How to Use Smart Guides in PowerPoint for Alignment

Microsoft PowerPoint is all about presentation. You create a handful of slides, throw a few bulletpoints on there and a handful of pictures for context or for reference. That’s the gist of Microsoft PowerPoint. But what separates the professionals and amateurs? Presentation, not just the way you speak, but how your PowerPoint comes across.

If you showcase your PowerPoint to a business, for example, let’s say you have a pitch, and your PowerPoint is all over the place and images are placed in positions that you eyeballed. It can look very unprofessional and, unfortunately, make you look very amateur.

You can help yourself by using smart guides in PowerPoint for alignment. Here’s what it can do for you:

  • Creates a professional looking PowerPoint.
  • Showcases your skills using and performing various tasks with PowerPoint.
  • Satisfies a deep need to keep things symmetrical and neat.

If that sounds good to you, then let’s get started.

How to Align in PowerPoint

Images are almost always a great idea to add to your PowerPoint presentation. Sometimes your information can be harder to understand without having a reference image for context. However, trying to eyeball the alignment of your images can be, well, incredibly tedious.

Align your objects left, center or right, like so:

1. Start by launching Microsoft PowerPoint by double clicking on its shortcut. Launching Microsoft PowerPoint will always open it to a new PowerPoint.

2. Click File in the top left corner of the program. In the drop down menu that follows, choose Open. Double click on the PowerPoint document you would like to alter.

[Note]: Choosing Recent is also a viable option if you recently used a PowerPoint.

3. Now, select the object you would like to align. If you would like to align several objects at once, after selecting the first object, hold the SHIFT key and click on additional objects.

Format

4. When you’re finished selecting objects, click on the Format tab, located above the ribbon that’s at the top of the program.

Align

5. In the Format tab, head over to the far right side. In the “Arrange” window, choose Align. In the drop down menu, choose how you want the selected objects to be aligned, such as: Align Left or Align Right or Align Center.

Distribute Horizontally and or Distribute Vertically

6. If you want to align your objects evenly across the page, choose Distribute Horizontally and or Distribute Vertically.

7. Your can also align each object individually or in groups by selecting a single object, or more, and given each object its own alignment.

Of course, aligning your objects isn’t the only way of creating a symmetrical PowerPoint slide.

Using Gridlines and Guidelines in PowerPoint

Aligning your objects and images in PowerPoint is relatively restricting. You can only go left, center and right align. If you want something more unique, then using smart guides to align your images and such in PowerPoint is what you’re looking for.

1. Start by launching Microsoft PowerPoint by double clicking on its shortcut. Launching Microsoft PowerPoint will always open it to a new PowerPoint.

2. Click File in the top left corner of the program. In the drop down menu that follows, choose Open. Double click on the PowerPoint document you would like to alter.

[Note]: Choosing Recent is also a viable option if you recently used a PowerPoint.

Guides

3. Now, look to your ribbon at the top of the window. Along the top of your ribbon are several tabs., Click on the View tab. You’ll then want to find the “Show” window. In the “Show” window, you’ll see several options available, such as: Ruler, Gridlines and Guides.

4. If you want to split your PowerPoint slide into 4 parts, then place a checkmark next to “Guides.” You’ll see a line appear straight down the middle of your slide and across the middle of your slide.

5. If you want to break your PowerPoint slide into several parts, like a grid, then place a checkmark in the box next to “Gridlines.” How aptly named.

6. When you’re finished using the gridlines and or guidelines, don’t forget to remove them. You can do so by removing the checkmark from each box.

Gridlines and guidelines are a great way to create a neat looking PowerPoint slide without having to line it up yourself. Your eyes aren’t always the best tool.

Using Smart Guides to Align in PowerPoint

Finally, you can use smart guides to align objects in PowerPoint. These are small lines that appear when two objects come near one another. They can judge the distance and alignment of objects in contact.

1. Along your ribbon, click on the View tab. Then move down to the “Show” window. In the very bottom right corner of the “Show” window, you’ll see an arrow. Click it.

2. In Grid and Guides window box, place a checkmark next to “Display smart guides when shapes are aligned,” and click OK.