4. Alignment and Distribution

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In the first of three lessons on building an organisation chart, I focus on alignment and distribution of objects. This is probably the most important topic you'll cover in this course.


Alignment & Distribution

- Select multiple objects and then click align objects in the quick access toolbar
- Aligning objects both vertically and horizontally, will stack them on top of each other
- Distributing objects evenly typically occurs after aligning them

Useful keyboard shortcuts

SHIFT + DRAG: move item vertically/horizontally
CTRL + DRAG: duplicate an item
CTRL + SHIFT + DRAG: duplicate an item horizontally or vertically
SHIFT + CLICK for each object: select multiple objects


Over the course of the next three lessons, we're going to create a slide almost every business will need, an organization chart. In this first lesson, we'll learn various techniques for modifying objects in PowerPoint. Let's start by creating a new slide.

We'll remove the placeholder, and we'll draw a rectangle.

To move this rectangle around the page, you can click and drag on the rectangle or you can use the keyboard arrows to move the rectangle in small increments.

To move an object vertically or horizontally on a PowerPoint slide, simply hold Shift and try and drag the object. And you can see that the movement is limited to vertical and horizontal.

To duplicate an object, simply hold the Control button on your keyboard and try and drag the object. To duplicate in a horizontal or vertical direction, hold Control and Shift, and simply drag the object. This is especially useful for slides like an organization chart or when you need to duplicate the boxes which contain our photographs. You can also duplicate multiple objects. Let's select two objects here, hold Control and Shift, and drag.

Now let's move on to alignment. I want to move two boxes over to the right just so we can see all five boxes when we align.

Next, I'm going to drag one box down to the bottom of the page, and to align all five boxes with this box, simply select all of the boxes and Align Objects Bottom.

To align objects top, I'll drag one box up to the top of the page, select all five, and Align Objects Top.

This also works for Align Objects Left. If I select all of the boxes and Align Objects Left, we now have five boxes sitting on top of each other.

To separate these boxes again, we can simply drag off the top.

You might have seen in the last lesson that we had Align Objects Center and Align Objects Middle. Let's briefly recap on these two commands. We'll select all of the objects + Align Objects Middle and then Align Objects Center.

And we can see that we have all five boxes on top of each other again. I'll now separate them out by dragging off the top.

Let's now take a look at distribution. For my organization chart, I'd like four boxes distributed across the page with one box as a CEO at the top. So I'll let this be my CEO box, and these remaining four boxes, my Senior Management Team.

Let's select these four boxes and we'll Align Middle.

To distribute these four boxes evenly across the page, then simply click Distribute Horizontally.

And we know of the correct positions for our four boxes. Let's now take a quick detour to Object Rotation. I'll select the box at the top of the page, and to rotate this box, drag the symbol that lies at the top of the object.

To rotate in discrete increments, just hold the Shift button when you're rotating.

We can also rotate multiple objects at the same time. Let's select all of the objects, and simply rotate one of the objects, and we can see that all of the objects then rotate together.

Next, we're going to look at formatting each of these objects. Again, we can select all of the objects at the same time, and to give each of them no fill, let's just select No Fill.

Let's also make the objects a little bigger. So we'll just drag one from the bottom right-hand corner.

Finish up, let's align the top box with the bottom four boxes. And to do this, let's first select the bottom four boxes and group them into one object. Now let's select the CEO box, let's hold Shift and select the larger object so both are selected at the same time, and Align Objects Center.

Let's move the CEO box up, giving it a bit of space, and now our boxes are in the correct position for our org chart.

Before watchin' the next lesson on inserting and editing images, I would encourage you to practice duplicating, aligning, and distributing objects on your PowerPoint slides. These are crucial skills you'll need to master if you're going to become really proficient at PowerPoint.

Powerpoint Powerpoint
Shapes, Lines, and Images


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