Lining up images in PowerPoint

Images in PowerPoint

As Telly Savalas used to sing (using the word “sing” in it’s widest context, and showing my age at the same time): “A picture paints a thousand words” and many of us, when designing PowerPoint presentations make use of images. In some cases, the image IS the slide & when delivering our talk, that’s enough to ensure that our audience “gets” what we’re talking about. However, on many occasions an image (or images) on a slide is only part of the story.

Of course, once we have an image (or especially more than one), we’ll probably want to line them up neatly & where we want them to be, rather than where PowerPoint necessarily inserts them.

Lining up images – the basics

First of all, we need to insert some images – I’ll pull a couple from my PC

❶Here we have three pictures – me with Slade’s drummer, Don Powell, one of the loudest drummers (& nicest blokes) I know and the equally famous (especially if, like me, you’re from the Midlands) Steve Gibbons – awesome songwriter & musician – and finally, me dreaming “what if?” at a recent High Peak Business Club meeting out at Chapel en le Frith Golf Club where Edwina Currie (who hosts the meeting) secured a talk by some of the team from Bentley Motors & they bought along some of their very nice toys with them – and yes, I didn’t just sit in it, I had a drive, too!

❷ If you’ve one of the later versions of Office, you have the advantage of the new “Design Ideas” window which automatically makes some layout suggestions (however, we’re going to ignore those and move the images ourselves)

Having selected the images that you want to move (to select more than one either click on each of them whilst holding down the SHIFT or CTRL keys or, hold down your left mouse button and “draw” an oblong around the images; when you let go of your mouse button, all images that are wholly enclosed by the oblong that you drew will be selected )

Having selected a picture (or pictures) the Picture Tools>Format Tab becomes active, however, if you’re already on the Home Tab, then you can make use of the Arrange option that appears there…

This allows you to ❶ move items in front or behind each other, ❷ to Group (as one image) or ungroup items or ❸ to align items relative to each other

Nudging them around

Sometimes, however, we don’t want or can’t use that straightforward top or left align. For example, if we only have one image. Obviously dragging & dropping works reasonably well, but sometimes we find ourselves wanting to move an image just a small amount & dragging & dropping is too crude… we could enlarge the view using the zoom command, however, a quicker solution is to hold down the Control (Ctrl) key and move the object using the arrow keys and your slide objects will move by just a pixel at a time.