How to Distribute Shapes in PowerPoint for Polished Presentations - Next generation tools for Microsoft Office

How to Distribute Shapes in PowerPoint for Polished Presentations


Creating professional PowerPoint presentations requires a keen eye for detail, and one essential skill is learning how to distribute shapes in PowerPoint, both horizontally and vertically.

Distributing in PowerPoint not only enhances the visual appeal of your slides but also ensures consistency and readability.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through how to distribute shapes in PowerPoint, covering everything from selecting multiple objects to using advanced features like Smart Guides.

The importance of alignment and distribution of shapes in presentations

Select Multiple Objects in PowerPoint

Before you can distribute evenly, you need to know how to select multiple objects in PowerPoint. To do this, press Ctrl (Cmd on Mac) and click on each object you want to select. Alternatively, click and drag a bounding box around the desired objects, and then release the mouse button.

  1. Selecting objects with the Shift key: Press Shift while clicking on objects to add or remove them from your selection. This technique is useful for selecting objects that are close together or overlap.
  2. Selecting objects using the Selection Pane: Go to the Home tab > Arrange group > Selection Pane. This feature allows you to select objects by clicking their names in the pane, making it easier to manage complex slides.How to use Ctrl + click to select multiple objects in PowerPoint and distribute shapes and text


Align Objects in PowerPoint

Before distributing shapes, it’s helpful to align objects in PowerPoint. Aligning ensures that objects are positioned neatly along the same lines, creating a polished look.

Use the Align command to align selected objects along specific lines, such as Align Left, Align Center, or Align Middle.

  1. Accessing alignment commands: Select the objects you want to align, go to the Home tab > Arrange group > Align, and choose the desired alignment option from the drop-down menu.
  2. Aligning objects with the Picture Tools Format tab: If you’re working with pictures, you can use the Picture Tools Format tab for alignment. Simply select the images, go to the Picture Format tab > Arrange group > Align, and choose the desired align command.How to access alignment options to distribute shapes in PowerPoint


Distribute Shapes Horizontally and Vertically

To space shapes evenly in PowerPoint, you’ll use the Distribute Horizontally and Distribute Vertically commands. These options ensure that objects have the same spacing between them, creating a clean and organized slide.

  1. Distributing shapes horizontally: Select the objects you want to position, go to the Home tab > Arrange group > Align, and choose Distribute Horizontally. This will create equal distance between the selected objects along a horizontal line.Example of how to distribute shapes horizontally in PowerPoint
  2. Distributing shapes vertically: Follow the same steps as above, but choose Distribute Vertically instead. This will create equal distance between the selected objects along a vertical line.

Example of how to vertically distribute shapes in PowerPoint

Working with Text Boxes

Distributing text boxes follows the same process as distributing shapes in PowerPoint.

Select multiple text boxes using the Ctrl key, and then use the alignment functions and Distribute, either horizontally or vertically, to create an organized PowerPoint slide.

Distributing text boxes

Fine-Tune Spacing with Smart Guides

PowerPoint’s Smart Guides feature helps you achieve precise spacing between objects. They are equidistance markers that appear as you move objects, allowing you to align and distribute objects with accuracy.

  1. Enabling: Go to the View tab > Show group > check Smart Guides.
  2. Using: As you move objects, dashed lines appear when objects are aligned or evenly spaced. Use these guides to fine-tune your object positioning.

Use the guides to position objects in a new location with a better alignment and distribution to ensure that it's easy to distribute shapes in PowerPoint

Distribute Objects of Different Sizes

When distributing objects of different sizes, PowerPoint maintains the same spacing between the edges of the objects, regardless of their size. This can result in a visually uneven distribution compared to objects of the same size.

To create a more visually appealing distribution, you can use the following techniques:

  1. Manually adjust spacing: Select the larger object and move it to a desired location to create a more balanced appearance. This may be time-consuming but offers the most control.
  2. Group objects: Combine smaller objects into one group (Home tab > Arrange group > Group) and then distribute the group along with the larger objects. This maintains the same spacing between groups, creating a more balanced distribution.

Press Ctrl + click to select multiple objects on the slide and right click to select the Group function

Distribute Pictures in PowerPoint

Distributing pictures in PowerPoint follows the same process as distributing shapes. You can select multiple pictures using the Ctrl key, and then use the alignment commands and Distribute Horizontally or Distribute Vertically options to create an organized slide.

  1. Distributing pictures using the Picture Tools Format tab: Select the pictures, go to the Picture Format tab > Arrange group > Align, and choose the desired distribution option.
  2. Distributing pictures of different sizes: Use the techniques described in Heading 6 for distributing the selected objects of different sizes to achieve a visually balanced distribution.

Click 'Align' to arrange objects on the slide, relative to the slide or to other objects

Distributing Objects on Multiple Slides

Distributing objects on multiple slides may seem challenging, but PowerPoint offers some helpful features to make this task easier:

  1. Slide Master: Use the Slide Master feature (View tab > Master Views group > Slide Master) to create a consistent layout for objects across multiple slides. Any changes made in the Slide Master will be applied to all slides using that layout.The Slide Master can help keeping a consistent layout across your presentation
  2. Copy and paste formatting: Use the Format Painter tool (Home tab > Clipboard group > Format Painter) to copy the formatting of an object, including alignment and distribution, from one slide to another.

Use the Format Painter to copy and paste formatting

By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating polished, visually appealing presentations with expertly distributed shapes in PowerPoint.

Three tips for distributing in PowerPoint

Simplify how you Distribute Shapes in PowerPoint with Ampler

While PowerPoint offers various built-in tools to help you distribute shapes evenly, the process can still be time-consuming and require manual adjustments.

For a more efficient and user-friendly approach, consider using Ampler, a powerful add-on that simplifies and enhances the shape distribution process in PowerPoint.

Ampler offers an intuitive interface and additional features that make distributing shapes a breeze. By incorporating Ampler into your workflow, you can save time and effort, allowing you to focus on creating compelling content for your presentations.

Ampler has an intuitive interface to help you ensure that your shapes, pictures or even lines are perfectly aligned

Distribute Shapes Evenly or with Predefined Spacing

Ampler provides a unique feature that allows you to distribute shapes evenly or with predefined spacing, giving you greater control over your slide layout. This capability ensures that your shapes are not only visually appealing but also consistently spaced throughout your presentation.

To distribute shapes using Ampler, simply select the shapes you want to position, choose the distribution type (horizontal or vertical), and enter the desired spacing value. Ampler will then automatically distribute the shapes based on your specifications, streamlining the entire process.

Position shapes or images with predefined space to get that precisely aligned slide

Seamless Integration with PowerPoint

Ampler is designed to integrate seamlessly with PowerPoint, providing a familiar interface and easy access to its powerful distribution features.

You can find Ampler in the PowerPoint ribbon under the “Ampler” tab, where you can access all the distribution options and settings.

Ampler is embedded in your PowerPoint ribbon and the toolbar is fully customizable

Save Time and Effort with Ampler

By utilizing Ampler’s advanced distribution features, you can save time and effort that would otherwise be spent manually adjusting shapes in PowerPoint.

Ampler’s intuitive interface and enhanced distribution capabilities ensure that you can create polished, professional presentations with ease.

In conclusion, incorporating Ampler into your PowerPoint workflow can significantly improve your ability to distribute shapes efficiently and accurately. Its user-friendly interface and advanced features make it a valuable addition to any presentation toolkit.

Discover the power of Ampler today by visiting and revolutionize the way you distribute shapes in your PowerPoint presentations.

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