Display and use gridlines and guides

You can use gridlines (gridlines: Lines you can add to a chart you make it easier to view and evaluate data. Gridlines extend from the tick marks on an axis across the plot area.) to identify the center of your slide or document and position shapes and objects (object: A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.) more precisely. In Microsoft Office Excel 2007, gridlines also make it easy to enter and find data in your worksheet. And in Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, you can use drawing guides (guides: Nonprinting straight lines, both horizontal and vertical, used to visually align objects.) to position shapes and objects on slides.

For more information about snapping objects to a grid, see Turn the snap to grid and snap to object options on or off.

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Overview of gridlines and drawing guides

Gridlines

Gridlines make it easier to align shapes and objects (object: A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.) by giving you a visual cue in relation to the objects and the slide, document, or worksheet. In Microsoft Office Excel 2007, the primary purpose of gridlines is to distinguish cell boundaries.

You can show or hide gridlines and you can change grid and guide settings by choosing from a range of preset measurements. Gridlines are not visible during a slide show and they do not print in a presentation or document. In Office Excel 2007, it is possible to print gridlines.

The drawing grid (grid: A set of intersecting lines used to align objects.) includes an option, called snap to, that aligns objects to the nearest intersection of the grid or to another object as you draw or move objects.

 Tip   To temporarily override the snap to options, hold down ALT while you drag the shape or object.

Drawing guides

In Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, you can also use drawing guides (guides: Nonprinting straight lines, both horizontal and vertical, used to visually align objects.) to position shapes and objects on slides. Drawing guides can be shown or hidden, and you can add or delete guides as well. 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.

Guides and the grid in PowerPoint

Button image Use the grid to help align objects more precisely, particularly in relation to each other.

Callout 2 In Office PowerPoint 2007 use one or more guides to arrange objects evenly, with or without the grid turned on.

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Display gridlines

Which program are you using?


Excel

  • On the View tab, in the Show/Hide group, select the Gridlines check box.

PowerPoint

  • On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click Arrange, point to Align, and then click View Gridlines.

 Tip   You can also use the keyboard shortcut SHIFT+F9 to show or hide gridlines.

Word

  1. Click the shape or object in the document.
  2. Under Drawing Tools on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Align, and then click View Gridlines.

Drawing Tools, Format tab image

If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a shape or an object.

 Notes 

  • To display only some gridlines, after clicking Align, click Grid Settings, and then under Show grid, click the number of gridlines that you want to display in the Vertical every or Horizontal every lists.
  • By default, shapes and other objects snap to the nearest intersection of gridlines only if the grid is visible. You can override this by selecting the check box.

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Display drawing guides in PowerPoint 2007

  1. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click Arrange, point to Align, and then click Grid Settings.

 Tip   You can also right-click an empty area of the slide (not a placeholder (placeholders: Boxes with dotted or hatch-marked borders that are part of most slide layouts. These boxes hold title and body text or objects such as charts, tables, and pictures.)) or the margin around the slide, and then click Grid and Guides.

  1. Under Guide settings, select the Display drawing guides on screen check box.

 Notes 

  • You can also use the keyboard shortcut ALT+F9 to show or hide the drawing guides.
  • To add an additional guide, press and hold CTRL while you drag the guide to a new location.
  • To move a guide, drag it to a new location. The distance from the center of the slide is shown when you drag a guide.
  • To move a guide in between gridlines, press and hold ALT while you drag the guide.
  • To show the distance from the current location of the guide instead of from the center of the slide, press and hold SHIFT while you drag the guide.
  • To delete a guide, drag it off of the slide.
  • To use a guide to align shapes or objects, drag a guide to where you want to align the shapes or objects, and then drag each shape or object near the guide so that its center or edge automatically aligns with the guide.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007, Outlook 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Word 2007