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Microsoft Office 2007

Manipulating Objects

Documents often contain multiple objects, from text boxes to graphics to WordArt; getting them all in the correct location can be difficult. Knowing the ins and outs of manipulating objects will help you create a professional-looking document every time. 

To learn how to modify object properties (e.g., color), see Modifying Objects in Word or in Excel and PowerPoint.

return to topSelecting Objects

To manipulate an object, you must first select it. To select an object, simply click on it. Once an object is selected, you can order, duplicate, or group it.

To select multiple objects:

  1. Hold down the [Shift] key

  2. Click on each of the objects you want to work with
    NOTE: To select multiple objects in Word, the Text Wrap option for each object must not be set at In Line with Text

To deselect one of the objects:

  1. Hold down the [Shift] key

  2. Click the object you want to deselect

return to top Moving Objects

  1. Select the object

  2. Click and drag the object to the desired position on your document
    NOTE: To move an object freely in Word, the Text Wrap option for that object must not be set at In Line with Text.

  3. Release the mouse button

return to topNudging Objects

When you want your object to be "nudged," or moved just a little, you can use the keyboard arrow keys to move it.

Nudging Objects: Keyboard Option

NOTE: In Excel and Word, objects can only be nudged one pixel at a time.

  1. Select the object you want to nudge

  2. PowerPoint:
    To move your object 5 pixels at a time, press the desired arrow key
    To move your object 1 pixel at a time, hold the [Ctrl] key and press the desired arrow key
    Publisher:
    To move your object 5 pixels at a time, hold the [Shift] key and press the desired arrow key
    To move your object 1 pixel at a time, press the desired arrow key
    Excel and Word:
    To move your object 1 pixel at a time, press the desired arrow key
    NOTE: In Word, to move an object freely, the Text Wrap option for the that object must be set at anything other than In Line with Text.

return to topOrdering Objects

Objects often must be ordered a certain way if they are to be visible. If you have overlapping objects, each object can be sent to the back or brought forward. Ordering can be performed with any object.

The example below walks you through the ordering process. This general example can be applied to your specific project.

NOTE: In Publisher, these options are available from the Arrange menu.

  1. Select the object you wish to move
    EXAMPLE: Select the triangle
    NOTE: In our example, the triangle is in the middle of the three layers.
    layer 1

  2. From the Ribbon, select the Format command tab

  3. To bring the object forward or to the front, in the Arrange group, click BRING TO FRONT » select the appropriate option
    EXAMPLE: Click BRING TO FRONT
    The triangle is brought to the front of the three layers.
    NOTES:
    Using the Bring Forward option moves the object forward one layer.
    Using the Bring to Front option moves the object to the first layer.
    layer 2

  4. To move the object back one layer or to the back, in the Arrange group, click SEND TO BACK »select the appropriate option
    EXAMPLE: Click SEND TO BACK
    The triangle is sent to the back of the three layers.
    NOTES:
    Using the Send Backward option moves the object back one layer.
    Using the Send to Back option moves the object behind all other layers.
    layer 3

return to topAligning Objects

If you want to align multiple objects in your document, the align option will help you do so quickly and easily.

NOTE: In Publisher, these options are available from the Arrange menu.

  1. Select the objects you want to align

  2. From the Ribbon, select the Format command tab

  3. In the Arrange group, click ALIGN » select the desired alignment
    Align button and menu

return to topRotating or Flipping Objects

Rotating or flipping an object is easy with Office's drawing tools. You can control the rotation by choosing the Free Rotate option, or you can rotate your object a specific number of degrees to the left or right. If you want to flip an object, you can choose to flip it horizontally or vertically.

NOTE: In Publisher, these options are available from the Arrange menu.

  1. Select the object or group of objects you want to rotate or flip

  2. From the Ribbon, select the Format command tab

  3. In the Arrange group, click ROTATE » select desired option
    Rotate button and menu

Free Rotate Option 

If you select the Free Rotate option, you designate the degree of rotation by using the handles.

  1. Select your object
    Sizing and rotation handles appear around your object.
    NOTE: The rotation handle is the open circle slightly above the top sizing handle on your object.
    Clip art with rotation and sizing handles

  2. Click and hold your mouse on the rotation handle of your object

  3. Drag your pointer in the direction and degree you want your object to rotate
    HINT: Holding [Shift] while dragging rotates the object in 15 degree increments.

  4. Release the mouse button

return to topGrouping Objects

You may want your shapes to become one group if you want them to move as one or if you want to apply the same formatting to all of them. Office gives you this option to group shapes together.

NOTE: In Publisher, these options are available from the Arrange menu.

Grouping Objects

  1. Select the object(s) you want in the group

  2. From the Ribbon, select the Format command tab

  3. In the Arrange group, click GROUP » select Group
    The handles for the individual objects disappear and handles appear around the group of objects.

  4. Make any necessary changes to the group of objects

Ungrouping Objects

If you no longer want objects previously placed in a group to be moved together, you may choose to remove them from their group.

  1. Select the group by clicking on one of the group’s objects

  2. From the Ribbon, select the Format command tab

  3. In the Arrange group, click GROUP » select Ungroup

Regrouping Objects

If you change your mind after ungrouping objects, Office allows you to place the items that were most recently ungrouped back into a group.

  1. Select one of the objects that you wish to regroup

  2. From the Ribbon, select the Format command tab

  3. In the Arrange group, click GROUP » select Regroup
    The handles reappear around the most recently ungrouped group.

Hints for Grouping, Ungrouping, and Regrouping

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