Layout Tools

The empower® Layout Tools assist you in uniformly designing your PowerPoint® presentations. You will find the Layout Tools either in its own ribbon group in the empower® slides menu, or to the bottom of the Quick Access Pane. Using the tools, you can easily and accurately align objects on the slides within the so-called Drawing Area. 


The Drawing Area in the master is defined with a textbox in the master layout. It delineates the area in which a whole multitude of different content can be inserted into the slide – of course, this does not affect header and footer.

A click on Layout Tools will open the complete layout toolbar on the right.


Depending on what elements of the current slide you have selected, you are now able to utilize the functions of the layout tools.


If you wish to access every feature of the layout toolbar directly from the empower menu, please click the cog symbol to the top right of the layout tool window. You can individually select groups of tools which will then be displayed in the empower ribbon.



Size & Position


In this category, you will find an assortment of tools which align and format slide content. Here you have the possibility to define an object as a Reference Shape. This will set which item will serve as a reference point for all other objects. In order to set a reference object select all elements that you want to be adjusted. If, for example, you want three elements to be oriented to the left, the “Align Left” button would align all object in line with the left edge of the leftmost object (here dark blue).

If you wish to set the middle object as the reference object, all items will align to the left of the reference shape (here light blue).


All features described in this section refer to native PowerPoint® functions with the exception of “Swap Elements”. The buttons “Align Left”, Align Right”, “Align Top” and “Align Bottom” will align two objects in accordance to the selected option. If only a single element is selected, it will be aligned with the edges of the Drawing Area.

“Distribute Horizontally” and “Distribute Vertically” will place objects with reference to the outer objects of a selection. If only a single element is selected, the object will be aligned with the center of the slide.

If you select two elements you can click Swap Elements to change each other’s position.



With Position you are able to align a selected object directly within the Drawing Area. This way objects can be aligned to the left, right, top and bottom edge, as well as each corner of the Drawing Area while the button located in the middle moves all selected elements to the middle.

If you did not select any elements on the slide, all freely located elements (excluding placeholders) will automatically align with the selected location.


In the Resize section you can adjust the size of selected elements. To do so, select two items and then click on Same Width. The elements will now have the same width as the element last selected if no reference shape has been set. Clicking the button multiple times will switch between the resizing in accordance to the different objects. “Same Height” and “Same Size” work in a similar manner.

With “Resize to Align Left”, “Resize to Align Right”, “Resize to Align Top” and “Resize to Align Bottom” you have the ability to adapt the size of two or more elements to then be able to succinctly align them to the left, right, top or bottom.



The Select section provides native PowerPoint® functions to place elements on a slide.


You can group elements as well as reverse a grouping. In addition, you can move elements to the foreground or background or move an element a level up or down. The button to the bottom right will open the PowerPoint® selection pane which displays all visible and hidden elements placed on the current slide.


To hide an element simply click on the eye symbol to the right of the element’s name. Naturally, invisible elements are also not taken into account by the design check.

The selection buttons to the right let you select multiple elements with a single click. “Select same objects” select all objects of the same type as the currently selected object, e.g. all rectangles, all text boxes, etc. “Select same color” will select all elements that have the same color as the item currently selected.



The “Fit to Width”, “Fit to Height” and “Fit to area” buttons let you adapt the size of a single or of multiple items to the Drawing Area. If you select a single item on a slide, it will be resized with regard to width, height and size of the Drawing Area. If multiple elements are selected, these elements will be arranged in proportion to one another in regard to their width, height and the space of the Drawing Area. This way, you can distribute elements on a slide accurately with a single click, e.g. when conducting a slide migration.


With a further function, you have the ability to arrange objects with the same vertical or horizontal distance between one another. To do so, select the desired elements (a distance can be set between shapes, fields and objects) and either click on “Same Margins Horiz.” or on Same Margins Vert.”.


A pop-up window will open in which you can then specify the desired distance between the elements, as well as the area in which these elements are to be distributed. Here you can select between “Fit to Selection”, “Fit to Drawing Area” and “Do not resize”. If you select “Fit to Selection”, the edge of the outer elements will act as the frame in which all elements will be distributed. This means that the size of elements will be adapted proportionally to accommodate the specified margin.

Select “Fit to Drawing Area” in order to distribute all selected elements in the drawing area of your slide. Their size be adjusted proportionally on order to arrange the elements with the specified distance between them. You can also select “Do not resize” if you do not wish the size of the elements to be changed; the elements will then be distributed vertically and horizontally on the slide without their size being altered.


The Divide Shape button will create a matrix with any shape. To do so, insert a shape such as a rectangle onto a slide and then click on “Divide Shape”.


A popup window will open in which you can specify the number of rows and columns. In addition, you can define the horizontal and vertical distance between the elements. Finally, set if you wish the size of the matrix to be the same as the selected element or if it should have the same size as the whole drawing area. A click on OK will then create the matrix.


The Position Painter allows you to transfer the size and position of one element to another similar to the format painter function by Microsoft®. More information on the Position Painter can be found in chapter Position Painter.



With Dock you have the ability to align two or more elements with one another. The “Dock Left” button will dock selected elements to the left.


The “Dock Right”, “Dock Top” and “Dock Bottom” buttons all function analogously. The two latter buttons place the elements in accordance to their top or bottom edge, while “Dock Center” and “Dock Middle” place selected elements to the middle of each other.



This section mainly provides native PowerPoint® functions to adjust selected elements on a slide.



The buttons “Rotate left 90°” and “Rotate Right 90°” allow you to rotate your selected elements accordingly. You also have the possibility to flip an element vertically or horizontally along their axis.


Select an element with rounded edges and click on “Adjust Round Corner” in order to adjust the corners to an angle set in the database.


This way you can set the angle of round edges and (kinked) arrows to a value defined in the empower database.



In this section you have generic PowerPoint® tools that allow you to join shapes.


Clicking “Union” will join two selected shapes to a single element. “Combine” has a similar effect but overlapping sections are cut out of the shape. “Fragment” will split selected shapes into multiple shapes that resulted due to overlapping, while “Intersect” leaves only the intersection area of the selected shapes. “Subtract” will cut out the area of the last selected shape placed on another shape.



In the Shape section you will find PowerPoint® native tools to manipulate size and properties of text boxes and shapes. Here you can view and set width and height of a selected element. By clicking the chain symbol, you can lock and unlock the aspect ratio of an object. Select “Shrink Text” in order to have the text adapt to the size of the element if it would otherwise protrude over its edges. If “Resize Shape” is selected, the shape will adapt to the size of its contained text. If none of the options is to be activated, you can select “Autofit off”. Finally, you can activate automatic line break by clicking “Wrap Text”.




In this section you are able to directly enter the value of the margins. In addition, you have the possibility to transfer these margins from one element to another – similarly to PowerPoint®’s format painter. To do so, select an element and click “Learn Margin” and apply the setting to another element by selecting it and then clicking on “Set Margin”. With “Remove” you can set all margins of a selected element to 0 cm.



The Spacing section contains generic PowerPoint® functions to set spacing. In the dropdown menu of “Line Spacing” you can select any of the line spacing options. If you have selected “Exactly”, you can then enter the desired value in “Spacing at”. In “Before” and “After” you can enter the spacing before and after the line.


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