesn’t provide.

In this exercise, you will align shapes by using other Visio features.

Note

SET UP Click the File tab, click New, and then double-click the Basic Diagram thumbnail. Save the drawing as Shape Alignment.

  1. Drag a Rectangle shape onto the page and position it about one fourth of the way down the page. Drop it so the left end is at the left margin of the page.

  2. Use the resize handle on the right end of the rectangle shape to stretch the right edge to the right margin.

    Tip

    As you drag a shape near the edge of the page and it becomes aligned with the page margin, a green Dynamic Grid line appears.

  3. From the Basic Shapes stencil, drag a 5-Point Star shape onto the page and drop it above the left half of the rectangle.

    image with no caption

    In the next step, you will try to align a second star with the one you just placed.

  4. Drag a 5-Point Star shape onto the page below the rectangle and observe that the Dynamic Grid does not help you align the two stars because of the intervening rectangle. Drop the star onto the page.

    To align the two stars, you could turn on the grid lines for the page (on the View tab, in the Show group, select Grid) and use them to maneuver the shapes into place. However, using a guide will make the task much easier.

  5. Position the cursor over the vertical ruler on the left side of the page and observe that the cursor changes to a double-headed arrow. Click the ruler and drag into the middle of the drawing page. The guide appears on the page as a vertical blue line, but be aware that guides do not appear in printed diagrams.

    image with no caption
  6. Drag the top star toward and over the guide and observe that you can glue the edges and center of the star shape to the guide.

    image with no caption
  7. Glue the center of the star to the guide.

  8. Drag the bottom star and glue its center to the guide.

    Tip

    Remember that if you hold the Shift key while dragging a shape, you restrict it to moving only horizontally or vertically, but not both.

    image with no caption

    The two stars are now precisely aligned, despite the intervening shape.

    Realize that the stars are actually glued to the guide just as lines were glued to shapes in previous exercises. If you move the guide, the stars will move also. However, if you don’t need to move the aligned shapes as a unit, you can delete the guide as you would any other shape: just click to select it, and then press the Delete key.

    Tip

    You can create more than one guide by dragging the ruler onto the page again. You can also create horizontal guides by dragging the ruler at the top of the page down.

    The rulers provide another means for aligning shapes, as you will discover in the remaining steps.

  9. Use the Zoom slider at the bottom of the drawing page to set the zoom level to 100%. Then position the drawing page so the upper-left corner is visible.

  10. Drag an Octagon shape into the upper-left corner of the page; before releasing the mouse button, observe that there are dashed lines in both the horizontal and vertical rulers (the lines are highlighted in the following graphic).

    The lines on the top ruler mark the left, center, and right of the octagon; the lines on the side ruler denote the top, middle, and bottom of the shape. As you move a shape on the drawing page, there are times when it is convenient to place it based on the ruler marks.

    image with no caption
  11. Drop the Octagon shape onto the page.

Note

CLEAN UP Save your changes to the Shape Alignment drawing, and then close it.

 
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