You can use your favorite social network to register or link an existing account:
Or use your email address to register without a social network:
Sign in with these social networks:
Or enter your username and password
Forgot your password?
Yes, please link my existing account with for quick, secure access.
No, I would like to create a new account with my profile information.
I talk to a lot of people who spend significant portions of their lives in PowerPoint. And when those people run into the same problems over and over, well, it means we made a mistake in the design of the product. Worse, if they're looking for something that the application can do, but they can't find it, we made a mistake and wasted everyone's time. This is one of those situations. We will fix it in the future, but for now I hope this helps. -Ric
When you're editing slides, you often will have to move shapes or picture to a new location. It's a very common operation, because you don't always draw the shape in exactly the right position, or the imported picture needs to be a little to the left, or whatever. You may have noticed that the movement "stutters" slightly as you move it along. This is because PowerPoint has a feature called "Snap to Grid." As you move a shape about on the slide, the shape automatically jumps along to invisible grid lines that are supposed to help you align objects.
Now for the most part, this is a good thing, because in creating pleasing design we generally like to see similar things line up in neat rows and columns. And Snap to Grid makes it easier to do just that. But there are always times when you need to adjust the position of a shape or picture freely, we occasionally need that freedom of movement to align a shape point to something in a picture, or simply for creating an aesthetically appealing free-form design.
Well, there are two ways to circumvent the snapping behavior. Unfortunately both of them relatively hard to find.
Let's say you are pretty happy with the snap to grid default, but you've just come across a situation where that behavior is frustrating you. Like the illustration of the lifeboat number, I just can't get that arrow to line up exactly with the boat number.
There are two ways to overcome default snapping. You may want to launch your copy of PowerPoint and follow along with some of these techniques.
With an object selected, try moving it using the arrow keys on your keyboard. You'll see that the arrows move much the same way as with the mouse, kind of jerky. Now try it holding down the CTRL key while you press an arrow key once. The movement is almost unperceivable. This smoother nudge is moving in much smaller increments. The movement becomes more obvious if you hold down the arrow key to do multiple successive nudges. Hold down the CTRL and arrow keys and watch the object sail smoothly across the slide.
Now hold down the ALT key and try moving the object with the mouse again. Yes, the ALT modification temporarily ignores the snap to grid setting. You can almost feel the difference!
So remember, holding down ALT temporarily turns off the snap to grid function when dragging shapes.
OK, so you've probably figured out that there's a way, somewhere to turn off this behavior all together, and you're right. It's never been really easy to find, but it only got harder in Office 2007.
Not terribly hard to find if you know the command you're looking for, in PowerPoint 2003 the menu is one you probably don't hit all that often. It's the Draw menu at the bottom-left corner of the application. The command you're looking for is Grids and Guides.
Selecting Grids and guides launches a dialog that has a number of related features, but the one you're most interested in is Snap Objects to Grid.
Unchecking the box here will stop the stutter-drag that's driving you crazy. But remember, later if you find that you're actually missing the default behavior, you can head back to the Grids and Guides dialog and check the option again. It's always just a few clicks away.
With the advent of the ribbon, you can see that commands really moved around a lot. But the old menus weren't always collected in a manner that made sense, and the ribbons do create a great environment for finding similar and collaborative commands. We consider the ribbon a a big win overall.
But, some mistakes were made. And the location of the Snap control is one of them.
We pretty much buried the Snap control under the Arrange command. Drop the Arrange menu, and from the Align sub menu you can now access the Grid Settings command.
As you can see by comparing the two dialogs above, the base function hasn't changed between the two versions. It's a powerful set of design features that you should get to know.
I encourage you to check out the other settings here, including Snap objects to other objects command, which is a good one to know about. Play with it a bit and see if it will help with the kinds of slide design you do.
Hopefully the rest of these are, perhaps with some assistance from the Help command, pretty easy to figure out. The Guides are actually more powerful than they appear at first, but that's a topic for another day. If the other commands aren't entirely clear, add a comment below and I'll try to clear things up for you.
In the meantime, smooth sailing to you!
Ric Bretschneider July 9, 2008
Thanks - knew it was in there somewhere and I just couldn’t find it! This is why I soooo much prefer using Office on my Mac at home - because with the old-style menus still present as well, it's possible to find things! There's a reason why over the past few thousand years humans moved on from Egyptian hieroglyphics to words - pictures can't represent everything, and they certainly don't represent all word processing concepts clearly. I've been using then new version with the ribbons for years now and, without menus with words, I still find it slower, more cumbersome and more frustrating.