Gridlines make it easier to align objects on your slide by giving you a visual reference using vertical and horizontal intersecting lines. This lesson will introduce you to gridlines, configuration of gridlines and using the Smart Guide feature.
Introduction to Gridlines
When working with complicated slide layouts, gridlines make it easier to align images and other objects. Gridlines give you a visual guide that helps you to align and position your content more precisely on your slide. By default, gridlines are turned off, but when they are enabled, you will see a mesh of intersecting vertical and horizontal dotted lines.
In this lesson, you will learn how to enable and disable gridlines and how to configure them. In addition, we will look at Smart Guides that can also be used to help align objects on your slide.
One way to make gridlines visible is to follow these steps:
- Go to the View menu in the ribbon
- And look in the Show grouping of commands
- Add a check to the box on the left of the Gridline command
You will notice several vertical and horizontal lines that intersect. The lines are dotted and faded so as to not distract when creating your slide. They are much like the light blue grids that graphic artists use when they create and lay out their art.
Let's discuss an example where we are using gridlines to place and size two images. The first image is a house, and the second image is a tree. Both images are the same size. I would like to make the tree half as tall as the house. Let's make this easy. The gridlines form boxes. My house is four boxes tall, so to make my tree half as tall as my house, I can resize the tree, making sure it's only two boxes high.
If you want to align your text and images easily, enable your gridlines. Insert your images and use the lines on the slide to place them exactly where you want them. So, now that we have our gridlines turned on, let's take a look at other options for configuration.
To display the Grid and Guides configuration dialogue box:
- Right-click in the white space on your slide. Make sure that you don't have any other objects selected.
- And then click on the Grid and Guides option.
The dialogue box shows three different configuration options.
- The first one is called Snap to. If enabled, your objects will 'snap to' the nearest intersection of lines, even if the gridlines are not enabled or visible.
- The second one is Grid settings. Here, you can choose to display the grid on your slide and set the spacing of the horizontal and vertical lines.
- And then, finally, the third one is the Guide settings. Here, you can choose to display the Smart Guides on your screen.
And just a note: Gridlines are not visible during a slide show and they do not show on printed PowerPoint documents.
So let's move on to the Smart Guides. The Smart Guide feature is another way to align your slide objects. A nice thing about this feature is that if enabled, it activates on its own when images or other content is selected and moved. Let me give you an example.
Let's go back to our house and the trees example. I have two trees already placed where I want them, but I need to place my third tree exactly in the middle. Using the Smart Guide feature, PowerPoint makes it easy to align my image; the dotted Smart Guides appear when I click, hold and move my image. Once everything is aligned, I release the hold to drop the image precisely in the middle of the other two images.
This lesson introduced you to gridlines on a PowerPoint slide. Gridlines are the horizontal and vertical intersecting lines that appear and aid you in placement of objects on your slide. This option can be turned on or off.
You also learned tips to gridline configuration, where you can choose the spacing of the lines and enable the Smart Guide feature. The Smart Guide feature activates when you are moving an object and gives you dotted lines to aid in exact placement of the objects. The gridlines and Smart Guide feature help you to see the balance and symmetry of a slide and will help you create that perfect presentation.
This lesson instructs you on gridlines and how to:
- Identify gridlines on a PowerPoint slide
- Apply steps to making gridlines visible
- Demonstrate how to configure the gridline
- Explain what the Smart Guide is and what it's used for