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Gridlines help give you visual cues when you're formatting in PowerPoint.

The default horizontal and vertical gridlines make a grid of one-inch squares. You can't change that grid size. You can change the spacing between the dots that comprise each gridline by using the Spacing option. This setting allows you to adjust the precision of object alignment.

Turn on the snap-to options

  1. Select View on the ribbon, and in the Show group, select the dialog-box launcher.

    Dialog box launcher in the Show group

    The Grid and Guides dialog box appears.

  2. To position shapes or objects to the closest intersection of the grid, under Snap to, check the Snap objects to grid box.

    PowerPoint Grid and Guides dialog box

  3. To see the grid on your screen, under Grid settings, check the Display grid on screen box.

To change the measurement units in PowerPoint, see Change the ruler units from inches to centimeters.

Turn off the snap-to options

  1. Select View, and in the Show group, select the dialog box launcher Icon image.

    The Grid and Guides dialog box appears.

  2. Clear the Snap objects to grid box.

Make these settings the default for all presentations

If you want the current settings in the Grid and Guides dialog box to be the default settings for all presentations you open, select Set as Default.

Tips about grids and guides

  • To temporarily override the snap-to options, hold down Alt while you're dragging an object on the slide.

  • To show drawing guides on your screen, under Guide settings, check the Display drawing guides on screen box.

    Drawing guides are a pair of dotted guidelines, one vertical and one horizontal, that intersect at the center of the slide. When drawing guides are on, objects will snap to these lines when dragged within a threshold of a few pixels.

  • When Display smart guides ... is turned on, guides appear to aid you in aligning and spacing one object in relation to others.

  • If the Snap objects to grid box is checked, you can draw in straight lines when you draw a freeform shape Button image.

See Also

Show or hide gridlines in Word, PowerPoint, or Excel

Change the ruler units in PowerPoint from inches to centimeters

Turn snap to grid on or off

  • Select View > Guides > Snap to Grid.

Turn dynamic guides on or off

  • Select View > Guides > Dynamic Guides.

Grid and guide options

Tip: For fine control over placement of objects on a slide, hold down Command while dragging.

Add or remove guides

Drawing guides can help you position shapes and objects on slides. Drawing guides can be shown or hidden, and you can add or delete them. When you drag a guide, the distance to the center of the slide is shown next to the pointer. Drawing guides are not visible during a slide show and do not print in a presentation.

  • To show or hide guides, select Guides on the View tab.

  • To add a guide, Ctrl+click or right-click on your slide, point to Guides, and then select Add Vertical Guide or Add Horizontal Guide.

  • To remove a guide, Ctrl+click or right-click the guide line, and then select Delete on the menu.

  • You can change the color of a guide, allowing you to use colors to denote different meanings or just make a guide stand out from the background. Right-click the guide, select Color, and make your selection.

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