Guides for arranging things on a slide in PowerPoint

PowerPoint has two kinds of on-screen guides (dashed lines) to help you align objects on your slides while you are moving or sizing them: smart guides and static guides.

Smart guides help you align two objects along the horizontal center point

Smart guides

While you're moving or sizing objects (or cropping a picture) on your slide, smart guides automatically appear to help you fine-tune the layout. They appear when your objects (such as pictures, shapes, and so on) are close to aligned, and they also appear when objects are spaced almost evenly. The illustrations below show some examples of what smart guides can help you with:

Smart guides help you establish equal spacing between objects
Equal spacing between objects
Smart guides help with you equal sizing for objects
Equal sizing of objects
Smart guides help you center one object on a slide
Center an object on a slide

By default, smart guides are turned on, but if they aren't on for you right now, turn them on in PowerPoint this way:

Turn on smart guides

  1. In Normal view, right-click an empty area or margin of a slide (not a placeholder), and then select Grid and Guides.

    Right-click an empty area or margin of a slide, and then select Grid and Guides.

    The Grid and Guides dialog box appears.

  2. In the lower half of the dialog box, under Guide Settings, select Display smart guides when shapes are aligned.

    Turn on smart guides in PowerPoint

Turn off smart guides temporarily

  • Press the Alt key and hold it down while you are dragging an object.

    Smart guides will turn on again after you release the Alt key.

For a video demonstration of smart guides, see Align and arrange objects on slides.

Static guides

The default static guides consist of a centered vertical guideline and a centered horizontal guideline. The intersection of the two shows you the center of the slide.

You can add more static guidelines to help you arrange objects on your slides. You can also color-code the guides. Guides can help you arrange things consistently across an entire set of slides. See Use master-level guides to align objects across all slides for more information.

Static horizontal and vertical guidelines show you where the center of the slide is

See Also

Snap charts, pictures, and objects to a grid to align or format them

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