Favorite Customizing Tips for PowerPoint Maps

Enlarging, Reducing and Snap to Grid

How to Video 2 shows a couple of our favorite customizing tips for our downloadable, editable, World of Maps PowerPoint clip art maps: Enlarging and Reducing Maps and the Snap to Grid option.

Tip 3. Enlarging and Reducing Objects

1. The key to enlarging or reducing several objects is to group them together first. To enlarge several states or counties you first Select them with the pointer and then GROUP them together. Holding down the Shift key will allow you to select several objects at the same time or you can drag your pointer around the entire group.

2. Once the states are selected click on the DRAW popup menu in the TOOL BAR along the bottom and choose GROUP or on the PC right-click with the mouse. Or hold down the Control key and right-click on the PC or just click with the mouse on the Mac and select Group.

3. You will now see just one object with 8 handles around it. The handles are the little square gray or blue dots you see on the box around your map. Place your pointer over one of the lower left or right corner handles. Click, and hold down the mouse button and drag the handle in a diagonal 45 degree direction. This will enlarge the group. Release your mouse button when you have the correct size. Pulling out, the group will enlarge, moving in towards the center it will reduce. Holding down the SHIFT key will keep things proportional.

4. Text elements will need to be re-adjusted manually, they will move to the correct place but in PowerPoint they do not scale up or down. You may also need to UNGROUP them and move them where needed. The text can be resized using the Font Tools along the top of the screen or in the Formatting Palette.

Tip 4. Snap To Grid

This is a tip that almost no one even knows exists. PowerPoint has an underlining grid that helps you line up objects. The default in PowerPoint is that it is on. When working on something like a map the grid can become very frustrating because it won't allow you to move the map pieces where you want. They want to snap to the grid instead of lining up with the other map borders.

All of our maps have the grid turned off, the default is that it is always on. On any new projects with a new PowerPoint slide we advise turning the Snap to Grid option off. The option is usually located in the DRAW popup menu but not always. It depends on the version of PowerPoint, it can also be found by right-clicking and looking in the GUIDES option in the popup box that appears.

See the related video Grouping and Ungrouping a Map and Using the Shift Key.

This guide works with PowerPoint version 2003 and older. All of the principals will work with version 2007 but the locations of the tools will differ. Most of the tools have been moved up to the top of the screen into the Ribbon.
PowerPoint is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Adobe Illustrator is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

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