Macabacus includes several tools to reposition and resize shapes that pick up where native PowerPoint functionality leaves off. These tools are located in the
Shapes group on the Macabacus tab. Although a few of these tools appear to perform functions similar to native PowerPoint shape tools, they are enhanced with additional functionality or more intuitive behavior relative to the native tools.
You can copy the properties of one shape and apply them to other shapes, even after the shape whose properties were copied is deleted. While PowerPoint's native Format Painter applies all formatting properties, Macabacus lets you choose which properties to apply, including many not related to formatting (e.g., shape size and position).
Access this tool from the
Shapes section of the
Macabacus tab. The Format Painter pane allows you to select any of the available properties to apply, while the
Format Painter menu lets you select commonly applied properties. The buttons on this menu can be added to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) for easy access.
Use Stack Shapes to align the edges of shapes relative to one another. You can optionally specify a gap (in inches, centimeters, or points) to be included between shapes. The example to the right illustrates the behavior of the Stack Left tool.
- Stack Left — Align selected shapes so that they are horizontally positioned at the right edges of prior shapes in the selection, as determined by horizontal position.
- Stack Right — Align selected shapes so that they are horizontally positioned at the left edges of subsequent shapes in the selection, as determined by horizontal position.
- Stack Up — Align selected shapes so that they are vertically positioned at the bottom edges of prior shapes in the selection, as determined by vertical position.
- Stack Down — Align selected shapes so that they are vertically positioned at the top edges of subsequent shapes in the selection, as determined by vertical position.
Distribute the width or height of selected shapes evenly over the aggregate bounds of the selected shapes. You can optionally specify a gap (in inches, centimeters, or points) to be included between shapes.
- Distribute Horizontally — Distribute selected shapes' widths evenly across the aggregate width of the entire selection, such that the widths of all selected shapes are equal.
- Distribute Vertically — Distribute selected shapes' heights evenly across the aggregate height of the entire selection, such that the heights of all selected shapes are equal
The example above illustrates the behavior of the Distribute Horizontally tool. Note that rectangles 1, 2, and 3 initially have different widths and are spaced unevenly.
Swap the position of two shapes using one of several positioning options available on the
Macabacus > Swap Positions menu:
- Top Left Anchor — Swap the top left positions of two selected shapes.
- Top Right Anchor — Swap the top right positions of two selected shapes.
- Bottom Left Anchor — Swap the bottom left positions of two selected shapes.
- Bottom Right Anchor — Swap the bottom right positions of two selected shapes.
- Center Anchor — Swap the center positions of two selected shapes.
The following example illustrates the behavior of Swap Positions using the Top Right Anchor:
When you align shapes natively using PowerPoint, it is not always clear (or intuitive) to which of the selected shapes the others will align, sometimes leading to unexpected results. Macabacus, on the other hand, always aligns selected shapes to the first shape selected, producing consistent results. Use the alignment buttons in the
Shapes section of the
Macabacus tab to align shapes' top, bottom, left, or right edges, or horizontal or vertical midpoints.
If only a single shape is selected, it will be aligned relative to the slide upon the first click of an alignment button. If you click the alignment button a second time, it will be aligned with the body placeholder on your slide master (which implicitly defines margins for your slides). For example, clicking the
Center Horizontally button once with a single shape selected will horizontally center the selected shape on the slide. Clicking the
Align Left button twice will align a single shape with the left "margin" of your slide.
Fix minor misalignment among three or more selected shapes or, if no shape is selected, all shapes on the selected slide. This tool does not reposition placeholders, but does use placeholders to check for misalignment. Access this tool from the
Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Auto Align button. The logic used by Auto Align to detect misalignment is the same logic used by Macabacus' proofing tools.
Align Over Table
Table cells may only contain text, but it is sometimes necessary to position shapes over table cells to make them appear as part of a table. To align selected shapes over cells in the selected table, click the
Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Align Over Table button. Macabacus will determine the best cell to use for shape alignment based on the overlap, and you can specify any of nine alignment options (e.g., centered, top left).
Conform the width, height, or both the width and height of selected shapes to the same dimension(s) as the first selected shape. If only a single shape is selected, it will be sized relative to the slide. For example, clicking the
Macabacus > Conform Width button will set the width of the selected shape equal to the width of the slide.
Use Select Match to select multiple shapes on a slide with similar properties (e.g., width, color, shape type). Suppose you have a map with dozens of map markers, and you need to recolor all of the orange markers to blue. Select a single orange marker, set your match criteria to "Fill," click the
Macabacus > Select Match button to select all orange markers, and reformat the selected markers as desired. You can apply multiple match criteria, and select multiple shapes to match.
Record / Restore Size & Position
Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Record Size & Position button to memorize the sizes and positions of selected shapes. You can then move those shapes around on the slide—perhaps to uncover and edit another shape—and then click the
Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Restore Size & Position button to restore the shapes' original sizes and positions.
Conform the dimensions of one or more selected shapes to a customizable Standard Size, or a selected range, chart, or other object in Excel/Word, from the
Macabacus > Shape Size > Resize To menu.
Adjustments are changes made to AutoShapes (e.g., arrows) by dragging their yellow handles. You can set adjustments made in similar, selected AutoShapes to the adjustments in the first selected AutoShape by clicking the
Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Conform Adjustments button. To do this using native PowerPoint functionality would require tedious and imprecise manual adjustment of each shape individually.
Duplicate the selected shape an arbitrary number of times into a grid, with customizable spacing between rows and columns, by clicking the
Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Multiply Shape button.
You can duplicate a shape across all slides of the presentation. First create a shape and then select the shape and click
Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Duplicate Shape button. The shape will appear on all slides of the presentation.
Fix Image Scaling
Pictures become distorted when their widths and heights are not scaled proportionally. This tool restores images' original height-to-width relationship, and locks their aspect ratio to reduce the likelihood of inadvertent distortion.
This operation can be performed on selected shapes, or all shapes on all selected slides at once. Access this tool from the
Macabacus > More Shape Tools menu.
This documentation refers to the latest Macabacus version. Some features and descriptions of these features may not apply to older versions of Macabacus. Update your Macabacus software to take advantage of the latest features.