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How to Align and Distribute Objects on PowerPoint

align and distribute powerpoint tips May 31, 2021
In this step-by-step tutorial, we show you how to align and distribute objects in PowerPoint

Small details can communicate big things to your audience. If spacing or sizing if off between images or text, people can tell. 

While most non-designers won’t be able to put their finger on what is wrong with the design, they will feel it causing your PowerPoint to be a distraction when it’s supposed to strengthen your pitch. 

In this tutorial, we’re going to walk you step-by-step on How to Align and Distribute Objects. Aligning and distributing objects helps you create images, shapes and texts that follow design guidelines, are centered and the same size. 

Here is a sample slide from one of Simple Slide’s numerous templates called Simple, and as you can see, there is a creative visual at the top composed of evenly distributed rectangular bars of varying colors. 

First, we’re going to show you this awesome feature in PowerPoint that lets us evenly align and distribute objects such as shapes, texts and images without the need of measuring them with an actual ruler. 

Here are two square shapes. As I place one object around different areas, dashed lines appear which guides the second shape to align with the first one in different ways.

We want to place this shape beside the first one and have a third shape also aligned and evenly distanced to the first two. 

All we have to do is drag the shape and let the guidelines direct me to the correct position. The guidelines also show that the objects are evenly distanced with those distance guides between each shape. It also helps that the shapes automatically clip once you place them on their aligned positions. 


Now that we got the basics down pat, let’s try to recreate the slide we have earlier. We have already prepared five rectangular shapes of varying lengths. 

The first step is to take the longest shape and place it at the top center of the slide. In order to do this, place your shape at the top and then go to Format, click on Align and then choose the option called Align Center from the dropdown. 

Once the object is placed properly, we can proceed to the second rectangle. Decide how you want to distance the rectangles and place it on the left or right of the first one.

This is the distance I would like my rectangles to have. Grab the rest of the rectangles and once we place the third one near the first two, the guidelines click the object in place, positioning it on an even distance with the first two shapes. 

Let’s do the same with the fourth bar. 

Simply grab it and click it into place. Same goes for our fifth bar and as you can see, the guides between the shapes show that they are all evenly distanced from each other.

All that’s left is the right part. Earlier, I could have prepared 9 rectangles instead of just 5, but here is a cool shortcut on how to do this. 

Select these 4 rectangles by holding the shift key then left clicking on each shape. Once everything is selected, right click on one of the shapes and choose group shapes. 

This will group these 4 shapes into one and you can basically move them anywhere while being attached to each other. Right click on this group of shapes, hold it and drag it right here. 

A copy will appear and when we let go of the right click, it gives us an option of either copy here, move here or cancel. Select Copy Here to duplicate the group.

Now, we have a duplicate of the group of shapes we had earlier. However, it’s in the wrong order. To mirror this, click on the group of shapes, go to format, and then select the Rotate tool. 

Once clicked, you will have various options to rotate your objects with. Select flip horizontal from the dropdown. 

Perfectly mirrored to the first group. All that’s left is to make sure they are evenly distanced. To do that, just reposition the group until you see the guidelines between the shapes show that everything is evenly spaced.  

And there you have it. 

A presentation that looks and feels right to your audience. 

For more spectacular tips on utilizing PowerPoint, follow us on YouTube or read more about How to Play Videos on Multiple Slides and How to Make a Brochure Using PowerPoint to your presentations.

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