We spent most of February in Immersive Reader and One Note. Since this is 365 Ideas for Office 365, it’s time to look at some other tools for a while. Today we turn our attention back to PowerPoint and some built in features that really simplify and expedite the design process. There are many things you can use PowerPoint for besides presentations, but before we consider those, we will look at some features that will be helpful to know regardless of what end product you are using PowerPoint for, including a live presentation.
PowerPoint- Presentation Matters
This is the first couple of slides in my first ever attempt at using PowerPoint’s Morph tool, which we will consider tomorrow.
Aligning by hand
Notice that there are a number of images, and they are evenly spaced and aligned as well. IF you have ever tried to do this free hand in PowerPoint, you know there are helpful guidelines that pop up as an edge, or the center, of an object you are moving around lines up with an edge or center of either the entire slide or another object in the slide.
These are helpful, but if you are moving many items around, lining up is still more tedious than it needs to be, and these lines only show when your are evenly spaced with the other items that you have already moved. As you drag the next item in, the spacing is now off. So, it’s a good thing you don’t have to rely on those, because there is a better way.
Using the Alignment Tools
Here are my 5 assorted shapes, randomly distributed on the page. we want to line them up evenly spaced in a horizontal line.
Select all your objects
First we will either select one and press Ctrl-A, or, if there are objects on the page we DON’T want to select, we will click and drag over the shapes we want, and press Ctrl as we click on any additional items we want to group.
Once all our objects have been selected, click on “Format” in the ribbon. This will open a box of “arrange” tools.
We will click on the drop-down arrow next to “Align”, which gives us all of these options:
The icons next to each command give you a visual of approximately what they will do. (So you can tell whether you really want “Center” or “Middle” Alignment, for instance.)
When I click on “Align Middle”, I get this:
They are out of order numerically (because it kept the order they were in on the page) and overlapping . The fact that they’re overlapping tells me that if I click to Distribute Horizontally now, they will still overlap. I need to drag them further out to the left and right. While I’m at it, I may as well put them in the correct order now. This would have been simpler if I had the foresight to put them in the correct order before clicking to align them. Those guidelines will come in handy now as I move boxes around to make sure they stay aligned.
Now there is enough space to distribute them evenly without overlapping.
Here’s all the steps, except this time I will put them in order first.
Of course all these work for aligning and distributing vertically as well, as once you have them all lined up, you can group them and move them around on the slide without losing their organization.
So go ahead and play around with these alignment tools with slides that show steps, or just have multiple shapes or images. Tomorrow we’ll use those skills to build something cooler.
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All the Microsoft Tools You Need to Transform Your Classroom: 50 Ideas for using Microsoft Office 365 for Education available on amazon in both Kindle and paperback.