Recently someone left a comment on my website asking how to specify the position of an image precisely. Setting the position of an image is easy — what’s hard is finding the setting!
Why not eyeball it?
The most common reason I want to specify the position of an image using a measurement is so that objects on adjacent slides are in the same place; otherwise, they appear to jump as you move from slide to slide. Even the slightest difference in position becomes clear in this situation.
Usually I eyeball the position of an object on one slide and then want to match that position on other slides.
One solution: Copy and paste
Once you have an object in the desired position on one slide, you can copy and paste it to another slide and PowerPoint will put the copy in the exact same position on the new slide. This is often a great solution.
But when the two objects aren’t exactly the same, the situation gets muddled. On the right you see 2 slides that are similar. but the callout shapes are different sizes because the quotes inside them are of different lengths. Once you put in the quote and start adjusting the callout shape’s size, it’s easy to lose your positioning.
You can copy and paste an image and then use the Change Picture feature to change the image to another one, but if the 2 images are different sizes, again you’ll lose your positioning. (To switch an image, right-click it and choose Change Picture.)
In these situations, you’ll want to position a shape or image more precisely.
Another solution: use the ruler
You can get good results by using the ruler. If it isn’t displayed, choose View and check the Ruler check box. As you drag an object, you can see a line on the horizontal and vertical rulers, indicating the object’s position.
The problem with this solution is that the line is based on your cursor and you can’t precisely control where your cursor is when you drag an object. But once the object is placed, you can see where it is fairly precisely.
Specify the exact position
Often the best solution is to specify the object’s position. You may start by selecting an object on one slide and discovering its position first before using those numbers for a similar object on a second slide.
Here are the steps:
- Select the first object and click the Format tab.
- In the Size group, click the Size and Position arrow to the right of the group’s name.
- In PowerPoint 2013, this opens the Format Shape taskpane. Click the Size and Properties icon–it looks like a square with measurements. Below the size settings, click the Position heading to expand the settings.
- In PowerPoint 2007 and 2010, this opens the Format Shape dialog box. Click the Position category (2010) or tab (2007).
- By default, you measure from the top-left corner, but if you want, choose Center in the From drop-down list.
- Write down the horizontal and vertical measurements.
- On the second slide, select the object that you want to have a matching position.
- Again navigate to the position settings and enter the position of the first object. Press Enter to apply them and see the object move.
Using this technique, you can precisely match the positions of 2 objects or simply set the position of one object.
Do you need to precisely set the position of objects? Leave a comment!
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