How to Change Layers in PowerPoint 2013


Microsoft PowerPoint allows users to create visually engaging presentations by layering different elements like text, images, shapes, and more on slides. However, sometimes the layering order may need to be adjusted if certain elements are appearing behind or in front of others incorrectly.

PowerPoint 2013 has easy-to-use tools to change the layering order of objects on a slide. This article will cover the following topics in using layers effectively in PowerPoint 2013:

  • What are layers in PowerPoint and why they are useful
  • How to view and adjust layers
    • Using the Selection Pane
    • Send Backward/Bring Forward commands
  • Tips for working with layers

Understanding layers in PowerPoint can help create more polished and professional presentations.

What Are Layers in PowerPoint?

Layers allow different elements like text boxes, shapes, images, etc. to stack on top of each other on a slide. The layering order determines which items appear in front or behind others.

Think of layers as a stack of transparent sheets. The bottom sheet would be the “backmost” layer and the top sheet would be the “frontmost.”

Key advantages of using layers:

  • Adjust overlapping objects so important elements are not covered
  • Organize related elements on their own layers
  • Animate objects more easily by moving through layer levels

Understanding layering order gives more control over the look of slides.

Viewing and Adjusting Layers

PowerPoint 2013 provides two main ways to view and change object layering: the Selection Pane and Bring/Send Backward commands.

Use the Selection Pane

The Selection Pane displays a list of all objects on the current slide as individual, adjustable layers. To open it:

  1. Select the Home tab
  2. Go to the Editing group
  3. Select Selection Pane

This will open a list of layers on the slide. Some key features:

  • Reorder layers by dragging them up/down
  • Hide layers using the visibility icon
  • Rename layers for easy identification

The Selection Pane gives precise control when adjusting layers.

Use Send Backward/Bring Forward

You can also change layer order with these commands:

  • Bring Forward – Moves object up one layer
  • Send Backward – Moves object down one layer
  • Bring to Front – Moves object to top layer
  • Send to Back – Moves object to bottom layer

To use them:

  1. Select the object
  2. Right click and choose a command from the context menu

These commands provide quick layer adjustments.

Tips for Working with Layers

Here are some tips for effectively using layers in PowerPoint 2013:

  • Name layers clearly for easy identification
  • Use layers to organize related elements
  • Adjust layering order routinely for visual polish
  • Animate objects by moving through layers

Using layers properly helps create more professional and visually appealing presentations.


Learning to view and adjust layers gives more control over the look of PowerPoint slides. The Selection Pane and Bring/Send commands make it easy to change layer positions for a more polished look.

With some practice, layers can be used effectively to organize elements and perfect alignments in presentations. Understanding this useful PowerPoint 2013 feature will level up your skills.