Microsoft PowerPoint

Sizing and Positioning a Graphic

You can change the size of a graphic element by dragging handles, by specifying the height and width, or by scaling it in proportion to its original size.


You can change the orientation of many types of graphics by rotating or flipping them. Rotating turns the graphic 90 degrees to the right or left; flipping turns it 180 degrees horizontally or vertically. You can also rotate the graphic to any degree by dragging its green rotating handle.

When a graphic is the size you want, you can position it roughly by dragging it, position it exactly by setting coordinates, or position it visually by using a grid and guides.

The grid is a fixed matrix of horizontal and vertical dotted lines for which you can specify the spacing. The guides are a movable pair of horizontal and vertical lines. As you drag a guide, a ScreenTip shows in inches how far the guide is from the center of the slide.

Tip  When the Snap Objects  To Grid check box is selected in the Grid And Guides dialog box, guides and graphics snap to the grid whether or not it is visible .

To change the size of a selected graphic element

➜  Drag a sizing handle until the image is the shape and size you want.

➜  On the Format contextual tab for the graphic element type, in the Size group, change the Shape Height or Shape Width setting.


1. On the Format contextual tab, click the Size dialog box launcher.

2. On the Size page of the Format dialog box, in the Size and rotate area, change the Height or Width setting. Then click Close .

Tip  You cannot change the height and the width of an image disproportionately unless the Lock Aspect Ratio check box is cleared .

To change the scale of a selected graphic element

➜  On the Size page of the Format dialog box, in the Scale area, change the Height or Width setting. Then click Close .

To rotate a selected graphic element

➜  Drag the green rotating handle until the image sits at the angle you want.

➜  On the Size page of the Format dialog box, in the Size and rotate area, change the Rotation setting. Then click Close .


1. On the Format contextual tab, in the Arrange group, click the Rotate button.

2. In the Rotate gallery, click the option you want.

To position a selected graphic element

➜  Drag the image to the position you want.

➜  On the Position page of the Format dialog box, change the Horizontal or Vertical setting and the adjacent measurement. Then click Close .

To display gridlines and guides to assist in positioning graphic elements

➜  On the View tab, in the Show group, select the Gridlines or Guides check box.


1. Right-click a blank area of the slide, and then click Grid and Guides .

2. In the Grid and Guides dialog box, select the options you want, and then click OK .

Tip  To quickly arrange a set of selected graphics that includes pictures, you can apply a SmartArt picture layout to them . Clicking Picture Layout in the Picture Styles group on the Picture Tools Format contextual tab displays a gallery of SmartArt picture diagrams . When you click a layout, PowerPoint moves the graphics into that arrangement, and you can then manipulate the graphics as you would the shapes in any diagram . For informa- tion about SmartArt, see section 3 .4, “Manipulate SmartArt .”

Changing the Stacking Order

When graphics overlap each other, they are stacked. The stacking order is determined by the order in which you inserted the graphics, but you can change it by moving graphics in the stack.


Tip  If you can’t select a graphic because it is covered by others in the stack, click the Selection Pane button in the Arrange group on the Format contextual tab to display the Selection And Visibility task pane, and then select the graphic you want from the Shapes On This Slide list .