PowerPoint 2003: Ordering Objects on a Slide

Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 provides several ways to order objects, such as text boxes, images, charts, and more, on a slide. Properly ordering objects helps create an organized, professional, and visually appealing slide.

Bringing Objects Forward and Backward

The easiest way to order objects is to bring them forward or send them backward. Here are the steps:

  1. Select the object(s) you want to reorder
  2. Go to Format > Order
  3. Choose Bring Forward or Send Backward. You can also right-click and choose these options from the context menu.
  • Bring Forward moves the selected object(s) one layer closer to the front
  • Send Backward moves the selected object(s) one layer toward the back

Tip: Use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + ] to bring forward and Ctrl + [ to send backward.

Bringing Objects to the Front or Back

For more control, you can bring objects all the way to the front or send them all the way to the back:

  1. Select the object(s) to reorder
  2. Go to Format > Order
  3. Choose Bring to Front or Send to Back

Bring to Front places the object(s) in front of all other objects. Send to Back places the object(s) behind everything.

Ordering Objects

For precise placement, use the Order dialog box:

  1. Select the object(s) to reorder
  2. Go to Format > Order > Order to open the dialog box
  3. In the Order box, choose the location:
    • Bring to Front – Places object(s) in front of all others
    • Bring Forward – Brings object(s) one layer closer to the front
    • Send to Back – Places object(s) behind everything
    • Send Backward – Sends object(s) one layer toward the back
  4. Select Apply to All to reorder all objects on the slide based on the selected object(s).
  5. Click OK

This dialog box gives you exact control over an object’s ordering placement.

Aligning Objects

You can align multiple selected objects relative to one another:

  1. Hold down Shift and select all the objects you want to align
  2. Go to Format > Align or Distribute
  3. Choose the alignment option:
    • Align Left – Aligns objects by their left edge
    • Align Center – Aligns centers of objects
    • Align Right – Aligns objects by their right edge
    • Align Top – Aligns objects by their top edge
    • Align Middle – Aligns centers of objects vertically
    • Align Bottom – Aligns objects by their bottom edge
  4. Select Distribute Horizontally or Distribute Vertically to evenly space objects

Ordering Tips

  • Order simple backgrounds and borders first by sending to the back
  • Order text boxes and content above more complex design elements
  • Use bring forward and send backward for quick, incremental changes
  • Align objects that should have clean lines like bullet points, charts, and diagrams
  • Distribute objects like icons evenly across a slide

Properly ordering objects helps create professional PowerPoint slides that effectively communicate your ideas to your audience. Take time to organize your information effectively.

Troubleshooting Object Ordering Issues

If objects don’t seem to properly reorder or align, here are some things to try:

  • Select all objects and choose Format > Order > Order and pick Apply to All to completely reorder all slide objects
  • Group related objects so they maintain their ordering together
  • Ungroup any grouped objects and reorder individually
  • Temporarily hide objects you don’t want to reorder to simplify the process
  • Resize and align the edges of objects that should have clean lines
  • Make sure to select all objects before aligning
  • Start over by deleting all objects and carefully reorder by adding them back one at a time

If issues continue, your presentation file may have corruption issues requiring technical help to identify and resolve.

Animating Objects

PowerPoint allows you to animate objects to make them move or fade onto a slide:

  1. Select the object(s) to animate
  2. Go to Slide Show > Custom Animation
  3. Use the Add Effect buttons and options to create an animation:
    • Entrance effects animate objects onto a slide
    • Emphasis effects animate while on the slide
    • Exit effects animate objects off the slide
    • Motion Paths allow you to customize movement
  4. Customize animation Start options:
    • On Click – Advance when clicked
    • With Previous – Animate with previous object
    • After Previous – Animate after previous
  5. Adjust animation timing using the Timing options
  6. Preview the animations using the buttons at the bottom

Animating objects in the proper sequence helps present information in a logical order during a slide show presentation.