Optional design tools in PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint 365
PowerPoint offers useful optional screen tools that help position and align slide elements. You can display rulers, gridlines, and guides on the Slide pane and change the magnification of the current slide.

Ruler

Vertical and horizontal rulers appear above and on the left of the slide area and help with positioning any type of content:

Vertical and horizontal rulers in PowerPoint 365

Rulers are especially useful when working with text – they reflect the text frames (it doesn't matter if it's a text in the text box, shape, or another object). The horizontal ruler shows the paragraph indents, and any custom tab stops. It is possible to drag the indent markers on the ruler just as in Microsoft Word:

Rulers for text box in PowerPoint 365

To turn rulers on or off, on the View tab, in the Show group, select or unselect the Ruler checkbox:

Ruler checkbox in PowerPoint 365

Notes:

  1. Rulers are available only in the Normal and Notes Page views.
  2. To change the ruler unit of measure, see how to change PowerPoint units from inches to centimeters and vice versa.
  3. You can see only the horizontal ruler without the vertical one:
    Horizontal rulers in PowerPoint 365

    To turn on or off both horizontal and vertical rulers, or only the horizontal ruler (when selecting the Ruler checkbox in the Show group on the View tab), do the following:

       1.   On the File tab, click the Options button:

    Options in PowerPoint 365

       2.   In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, on the Advanced tab, under Display:

    Show vertical ruler in Options PowerPoint 365
    • Select the Show vertical ruler checkbox (selected by default) to display the vertical ruler with the horizontal one when the Ruler checkbox on the ribbon is selected,
    • Unselect the Show vertical ruler checkbox to display only the horizontal ruler when the Ruler checkbox on the ribbon is selected.

Gridlines

Gridlines are non-printing thin dotted lines at regularly spaced intervals that help align objects on the slide:

Gridlines in PowerPoint 365

To display or hide gridlines, do one of the following:

  • On the View tab, in the Show group, select or unselect the Gridlines checkbox:
    Gridlines checkbox in PowerPoint 365
  • Press Shift+F9.

To modify the spacing between gridlines, do the following:

   1.   On the View tab, in the Show group, click the dialog box launcher:

Show group dialog box launcher in PowerPoint 365

   2.   In the Grid and Guides dialog box, in the Grid settings group, in the Spacing setting, change either the fractional or unit spacing size:

Grid and Grides dialog box in PowerPoint 365

Note: To change the gridline's unit of measure, see how to change PowerPoint units from inches to centimeters and vice versa.

   3.   Click OK to close the dialog box and apply changes.


Guides

Guides are movable, non-printing vertical and horizontal lines that help with alignment. They can be dragged and dropped anywhere on the slide.

To display or hide guides, do one of the following:

  • On the View tab, in the Show group, select or unselect the Guides checkbox:
    Guides checkbox in PowerPoint 365
  • Press Alt+F9.

After dragging a guide, a numeric indicator appears to let you know its position:

Guides example in PowerPoint 365

PowerPoint offers to create additional sets of guidelines by holding down the Ctrl key while dragging a guide to copy it. It is possible to have as many horizontal and vertical guides as needed at the specified positions:

Many guides in PowerPoint 365

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information you’ve provided to them or they’ve collected from your use of their services.

Learn more