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Learn How to Align Objects in PowerPoint

One of the most common things I get asked during corporate training is how to make slides look professional and neat. When I dig deeper, I find that people want to know how to align content on a slide. 

It’s really important to align your content to ensure a neat and organised presentation; otherwise, your slides can look messy and unprofessional. 

Here’s how to Align and Distribute the content on your slides. 

Select the objects you wish to align. By objects, I mean text boxes, shapes, charts, pictures and graphics such as icons. Start by clicking on the first object, then pressing and holding the Ctrl key while clicking on the other objects. 

The Arrange group can be found in the Home tab and specific Format Tabs, depending on the objects you align, for example, the Graphics Format tab, if you are aligning icons. 

Arrange Menu 

Let’s start from the Home Tab. Click on the Arrange drop-down menu. 

Arrange drop-down menu in PowerPoint 

Hover your mouse over Align and choose one of the following options: 

Align Left – Aligns objects to the one on the far left 

Align Center – Aligns objects vertically through their centres 

Align Right – Aligns objects to the object on the far right 

Align Top – Aligns objects to the top object 

Align Middle – Aligns objects horizontally through the centres 

Align Bottom – Aligns objects to the bottom object 

If the Align options are greyed out, you may have only one item selected. Select one or more additional items, and these options will become available. 

Align and Distribute options

Ensure the Align Selected Objects option is ticked. Otherwise, you will align the content to the slide and not relative to each other. 

Distributing Objects 

Once you have your objects nicely aligned, you can distribute them to have equal distances between them. This is important for a polished and professional look. It’s where the Distribute feature comes into play. Follow these steps to arrange your objects with equal spacing: 

Select the objects you want to distribute. You’ll need at least three objects selected. 

From the Home tab, click on the Arrange drop-down menu. Then click on Align and select one of the following options: 

Distribute Horizontally – Arranges the objects with equal horizontal spacing. 

Distribute Vertically – Arranges the objects with equal vertical spacing. 

These tips will help you create neat and polished presentations. 

Before and After 

Here’s a before and after. The top row is not aligned, and the bottom row has been aligned. Can you see the difference?  

Here’s a YouTube video showing you how to use the Align and Distribute tools. 

Thank you for reading this article. I’d love to hear your feedback on these tips.

If you would like to know more about creating professional looking slides to wow your audience, please  book a call

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